Climate Change

After Earth Hour, an Unflinching Appraisal of Hamilton's Goals

By Ryan McGreal
Published March 30, 2008

(Update - The Spectator has published a much shorter, more consise version of this piece.)

Some years ago in a lecture, David Suzuki said (I'm paraphrasing from memory) "Go look in your garage. If there's an SUV in there, you can't tell me you give a damn about the environment."

An uncompromising assessment - harsh, even; but he's right. If you drive a vehicle that consumes three or four times more gas per litre than it needs to, changing a few incandescent bulbs for fluorescents is just window dressing.

I've been mindful of Suzuki's statement since reading Saturday's editorial in the Hamilton Spectator, which concerns Earth Hour:

Turning off the lights and some appliances in cities around the world will not do the environment any lasting good. Changing our day-to-day behaviour is much more important than flicking a switch for an hour - and that's going to be much more difficult. ...

If we want to significantly reduce our society's massive and insatiable demand for energy and the size of our "carbon footprint," we have to be prepared to be inconvenienced - relative to our current wasteful ways - for the long term. It's not going to be easy or fun.

That's a gutsy sentiment, and it seems to reflect a more environmentally conscious direction for the paper's editorial board. It is certainly to be commended.

Selective Reasoning

Still, while act like we give a damn about the environment, I find myself wondering what lurks in the garage.

Can we claim to give a damn about the environment after having just opened a new expressway that not only tore through a UN World Biosphere Reserve but also opened up over a billion dollars in low density, suburban, car-dependent development out on the fringes of the city?

The Spectator editorial board still adamantly supports the Red Hill Valley Parkway, even though it is demonstrably harmful to the city's carbon footprint.

Among our polical leaders, kingmakers and other influential citizens, the highway is a sacred cow - immune to criticism, exempt from evidence, beyond the reasoning that applies to other decisions.

Live and Don't Learn

You may be wondering why I even bother to dredge up Red Hill, since it's such a deeply divisive, acrimonious issue - an a done deal in any case.

The reason is that the stubborn exceptionalism that rammed Red Hill past all arguments and evidence to the contrary is now busy doing the same thing or another destructive transport mode that will shape our city for decades to come.

I'm talking about the urban boundary expansion to create "employment lands" around the Airport, a plan that has relentlesssly sidestepped all manner of empirical analysis and democratic accountability since its inception.

Aerotropolis Development

The original study that recommended creating aerotropolis specifically justified the idea on the basis of cultivating airport-centred development: logistics, warehousing, and the various value-add multipliers that accrue to any concentration of economic activity.

John Kasarda, the economist who articulated the aerotropolis model, makes this abundantly clear in what he calls the "three As: accessibility, accessibility, accessibility."

The argument in Hamilton was always that we needed to grow the airport activity and develop the employment lands around the airport to take advantage of that virtuous cycle in airport related economic development.

In fact, we're betting the house on it. According to our employment studies, nearlly all the new jobs in Hamilton will be in airport-related industries around the airport.

Problems with Airport-Related Development

The idea looks great in a consultant's report, but there are some serious problems not covered in the studies that recommend the aerotropolis.

The first is that airport related development needs growth in air transport to flourish, and air transport is only cost effective as long as fuel is abundant and cheap.

It has been for the past century, with prices falling steadily in real terms. That is now changing, as the global rate of oil production peaks and starts to decline. The price of oil has quintupled in less than a decade and is still on the rise.

In addition to being the most energy intensive mode, air transport is also the most greenhouse gas (GHG) intensive. Even if the industry manages to survive peak oil, all the lightbulb and beer-fridge replacements in the world won't amount to much if we offset our carbon reductions by ramping up our air traffic.

To halt and eventually reverse global warming, the world needs to reduce its GHG production by 70 to 80 percent. There is simply no way to achieve that ambitious target without radically reducing GHG output from all of its sources.

To paraphrase David Suzuki, If there are highways and airports in your city development plans, you can't tell me you give a damn about the environment.

Post Hoc Rationalizing

Unfortunately, our fiery environmental evangelism is no match for the aerotropolis golden calf. It, too, is immune to criticism and inevitable in its deployment.

  1. When Hamilton chose among a number of possible models for its long term development, every single option included the airport boundary expansion.

  2. Hamilton tried to change its official plan to expand the urban boundary without first conducting studies and public consultation on whether and by how much to expand the boundary. A settlement between the Ontario Government / Hamiltonians for Progressive Development and the city mandates that the studies and consultations must take place first.

  3. When Hemson Consulting was hired to do an employment lands study, it did not consider likely changes to the energy situation or take climate change into account, it fatalistically defined "employment lands" as, in the author's words, "what occurs in business parks" and it concluded that all of Hamilton's growth in employment will be business park employment - warehousing, logistics, light industrial manufacturing. Office employment? IT entrepreneurship? Small-scale industrial and skilled trades? Forget about it.

  4. When the city picked a Community Liaison Committee to facilitate the consultation process, they stacked the deck with people who support and in some cases stand to benefit personally from the boundary expansion. The group is supposed to follow a consensus model of decision making, but the city defines "consensus" to mean only that everyone "had the opportunity to express my views and/or feelings", not that everyone agrees with the group's direction.

  5. After defining "employment lands" as large, single-storey industrial buildings, the city conducted another study concluding that there are not enough brownfield sites to provide a significant share of the total need for employment lands.

All of this smacks of post-hoc rationalizing. The city has decided, that come hell or high water, it will service employment lands around the airport, and then commissioned studies that make such a conclusion inevitable.

Backpedaling

When the peak oil argument first came to light a couple of years ago, many aerotropolis defenders backpedaled from the original justification, arguing that the employment doesn't necessarily have to be airport related.

Of course, if it's not airport related, there's no reason it needs to be located near the airport.

The Hemson and other studies argue that we need the large greenfield sites to accommodate large industrial business parks. This is simply an abstraction of the same airport development argument: we need the large industrial business parks for employment based on access to the airport (and highways).

Again, if the employment is not airport related, there's no reason it needs to take place in large industrial business parks.

Another argument is that Hamilton is only following provincial mandates, which "require municipalities to protect the employment land base and ensure an adequate supply for the future".

Again, this is a smokescreen. For the most part, the province is a mirror that reflects our own values back at us. The urban boundary expansion may be "consistent" with the provincial plan, but only insofar as the province bowed to pressure and set the minimum urban intensification rate at 40 percent - a rate that Hamilton's GRIDS plan meets only technically.

What Do We Want?

Whether we "need" 3,000 or 4,000 acres of employment lands depends entirely on what questions we ask.

If we ask, "Where can we find large, contiguous blobs of undeveloped land to build industrial parks?", then of course we're going to choose the airport lands.

