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Do you think global warming is caused by human activity?

Asked at Speedway Shell, 1733 Mass. on September 6, 2009

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Photo of Kalani Makanui

“Absolutely. … I think there’s a lot of overwhelming evidence that suggest that’s the case.”

Photo of Justin Windholz

“I do not. I believe it’s caused by the natural process of the Earth’s cycles.”

Photo of Shayda Pedram

“Yes, because the activities we do are hurting the ozone layer thus causing global warming, such as polluting.”

Photo of Phoenix Trees

“I do not believe in global warming. It’s raining and it’s cold out right now and it’s still snowing in the winter.”

Comments

H_Lecter 5 years, 3 months ago

Locally, most of the Methane and Hydrogen Sulfide dispersed into the atmosphere are by-products of my lab.

I mind what she eats to minimize the damage.

labmonkey 5 years, 3 months ago

Justin FTW. Kalani hasn't read much science and Shayda gave a beauty queen type answer.

The real question....is Phoenix Trees her real name?

Dan Eyler 5 years, 3 months ago

Of course we have an impact on our environment locally. But global warming is a joke. Most who say we Americans cause global warming obviously haven't been out of the city or state not to mention the country. Kansans for the most part are conservationists and not environmentalists. The environmental movement is scary and needs to be challenged on everything they promote. They are part of the socialist movement who like all socialists are elitists who use fear to control people. When I hear the Al Gores of the world telling us that we have but only a couple of years to change our environment I laugh and seriously ask myself if Lawrence and the rest of the country are as stupid as Gore sounds. Kansans who use our outdoors for fishing, hiking and camping know as well as I do that we have a beautiful state and wonderfully clean air. But we also need power and we are able to produce electricity using coal, gas, wind, and nuclear and all at the same time keep our state clean.

jonas_opines 5 years, 3 months ago

A mix of human and natural causes is the likeliest answer. Anyone who thinks they know anything for sure are deluding themselves. (This includes Gore, of course)

catfish75 5 years, 3 months ago

I must agree with most attitudes here... Climate changes have been going on for millions of years,,, were they all caused by people??? I think NOT!!! It seems foolish to think that we are the sole cause of something we have no control over and has going on before we started beating animals with rocks for food...

Flap Doodle 5 years, 3 months ago

Internal combustion lawnmowers are the cause of global warming.

labmonkey 5 years, 3 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

RoeDapple 5 years, 3 months ago

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/phoenix+tree

Noun 1.phoenix tree - deciduous tree widely grown in southern United States as an ornamental for its handsome maple like foliage and long racemes of yellow-green flowers followed by curious leaf like pods

Flap Doodle 5 years, 3 months ago

Poor old loggy. Couldn't have happened to a nicer individual.

jumpin_catfish 5 years, 3 months ago

Global warming is being increased by all the hot air being put out by Algore and the militant envirnomentist.

BigPrune 5 years, 3 months ago

When I read the Obama administration is going to tax farmers for cow farts, I decided to apply for a MIllion dollar grant from the EPA to develop a light weight methane capturing device that attaches to the back side of cows. Without giving away my idea, it looks sort of like a gigantic diaper that has a tube attached to an empty plastic milk gallon.

Just doing my part.

boltzmann 5 years, 3 months ago

TomShewmon (Tom Shewmon) says…

"http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/gre

“Human activites contribute slightly to greenhouse gas concentrations through farming, manufacturing, power generation, and transportation. However, these emissions are so dwarfed in comparison to emissions from natural sources we can do nothing about, that even the most costly efforts to limit human emissions would have a very small— perhaps undetectable— effect on global climate.”"

So you agree with the view of an amateurish website on West Virgina Fossils that is misleading at best about the contribution of water vapor to climate change. But in your "expert" opinion, the vast majority of scientific associations are just plain wrong about it. Here are some excerpts from several statements about climate change from several leading American scientific associations:

American Chemical Society: Careful and comprehensive scientific assessments have clearly demonstrated that the Earth’s climate system is changing rapidly in response to growing atmospheric burdens of greenhouse gases and absorbing aerosol particles (IPCC, 2007). There is very little room for doubt that observed climate trends are due to human activities. The threats are serious and action is urgently needed to mitigate the risks of climate change.

American Physical Society:

missions of greenhouse gases from human activities are changing the atmosphere in ways that affect the Earth's climate. Greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide as well as methane, nitrous oxide and other gases. They are emitted from fossil fuel combustion and a range of industrial and agricultural processes. The evidence is incontrovertible: Global warming is occurring. If no mitigating actions are taken, significant disruptions in the Earth’s physical and ecological systems, social systems, security and human health are likely to occur. We must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases beginning now.

