Climate change at the doorstep in Norfolk

In any debate over federal spending priorities, the underlying argument is over policy.  For example, defunding Planned Parenthood is a way to further limit abortion. If you defund environmental legislation, you’ve effectively crippled the government’s response to climate change. And that’s what’s going on in the Republican-controlled House. The Republican majority is seeking to block the EPA from regulating greenhouse gases, cutting the EPA’s budget by $3 billion, and they’ve proposed defunding the White House Office of Energy and Climate policy.

Many of these lawmakers do not believe climate change is endangering our future, if they believe in climate change at all. But for those who want proof that sea levels are rising as the planet warms, they need to look no farther than Norfolk, Virginia. In cooperation with The New York Times, Need to Know’s William Brangham reports.

 
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Comments

  • Bill_C

    This was without doubt the worse journalistic piece I have ever heard in my 69 years. Switching from “climate change’ to “global warming” to “greenhouse gases” to the near future and the far future with no compulsion to clarify and unlink one statement from another made me ill. How could my admired PBS allow this blatant distortion of impressions be promulgated? Yes, you did mention that parts of Norfolk is sinking which is unrelated to “climate change’ but failed to say that the sinking is 90% responsible for the flooding your video stressed over and over. Does your generation place any value in the concept of truth or does your certainty of having the right agenda totally trump “truth?” Do you actually look at yourself in the mirror each day? What type of person do you see?
    I will continue to record and watch “Need to Know” but this type of inaccurate and untruthful reporting must stop.

  • http://twitter.com/ZenCushion Zen Cushion

    Your story about Norfolk, or, more specifically, the effect of climate change on sea level, is seriously flawed, and most significantly, the producers and editors of the program have blatantly overlooked information which is presented in the program itself which contradicts the alarmist claims of a rising sea level caused by climate change.

    Specifically, the program describes how Norfolk was initially built on marshes, and the land is sinking ! Why is it that Norfolk has more of a problem than other parts of the coast ? Because it is the LAND which is changing, NOT the ocean. And yet, the program goes glibly on, ignoring the role of

    And the statement my Mark Hertsgaard that “every environmental beat reporter KNOWS that climate change is real” ?? Oh, like “beat reporter” journalists are qualified to make such a judgment ? Mr. Hertsgaard claims to be a “journalist”, yet his bias and prejudice on the subject of climate change is matched only by his ignorance. His claims of “99% of scientists believe” in alarmist climate change theories, and 1% do not, is pure junk. He is a “journalist” who is selling books which profit from alarmism, pure and simple.

    “Need to Know” is generally an informative program. With this particular episode, you are completely out of your depth, have bought into the climate change alarmism without any credible investigation of legitimate science which does not agree with climate change alarmists, and has done a shabby job of butchering an important issue. Embarrassingly one-sided !

    “Look at what is happening in Virginia” ?? Why would only

  • Lynn

    The prospect of losing your home to the rising tides is horrendous. I am so sorry to those in the flood zone. Whatever the cause, I can only imagine. I live in the Northwest so I immediatly thought of Seattle which long ago suffered from the same problem and actually built on top of what was already built there. Now you can take a tour of the city below. Now it sounds funny but must be a constant source of anxiety. We need to stop building on fill and in flood zones. I live on the coast too, so crossing my fingers here for us all. Lynn

  • Lynn

    The prospect of losing your home to the rising tides is horrendous. I am so sorry to those in the flood zone. Whatever the cause, I can only imagine. I live in the Northwest so I immediatly thought of Seattle which long ago suffered from the same problem and actually built on top of what was already built there. Now you can take a tour of the city below. Now it sounds funny but must be a constant source of anxiety. We need to stop building on fill and in flood zones. I live on the coast too, so crossing my fingers here for us all. Lynn

  • http://twitter.com/ZenCushion Zen Cushion

    I completely agree. A totally self-serving piece of propaganda which ignored its own statements. Sad, and distressing.

  • Michael

    Why PBS needs to be defunded.

  • http://twitter.com/ZenCushion Zen Cushion

    Lynn,

    I agree: this is largely an issue of where homes have been built and where people have chosen to live. There is no doubt that Norfolk is, and has been, an area well-suited to ship-building and the U.S. Navy, and the stress caused by the repeated flooding of one’s home is no doubt almost impossible to measure and appreciate unless you have been through it.