However, this shallow, leading question obscures the deeper question we should be asking, the question Richard Gilbert tried to persuade us to ask in his report Hamilton: The Electric City: "What kind of city do we want?"

Do we really want low-skill, low-value jobs in logistics and warehousing, based on transportation modes that produce the most air pollution and greenhouse gases and are the most susceptible to peak oil?

That's what the employment studies are saying. In fact they assume that such jobs are the only growth possibility, largely through a pernicious circular reasoning that starts with the assumption that growth will be around the airport and ends up exactly where it started.

In other words, we need the airport lands because we're aiming for airport related development, and we're aiming for airport related development because we've identified the airport lands for our employment growth.

Better Question, Better Answer

Other cities have asked the question, "What kind of city do we want?" and reached much different answers.

They've decided that they want high-skill, high-value jobs in research, innovation, information technology, entrepreneurship, and sustainable development.

They've set firm urban boundaries, stipulated that 100 percent of new growth will take place inside the urban fold, and decided that unused and underused urban lands will be the optimal sites for the kind of jobs they decided to seek.

They've reinvested in their urban centres, investing in pedestrian and cycling infrastructure, convenient modern transit, density, diversity, streetlife, nightlife, the arts, and so on.

Guess what? Those cities are developing their economies rapidly, attracting creative professionals, creating high quality jobs, spurring new industries, growing their tax assessments, and dramatically increasing their quality of life.

They're reducing commuting distances, reducing per capita car use, reducing per capita energy consumption, reducing per capita pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, and achieving economic success while doing it.

As those cities become more and more desirable places to live, they attract more and more of the very bright, ambitious, creative people who are making their economic and cultural transformations happen.

Looking in the Garage

So what do we want to see when we look in the garage? The Spectator editorial continues:

Earth Hour has been dismissed by critics as an empty gesture, a feel-good exercise that lets participants feel righteous without having to do anything significant. They point out vehicle use is actually increasing, the bottled water phenomenon is an environmental disaster in the making, and the move to replace oil with ethanol is taking corn, literally, out of poor people's mouths.

But we'd push back: It's because these problems exist that Earth Hour is a worthwhile effort. It is a gesture, but one that aims to change consciousness - and if it does that even a little, it will be valuable.

Are we prepared to "change consciousness" enough to recognize that our obsession with highways and airports is utterly incompatible with our professed goal of a clean, healthy, vibrant city?

Will we lift the veil of invulnerability from our sacred cows? Will we avert our longing eyes from our golden calves? Will we take an unflinching look into the garage and be honest with ourselves about what we see there?

Do we, after all, give a damn about the environment?

Only time will tell. So far, things don't look good.

Ryan McGreal, the editor of Raise the Hammer, lives in Hamilton with his family and works as a programmer, writer and consultant. Ryan volunteers with Hamilton Light Rail, a citizen group dedicated to bringing light rail transit to Hamilton. Ryan writes a city affairs column in Hamilton Magazine, and several of his articles have been published in the Hamilton Spectator. He also maintains a personal website and has been known to post passing thoughts on Twitter @RyanMcGreal. Recently, he took the plunge and finally joined Facebook.

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By peter (anonymous) | Posted March 30, 2008 at 06:28:16

people just don't learn. weren't we told that the lands adjacent to the linc/rhvp would be serviced for purpose of attracting potential employers? that certainly hasn't happened as the land was simply gobbled up by losani and friends. i think, deep down inside, everyone understands that the same result will occur at the airport. as an environmentalist [and non-driver] i hope to hell the city wakes up but i know they won't. greed and deceit are alive and well at city hall regardless of who's running the show.

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By jason (registered) | Posted March 30, 2008 at 08:44:46

if anyone wants confirmation of what is exactly happening with Red Hill lands, go east on Stonechurch Rd and you'll come to a stoplight past Pritchard with an on-ramp. Take the ramp for the Linc and as you round the ramp, several meters in the air, take a look around at what has been/is being built. Not a single plant, factory or real job. Some folks will hate to hear this, but chalk one up to Friends of Red Hill who encouraged all of us to not believe the nice talk coming out of city hall about "no sprawl uses will be built on this land". We've opened up more sprawl land in Hamilton in the past decade than most cities could dream of. So far, it all looks the same - take this new Linc ramp to see the latest round of a wasted public investment.

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By jason (registered) | Posted March 30, 2008 at 08:48:21

my final paragraph above should actually read - "We've opened up more shovel-ready land in Hamilton in the past decade...."
We always hear this garbage about "no shovel-ready land". No, thats not true. We've had tons. We've wasted it all on campaign donation paybacks.

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By Thom (anonymous) | Posted March 30, 2008 at 09:09:44

Also Earth Hour sadly puts all the burden on individuals. It's your fault and my fault that we're in this situation. Conveniently there's no challenge to the corporations that are actually fueling climate change and selling us things that we don't need.

Sure, I as an individual should definitely shoulder some of the blame. But walking, riding my bike and taking the bus everyday and turning off lights and avoiding air travel and eating locally won't get Canada anywhere on climate change.

It's time we all do our part and that means hitting corporations hard since they are actually responsible for the most emissions.

Oh wait, like sprawl and aerotropolis, that would hurt the economy so that's out. Sorry it's just easier to blame the individual.

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By Asher (anonymous) | Posted March 30, 2008 at 10:33:14

Thank heaven someone finally agrees with me. All I can see from Earth Hour is that it allows SUV-drivers to act smug and say they care about the environment.

I have actually had arguments with SUV drivers who feel that turning off their lights for an hour means they care. I left my lights on during Earth hour, and I watched movies on my tv. And I still used less energy than an SUV driver.

Earth Hour is little more than a band-aid applied to our environmental wounds. While the Spec claims that:

"...Earth Hour is a worthwhile effort. It is a gesture, but one that aims to change consciousness - and if it does that even a little, it will be valuable."

I see it from the other angle: If Earth Hour convinces a gas-guzzling, SUV driving, plastic water bottle purchasing person that they are "helping", it will let them ignore everything they do that harms the environment.

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By trey (registered) | Posted March 31, 2008 at 09:09:17

^ exactly. I did too.

Everyday is earth hour at my house because we're not huge consumers, don't drive much unless it's more than 3 kilometers. walk when we can etc.

Earth Hour should've been "stop driving for an hour". then we'd see how much people are really willing to change in order to save the environmnet.

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By Serious (anonymous) | Posted March 31, 2008 at 11:30:42

I like your suggeston, trey...wow that would have a tremendous impact. Why don't you try to promote it widely...call it "Carless hour" or "Rushless Hour" or something like that...save some money
...save the planet!