American Meteorological Society:

Despite the uncertainties noted above, there is adequate evidence from observations and interpretations of climate simulations to conclude that the atmosphere, ocean, and land surface are warming; that humans have significantly contributed to this change; and that further climate change will continue to have important impacts on human societies, on economies, on ecosystems, and on wildlife through the 21st century and beyond.

Other similar statements are available from the National Academies of Science, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, The Geophysical Union, just to name a few.

boltzmann 5 years, 3 months ago

I should also comment on the answers given in the street poll above. Except for the first one, the answers were complete nonsense. It really shows that the level of ignorance about the science involved is high on both sides.

BigPrune 5 years, 3 months ago

Especially if you take a cue from the 1970's, when scientists were telling "us" that we were entering a new 10,000 year ice age.

Every meteorologist I've talked with says the human/global warming is b.s.

Blessed4x 5 years, 3 months ago

"snap_pop_no_crackle (Anonymous) says…

Internal combustion lawnmowers are the cause of global warming. "

HOLD ON A MINUTE! I thought it was cow farts!

Or as The Royal Canadian Air Farce would state: T.O.O.T.'s.

Trans-Ozone Orifice Turbulences

jonas_opines 5 years, 3 months ago

Cheeseburger: I don't care when you agree or when you don't. I'd prefer you not run out rather than address a point, and I'm still curious to know where you think the logical and scriptural breakdown is in my position.

jonas_opines 5 years, 3 months ago

Oh, for those of you who want exorbitant hate and bigotry to ruin your day (or think that they can handle it). I suppose this is like finding a bottle of rotton milk in your fridge -- you have to make someone else smell it too, but it was just a little too much to take in and not release.

The webcomic http://www.billytheheretic.com/american_history.php

The author on his motivations, and his support group http://www.vnnforum.com/showthread.php?t=77562

conservativepunker 5 years, 3 months ago

Sigh....people, go up on the Hill and take a basic Geology course.......The Earth goes through heating and cooling cycles.

Eileen Jones 5 years, 3 months ago

It is ludicrous to expect people who are not scientists to act as experts on this scientific phenomenon.

boltzmann 5 years, 3 months ago

BigPrune says "Especially if you take a cue from the 1970's, when scientists were telling “us” that we were entering a new 10,000 year ice age."

Yes, a few scientists were saying this, but those predictions did not nearly have the level of scientific consensus that anthropogenic climate change has today. You can always find some scientist to say anything that you want, it is actually hard to get large scale consensus.

"Every meteorologist I've talked with says the human/global warming is b.s."

I'm sure that is a "representative" sample.

Practicality 5 years, 3 months ago

You mean ol' Loggie got banned????? Who would have thunk it. ROFL!

camper 5 years, 3 months ago

I agree with Jonas post at 7:16 AM. In my view, I think it is better to be safe than sorry when it comes to global warming. If human activity is indeed contributing significantly to climate changes, our generation will probably be viewed as the most foolish to ever populate the planet. At the very least we need to monitor the global climate and begin to seek ways of being proactive. By doing this sooner than later, we could lessen the economic impact(s) of being "greener".

labmonkey 5 years, 3 months ago

If we kill ourselves economically because of global warming, we will be looked at as fools. I seen the most disingenious commercial during the Chiefs game the other night. It said that China is beating us to the punch for green energy...and we need to go to wind. What a hoot.

Boltzman- so I take it you have not read much science on the matter either. It is almost a consensus that the earth warms, then CO2 increases. Hell, just google it if you are too lazy to look up the primary literature.

And who lacks the sense of humor? Anyone who watches South Park would know that I was invoking Mr. Garrison in my comment to Snap.

parrothead8 5 years, 3 months ago

Before any of us crack on the answers given by the people at the Shell station (oh, wait, it's already happened), let us pause for a moment.

It's really easy for us to give an online answer that sounds intelligent when we have all the resources Google offers us as well as all the time we want to revise. It's a little more difficult to give an intelligent answer to something when you're going about your day, filling up your car with gas, probably have a hundred other things on your mind other than global warming, and someone comes up to you and says, "Hi, I'm from the LJ-W. Do you believe in global warming?"

Oh, and scientific studies have shown that global warming is increasing at a rate exponentially higher than it ever has before. Whether you believe in it or not, global warming is real. Maybe it's just coincidence that the "exponential increase" is coming when humans are pumping more pollutants into the atmosphere than ever before.