    Yet, it does raise the salient point which you make: we need to stop building in flood zones and on terrain which is on coastal land which is gradually sinking ! Blaming the problem on a rising sea level is, unfortunately, trying to deflect a rational assessment of the basic problem by invoking, and blaming, a popular bogeyman of near-religious proportions: alarmist climate change.

    I sympathize, as you do, with the plight of the people directly affected. But using their plight to sound Gabriel’s trumpet on the subject of climate change is shameful, and blatant.

  • Hnmont

    This show is a perfect example of the bad press coverage of Climate Change. The obvious question in the Norfolk problem is “How much has the sea level risen, and how much has the land sunk in this specific area?” The lack of an answer to this question makes the whole show suspicious to any thinking viewer. A few more shows like this and there will be a lot more climate change doubters.

  • Waterlogged Realist

    I’ve lived in the Norfolk area for over 40 years. Come here and tread water with us and then try to deny the ridiculously obvious. Your ideology betrays you and will lead to the demise of us all, including your children and their children.

  • Beverlee

    I’m stunned with the comments here. There are islands that have submerged all over the world, including the Chesapeake Bay. In Norfolk there is clear evidence that the water is moving in. What will it take for people to wake up? I thought the piece was really well done, showing the effect of global warming/climate change on people you can relate to. It’s not a debate. As Neil Degrasse Tyson said, the thing about science is whether you believe it or not, it’s true.

  • RAH

    Dear Zen,

    “Specifically, the program describes how Norfolk was initially built on marshes, and the land is sinking ! Why is it that Norfolk has more of a problem than other parts of the coast ? Because it is the LAND which is changing, NOT the ocean. And yet, the program goes glibly on, ignoring the role of the subduction of the land to the increase in flooding.”

    “Subduction” happens when plate tectonics edges meet. Norfolk isn’t on a plate boundary as far as I know.

    Also, the first rule of ecology is that everything is connected to everything else. Wetland soil subsidence (you are correct it is a factor) that is just one factor (due to disrupted river systems from land development, channelization of natural waterways). Other factors in the story of Norfolk and New Orleans land losses include climate change, among others. We can see that in native Alaskan villages are literally falling into the Bering Sea, as coastal beaches wash away, due to wave action of rising seas, as well as human land use, etc.

    Other examples of rising seas due to climate change, apparently not involving soil subsidence due to relative lack of wetlands, include disappearing South Pacific islands like Carteret and Kiribati. Current emigration to New Zealand and elsewhere is stressing to receiving countries as well as displaced islanders.

    We want to believe that we humans are entitled to what we want, when we want it, with respect to natural resources. We’ll all keep on believing what we want to believe until climate change stares us personally in the face, and finally we’ll make the changes we need to make. That’s human nature. Good luck to us all!

    RAH

  • http://twitter.com/ZenCushion Zen Cushion

    What is ridiculously obvious is that there is clearly a problem with flooding in Norfolk. What is NOT ridiculously obvious is the cause, “waterlogged realist”. The extent of sea level rise versus the extent of the sinking of the land the two predominant factors.

    Attributing the flooding to one cause when the other cause is clearly identified in the program and then ignored is poppycock journalism, not even bad science. This is not a question of ideology (except, apparently for climate change alarmists, who have preached religion to the public). This is a question of simple objectivity.

    Have you ever been sitting in a car, or airplane, when the car or plane next to you begins to back up, and you think you are moving forward ? The fact that the land is sinking would certainly lead to you to believe that the sea is rising. Your ‘belief’ in the “demise of us all” sounds positively biblical. This segment was a travesty, including the interview with Mr. Hertsgaard, as big a climate change bigot as there could be, preaching from the same pulpit and making pronouncements as if he has ALL the answers, when there are very few.

    No one is denying the flooding problems at Norfolk, and the problems which it causes people who live there are painful and evident. Just be careful what you point your finger at when explaining it.