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By Superman (registered) | Posted March 31, 2008 at 12:57:15

"Global warming" is no longer happening. It should actually be called "climate change". Using 1998 as a reference point, the average temperature has decreased and using 2002 as a reference point the average temperature hasn't changed. Numbers-wise, humanity would have to double the GHG we currently emit to increase the average temperature by one degree. Nature seems to be much more robust than originally thought and it seems to have adapted to the additional stuff thrown at it. For more information, go to ABC radio's website and listen to a Counterpoint interview by Mike Duffy with biologist Jennifer Marohasy who attended the 2008 International Conference on Climate Change. The reason it was thought that humans would have to decrease our carbon footprint by 70-80 percent is because we emit barely enough to make a difference. NASA launched the Aqua satellite in 2002 and the data is just now becoming available and climatologists and the meteorologists are still digesting the information. Global warming could possibly take place...but thinking that humans can affect it is as much as the dire predictions from current climate models is not to bright!

At the 2008 ICCC, 70% in attendance thought global warming was happening, only 41% thought it was due human causes and only 19% thought it was a cause for great concern. There were predictions by Realclimate.org that hardly anyone would show up....200 scientists from many countries showed up. Perhaps alarmism should stop and instead take a more methodical approach to addressing climate CHANGE. Stop thinking that humans have the power to do anything they want... So-called skeptics aren't as stupid as alarmists seem to think. It takes balls to think on your own and not listen to whatever your told by quack fruitfly-specialist-turned-environmentalist and media-hound politicians!

Also as far as the RHCE is concerned, perhaps you'd rather have all the people who use it now idling on 20 while they wait for the traffic lights to change? It seems you mix two issues. The fact that we have most likely reached peak oil and global warming. The two are not connected. If you start to go on about how air quality sucks, I'm all for it. But don't even start with the "global warming" crap.

Jason I'd like to see any project where immediately after a highway was built, industrial development immediately sprouted up. That almost never happens. Has the zoning for the land changed? Are there any businesses currently eyeing the land? Have any corporations shown interest? That's the important part. Only once lands are devoloped and serviced will smart businesses start to look at it as a viable place to move. The stupid thing took forever to build why the heck would you think that there'd be development there already? As a businessman it'd make little sense to even think about doing it until all the development is inked out in that area.

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By Superman (registered) | Posted March 31, 2008 at 13:08:59

As far as air traffic and mass movement of goods, I'd like to see research that you've done on what Boeing and Airbus have done to increase efficiency of their jet engines. If you're pet scientist are so concerned about global warming, why do they fly old jets that emit more carbon than any modern day jetliner and only carry a handful of people? Give me a break!
Here let me do some for you! GE has engines that are used on the 7E7 Dreamliner which should be in service sometime this year that use 20 percent less fuel than those currently in use.
Or perhaps your sitting on a method of transporting goods from other continents using some process that is cleaner than all current modes of transport? Maybe an electric pulse driven trailer car running through a tunnel several hundred meters below the ocean surface? News flash, ships and trains are incredible polluters, perhaps not in carbons but in particulate matter which in my view is worse for my breathing!
Don't worry, as gas prices go up, air carriers will adapt finding more efficient engines to use on planes...maybe even developing brand new technology to fly them or the use of alternative fuels! Necessity breeds invention and by absolutely no means will air travel suffer in fact I'd guess that it will increase.

I don't know much about the aerotropolis but I do know a significant amount aircraft and about most other civil technolgies... As such I cant comment directly on the plan for Aerotropolis however, from the little I know about it, it seems that having those who are going to use the goods close to the point of entry makes sense because it cuts down on transportation from the point of entry to the end user.

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By Ted Mitchell (registered) | Posted March 31, 2008 at 13:49:09

It is inevitable that some year, Earth Day will be "no single occupancy vehicle day" and the benefits of saving gas and decreasing pollution will be nothing compared to the eureka moment of "Wow, I got to work today so quickly and easily!". I think you need to see several birds with one stone before there is widespread buy-in to environmental causes.

One of those missed birds was the dark sky initiative. It would have been pretty easy to delay the streetlights for an hour and flick off the neon signs if anybody wanted to have some noticeable effect.

Thom, I have to disagree about individuals, it's exactly things like earth hour that we need to target harmful individual behaviour, corporations are subject to so much more reduction options by way of regulation that they are actually easier prey. Individuals are the main problem now for emissions (due to transportation growth above economic and population growth), although as you say, corporations are the big culprit for energy use.

When significant numbers of people walk, bike, and eat locally, that would have a huge effect on corporations by way of both shame and responding to market demand which is just the collective of individual actions.

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By Ted Mitchell (registered) | Posted March 31, 2008 at 14:17:21

I didn't think this was a forum on global warming, do you think Superman has an agenda?

Here is a link on CO2 levels and the shape of the curve versus time: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Mauna...

more from a recent Upwind Downwind presentation, esp modeling pages 20-22: http://www.cleanair.hamilton.ca/download...

The pre-industrial baseline CO2 is about 270 ppm, now 383. That's 42% higher, and many standard deviations above the natural variability.

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By jason (registered) | Posted March 31, 2008 at 17:20:11

superman...every light rail line that I'm aware of has had condo/office/hotel/restaurant being built DURING the construction of the nearby LRT line....many new buildings have their grand opening coinciding with the opening of new LRT, or shortly after.

Once construction started on Red Hill, it was mere months before all the big box, residential sprawl, strip plazas began construction. Thousands of homes opened to the public literally at the same time the highway opened. More big box began construction before the highway was complete.

The city keeps telling us that there is this huge line-up of industrial/manufacturing companies just itching to have Red Hill built (too late for that argument now I guess) so they can locate at the Linc/Red Hill interchange. Talk is cheap (espcially out of a biased and paid-off city hall crew).

If there was ANY interest at all, we'd see industrial plants coming on stream, under construction or close to opening now.

It always happens that way with LRT lines and is currently happening with our own Red Hill - by the parties who we ALWAYS knew were going to build there. Not employment firms, but more sprawl.

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By beancounter (registered) | Posted March 31, 2008 at 19:52:51

A great article, Ryan, passionate and well-argued.

It's hard to disagree with most of your premises and conclusions.

I do have one niggling concern, however.

Certainly, it is important for us to ask what kind of city we want. We need to step back and take a bird's eye view of the city as a whole and not just look at our own particular needs and desires. And yes, that does mean attracting creative professionals for high-skilled, high-value jobs in research, innovation, information technology and sustainable development.

There are people in our city, however, who have a good work ethic, want to make a valuable contribution to our community and provide for their families, who are unlikely to become part of the group of "very bright" individuals who are driving economic and cultural changes.

They are the people who made this city what it is and have contributed to its past growth and prosperity. They are also the people who are losing their jobs because of the decline in manufacturing and the transition to a knowledge economy.

