By Janet Fang
Posting in Environment
Polar bears, yes. But some argue that the symbol should be a child. People respond better to climate change warnings when portrayed as a health issue, rather than an environmental problem.
A polar bear sitting on a melting iceberg seems to be the current poster child for global warming. But some health officials argue the symbol should, instead, be a child. Richard Harris reports for NPR.
Emerging work shows that people respond more favorably to climate change warnings when portrayed as a health issue – rather than an environmental problem.
And the most obvious risk from a warming world is deadly heat. About 750 people died from the 1995 heat wave in Chicago, and over 70,000 deaths were attributable to Europe’s heat wave of 2003.
Additionally, hot air causes more smog, which leads to more asthma. Killer storms are likely to become more powerful, and infectious diseases will increase their ranges.
"This is a new topic for public health," says George Luber at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "This is emerging largely as a result that the scientific evidence around climate change has evolved to the point that public health feels confident engaging the science -- that this is a credible threat."
And of course, health officials are messengers with special credibility. They're trusted far more than other widely heard voices on this topic, including politicians, journalists, and environmental activists.
A team of social scientists, led by Matthew Nisbet at American University American University, have found that people who are indifferent, or even hostile, to climate change are more receptive to the issue when it's talked about as a health issue.
When the issue is localized for people to view as personally relevant, climate change has far more appeal than when it's framed as an environmental issue or a matter of national security. It elicits emotionally engaging responses from across America, resonating with conservatives and liberals, and even those who just don’t think about climate change.
But other experts have doubts, especially if health claims don't stand up. For example, some people have been tempted to draw a connection between this year's outbreak of West Nile disease and climate change. While warmer conditions favor West Nile, it’s hard to pin a specific outbreak on changing climate.
And then again, disease might not necessarily motivate people to take action against climate change. According to George Marshall at the Climate Outreach Information Network: "There's a real danger people will just hold their hands over their ears and say, 'I don't want to hear this! I don't want to hear there's going to be more malaria, there's going to be more West Nile virus, or worse ozone or there's going to be more asthma,' or any connection you might be able to make for climate change."
He says people will respond to ideas that help them personally, help their families, and help their communities; and there's clearly a role for talking about health and climate change in that context.
Image: Scott Schliebe / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Sep 11, 2012
http://theresilientearth.com/?q=content/medieval-warm-period-rediscovered http://www.nipccreport.org/articles/2011/sep/7sep2011a1.html 'Professor Jones also conceded the possibility that the world was warmer in medieval times than now suggesting global warming may not be a man-made phenomenon. And he said that for the past 15 years there has been no statistically significant warming.' http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1250872/Climategate-U-turn-Astonishment-scientist-centre-global-warming-email-row-admits-data-organised.html
My parent's generation saved the world from Facism. I wonder how the future will view us. We could have slowed climate change to something that ecosystems would have been more able to adapt to, had we begun decades ago when the danger was first recognized. We are successfully slowing the loss of stratospheric ozone, but it looks like its too late to prevent catastrophic climate change. With great effort, we may be able to limit it to "merely" catastrophic. I fear our great-grandchildren will curse us for our inaction. They will wonder how we could have been so blind and so selfish that we allowed mere convenience and comfort to be more important to us than preserving the intricate functioning of the biological and physical systems that support our civilization.
It amazes me how much effort is being put into controlling the CO2 output of western nations while nations like China, India and Brazil have exploding populations with ever increasing power production based largely on dirty burning coal or oil power plants. We will all be dying from the toxic soup being pumped into the planets atmosphere by these nations long before melting ice packs and rising seas would ever cause us harm. All of you are too stupid to realize they are poisoning our food and water supplies and consigning a growing percentage of our children to lifelong pollution triggered health issues. Keep fighting that evil CO2 windmill Don Quixote.
I completed a year long, 2 semester, multidisciplinary course focusing on Climate Change at San Jose State University a couple years ago. It was a life changing and innovative learning experience. Our communications professor, Anne-Marie Todd, drove home the scientifically proven fact that polar bears on melting icecaps is not the way to raise awareness about Climate Change. Plenty of people still have no faith in the science behind the IPCC - Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, but these are usually the same people who do not believe in survival of the fittest either, so they will probably go to their graves without accepting reality. It will take a truly drastic disaster to shake people from their myopic everyday lives and contemplate long term repercussions of growing particulates in the atmosphere. Our soil and water simply can no longer process the rising levels of green house gases in the air. We will never see 350 parts per million again. I hoped the BP spill in the gulf of Mexico would be enough, but here we are more than 2 years later and the majority of privileged Western countries still wreak havoc on mother nature in pursuit of more stuff. It is a long uphill battle ahead and we are currently losing miserably.
It is a historical fact that the Roman and Medieval warm periods were both times of prosperity and plenty. Why is the assumption that the climate of 1960 was the best most optimum climate? In addition biodiversity has been shown to increase during warm periods. History shows that warm periods promote longer lives in people. The anthropomorphic climate changers have never been able to answer how they are going to differentiate between CO2 produced by human respiration and CO2 produced by other means. Because now that they have gotten the EPA to declare CO2 a polutant then they can now go about determining who will be allowed to keep breathing and who won't.
...what is the best way to propagandize anthropocentric global warming. Last year, my nephew was forced to participate in a Christmas play at school where Santa Clause lamented his fate as the North Pole was being melted to oblivion by "global warming". Pretty funny. Pretty sad. If you can't bet them with the science and facts, go for the heart strings.
