Merk grein eftir Dr. Daniel B. Botkin um umhverfisml, siferi og hnatthlnun.

botkin2ekktur umhverfisfringur, Dr. Daniel B. Botkin, skrifai fyrir nokkrum dgum (17. okt.) grein The Wall Street Journal. essari grein koma fram mjg venjuleg og a mnu mati einstaklega skynsamleg sjnarmi.

Hann fjallar hr m.a um afleiingar hnatthlnurnar fyrir lfrki, sem hann ekkir auvita vel, sjnarmi kollega sinna og siferi vsindum, lkanager til a sp fyrir um framtina, og hvernig hann telur rtt a bregast vi hnatthlnun.

sland, Grnland og Eirkur Raui koma vi sgu greininni.

g lt vera a a greinina ar sem flestir slendinga eru vel lsir enska tungu.

(g litai textann nokkrum stum ar sem mr fannst athyglisver sjnarmi koma fram).

Global Warming Delusions


Mr. Botkin, president of the Center for the Study of the Environment and professor emeritus in the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, is the author of "Discordant Harmonies: A New Ecology for the Twenty-First Century" (Replica Books, 2001).

Global warming doesn't matter except to the extent that it will affect life -- ours and that of all living things on Earth. And contrary to the latest news, the evidence that global warming will have serious effects on life is thin. Most evidence suggests the contrary.

Case in point: This year's United Nations report on climate change and other documents say that 20%-30% of plant and animal species will be threatened with extinction in this century due to global warming -- a truly terrifying thought. Yet, during the past 2.5 million years, a period that scientists now know experienced climatic changes as rapid and as warm as modern climatological models suggest will happen to us, almost none of the millions of species on Earth went extinct. The exceptions were about 20 species of large mammals (the famous megafauna of the last ice age -- saber-tooth tigers, hairy mammoths and the like), which went extinct about 10,000 to 5,000 years ago at the end of the last ice age, and many dominant trees and shrubs of northwestern Europe. But elsewhere, including North America, few plant species went extinct, and few mammals.

We're also warned that tropical diseases are going to spread, and that we can expect malaria and encephalitis epidemics. But scientific papers by Prof. Sarah Randolph of Oxford University show that temperature changes do not correlate well with changes in the distribution or frequency of these diseases; warming has not broadened their distribution and is highly unlikely to do so in the future, global warming or not.

The key point here is that living things respond to many factors in addition to temperature and rainfall. In most cases, however, climate-modeling-based forecasts look primarily at temperature alone, or temperature and precipitation only. You might ask, "Isn't this enough to forecast changes in the distribution of species?" Ask a mockingbird. The New York Times recently published an answer to a query about why mockingbirds were becoming common in Manhattan. The expert answer was: food -- an exotic plant species that mockingbirds like to eat had spread to New York City. It was this, not temperature or rainfall, the expert said, that caused the change in mockingbird geography.

You might think I must be one of those know-nothing naysayers who believes global warming is liberal plot. On the contrary, I am a biologist and ecologist who has worked on global warming, and been concerned about its effects, since 1968. I've developed the computer model of forest growth that has been used widely to forecast possible effects of global warming on life -- I've used the model for that purpose myself, and to forecast likely effects on specific endangered species.

I'm not a naysayer. I'm a scientist who believes in the scientific method and in what facts tell us. I have worked for 40 years to try to improve our environment and improve human life as well. I believe we can do this only from a basis in reality, and that is not what I see happening now. Instead, like fashions that took hold in the past and are eloquently analyzed in the classic 19th century book "Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds," the popular imagination today appears to have been captured by beliefs that have little scientific basis.

Some colleagues who share some of my doubts argue that the only way to get our society to change is to frighten people with the possibility of a catastrophe, and that therefore it is all right and even necessary for scientists to exaggerate. They tell me that my belief in open and honest assessment is nave. "Wolves deceive their prey, don't they?" one said to me recently. Therefore, biologically, he said, we are justified in exaggerating to get society to change.

The climate modelers who developed the computer programs that are being used to forecast climate change used to readily admit that the models were crude and not very realistic, but were the best that could be done with available computers and programming methods. They said our options were to either believe those crude models or believe the opinions of experienced, datafocused scientists. Having done a great deal of computer modeling myself, I appreciated their acknowledgment of the limits of their methods. But I hear no such statements today. Oddly, the forecasts of computer models have become our new reality, while facts such as the few extinctions of the past 2.5 million years are pushed aside, as if they were not our reality.