This group of valuable citizens may not be able to upgrade their education to become part of the movers and shakers of the new economy.

While we are shaping our city into one that is more vibrant, livable and attractive to the highly-skilled professionals, we must not overlook the need for balance and for making sure that everyone benefits from our new and more desirable direction. Will we make provision for them to find meaningul and sustainable employment?

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted March 31, 2008 at 21:36:53

Beancounter,

You make an excellent point that deserves more attention (unfortunately, at 1.900 words, my post already strained the patience of RTH readers. :)

Some time ago, Ben explored this very issue in an interview with George Mudie, former mayor of Leeds:

http://raisethehammer.org/article/012/

With regards to Hamilton, I think there's real potential with Richard Gilbert's idea of making energy production and conservation our economic Plan A.

It includes lots of opportunity for growth in skilled and semi-skilled trades, particularly in manufacturing and installing renewable energy systems (wind, solar, geothermal) and in retrofitting existing properties.

Another growth sector is light rail. It would be great for Hamilton to be a national leader in modern light rail and for vehicle manufacturing (and related parts suppliers) to locate here in Hamilton. That's exactly what happened in Portland.

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted April 01, 2008 at 09:37:47

Holy super-sleight-of-hand! Between funky (and referenced) data, arbitrary start dates and pointless nonsense, you actually manage to not say anything of substance about climate change, superman. You minge away about being a 'skeptic' but you're just mouthing the same dishonest blather the oil industry has thrown up about climate change for the past two decades. Talk about too much kryptonite on the brainpan.

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted April 01, 2008 at 09:38:11

Sorry, that should be funky (and UNreferenced) data.

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By superman (registered) | Posted April 01, 2008 at 15:36:15

Funky and unreferenced?? Google it, you'll find it... I don't do my research all at once, I read what I can when I can and it's usually during slower times at work. That'd be why I couldn't take the time to do all the referencing. Instead of listening to crack scientists and sheep who can't do their own research, I much rather do my own. In fact, I believe if you read my thingy, it says to google it.

"Same blather"? I wouldn't know... I don't care who says what I should think, I enjoy thinking on my own. I don't give a rat's hairy a$$ what Al Gore or David Suzuki or whoever the oil gurus are tell me I should think, I would much rather formulate my own opinion based on things I read from as many media sources as possible. Perhaps instead of only reading what supports your own ideal you should occasionally head over to the dark side and read what they have to say - it helps in formulating a more rounded opinion. As far as arbitrary start dates??? what start dates? At least you managed to have enough of a brain to call it climate change... I'm not on anyone's side but I definitely don't think that there's enough data for anyone to go spouting about how our daily decisions can so greatly affect the climate that we should halt anything deemed as harmful by lobbyists.

I'm all for being environmentally conscious and I recycle/compost more than the majority of people I know. I drive a small car and try to minimize the amount that I drive.

Now Jason, ever been involved in planning a large corporate project? Any idea of the timelines and considerations involved??? I've been there, done that. Building the cookie cutter houses and boxy walmart plazas our city council is so fond of doesn't take any planning. I've also been involved with SDM projects when they built their many new shops here in the Hammer and elswhere all at once and it's all one design modified only slightly for site conditions. Moving a business or even establishing one means decisions that have the potential to drastically effect the bottom line and they're never taken lightly.

LRTs would be great and I would love to see some built but...do they transport goods? Can what's in a transport truck be transported via LRT up the escarpment? No... So something had to be built to get them off the city streets in this case, highway 20. I'm not a fan of building highways and roads indescriminately but I'm also not a head-in-my-rear environmentalist who blindly opposes highways. Bitching about a highway that's built now is counterproductive and is crying over spilt milk. It's built and although it seems to have followed the antiquated way of the city we live in and MAY turn out to be unnecessary in the future, doesn't mean that whining about it will solve it. What needs to happen now is having an LRT or two built and what the heck happened to Mayor Fred's ideas for downtown?

For a change, instead of whining and complaining and pointing out things that HAVE been done wrong, get involved with things early in the planning stages. That's the only way things can be changed in this city. And why not try holding city council and our bureaucracy accountable for what they do?

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By Superman (registered) | Posted April 01, 2008 at 15:53:03

Here's something to google... turns out I actually don't know how to make references and it keeps "looking like spam".

Google "american thinker average global temperature" without the quotes and you get a nice short article to read.

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By superman (registered) | Posted April 01, 2008 at 15:57:34

Another place to look that has some links...

Google "timothy birdnow global cooling"

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By highwater (registered) | Posted April 01, 2008 at 16:36:23

Would that be this Timothy Birdnow?

www.pharyngula.org/index/weblog/comments/timothy_birdnow/

Hilarious! Seems your friend Timothy is a 'skeptic' about evolution as well. Yup, that's some sound science.

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By jason (registered) | Posted April 01, 2008 at 21:38:45

superman, you helped make my point with your bit about 'planning and design' etc.... As far as I know it takes quite a bit of planning to design a multi-storey condo tower/retail galleria/underground parking/hotel/office tower. Yet many of them are routinely built along LRT lines WHILE those lines are under construction. Don't tell me it takes longer to plan a manufacturing plant relocation then it does a series of 25 storey, mixed-use buildings with several underground stories of expensive parking.
Face the facts, if there really was some 'line-up' of companies waiting to come here, some of them would have started construction by now. It's been over 4 years since the final hurdles were cleared for RHVP. Yet there is still not ONE plant being constructed or planned.
Maybe the Mid Peninsula Highway will be our saviour........

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By Goodsie (anonymous) | Posted April 01, 2008 at 22:15:06

>>LRTs would be great and I would love to see some built but...do they transport goods? Can what's in a transport truck be transported via LRT up the escarpment? No

Actually yes they can. They're starting to try it in some European cities. Since you like google, try searching "light rail" "goods transport" in Google and Google Books. Also LRT can go up the mountain. The system in Israel handles a 9% grade.

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted April 01, 2008 at 22:52:46

Great find highwater! From your link - "The science is a mangled mish-mash, almost entirely wrong, delivered with an astoundingly confident tone that disregards its own obvious contradictions."

That could describe Superman as well...

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By Serious (anonymous) | Posted April 02, 2008 at 08:27:57

Why do I keep thinking that this site is for serious debate on issues that matter. Superman makes a contrary point and idiots like Jason and nobrainer (should be no brain) can only use sarcasm and insults.

AAARRRRRGGGHHHH. If you only want to talk to yourselves just say so.