  • http://twitter.com/ZenCushion Zen Cushion

    Beverlee, when you quote Neil Degrasse Tyson ( “the thing about science is whether you believe it or not, it’s true” ) you are twisting words around to fit your own beliefs. You are certainly entitled to your beliefs, but that does not make them scientific facts, just as computer models do not make for global warming scientific facts.

    The question here seems to be about what is ‘science’, i.e., what is ‘true’. That is a legitimate question. Science is a process of gradually determining what is occurring in the universe and why, but it is not scripture written in stone tablets. Early ‘scientists’ used to think that the sun revolved around the Earth (it was their best theory based on their limited observations). Scientists used to think that light was propagated by an ‘ether’ in space that resembled the propagation of waves in air or water. Scientists, like Newton, thought that classical mechanics completely explained the behavior of the physical universe, and it was later shown that such factors as quantum physics and general relativity play a part in natural phenomena.

    The point about science is that theories are proposed to explain things, and observations and evidence collected to try to support the theories. Often times current theories are proven wrong by observations. Often times new theories are proven wrong by facts which show them not to be true, despite their being advanced as possible explanations, and by scientists.

    Extreme climate change caused by humans use of fossil fuels which releases CO2 is currently a theory, not truth. Scientists are working hard to prove or disprove this theory based upon available observations, which are hard to come by, and the time frames involved extend back to the geological past and into the century ahead.

    Regrettably, no one, and no scientist, has a crystal ball telescope saying how the next hundred or two hundred years will evolve with regards to climate. Just what causes changes in climate over time is being explored, and debated. Contrary to what ‘believers’ might wish to proclaim, the science is NOT settled, science is not a political ‘consensus’ settled by ‘votes’, and there are many factors which are involved in changing climate that are still being explored and which have not been shown to be definitive. That’s the truth, whether or not you believe it !

  • Funny-about-money

    PBS should be defunded because you don’t like news reporting? Why should we all be stuck with Faux News?

  • Hnmont

    Beverlee -

    I am a scientist, a meteorologist and oceanographer. I believe there is global warming. I believe the sea level is rising. I’m not sure that anything can be done, or needs to be done, to prevent it, and I’m not sure if the result will be good or bad.

    What I object to is misinformation and poor analysis of the facts such as contained in this show. By being such a poor discussion of the problem it gives ammunition to those who believe that global warming is a hoax. I might suggest that you do some research as to how many, and what specific islands around the world have been submerged, and how much has sea level increased in those locations.

  • http://twitter.com/ZenCushion Zen Cushion

    Funny-money, I don’t think the egregious sensationalism of this particular segment is in and of itself an indictment of better programming on PBS, but this was hardly “news reporting”.

    It was distorted propaganda whose producers apparently had the mistaken and condescending assumption that whoever watched the segment would not have the ability to see its significant shortcomings and self-contradictions.

    By the way, you replied to the wrong comment.

  • http://twitter.com/ZenCushion Zen Cushion

    @RAH,

    Yes, subduction does refer to plate tectonics, you are quite correct. I did not have the correct term at my fingertips when making the comment about the sinking of the terrain, and did not mean to suggest plate tectonics at work per se — thanks for the correction.

  • Callmedaa

    Two words… FLOOD WALL.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Whisler/100000280368479 Richard Whisler

    I’m growing quite weary of “Climate Change deniers!” You are being cleverly manipulated by masters in this art. Spend some time on the 132+ websites for excellent examples of disinformation! I’m talking about the Public Relations Department of Koch Industries! And see David Koch declaring that Global Warming, is good! It’s all here, on the Homepage. If many scientist are debating this, how can the number 2 polluter in America come out and say “Global Warming!” is good! And by the way, 15,000 people were evacuated from in Island in the Indian Ocean. The name is possibly, Mauritius??? One last suggestion! Google: Koch Industries, 91 ton Benzene release, Gulf of Mexico, $350 million fine! But most of all, stop defending the Koch Brothers! And please visit my facebook page: Nazi Koch Brothers-a political party!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Whisler/100000280368479 Richard Whisler

    One of my favorite sites is http://WWW.muckety.com . California prop 23, which I worked tirelessly to defeat, was orchestrated by the Nazi Koch Brothers. And is well documented on the Muckety site! Also, there are groups such as Boycott and Defeat Koch Industries! And over 1400 other groups are working together, or singly towards the same end! I’m sure you all have heard of Green Peace and Earth First! Please Google their efforts to combat the Worldwide(70 countries)Scourge known as Koch Industries!

