DougCounty (Ken Lassman)


Comment history

Letter: Real climate threat

Regarding how much and what kind of emissions we can release into the atmosphere, as you can see from my previous comment, the climate is a summary of a whole raft of processes, so a good understanding of what is going on is crucial to getting an accurate answer to your question. That's why the IPCC was formed, and it has spent countless hours involving and coordinating active scientists who are recognized in their field of expertise in an attempt to understand atmospheric dynamics and to get an accurate answer to your question. The latest effort, dubbed "AR5," included some 850 scientists from 85 countries, assembled into 3 working groups and the resulting efforts were released in a Synthesis Report last year, available here:

The consensus is that in order to avoid the worst of the consequences of climate change, we need to globally reduce emissions enough to keep the temperature rise to less than 2 degrees Celsius by 2100. There will still be dire consequences, but hopefully if we can reduce emissions to that extent, coastal cities won't have to be abandoned, extreme weather events won't collapse agriculture in threatened parts of the world, etc. Read the policy summary at the link provided above for lots more details as to what that means for all countries on the planet, as last time I checked, emissions in any single country affect the entire planet.

November 24, 2015 at 6:38 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter: Real climate threat


How about this: the net energy balance of the planet is based on the dynamic mix of inputs and outputs that absorb, retain, release and reflect away the energy coming in. For a brief overview of the major players, check out

The climate is the net result of that dynamic set of processes, and it influences everything from primary productivity of the life systems (plants and photoplankton, primarily, including crops) to the vitality and sustainability of all other other components of the ecosystems (i.e. nutrient cycling, bacteria, fungi, animals, and yes, humans).

From the human perspective, the stability of those processes are directly connected to our own productivity and viability, so a stable climate is central to our own success as a species. More than one seemingly powerful civilization has crumbled after being weakened by extended droughts, which shows how the power of the climate can affect humanity's success. So from our species viewpoint, the more stable the climate, the better, or if it is going to shift, it would ideally shift at a pace that can be adapted to without disrupting the infrastructure of our society.

So ideally, with our self interests in mind, we humans would do best to do everything we can do to prevent a shift in the climate that would result in concomitant shifts in global temperatures, sea levels, ocean acidity species migration, water supply, etc. at a rate faster than we can adapt to. There is clear evidence that at our current pace, we our outstripping both the natural processes that are present to keep the climate stable, and as a result threatening to make changes occur at a pace that will cause widespread disruption of our societies' ability to adapt.

There is also clear evidence that the longer we wait, the worse things will be and the harder/longer it will take to reverse the disruptive trends. This will take an effort that involves everyone on the planet if we want to make it actually happen. How would you go about doing it?

November 23, 2015 at 2:38 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter: Real climate threat

Bob asks: "What are we going to do when the Sun burns out?"

Good question, Bob, but since that's at least 4 billion years out and life has existed only 3.5 billion years so far, it's hard to way what "we" is going to be, isn't it?

November 22, 2015 at 9:56 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter: Real climate threat

Since it is our emissions that are changing the chemistry of the atmosphere and oceans, we have the ability to affect the degree of those changes, though the longer we wait, the less affect we'll have.

November 22, 2015 at 9:45 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter: Real climate threat

Simple answer to your simple question: "Why would NOAA issue a false report about the climate just weeks before the Paris conference on Climate Change?" They didn't. They could have delayed the report because the Antarctic is a complex scenario, with some areas gaining mass while other areas are losing mass, and they no doubt knew that the complexities would be cherry-picked by the denialist industry, which they have. But they released the data anyway, because there is a need for science to move ahead in their understanding of the complexities, cherry pickers notwithstanding.

Unlike you, I hope that the real facts are grasped by the average citizen so that they realize the real costs to themselves if they DON'T act now to curb carbon emissions and contact Washington to stop listening to fact-avoiding folks like yourself. Then we can discuss the politics.

November 22, 2015 at 8:38 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter: Real climate threat

YOUR tirades against "Man Made Climate Change" are definitely about politics, not facts, that we can both agree upon. If you want to conceptualize my sticking to the best science available on how our planet works as a type of addiction, I think this speaks volumes about where you are coming from. Thanks for your clarification.

November 21, 2015 at 10:50 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter: Real climate threat

You should take time to understand this article, too, Leonard. I suggest you start here:

November 21, 2015 at 9:47 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter: Real climate threat

"Ken your response is entirely predictable, denial, demean & deflect. You are caught in a terrible place, a place where you are trying to argue with facts, tainted by the proven history of data manipulation & outright fraud, to try to justify that climate change is man made."

Nice example of projection, David, since I have provided you with conclusions that are accepted by all the national and international scientific institutions and organizations on the planet and yet it is I who is demeaning you by bringing up these sources. Take up your accusations with them, David, as it is you who are out on a limb as the denialist positions have no scientific credibility. Furthermore, there are clear lines of evidence that the most denialists are being paid by fossil fuel interests to throw doubt into the public discussion of climate change.

I eagerly await your providing some scientifically verifiable models that better explains the increased ocean heat content, acidification, sea level, extreme weather events, decreased global ice mass, and poleward migration of species. If increased CO2 and other greenhouse gases emitted from human activities isn't causing the observed changes (and they ARE happening unless you can show otherwise), then what is causing all of these things?

November 21, 2015 at 9:44 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter: Real climate threat

Sea level rise is the least of the Maldive Islander's problems, as their economy is dependent on fishing and the warming ocean is shifting the traditional fishing areas and destabilizing their understanding of where to find them. They are having to resort to satellite imagery to try to track the changes. To quote a local: "It is not sea level rise that is going to get us first," Mr Waheed told The Straits Times. "What's going to get us first is tidal variations, changes in weather patterns and extreme weather events." Read here for more details:

There are many aspects to climate change and you seem content to cherry pick the aspects that suit your beliefs. That's not how science works, fortunately.

November 21, 2015 at 9:23 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter: Real climate threat

Nice, hooks, David, but a translation of all of your verbiage is that you have nothing to counter the clear evidence that 1) ocean heat accumulation, which represents 90% of the thermal absoption on our planet, continues to rise unabated, as do sea levels; and 2) the Breitbach article was fundamentally flawed and polar ice caps continue to lose mass to the oceans. Since you have ignored these scientifically backed trends and have provided nothing to counter them (including the Dyson critiques), I see little reason to present you with data and analyses that show that human-triggered CO2 emissions are acidifying our oceans, ocean and land based species are migrating poleward to adapt to the warming planet, the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events are increasing due to the increased amount of heat/water available, cultures who depend on glacial melt are facing unprecedented water shortages, wildfires are increasing in frequency and coverage, and on and on, all consistent with predictions by the scientific community who have no other explanation for all of these disparate events other than when they include the well understood relationship between atmospheric CO2 levels and global temps.

For others who still have scientific curiosity in them, feel free to review the evidence. One convenient starting place for this would be to visit:

November 21, 2015 at 4:31 p.m. ( | suggest removal )