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted April 02, 2008 at 09:10:40

Sorry there Serious, but what Superman is doing is rehashing discredited, Un-Scientific nonsense spewed by scientific illiterates like Timothy Birdnow (check out highwater's link) that he found on the internet. He's not making a contrary point, he's just proving that he doesn't know what he's talking about. Such an outpouring of rubbish doesn't deserves any better than sarcasm and mockery. We're sick and tired of these phoney "debates" about bogus "contrary points" that are made up by people paid to confuse the issue and repeated by people who don't know any better. Sorry if that offends you.

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By Superman (registered) | Posted April 02, 2008 at 09:50:11

Highwater, you don't even want to start the evolution debate because there wouldn't be enough water to drown yourself in! Probably because I studied it for 6 years!

Nobrainer, you live up to your name! I don't think you've pointed out anything worthwhile yet! Timothy Birdnow happens to be a link I found AFTER i posted what I wrote before. In fact, I didn't even use any of his research mostly because I didn't know about the guy - simply posted the link. Oh and what exactly are Al Gore's credentials? Last time I checked he graduated from Harvard with a BA in government...that has a lot to do with climate and sounds a lot like the word "science"! Want more links? Visit the other one I posted. Lots of links there from EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS and how about you check out the Canada Free Press? Try googling Al Gore science and see what comes up! Don't tell me his blather is anything trustworthy! A doctor doesn't tell an engineer how to build a building and neither should scientists from other fields make statements about climate when their field has nothing to do with climate anyway! Oh and I don't know any better?!! I suppose you do because you do what?? Oh, spew the same crap that Al Gore and scientists who have no business commenting on tell you you should believe! Now that's a lot different then what you accuse me of doing! Research for yourself the data that the Aqua satellite has come up with and draw your own conclusions for once!

And Jason, you're talking about people of two different ilks. People who build nice gallerias with underground parking and such are usually people who are trying to invest in a community. Those building manufacturing or industrial plants have only their bottom line to think about and will not make a move until it's certain that they will benefit from such a move. I don't know if there are any industries interested in building there because I'm not working at the city and don't get to see that kind of thing anymore. What I'm saying is wait. The RHVP isn't 100% completed yet, give it time. Once I see houses and not businesses going up, then I get pissed! Has the zoning changed in that area?

Goodsie, we don't even have an LRT to transport humans yet, what would make you think that we'd have one that could both transport goods and humans? Remember What about Bob? Baby steps! Also, 9% grade would mean blasting quite a trough in the escarpment. 9 metres for every 100 is not enough to make it up the escarpment in any remarkable way. Also, I'd be curious about the efficiency of that endeavor. I would think LRTs should be a transit option not necessarily a viable mode of transporting any significant quantity of goods. I will look it up but as construction season starts soon, I'm kinda busy. If I can, I'll comment on what I find.

Thanks Serious!

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By Superman (registered) | Posted April 02, 2008 at 09:51:49

Oh, and Highwater, I didn't enter the study of evolution with any bias as to the outcome. I let my research guide my conclusions...something you should do more often!

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By Serious (anonymous) | Posted April 02, 2008 at 10:21:41

Just to be clear Superman, I believe in evolution and I believe in climate change. My point is that we should be big enough to allow you to state that you believe in neither without insulting you.

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By Superman (registered) | Posted April 02, 2008 at 10:28:04

Goodsie can you post a link to the part about the grade? Israel is currently developing a system in Jerusalem that won't be complete until 2020 and the last paragraph states "until then scores of kilometers of arterial roads for public transportation will be completed, as well as a system of ring roads around Jerusalem for private cars."

I can't help but notice that it was planned for 7 years before construction started. I wonder if our transportation department has the same goals as theirs?

The one I found was on rakevetkala-jerusalem.org.il

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted April 02, 2008 at 10:28:31

Superman Super-Said, "Highwater, you don't even want to start the evolution debate because there wouldn't be enough water to drown yourself in!" So thanks for confirming right off the bat that you are, in fact, a total scientific illiterate. The science of evolution is SO broad, SO deep, SO multilayered, and from SO many different ways of looking at it that the ONLY way you could do "6 years" of studying and somehow come away not believing it is if you "studied" under some creationist nutjob instead of actual, you know, scientists. There are basically zero actual scientists who think evolution is wrong, and basically zero peer reviewed publications that accept papers denying the theory of evolution.

The theory of human-caused climate change is not QUITE as comprehensively established as the theory of evolution, but only because it's much younger. So far pretty much all the studies -- also from all kinds of different sources and methods -- is that humans producing greenhouse gases are significantly effecting global temperatures and the climate. Nearly every peer reviewed paper on the climate published in the past couple of decades supports this theory.

The so-called 'evidence' against climate change (like increased solar radiation) have all been discredited, except in right-wing echo chambers and email chain letter in boxes. Sure, there are a few scientists out there who don't believe climate change, just like there were a few holdouts who didn't believe the germ theory long after Pasteur published his research, just like there were a few holdous who didn't believe evolution long after Darwin published his research, just like there were a few holdouts who didn't believe the big bang long after Hubble proved the universe was expanding. The facts ain't on their side.

No need to take Al Gore's word on this, he's just listening to the scientists - who all agreed by the way that the science in his movie was correct.

I "didn't point out anything worthwhile" because there's nothing to really do with your big stream of garbage but just point and laugh.

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By Superman (registered) | Posted April 02, 2008 at 10:30:21

Serious, I believe in climate change simply not at the rate that alarmists like Al Gore and Suzuki promote. I don't believe in evolution as the way the universe came to exist however evolution does take place but tends to appear more in the form of adaptation.

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted April 02, 2008 at 10:32:11

"Just to be clear Superman, I believe in evolution and I believe in climate change. My point is that we should be big enough to allow you to state that you believe in neither without insulting you."

When you come across uninformed nonsense, is it insulting to CALL it uninformed nonsense? Superman is entitled to be wrong and I'm entitled to tell him he's wrong. Everyone goes home happy.

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By highwater (registered) | Posted April 02, 2008 at 10:39:21

The earth is flat. Flat I tell you. Google it. If you weren't such a bunch of sheep listening to crack scientists, you would know the truth like I do! Now don't you dare insult me just because I'm presenting an opposing point of view.

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted April 02, 2008 at 10:39:23

Hey Superman, know how I know there's no way you actually studied evolution for 6 years? Because you wrote this, "I don't believe in evolution as the way the universe came to exist however evolution does take place but tends to appear more in the form of adaptation." This one sentence is so packed with fail that I'm not even sure where to begin. But i'll try anyway:

Evolution is not a theory of the way the universe came to exist. That would be cosmology. Evolution is a theory of how living organisms adapt to their environments, I.E. mutations produce various traits in a population and the organisms with the traits best suited to survive and have offspring are more likely to .... wait for it ... survive and have offspring, so the next generation is better adapted than the previous one. Eventually if two populations are cut off from each other in different environments they end up evolving into different species.