  • cloudsandskye

    The Koch Brothers are not Nazis; since you don’t know the difference, then don’t use the term.

  • Markoceangate-house

    Hello All Non-beleivers
    I am suffering with the same situation in New Jersey in Ocean Gate. My family built our house in 1945. Can you put me in touch with one of the residences? If anyone doesn’t beleive in Global Warming, come to NJ.
    I need to find out about raising house.
    markoceangate-house@yahoo.com

  • shakazulu

    I’m heartened by the comments here from a PBS audience.

  • RaisedMind

    Search for “Norfolk Virginia subsidence” for information about what you’re referring to.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you to all the posters who pinpointed the obvious flaw in this article: These “sinking” areas were built on wetlands, tidal creeks and marshes. I was happy to read the concise, lucid and rational comments regarding this problem.

    The building and buying of these waterfront homes carries a risk the builder and buyer do not want to acknowledge: “Mother Nature” cannot be ignored so humans can have an unobstructed view of sunsets sitting on their patios listening the the romantic lapping tides that are now not so romantic as the water is seeking its own level through their doorway and flooding their homes.

    I often wonder when members of the human species will start taking responsibilities for their uneducated actions and not rely on other people’s earnings (tax dollars) to get them out of their mess enabling them to maintain their “fantasies.”

    Your homes were built on wetlands, tidal creeks and marshes! What end result did you expect?

  • Anonymous

    Thank you to all the posters who pinpointed the obvious flaw in this article: These “sinking” areas were built on wetlands, tidal creeks and marshes. I was happy to read the concise, lucid and rational comments regarding this problem.

    The building and buying of these waterfront homes carries a risk the builder and buyer do not want to acknowledge: “Mother Nature” cannot be ignored so humans can have an unobstructed view of sunsets sitting on their patios listening the the romantic lapping tides that are now not so romantic as the water is seeking its own level through their doorway and flooding their homes.

    I often wonder when members of the human species will start taking responsibilities for their uneducated actions and not rely on other people’s earnings (tax dollars) to get them out of their mess enabling them to maintain their “fantasies.”

    Your homes were built on wetlands, tidal creeks and marshes! What end result did you expect?

  • jghocker

    I guess what you are saying is that even though todays science believes that there is “global warming”, there is no way to be absolutely sure of this, since science is always evolving.

    How then do you propose to handle any difficult problem that science comes to theoretical conclusions about, with out sticking your head in the sand? [ Until your mythical absolute truth arrives].