A recent article in the well-respected journal American Scientist explained why the glacier on Mt. Kilimanjaro could not be melting from global warming. Simply from an intellectual point of view it was fascinating -- especially the author's Sherlock Holmes approach to figuring out what was causing the glacier to melt. That it couldn't be global warming directly (i.e., the result of air around the glacier warming) was made clear by the fact that the air temperature at the altitude of the glacier is below freezing. This means that only direct radiant heat from sunlight could be warming and melting the glacier. The author also studied the shape of the glacier and deduced that its melting pattern was consistent with radiant heat but not air temperature. Although acknowledged by many scientists, the paper is scorned by the true believers in global warming.

We are told that the melting of the arctic ice will be a disaster. But during the famous medieval warming period -- A.D. 750 to 1230 or so -- the Vikings found the warmer northern climate to their advantage. Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie addressed this in his book "Times of Feast, Times of Famine: A History of Climate Since the Year 1000," perhaps the greatest book about climate change before the onset of modern concerns with global warming. He wrote that Erik the Red "took advantage of a sea relatively free of ice to sail due west from Iceland to reach Greenland. . ... Two and a half centuries later, at the height of the climatic and demographic fortunes of the northern settlers, a bishopric of Greenland was founded at Gardar in 1126."

Ladurie pointed out that "it is reasonable to think of the Vikings as unconsciously taking advantage of this [referring to the warming of the Middle Ages] to colonize the most northern and inclement of their conquests, Iceland and Greenland." Good thing that Erik the Red didn't have Al Gore or his climatologists as his advisers. Should we therefore dismiss global warming? Of course not. But we should make a realistic assessment, as rationally as possible, about its cultural, economic and environmental effects. As Erik the Red might have told you, not everything due to a climatic warming is bad, nor is everything that is bad due to a climatic warming.

We should approach the problem the way we decide whether to buy insurance and take precautions against other catastrophes -- wildfires, hurricanes, earthquakes. And as I have written elsewhere, many of the actions we would take to reduce greenhouse-gas production and mitigate global-warming effects are beneficial anyway, most particularly a movement away from fossil fuels to alternative solar and wind energy.

My concern is that we may be moving away from an irrational lack of concern about climate change to an equally irrational panic about it.

Many of my colleagues ask, "What's the problem? Hasn't it been a good thing to raise public concern?" The problem is that in this panic we are going to spend our money unwisely, we will take actions that are counterproductive, and we will fail to do many of those things that will benefit the environment and ourselves.

For example, right now the clearest threat to many species is habitat destruction. Take the orangutans, for instance, one of those charismatic species that people are often fascinated by and concerned about. They are endangered because of deforestation. In our fear of global warming, it would be sad if we fail to find funds to purchase those forests before they are destroyed, and thus let this species go extinct.

At the heart of the matter is how much faith we decide to put in science -- even how much faith scientists put in science. Our times have benefited from clear-thinking, science-based rationality. I hope this prevails as we try to deal with our changing climate.

Mr. Botkin, president of the Center for the Study of the Environment and professor emeritus in the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, is the author of "Discordant Harmonies: A New Ecology for the Twenty-First Century" (Replica Books, 2001).


Vital vi Daniel B. Botkin New York Times


Bkur eftir Daniel Botkin.

Sasta frsla | Nsta frsla


1 Smmynd: Hannes Hlmsteinn Gissurarson

akka r krlega fyrir a setja essa grein suna. etta er strmerkileg lesning. Sjlfur tel g ltinn vafa leika , a vi erum einhvers konar hlindaskeii, hversu lengi sem a varir, og g b alls ekki yfir ngilegri ekkingu til a afneita v me fullri vissu, a hlnunin s a einhverju leyti af mannavldum ( a a urfi alls ekki a vera heldur). En hver er vin? Hvar er vandinn? g botna ekkert v, hvers vegna flk talar um a sem heimsendi, ef a hlnar til dmis nstu hundra r um svipa og sustu hundra r, rskt hlft hitastig. Vri vandinn ekki, ef klnai? Viljum vi hafsinn aftur, landsins forna fjanda? HHG