You get the absolute BASICS of evolution so totally wrong -- and so totally similar to what people who don't know anything about evolution think -- that I think you're lying when you write that you studied evolution for 6 years, either that or you have a funny definition of "study" that doesn't include actually finding out what actual experts have to say about it.

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By Superman (registered) | Posted April 02, 2008 at 10:39:35

Nobrainer, did you not do what I suggested? There are many well known and well versed climatologist who don't believe that Al Gore's science is correct. For once, before mouthing off for the sake of reading what you want to write give me something to look at. A "few" tends to be many when you look into it. You seem to want to do much more than point and laugh...me thinks you protest to much. btw, I haven't seen you actually refute anything which would be why I say nothing worthwhile has been stated by you. Give me something to look at, try change my mind if you think I don't know what I'm talking about instead of assuming with a pretentious attitude that you know more than me. Also, you seem to have drawn a conclusion about evolution. Are you taking someone's word for it? Or are a closet evolutionary scientist and dedicated 10s of years to research? I think we've opened a can of worms here that has strayed WAY off topic. From now on, I'll try not to react to posts about my integrity or the integrity of my research and only answer statements directly related to the Hammer!

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By Superman (registered) | Posted April 02, 2008 at 10:43:56

Nobrainer, I can lend you my library if you're interested!

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted April 02, 2008 at 10:58:52

No Superman, I'm not going to try and change your mind about something as big as global warming or evolution on a blog comment thread. Judging from your total rank ignorance on the most basic facts about evolution even though you spent "6 years" studying it -- I don't think facts will make any difference in your opinion. Since the overwhelming SCIENTIFIC consensus of ACTUAL SCIENTISTS and ACTUAL SCIENTIFIC ORGANIZATIONS all agree broadly that human activity is causing global warming, you have no credibility.

For people on the sidelines, here's what Wikipedia has to say,

"With the July 2007 release of the revised statement by the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, no remaining scientific body of national or international standing is known to reject the basic findings of human influence on recent climate."

Go to the article Scientific_opinion_on_climate_change and the section titled 'Statements by dissenting organizations'. There ARE NO dissenting organizations.

On your way to that section, check out the section titled 'Statements by concurring organizations'. It lists every relevant scientific organization that would have an opinion on global warming and links back to their official statements. Then talk to me about what scientists think about it.

By the way I don't think I know more than you, I'm not a scientist and don't do any research on global warming or evolution. What I did was find out what the people who did do the research -- peer reviewed and published in respectable scientific journals, not right wing rag sheets like the "Canada Free Press" -- and made up my opinion based on what the scientists say.

Something YOU should think about doing, since your own approach is so craptastic.

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By Superman (registered) | Posted April 02, 2008 at 11:21:15

Because Wikipedia is a known source of factual information....which of course can be posted by anyone. Must be right! When you read only what you want to read, you get what you get, no brainer! Perhaps you should read about the perilous effects of dihydrogen oxide on humans! It might be true!!!

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By Superman (registered) | Posted April 02, 2008 at 11:27:53

Here's what the AAPG statement says:

"In the last century growth in human populations has increased energy use. This has contributed additional carbon dioxide (CO2) and other gases to the atmosphere. Although the AAPG membership is divided on the degree of influence that anthropogenic CO2 has on recent and potential global temperature increases, the AAPG believes that expansion of scientific climate research into the basic controls on climate is important. This research should be undertaken by appropriate federal agencies involved in climate research and their associated grant and contract programs."

and

"Certain climate simulation models predict that the warming trend will continue, as reported through NAS, AGU, AAAS, and AMS. AAPG respects these scientific opinions but wants to add that the current climate warming projections could fall within well-documented natural variations in past climate and observed temperature data. These data do not necessarily support the maximum case scenarios forecast in some models. To be predictive, any model of future climate should also accurately model known climate and greenhouse gas variations recorded in the geologic history of the past 200,000 years."

and

"AAPG supports expanding scientific climate research into the basic controls on climate specifically including the geological, solar and astronomic aspects of climate change. Research should include understanding causes of past climate change and the potential effects of both increasing and decreasing temperatures in the future. • AAPG supports research to narrow probabilistic ranges on the effect of anthropogenic CO2 on global climate. • AAPG supports reducing emissions from fossil fuel use as a worthy goal. (However, emission reduction has an economic cost, which must be compared to the potential environmental gain). • AAPG supports the premise that economies must retain their vitality to be able to invest in alternative energy sources as fossil fuels become more expensive.. • AAPG supports the pursuit of economically viable technology to sequester carbon dioxide emissions and emissions of other gases in a continuing effort to improve our environment and enhance energy recovery. • AAPG supports measures to conserve energy, which has the affect of both reducing emissions and preserving energy supplies for the future."

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By highwater (registered) | Posted April 02, 2008 at 11:39:04

So we've established that a group of geologists in the pay of the oil industry vary somewhat in their conclusions on climate change from the rest of their scientific colleagues. Now to get some real balance on the issue, we should survey all the Creationist property managers in St. Louis MO.

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By Oy Vey (anonymous) | Posted April 02, 2008 at 11:39:40


OMGzorz - Superman plugs the Canada Free Press, a far-right nutbar conspiracy theory rag - and yet he criticizes Wikipedia because the info there "can be posted by anyone"!

Superman, take it from me - you aren't one.

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By Superman (registered) | Posted April 02, 2008 at 12:01:31

Oy Vey, if you can't read previous posts then shut up. I have "plugged" many other institutions from educational institutes to NASA and I don't make comments based on reading what my favourite people have to say. Highwater, I simply quoted the actual statement rather than Wikipedia because is demonstrates dissension. I still fail to see how this conversation benefits the city and as such don't see any reason to continue it. There are other places where you can argue about your opinions.

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By jacksquat (anonymous) | Posted April 02, 2008 at 12:48:34

||I still fail to see how this conversation benefits the city and as such don't see any reason to continue it. There are other places where you can argue about your opinions.||

Ahh the classic troll. Hijack the conversation, lead it down a garden path, and then pretend to be high-minded after the damage is done. No more food for you!

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By jason (registered) | Posted April 02, 2008 at 13:16:12

serious...please point out one insult or sarcasm in my posts above. I'm stating that Red Hill was never built for industry, despite us being told that for years. So far nobody has been able to convince me otherwise...in fact, none of you are even trying. Perhaps that should confirm my suspicion.