Flap Doodle 5 years, 3 months ago

After the lawnmowers are dealt with, we'll start in on cow bottom-burps.

camper 5 years, 3 months ago

Who's sayin we have to kill ourselves economically? It actually makes economic sense to phase in new technolgies. And by the way, we have been proven to kill ourselves economically already because oil has something to do with war...going back to WWII.

trinity 5 years, 3 months ago

mayhaps a study should be conducted about the influence of lemur air biskits on the ozone; i hear those little buggers are deadly.

georgiahawk 5 years, 3 months ago

You are exactly right porch person! This is a very important point! It cannot be overlooked! Let's let the rest of the world pay for our technology, not the other way around. Let's get in the driver's seat, not the passenger seat.

jonas_opines 5 years, 3 months ago

"Sigh….people, go up on the Hill and take a basic Geology course…….The Earth goes through heating and cooling cycles."

Then the rest of us could start thinking we knew the answer because we had taken a basic Geology course at KU. That would be great.

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 5 years, 3 months ago

Clearly, global smarming has become the cause of human activity, now possible via commonly accessible electronic networks. Kudos to the handful of commenters in these forums who continue to think and express themselves independently. You know who you are (although membership likely will be mistaken by those who don't).

(And, no, this is not a reference to those who agree with me; ALL have disagreed strongly with positions I've taken in these forums.)

Flap Doodle 5 years, 3 months ago

Yeah, somebody was too quick on the trigger yanking lab's comment. Some folks got no sense of humor.

boltzmann 5 years, 3 months ago

labmonkey (Anonymous) says…

"Boltzman- so I take it you have not read much science on the matter either. It is almost a consensus that the earth warms, then CO2 increases. Hell, just google it if you are too lazy to look up the primary literature."

Yes, I do read the primary literature. Yes, it is true that CO2 increase has followed historic periods of warming - that is not in dispute; however, those studies also show that there is a lag time between the increase in temperature and the increase in CO2 - presumably due to delays in ocean out gassing. In those cases, it is clear that CO2 is not the cause of the temperature increase, but acts as an amplifier. In the current case, the anthropogenic CO2 increase is preceding the observed warming, so the situation is completely different from the ones you are citing - of course you knew that because you are so familiar with the primary literature.

There is extremely good evidence now from isotope ratios that that the additional CO2 in the atmosphere does not come from ocean degassing and can be attributed to plant-based sources, i.e. fossil fuels.

Boston_Corbett 5 years, 3 months ago

So..... Did the bioweapons plant people in Manhattan take out loggie? Or was it the people building US-59 south of town?

TacoBob 5 years, 3 months ago

Speaking of beans, once my Personal Methane Reclamation Units are ready for prime time, global warming and the energy crisis will be solved.

Beans are the new corn.

TacoBob 5 years, 3 months ago

Dang, I should read before I post. BigPrune has already invented my invention. Oh well, back to looking for the next million dollar idea. Maybe I will invest in bean futures instead.

Practicality 5 years, 3 months ago

LOL, good one Boston. Maybe they just joined forces against a common enemy.

beatrice 5 years, 3 months ago

We could have saved the Earth but we were too damned cheap. -- Kurt Vonnegut

Someone standing at a gas station saying that mankind's activities have nothing to do with global warming is the height of ignorance. Thinking that because today it might be cool is proof that global warming doesn't exist is the height of stupidity.

People would rather rag on Al Gore than look at the science of our warming planet. Politics over planet. Brilliant.

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 5 years, 3 months ago

[ tangedit ]

"We could have saved the Earth, but we were too damned stingy."

labmonkey 5 years, 3 months ago

boltzman-

I have read that the delay is about 800 years, and if you know anything about history, 800 years ago was one of the warmest times in recorded history. A major cooling trend started in the late 1200's-early 1300's. When the average temperature drops instead of increases in the next hundred years, we are going to look pretty foolish if we destroy our economy. The only thing that keeps us out of the stone age is electricity and running water. If we install cap and trade, many won't be able to afford the former.

Also, it seems that solar cycles and general astrophysics are being totally ignored. They have more to do with our climate than anything on Earth does.

Patriot2 5 years, 3 months ago

Of course humans are responsible for global warming…. Just ask any dinosaur. You know the fall and demise of the dinosaur is in direct correlation to then cave man and the rampant use of fire, discovered by MAN, heating up the atmosphere! Dah!

jonas_opines 5 years, 3 months ago

I'm deeply afraid that you feel like you just said something clever.

Patriot2 5 years, 3 months ago

Ah Ha! And common sense prevails........!

boltzmann 5 years, 3 months ago

Labmonkey says "I have read that the delay is about 800 years, and if you know anything about history, 800 years ago was one of the warmest times in recorded history. A major cooling trend started in the late 1200's-early 1300's. When the average temperature drops instead of increases in the next hundred years, we are going to look pretty foolish if we destroy our economy. The only thing that keeps us out of the stone age is electricity and running water. If we install cap and trade, many won't be able to afford the former."