Hannes Hlmsteinn Gissurarson, 22.10.2007 kl. 17:42

2 Smmynd: Predikarinn  -  Cacoethes scribendi

Predikarinn - Cacoethes scribendi , 22.10.2007 kl. 19:44

3 Smmynd: sds Sigurardttir

Krar akkir fyrir essa grein. Mjg merkileg finnst mr. g hef veri a reyna a halda uppi rri um a maurinn hafi ekki eins mikil hrif nttruna eins og haldi er fram af mrgum vsindamnnum. g lt n yfirleitt kjafta mig kaf, hef ekki annig laga vit essum mlum, en nota meira rin sem g hef lifa og r upplsingar sem rata hafa inn heila minn gegnum rin og svo brjstviti til a mynda mr mnar eigin skoanir. En semsagt, essi grein var virkilega ngjulega lestrar fyrir mig. Takk krlega og Kr kveja.

sds Sigurardttir, 22.10.2007 kl. 20:16

4 Smmynd: gst H Bjarnason

Sl sdis og akka r fyrir athugasemdirnar. Hinn gullni mealvegur vi ntingu nttruaulinda er alltaf bestur, en til ess a hgt s a ra hann er nausynlegt a ekkja leiina. a er ekki hgt ru vsi en a skoa mlin fr llum hlium, en ekki einblna eina hli. a er mjg slmt egar menn telja a eir viti allt sem vita arf og htta a hugsa. fyrst er voinn vs.

Kjarni mlsins grein Daniels er einmitt a mikilvgt s a nota ekkingu okkar og heilbriga skynsemi. Ekki stunda hrslurur og fara gera eitthva illa grunda vegna hrslu. ekki maur vininn, er arfi a vera hrddur vi hann.

Lklega hef g svipaa skoun essum mlum eins og lsir, og hef lengi haft huga v a skoa hva anna en athafnir okkar geti valdi breytingu hitastigi lofthjpsins. Reyni a fullyra ekki of miki eins og sr ef lest greinastfa eftir mig um mli sem eru faldir undir linum Tenglar hr vinstra megin. Auvita nota menn stundum str or til a n athygli, en a er bara mannlegt.

Takk fyrir heimsknina og bestu kvejur.

gst H Bjarnason, 22.10.2007 kl. 21:35

5 Smmynd: gst H Bjarnason

Sll Hannes.

a sem mr finnst vera merkilegast greininni er hvaa herslu hfundurinn leggur a vsindamenn forist hrslurur og fari a reyna a velta mlunum fyrir sr yfirvegaan htt. Botkin hefur mjg mikla ekkingu umhverfismlum og br yfir grarmikilli reynslu. Honum leiist greinilega s hroki sem margir misvitrir vsindamenn sna oft tum. Lklega eru a vsindamenn sem telja sig vita allt, en gera sr enga grein fyrir hve takmrku ekking eirra er reynd.

a er reyndar eftirtektarvert hve str hluti eirra vsindamanna, sem orir a spyrja spurninga og lta ljs einhverjar efasemdir, er kominn eftirlaun. Getur veri a stan s s a drifkraftur essara rannskna s rannsknastyrkir? trlegur fjldi vsindamanna fst vi rannsknir afleiingum hnatthlnunar sem nemur aeins um 0,7 grum heilli ld, ea lka og hitamunurinn er milli tveggja staa ar sem harmunurinn er aeins 100 metrar. Svipa og Nauthlsvk-Perlan. Menn f auvita ekki styrki ef eir eru ekki rttri lnu. v kjsa margir hinna yngri a egja, a minnsta kosti opinberlega.

gst H Bjarnason, 22.10.2007 kl. 21:57

6 Smmynd: Valdimar Samelsson

a eru sem betur fer margir eins enkjandi og Botkin og vi urfum ekki a vera vsindamenn til a sj a a hefir veri fari allt of langt a hra flk jfnvel a sjrin muni fla yfir hs eirra. g hef sett margar svona greinar inn hr og a er gott a fleiri hjlpi til a uppfra flk. Vi urfum bara a muna eftir klofajkli og svo hfum vi alla jkla borkjarnanna sem segja kkur sgu. Kv V

Valdimar Samelsson, 22.10.2007 kl. 23:08

7 Smmynd: Leifur orsteinsson

Slempinn a er ekki meal hitastig gufuhvolvsins sem rur veri

hldur hitamunur fr einum sta til annars. annig myndast lgir og

hir sem mynda veurlag. Veri dag er ekki verra en veri hefur

a er meira um frttir af veri en ur.