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By Superman (registered) | Posted April 02, 2008 at 13:24:03

Jacksquat, never seen you before. Funny thing is I post on a lot of things on here, just not under this name! Just got a little hot under the collar this time :)

Jason, I never accused you of insult or sarcasm. Right now I'm middle of the road on the RHVP and until I see what does get built or planned I won't make a decision. It does cut down on my trip up the hill tho. Also, I can't find info on who or what is making moves up there either. I'm just not jumping to the conclusion that businesses won't yet make the move. Any leads on where to look??

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By Superman (registered) | Posted April 02, 2008 at 13:37:00

Hey Jay, Check out the EcDevImplications pdf on myhamilton.ca. Quite an interesting read. I've only made it through the first 10 pages and I keep seeing the same problem. Development in one area not occuring while excessive development occurs in another. That echoes what I've posted on other articles - we need a multipronged approach. Our intra-city transit system sucks and there's not concrete plan to improve it and yet we keep building roads. What needs to happen is a multipronged approach. Instead of redoing roads without bike lanes and without regard to future considerations like LRTs the cross sections need to be redesigned to allow for them! LRTs and an improved bus transit network need to be implemented ASAP and the existing road network needs to be improved i.e. fix the potholes. Put limitations on trucking hours in the core, change the Gore to a pedestrian zone...I can keep coming up with ideas that could be done and yet they're talking about another highway! Mid-pen highway? Why? If people come to the city and find it in disarray why would they want to live and work here? If only the transportation department would hire someone with less than 5 years of experience...

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By Superman (registered) | Posted April 02, 2008 at 15:06:46

Good news...secure bike lockups coming at major transit hubs! Now I can buy a bike for each one and travel between them lol!

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By jason (registered) | Posted April 02, 2008 at 16:14:07

superman, I'm not sure where to look for updates on new plants opening etc.... but I can PROMISE you that if one was considering locating atop Red Hill, you'd be reading about it on the front page of the Spec.
You don't need to worry about industrial plants locating up there without anyone hearing about it. As you've mentioned, that will be the true barometer of success of RHVP. The city and Spec will make sure we all hear about it, if it ever happens.

I'll go check out that EcDev doc you mentioned...sounds good. Cheers

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By jason (registered) | Posted April 02, 2008 at 16:18:08

can't find it...how about a link. where'd you hear about secure bike lock-ups??

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By highwater (registered) | Posted April 02, 2008 at 16:35:38

"I simply quoted the actual statement rather than Wikipedia because is demonstrates dissension."

It demonstrates dissension from people who work for the oil industry.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted April 03, 2008 at 08:04:04

Here's a modest contribution to the surprisingly far-ranging discussion, courtesy of the BBC:

"Scientists have produced further compelling evidence showing that modern-day climate change is not caused by changes in the Sun's activity.

"The research contradicts a favoured theory of climate "sceptics", that changes in cosmic rays coming to Earth determine cloudiness and temperature."

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/natur...

Here's a link to the actual study, published in the Institute of Physics' peer-reviewed Environmental Research Letters journal:

http://www.iop.org/EJ/abstract/1748-9326...

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By Superman (registered) | Posted April 03, 2008 at 13:47:21

Jason, I don't know how to put links on here.... Here goes:

"h t t p :/ /www .myhamilton.ca/NR/rdonlyres/E0FD491F-AD2C-492F-B6F7-5B93D471036F/0/EcDevImplications.PDF"

It's a study by Hemson Consulting Ltd done in July 2003.

I believe that someone posted a thing about the bike lockers on here in a separate thread.

Thanks, Ryan. Data used in the paper ends in 2005. (Reference No. 3). I don't think that the data from the Aqua satellite is publicly available. My issue arises from the use of the terms "global warming" rather than "climate change". Trends in the last 8 years are mostly even and cooler than global temps in the late 90s. Not to mention that the winter this year broke many records and turned out to be one of the coolest in recent history and the ice caps actually got thicker. Seems like cooling to me. This of course could be a result of air pollution as well but the global warming/sinking of the world alarmists drive me nuts.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted April 03, 2008 at 14:32:46

To post a clickable link and not have it flagged as spam, you need to be registered with the site:

http://raisethehammer.org/createaccount....

We just posted a news item on the bike locks here:

http://raisethehammer.org/blog/963

As for global warming - the evidence overwhelmingly indicates that it's happening and that it's at least partially due to human activities. This is the overwhelming scientific consensus among climatologists, meteorologists, geologists, geographers, biologists, chemists, physicists, astronomers, oceanographers, and other scientific disciplines relevant to the study of climate.

The study I cited above demonstrates that the correlation posited between solar flare activity and planetary temperature does not, in fact, exist.

Other studies recently published draw parallel conclusions about the posited correlation between earth temperatures and temperatures on other planets - i.e. they are either nonexistent or irrelevant (as in the case of Pluto, which is growing warmer because its parabolic orbit is bringing it closer to the sun).

A point was raised earlier in the thread that you can 'prove' just about anything by picking arbitrary start and end dates, but the important datum here is the long term trend, which coincides exactly with what we might call the Petroleum Age. Look at this graph of average temperatures over the past 150 years:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/co...

The slight cooling 'trend' over the past few years is similar in scale and duration to other mini-cooling phases that occurred over the course of the the long warming trend.

As for the terminology of "climate change" vs. "global warming", the latter refers specifically to the phenomenon of anthropogenic climate change being observed and experienced today.

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By farmer6re9 (registered) - website | Posted April 03, 2008 at 23:17:44

I will always be in utter amazement at the propensity for disinformation geeks to totally skew the meaning and direction of discussion hinged on incredibly deepening subjective reason. The coarse abrasiveness of these sand paper people has always been reveled through their roughest use of the good King's grittiest English.

Great work Ryan, I admire your fortitude and respect for this town's regular working folk. You write pretty well too. In the future, I pray you're able to fit it all, word for word into the preordained containers.

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By Superman (registered) | Posted April 04, 2008 at 09:45:05

Ryan, the data stops at 2005 and an 8 year mini-cooling phase is quite a while (just over 5% of the 150 year period).

I have an account and I'm posting from it but it still won't let me do links. I'm probably not doing it right.

Your statement about the warming during the industrial period partially being due to human activities is what I've been saying but I believe the PARTIALLY should be defined. I haven't seen a breakdown of what "human activities" actually constitutes w.r.t. CO2 emissions. The reason that Gore et al. say our actual EMISSIONS (driving a car, breathing etc) have to decrease by such a drastic amount is because they're actually only a very small piece of the equation and therefore they'd have to change by a greater amount in order to effect the overall equation. I believe that human effect lies in what seems to be a macabre twist of what our city administration can't do: multifaceted attacks. At the same time as increasing emissions, we've chopped down on trees, increased landfill size, etc. As such, I'm not a proponent of attacking SUV drivers for driving them and I don't believe in essentially forcing ppl to purchase smaller vehicles that drive using McDonald's fry oil by guilt tripping them into believing that it will greatly affect the environment. I'm also not supportive of flap-jaws who fly around on personal jets which emit massive amounts of CO2 per person on board while telling the average person they should spend more to purchase electric vehicles and so forth.