  • Nestor

    It is obvious that you have read a book or two on the subject of science. I am sure Beverlee has also. It is too bad that you have to be so pompous and pedantic just to make the argument that you don’t believe anything if it doesn’t fit your agenda. I was on a sinking ship once and you would fit right in with those that were arguing in such a practical manner that it wasn’t that the water was rising but rather the boat was sinking. Yet could they fathom that the argument is a moot point. You only sound like someone trying to sound knowledgeable but really is just full of himself like so many other tv commentators pretending to know so much like pundits. Irrespective of your point about science, truth and facts there are many scientists that have theorized that we have a serious problem with very real glaciers melting. The moot argument is whether it is man induced or not. That is like arguing weather it was a leak caused by an iceberg or a split seam in a ship. It doesn’t matter. If we can just get on the next page instead of constantly going over the same ground we would be better off. Let’s agree that we have a problem and that there are very nice solutions to them. We can try to do something about it or just ignore it and argue the point till we all drown. If we can just say that it would be better for everyone if we just tried to produce less CO2 and be better at conserving and be good stewards of the land and care for each other isn’t that better. Let’s not argue over causes. It seems obvious that there is much debate over it and there are some who prefer to feel man is the cause or catalyst and others that feel they do not wish to be blamed. It seems ridiculous to get into pointless issues of cause. Let us rather accept the fact that the earth’s climate is changing in the foreseeable future regardless of it’s cyclical or causes. It is time that we start thinking of real solutions to a problem that can affect everyone. No one likes flooding, storms, unbearable heat, crop damage etc.. We can do better. We can create wonderful new businesses to make buildings that clean the air of CO2 and cars that use less fuel and pollute nothing. We can be a country of doers and innovators. People that work together to solve problems and even profit from them. It doesn’t matter if some who are standing at the rail of a ship that is floundering see the sea rising while others see the ship sinking. It doesn’t matter how this news is presented or even how the facts are interpreted. These are children playing at games while the water laps at our feet. It is time to be adults take on the challenges of a world that is in flux and be courageous enough to accept the desire to be better. Let’s stop the bickering over climate change or global warming. We can all just agree that we need to stop polluting and that we can do better than an antiquated method of getting energy from fossil fuels. There are so many better ways now. We can get away from the materialism and waste that is clogging our landfills and pilling up on our streets. It is easy. Fifty years ago our parents produced 75% less trash than we do just because we all like too much plastic stuff in plastic containers. They knew better, and they were conservationists. They didn’t need plastic bags for everything and they re-used. It is time to learn from them and recreate a practice we never should have been advertised into believing otherwise. The greatest generation used less energy because they didn’t need so much and we can learn a lot from them still. We can be a great country of innovators or a bunch of pedantic, pompous, name callers that look silly to the rest of the world. Let’s just try and move past these silly arguments. The problem is real, it is grave, and it is necessary to address it now. Try and be nice to each other and be good stewards of our only home.

  • Centapedia

    you prefer maybe the Nazi Souras?

  • Centapedia

    We recentlyclost two satelites the purpose of which was to prove the concept of man made global warming. So I conclude it’s still not proven.

  • http://twitter.com/ZenCushion Zen Cushion

    @jghocker:

    Although it is true that science is always evolving, I am not saying that there is no way to be sure of things because science is evolving. I am not even saying that there is no way to be sure of things — as there are many things which science has been able to provide the basis for us to be very sure of them: by direct observations of facts and demonstrations which not only support scientific hypotheses but which also show them to in fact be true. We can split atoms and land men on the moon, for example.

    What I am saying goes to your initial point when you say “today’s science believes that there is ‘global warming’ … “, as if that were in fact what “today’s science” believes, and as if “today’s science” regarding the causes of climate change was a single, unified scientific conclusion based on observations and facts which clearly demonstrate the truth of a theory.

    In fact, a significant number of “today’s scientists” do not ascribe to the notion that the causes of climate change have been first of all definitively identified and secondly that human activity is the primary cause. Clearly a large number of scientists support this theory. But other, and very well qualified scientists, do not.

    So it is not a matter of “sticking one’s head in the sand until some mythical absolute truth arrives”. It is a matter of recognizing that current theories of human-caused global warming caused by accelerating positive feedback from CO2 are not sufficiently proven — and, in fact, have been contradicted by observed climate data.

    Climate ‘models’ which seek to forecast out 50-100 years are notoriously sensitive to small changes in assumptions and coefficients which have been embedded in the models, and there is insufficient back-testing of the models to indicate that the models have managed to include all of the variable factors and dimensions which cause changes in climate (and not without a lot of trying).

  • http://twitter.com/ZenCushion Zen Cushion

    @Nestor, I am sorry if you take a certain degree of rigorous thinking, as reflected in written communication, as “pompous and pedantic”.

    I have not only “read a book or two on the subject of science”, I have studied and practiced it, including having developed and implemented numerous dynamic computer models.

    Perhaps you should keep your remarks focused on specific and tangible points, and quit flailing about so much in your prose. Also, you might consider organizing your thoughts in paragraphs at least to allow mere mortals to better digest your aphorisms and stories — or at least follow your stream of consciousness.

    Oh, but Nestor, I must call you out on a couple of things you wrote which you might want to reconsider.

    You write:

    “Let’s agree that we have a problem and that there are very nice solutions to them…” and

    “Let’s not argue over causes.”

    Really ? Wow, that is quite a mouthful … of ‘motivational speech’ perhaps, but hardly science. You would do better to read a book or two yourself on the subject of science.