Bsenda veri var tma egar kallt loftslag rkti (littla sld).

Leifur orsteinsson, 23.10.2007 kl. 00:02

8 Smmynd: Gumundur Geir Sigursson

g hefspurt hver hin raunverulega httaaf hnatthlnunni s og a merkilega er a enginn hefur geta svara v af einhverju viti, ekki heldur Al Core. Spurningin er fyllilega rttmt hvers vegna bar eirra sva jrinni sem koma til me a hagnast hlnuninni eigi ekki bara a glejast, hva me risavaxin landsvi Kanada og Rsslandi sem vera byggileg me hlrra loftslagi? g held a meirihluti mannskins gri essu og eir sem tapa eru minnihluta. a sem meira er a au svi sem fara illa t r essum breytingum eru tiltlulega fmenn annig a a er miki gfulegra a bregast vi stabundinn htt ar sem vandaml verur augljst en ekki a gera bara eitthva. a er sjlfsagt ml a draga sem mest r mengun hvort sem a hefur hrif veurfari ea ekki, kemur mlinu bara ekkert vi.

Gumundur Geir Sigursson, 23.10.2007 kl. 15:04

9 Smmynd: sds Sigurardttir

Mig langai aeins a bta vi frslu mna gr a g er mjg mikill nttruunnandi og geng afskaplega vel um landi okkar og hef kennt afkomendum mnum slkt hi sama, maurinn auvita a lifa stt vi umhverfi sitt, en vi urfum lka a nta aulindir okkur til framdrttar. Heimurinn eins og vi ekkum hann dag er ekki kominn til a vera um alla eilf, a er g viss um.

sds Sigurardttir, 23.10.2007 kl. 16:26

10 Smmynd: gst H Bjarnason

sds, a er vissulega mikilvgt a temja sr a ganga vel um landi. Helst maur a reyna a bta a ef hgt er. g uni mr oft vel vi a gra upp ofbeittan landskika sem g og planta hfilega miklu af trjm. svo a trn su ekki orin hvaxin, eru au egar farin a laa fugla a og mynda skjl. Sj frsluna Skgrkt hugamannsins.

Gujn, a er auvita margt sem hgt er a gera. Danel bendir eitt atrii sem dmi, minnist barttu gegn eyingu frumskganna. Hvort tveggja mjg jkvtt. Hr slandi eyddu forfeur okkar af illri nausyn em frumskgi sem hr var ur en landi byggist. N leggja margir hnd plginn til a gra landi njan leik.

Listinn yfir helstu ml sem yrfti a leysa yri vntanlega mjg langur. Lklega er best a byrja v a hver og einn lti kring um sig og hugi a snu umhverfi.

gst H Bjarnason, 23.10.2007 kl. 21:12

11 Smmynd: Jn r lafsson

g horfi snum tma Global Warming Swindle og hef lesi bloggin n svo mr datt hug a hefir lent v a vera kallaur Samsriskenninga Klikkhaus til a agga niur r.

a er heilbrig og byrg hegun allra borgara sem annt er um samflag sitt a rannsaka og ra um hvaa valdhafar hafi hugsanlega tt samr um sna hagsmuni kostna borgaranna. Svo g skrifai blog til a svara essu hrdda flk:

Fair frjlshyggjunnar var Samsriskenninga Klikkhaus

Gar stundir :)

Jn r lafsson, 5.11.2007 kl. 18:50

Bta vi athugasemd

Ekki er lengur hgt a skrifa athugasemdir vi frsluna, ar sem tmamrk athugasemdir eru liin.


Ágúst H Bjarnason
Ágúst H Bjarnason

Verkfr. hjá Verkís.

Audiatur et altera pars

Aðeins málefnalegar athugasemdir, sem eiga ótvíætt við efni viðkomandi pistils, og skrifaðar án skætings og neikvæðni í garð annarra, og að jafnaði undir fullu nafni, verða birtar. 

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