Also, global climate models have known accuracy problems specifically when it comes to taking into account the feedback responses by nature itself. This is why the Aqua satellite was launched and also why it's data is so important. You mention taking arbitrary points of reference, how is my point of reference less arbitrary than yours?

I'll reiterate my position here: I don't believe that what has been shown by Gore and company is an accurate prediction of what will happen to Earth's climate due to human emissions of CO2 nor do I agree with his rather Draconian measures to address it. I believe that Earth Hour is a bandaid to make people feel better without them actually making the choice to live a better lifestyle. I believe that although we're in what Ryan calls a mini-cooling phase, there's a possibility for the temperatures to increase OR decrease as a result of the feedback effects of nature. I don't believe that guilt-tripping individuals into purchasing "eco-friendly" items is ethical because the basis of this argument is rather shaky. I don't believe that climate models can accurately predict future climate conditions until the feedback reactions of nature itself are properly integrated into the equation and this hasn't been done yet.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted April 04, 2008 at 10:57:08

Superman, where are you getting your data? According to NASA, the hottest years on record are:

  1. 2005
  2. 1998
  3. 2002
  4. 2003
  5. 2006
  6. 2004

http://www.nasa.gov/vision/earth/environment/2005_warmest.html http://www.nasa.gov/centers/goddard/news...

That is, five of the six hottest years on record have been during the past eight, and all six have been in during the past ten.

I haven't seen a breakdown of what "human activities" actually constitutes w.r.t. CO2 emissions.

There's still considerable debate over this, but the consensus is that human activities are a significant contributor.

The reason that Gore et al. say our actual EMISSIONS (driving a car, breathing etc) have to decrease by such a drastic amount is because they're actually only a very small piece of the equation

The data do not support your assertion. According to the IPCC in 2007:

Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations. [emphasis in original]

http://ipcc-wg1.ucar.edu/wg1/Report/AR4W...

When you write:

I'm also not supportive of flap-jaws...

You continue a practice of identifying the message with one of its messengers. It's as though you rejected the global warming hypothesis simply because you think Al Gore's a hypocrite, and then tailored your search for evidence to whatever source confirms your prejudice.

I respectfully submit that this isn't a useful basis on which to form an opinion about a complex issue.

Also, global climate models have known accuracy problems specifically when it comes to taking into account the feedback responses by nature itself.

It's interesting that you raise this point. For the most part, the models have understated the warming phenomenon by not taking positive feedback mechanisms into account. I'm thinking, for example, of the progressive melting of the Siberian tundra, which is itself releasing vast quantities of methane - a potent greenhouse gas - into the atmosphere and accelerating the warming process.

http://raisethehammer.org/blog/307

In effect, the world's homeostatic negative feedback mechanisms are being overwhelmed and the result is a succession of discontinuities. As Tim Flannery argued persuasively in _The Weather Makers_, "Global warming changes climate in jerks, during which climate patterns jump from one stable state to another."

http://raisethehammer.org/article/480

Finally, you write:

I believe that Earth Hour is a bandaid to make people feel better without them actually making the choice to live a better lifestyle.

Well, yes. That's the heart of my thesis in this post.

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By Superman (registered) | Posted April 04, 2008 at 11:44:10

Ryan, if there's debate there's no consensus. That'd be you, citing something that supports your prejudice. Where do you get that the models understate the effect of global warming? I've seen 2 major models one under, one above actual observations. As far as Al Gore, he's not the only person I feel has no place making assertions about something like this. I am a civil engineering technologist and even though I might've done tonnes of research on how to do heart surgery, I don't tell a heart surgeon how to do the operation! THere are far to many scientists venturing outside of their fields when it comes to this.

Also since you mention Siberia, take a look at an article at worldclimatereport.com about Lake Baikal and warming trends for the previous 800,000 years according to scientists. It shows that although we're in a warming trend, it's not as warm as it has been in previous centuries and it's not changing as rapidly as it has previously as well. I remain firm in my view that the human effect has drastically been overstated!

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted April 04, 2008 at 12:37:04

Ryan. Don't. Waste. Your. Time. Trying to debate with Superman. He'll just lead you down a garden path and abandon you there. He distorts everything anyone else writes, gets his information from right wing crank sites and doesn't understand how to do logic. He pretends to be an expert when he OBVIOUSLY doesn't know what he's talking about (E.G. Evolution) and cherry picks the facts to make it seem like there's a real debate over whether humans are causing climate change when the only debate is whether humans are like 70% or 90% to blame for it. Just let it go.

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By jacksquat (anonymous) | Posted None at

Seconded, Nobrainer. Trying to pin "Superman" down on the facts is like trying to nail jello to the wall. See what he did when you showed him he's wrong about the "cooling trend" the last eight years? That's right he did nothing, he just ignored it and moved on to something else. You can keep on correcting him and he'll just keep on making up more "facts" to keep this thing going endlessly. He's fractally wrong:

cs.washington.edu/homes/klee/misc/lexicon.html#fractal_wrongness

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By Superman (registered) | Posted April 04, 2008 at 15:27:53

Nobrainer, you accuse me of the same closemindedness you yourself demonstrate exhibiting the same quality your name describes and jacksquat, you are exactly that. The graphs Ryan posted actually show the "cooling trend after from 2000. Get your facts from more than one source before you accuse others of not doing that! I'm not making up facts and the places I choose for information are simply the opposite of what you embrace and therefore must be right wing and made up. Riiiight! Get a life! Being an idiot with your head up your rear thinking that the climate debate is an incredibly smart thing! You pull facts that back up your opinion, I do the same for mine! Instead of calling others names because they don't agree with you, maybe you should do a little more reading...from places other than your pet websites!

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By Superman (registered) | Posted April 04, 2008 at 15:29:02

should say "climate debate is closed".

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted April 04, 2008 at 15:33:49

Sorry troll, no more food for you today.

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By serious (anonymous) | Posted April 04, 2008 at 20:02:10

Superman, when they can't argue anymore they call you a troll...how droll...they take their toll...they should take a poll...they'll find their one-mindededness is not on a roll!!!!

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted April 07, 2008 at 09:46:25

On the off-chance anyone can still be bothered to follow this comment thread:

"Global warming has plunged the planet into a crisis and the fossil fuel industries are trying to hide the extent of the problem from the public, NASA's top climate scientist says.

"'We've already reached the dangerous level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere,' [said] James Hansen, 67, director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York."

http://www.physorg.com/news126761406.htm...

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