At present the CO2 increase in the atmosphere is about 1/2 of what we are pumping into it. Currently, the only reasonable explanation for the other half is for the oceans to be absorbing the rest. The only proposed mechanism for the CO2 increase POST warming is for the oceans to be outgassing CO2 after a delay. If the oceans are absorbing 1/2 of the anthropogenic CO2, one cannot simultaneously say that CO2 is increasing because of ocean outgassing. That just doesn't make sense.

roger_o_thornhill 5 years, 3 months ago

I only believe in things that are convenient to me!

I marvel at those who will unquestioningly believe in a "God" but...

I don't care either way...I just don't. Everyone can just do whatever they want.

P.S. Jay Leno couldn't have picked a better line up of knuckleheads to question on the street. It's cold? Seriously? That's your argument? At least use some sciency words like boltzmann here. (btw not knocking your argument boltzy, you do use sciency words in this last post though.

parrothead8 5 years, 3 months ago

Published in Science magazine, a peer-reviewed mag: http://www.cnn.com/2009/TECH/science/09/03/arctic.warmest.temperatures/index.html

But as I said above, I'm sure it's merely a coincidence that this warm period that shouldn't be happening coincides with humans pumping massive amounts of pollutants into the atmosphere.

BigPrune 5 years, 3 months ago

ALWAYS question authority.

I am not buying the global warming nonsense. Heck, it seems the average temperatures have been lower and don't forget where the temperature readings are taking place - in urban settings. Cities are much larger today than they were 100 years ago, but the thermometers are in the same spot today as they were 100 yearn ago. Of course urban areas are warmer mind you, especially since we now have paved roads and brick and mortar buildings in the city centers. Those children, retain more heat. I feel like the majority on here have to be teenagers, or recent teenagers, no? Plus the United Nation scientists were using faulty calculations in their prediction models for YEARS, only discovered recently!

ALWAYS QUESTION AUTHORITY! If you don't, it will most likely come back and bite you in the ass. Big Chomp.

Boosh 5 years, 3 months ago

BigPrune (Anonymous) says… "Those children, retain more heat."

Damn kids get off my lawn

Earl_E 5 years, 3 months ago

Yes, humans cause global warming and global cooling.

And what matters is which one and at what degree occurs in balance with non-manmade global warming and global cooling.

Each polar winter, the Earth is farther away from the sun than the year before. The pole ice has been accumulating for over 2,000 years. Maximum temps may have already been reached for this interglacial, and we are well on our way towards the next ice age.

Since 1910, the ice is in retreat despite the polar winter occuring farther from the sun each year. This fly's in the face of this orbital cycle.

And a solar sunspot minimum also could reduce upper atmoshere warming and race us towards the next ice age, yet the ice is melting faster.

Turns out, a slower ocean current allows water to absorb more heat and transfer it farther north. The Great White sharks spotted today in the Northeast Atlantic are proof of warmer water farther north.

If warm water melts freshwater ice, and freshwater slows currents, it is probably too late. The cycle is underway for a Greenland meltoff like a couple of centuries ago, have fun.

Earl_E 5 years, 3 months ago

BigPrune, Your proof states man-made cities are making temperatures rise around thermometers, hence man isn't contributing to warming. Did I miss-read your argument?

snoozey 5 years, 3 months ago

Interesting how the educated & intelligent are skeptical about global warming without any convincing evidence yet the rest of the pack lap it up just because it sounds good. And yet some people wonder how corrupt bozos come to be elected to the senate and house to be bought off by special interests ?

beatrice 5 years, 3 months ago

be3, if you don't believe that the hole in the ozone layer is caused primarily by man-made chlorofluorocarbons, then please do enlighten us as to the cause.

Your hatred of a politician blinds you to the reality of science.

Earl_E 5 years, 3 months ago

New science word problem of the day:

For over 50 years, the US and Soviet Union tested thousands thermonuclear bombs on the sea floor. The largest was a 40 megaton explosion.

Calculate the heat generated on the ocean floor and the impact of the thermal bloom on seafloor ecosystems and the residual impact of radioactivity on long-term plankton communities.

Only human intelligence could create a solar event on the sea floor at will, and do it across the decades despite measuring the impacts of Hiroshima and Nagasaki fission explosions on human populations.

70,000 people were killed instantly, 100s of thousands died later, yet these bombs were only 10 kilotons, not 40 megatons.

Extra credit: Develop a model that predicts the movement pattern of a deep thermonuclear pocket of heat as it disapates and predict the time it would take for that heat be absorbed.

Calculate the added heat for 50 years of explosion testing and postulate heat gain or loss as a result of these ignorant life extinction events.

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