  • http://twitter.com/ZenCushion Zen Cushion

    Any post, discussion or argument which feels the need to use the ‘nazi’ term to support its critique is, sadly, self-canceling and automatically abrogates any claim the proponent has to the points mentioned being rationally and constructively derived. Rather, it makes such remarks merely emotionally knee-jerked, and inconsequential.

  • http://twitter.com/ZenCushion Zen Cushion

    @jghocker

    I should add to my previous reply that you are quite right to ask the key question

    “how then do you propose to handle any difficult problem …” (but which I would restate slightly with) “for which there are no easy or clear scientific answers”.

    This is indeed an important question !

  • Anonymous

    I love how you ignored the rest of his comment. The matter at hand is that we have a problem, and the cause of the problem is not entirely clear. Zen Cushion, you are looking merely at the immediate problem–that of rising water in Norfolk. You are looking for a solution (and a cause) of this specific problem. This is a horrible case of treating the symptoms.

    When you so disrespectfully address the others on this thread, keep in mind that any problem, as Rah mentioned, does not have one simple cause. When a body is sick, and one does not know the cause of the sickness, will making simple lifestyle changes harm that body? In fact, even if there is no scientific proof that a certain change has effect, one will not see harm in changing this. Even working on psychological issues has been shown to help in certain issues.

    Whether or not alarmist climate change is good or not, CO2 emissions are bad for the humans and animals that have to inhale them. You can not argue, surely, that CO2 emissions are good? Then what is your problem in the world taking steps to reduce them? Every action does not necessarily need solid scientific evidence behind it. Would you have the world not act?

    There are far worse things in this world than people not sharing their thoughts in paragraph form. You correcting Nestor in this way IS pedantic. You are making him seem stupid. Is it, perhaps, to make yourself seem more intelligent? His paragraph form and stream-of-consciousness offend you… Why are you so easily offended? Perhaps you need to learn to be peaceful within yourself. Being so negative, aggressive, and arrogant is most definitely not a good thing. Any person can inform you of this fact without science.

  • Anonymous

    I love how you ignored the rest of his comment. The matter at hand is that we have a problem, and the cause of the problem is not entirely clear. Zen Cushion, you are looking merely at the immediate problem–that of rising water in Norfolk. You are looking for a solution (and a cause) of this specific problem. This is a horrible case of treating the symptoms.

    When you so disrespectfully address the others on this thread, keep in mind that any problem, as Rah mentioned, does not have one simple cause. When a body is sick, and one does not know the cause of the sickness, will making simple lifestyle changes harm that body? In fact, even if there is no scientific proof that a certain change has effect, one will not see harm in changing this. Even working on psychological issues has been shown to help in certain issues.

    Whether or not alarmist climate change is good, CO2 emissions are bad for the humans and animals that have to inhale them. You can not argue, surely, that CO2 emissions are good? Then what is your problem in the world taking steps to reduce them? Every action does not necessarily need solid scientific evidence behind it. Would you have the world not act?

    There are far worse things in this world than people not sharing their thoughts in paragraph form. You correcting Nestor in this way IS pedantic. You are making him seem stupid. Is it, perhaps, to make yourself seem more intelligent? His paragraph form and stream-of-consciousness offend you… Why are you so easily offended? Perhaps you need to learn to be peaceful within yourself. Being so negative, aggressive, and arrogant is most definitely not a good thing. Any person can inform you of this fact without science.

  • http://twitter.com/ZenCushion Zen Cushion

    Dear Ommmmm,

    Yes, I did take issue with Nestor’s post in a manner different from others I have responded to, but my response was conditioned in part by his going on the attack first and calling me ‘pompous and pedantic’.

    However, that is not the real issue I have with Nestor’s response. It is the complete lack of appreciation and knowledge for objective science and its methods that I took issue with. Apart from my jab back at Nestor in response to his own post, I have been quite respectful of others in this discussion.

    Ommmm, you seem to share in some of the same emotional response to the issue, but without the objectivity to successfully tackle the challenge. For someone who, based on your handle, ostensibly believes in a more holistic and meditative approach to reality, you seem far too worked up !

    However, with regards to the actual topic at hand, you write:

    “Whether or not alarmist climate change is good, CO2 emissions are bad for the humans and animals that have to inhale them. You can not argue, surely, that CO2 emissions are good? ”

    What the hell are you talking about ? CO2 is not a toxic molecule, not even a pollutant ! You are apparently under the misperception that CO2 is poisonous ?? You have made the CO2 issue not one of being a greenhouse gas, but one of being a toxic pollutant ? Sadly, that just shows how you have allowed yourself to be brainwashed by alarmist demonization of CO2.

    CO2 is part of the cycle of life. Humans absorb O2 (oxygen) from the atmosphere, and exhale CO2, which is a byproduct of the slow burning of hydrocarbons (sugars) within our bodies. Plants absorb CO2 in order to perform photosynthesis, which allows them to combine water (H2O) and CO2 to form hydrocarbons (cellulose, wood, sugars, etc).

    The reciprocal cycle of O2 < ==> CO2 exchange between plants and animals is one of the magical wonders of life on the planet. If you seek to somehow rid the atmosphere of CO2 as if it were an evil and deadly pollutant, you would be killing life on the planet !!

    Pray tell, what is your basis for having such a dramatic fear of CO2, that it puts you in such an emotional state, oh one who preaches the “need to learn to be peaceful within yourself”.

    I am hardly negative in my approach to acknowledging problems and seeking to solve them. I appreciate your emotional reaction to my critique of Nestor, even that you would want to somehow come to his defense. But, dear Om, you seem to share the same misguided demonization of CO2 as does he, and without knowing why.

    Please see an additional reply which I made to your duplicate posting, below.

  • http://twitter.com/ZenCushion Zen Cushion

    Om, I replied to this comment above. And yes, sadly, I do believe that some of the statements made by Nestor were in fact stupid, as far as being grounded in objective methods of causal analysis that we humans like to call science.

    If I appeared to denigrate the human aspect of Nestor, including the concern and anxiety about CO2 that he has come to acquire, that was not my intent — or at least it should not be!

    Any sharpness of my criticism is reserved for the flaws in his assumptions and subsequent beliefs. From a broader perspective, I understand the emotion and concern behind his sentiments, but the conflation of alarmed emotion and bad science are particularly worrisome — much more so than any threat of global warming !

    Hence, my own pushback against that line of thinking — which, by the way, you seem to share.

  • Anonymous

    @Zen Cushion,
    For your information, I know all of that. You must not be very well informed, because all scientific models point to the clear fact that the greenhouse effect of CO2 is leading sharp rises in temperature. Your ridiculously heated response does not support your opinion. I was merely commenting on your disrespect for others. You sound like a child saying he started it. CO2 isn’t a toxic molecule, no, but when there is a ridiculous increase in carbon in the atmosphere, as you said, there is a greenhouse effect. Because of the cutting down of large areas of plant life, this effect is compounded. Large amounts of CO2 AREN’T part of the cycle of life. This is a disruption of the cycle of life. Through detailed analysis of animal responses (butterfly and bird flight patterns, mating, migration patterns), plant responses (blooming, sprouting), and temperatures (and records) throughout the world, it has been established that the temperature of the world is most definitely rising much faster than it has been. The IPCC, which represents ONLY scientific consensus (it didn’t so much as factor in melting glaciers into rising water levels), has ruled that there is “unequivocal” evidence that climate change is occurring and that that the warming observed over the last half of the 20th century is with >90% confidence human-induced. I assure you that this panel does not lightly use such weighted words. Do your research before you shoot people down on things that you really don’t know much about. Maybe you don’t feel yourself intelligent enough and so comfort yourself by demeaning others on the internet. If you feel that way, you should really think about seeking out a Psychiatrist.

  • Anonymous

    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/publications_and_data.shtml
    The main argument with IPCC reports (and in the only area that they are not accurate or are debated over) are glacial melting and its rate. In terms of climate change, however, they are spot on.

  • Anonymous

    Also, like you made a mistake with use of the term subduction, I made a mistake as well. I meant to say hydrocarbon emissions not carbon dioxide emissions. These are also a large factor in the toxicity of the air. Surely, you can not deny that we need to reduce such emissions. Greenhouse gases are accompanied by this toxic waste. You can’t deny that benzene is dangerous, surely? Humans’ burning of fuel produces these horrible things. That IS NOT a natural process.

  • Anonymous

    And FYI, you started it, not Nestor. You made disrespectful comments before that.

  • http://twitter.com/ZenCushion Zen Cushion

    Ok, Nestor/Om (it appears you are the same person) — I think you should calm down. When you flail your arms around so, you will likely break something.

    My “ridiculously heated response” ?? Wow — your emotional amplifier is feeding back, my friend.

    And you use the word “ridiculous” again with:

    “when there is a ridiculous increase in carbon in the atmosphere, as you said, there is a greenhouse effect”

    Would you care to be more specific, say, about the level of CO2 in the atmosphere, the increase in CO2, and the amount of the greenhouse effect ?

  • Mickfan22

    I think the use of name calling downgrades anything else you are saying. The Koch Bros are pure evil, most of us aware of it and they don’t need any further introduction

  • Out of money liberal

    They want to use by federal tax money to fix million dollar houses? My house is worth 40 grand.  These wealthy people are out of luck.  They shouldn’t have bought these houses.  It’s their loss.

  • MrMark

    @twitter-111139947:disqus .  I am a scientist as well, and I’d like to thank you for expressing a truly scientific perspective on this highly politicized and religious issue.   Yes…I said religious for that is what belief in a flood mythology is.  People need to understand that belief isn’t science.  PBS does a great disservice to the public by portraying man-caused global warming as a Truth and abusing science as a Scriptural authority which it doesn’t have.  This show was a travesty of environmental fundamentalism.  Unfortunately, the scientifically illiterate masses are highly susceptible to believing religious delusions that stem from primal mythologies, while often simultaneously (and humorously) considering themselves irreligious.     I’m interested in the collective psychological underpinnings of global warming hysteria, as it pertains to flood mythologies from around the world and group behavior.     Thinkers have noticed that the general motif of global warming hype is the same as that of any apocalyptic flood stories from various folklore and religious traditions.  That is, the seas will rise (flood) due to mankind’s moral infraction (sin) against the Divine power (in this case mother earth) and a hero figure (Al Gore) will save those that are “on board” (Noah or Gore or whomever).   
       These mythologies exist in various forms in most cultures and all periods and all have a few things in common.  One, they are fanciful fairy tales that captivate the imagination and dupe those with weak reasoning skills and two, they are imaginative in nature and not literal, hence not empirically scientific.
       However, convincing the true believers that the flood story is not Truth is psychologically equivalent to convincing a Christian that Jesus wasn’t resurrected from the dead.  It’s a matter of belief and their sense of self and life purpose is so entirely wrapped up in this belief that convincing them otherwise would constitute a serious identity crisis.  As psychologist James Hillman duly noted, apocalyptic paranoiacs are incorrigible by their very nature. So good luck to you, but I’m afraid we have a new religion on our hands.

  • Waterfront Sportsman

    The Subsidence is from the PCS Mine in Aurora, N.C dewatering the Castle Hayne, Pee Dee & Black River Aquifers at a rate of 78 million gallons of water per day.
    I own a 9 acre tax lot in Pamlico County that has subsided 11 ft since 1963 and is no 1.75 acres. The PCS began pumping in 1967. Just get the USGA Reports for NC & SC and see that the cone of depression is now from l-95 to the Outer Banks andis effecting water quality and aviliability from the Savanah River to the Chesepeake Bay.
    Dale Swiggett
    Waterfront Sportsman
    Environmental Investigation Coalition
    336-340-6299

  • LynnCS

    I like your learned way of speaking/writing and you are probably a little beyond my intelligence level, so i have to ask some questions. The last paragraph referred to sounding Gabriel’s trumpet on the subject of climate change and it being shameful and blatant? Did I do that and if so what does it mean? I think I was just acknowledging that for whatever reason, we’ll need to be more careful in the future to issue permits for areas that aren’t so vulnerable. Don’t waste your anger on such a nice, non threatening poster like this little old lady who is just ruminating about our coastal plight. I forget the story right now, but will go back and re view it. Not sure what your investment in all this is, but it sure set you off. Save you adrenals and calm down. We are all in this together.