Oh come on HI, you can do better than a Daily Mail article from 2010. The headline deliberately misquotes Phil Jones. What he actually said was: [i][b]BBC:[/b] Do you agree that from 1995 to the present there has been no statistically-significant global warming [b]Phil Jones:[/b] Yes, but only just. I also calculated the trend for the period 1995 to 2009. This trend (0.12C per decade) is positive, but not significant at the 95% significance level. The positive trend is quite close to the significance level. Achieving statistical significance in scientific terms is much more likely for longer periods, and much less likely for shorter periods. [b]BBC:[/b] How confident are you that warming has taken place and that humans are mainly responsible? [b]Phil Jones:[/b] I'm 100% confident that the climate has warmed. As to the second question, I would go along with IPCC Chapter 9 - there's evidence that most of the warming since the 1950s is due to human activity.[/i] I'll bet if you checked now in 2012 you would find there has been statistically significant warming since 1995. As far as your other two cites, the MWP never needed to be rediscovered since it never disappeared and the nipcc page you reference talked needs a more global perspective before it means much.
... Specifically the melting of Arctic sea ice appears to be causing an increase in extreme weather in the Northern Hemisphere. There is evidence that the additional heat in the Arctic is slowing down the northern polar jet stream and causing the amplitude of the Rossby waves to increase bringing colder weather further south and warmer weather further north for longer periods because of the slow down. I would say there is a certain amount of harm in that effect.
Using polar bears on melting icecaps isn't effective because of psychological reasons, but because of the fact that their population has been on the increase for the last half-century. That they are dying en masse is simply a lie. The image is intended to make children cry, just like killing Santa Claus is. Also, CO2 is not "particulates in the atmosphere." It's an elemental gas. And actually, over the last half-century, in the west we have invested billions of dollars removing "particulates in the atmosphere", and have improved air quality in most places while increasing industrial capacity. The "global warming" movement would divert us from those real and measurable environmental improvements to instead focus on one that we have very little control over.
Anyone who thinks the CO2 they exhale is an issue is pretty clueless about the real issue. To explain, the CO2 you exhale comes from the food you eat. The carbon in that food ultimately came from CO2 that was already in the atmosphere that the plants you eat (or the plants the animals you eat ate) absorbed in the process of growing. So any CO2 exhaled by you or any other living thing is carbon neutral. It doesn't add to the level of CO2 since it was originally drawn from the atmosphere in the first place. There is good scientific evidence that the current warming is fundamentally different than the warming during Roman and Medieval times. It's likely that we've already exceeded the temperatures seen then and the steepness of the rise is much faster now. There is no prospect the warming we are seeing now will stop until 30 or 40 years after we stop adding carbon to the carbon cycle by burning fossil fuels.
to make children participate in things their parents may disapprove of. Things that make deep impressions and put false information in their minds. Use santa as a weapon! Its despicable. I don't ask for much, just that children are taught knowledge and are not indoctrinated with emotional opinions. If warming is true, fine, but don't use emotional attachments like Santa to wormscrew things into their psychological structures.
As usual for global warming supporters. Anything that disputes your religion is off handedly dismissed as misquoted or inaccurate. Blind devotion is cute from a dog, but is scary from people. Every news source I found for that interview had the same quotes. Only sources claiming to have THE REAL INTERVIEW have the wording you claim. All of those sources are global warming sites. Hmm. I wonder....
[i]And use coercion to make children participate in things their parents may disapprove of.[/i] Under that standard you probably object to evolution being taught to children also.
Deliberately taking what Phil Jones said out of context and failing to understand how science works.
The MWP still shows up in the reconstructions including Mann's Hockey Stick graph. See here: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:2000_Year_Temperature_Comparison.png There are plenty of "traditional" scientific methodologies that can be applied to climate science. All of the proxy evidence like the tree ring series you denigrate is merely corroborating evidence, not the prime evidence. The prime evidence is things like the well documented absorption of infrared radiation by CO2. The measured difference in outgoing longwave radiation at the Earth's surface and at the top of the atmosphere that shows the signature of CO2's absorption of that radiation. The fact that the oceans and atmosphere are heating up as the physics would lead you to believe. So don't place to much emphasis on proxy data, it just supports the current understanding but is not crucial to it.
It's like recorded history never happened, and is being replaced with one that the "theory" needs in its place. Since traditional scientific methodologies can't be applied in "Climate Science", (There is no identical alternate Earth available to test and compare on) it has eliminated the "hard" science that used to distinguish the "hard sciences" from the social or "soft" sciences". If the data doesn't work, just change the data, even if that means tossing recorded history and replacing it with some obscure trees in a small grove in Mongolia. I literally watched this corrupting phenomenon start to happen before my eyes in the '80s and have been a skeptic ever since.
You just demonstrated that you can't (or won't bother to) discern the difference between a data presentation technique and meaningful data. When you have a choice between proxy data and directly collected data what are you going to use? The proxy data matched the real world data up until sometime in the 1950's when it's suspected that pollution caused a "decline" in one set of tree rings. Other tree ring sets did now show the same decline. Here is a quote from actual scientists on that phrase: [i]As for the decline, it is well known that Keith Briffas maximum latewood tree ring density proxy diverges from the temperature records after 1960 (this is more commonly known as the divergence problem) and has been discussed in the literature since Briffa et al in Nature in 1998 (Nature, 391, 678-682). Those authors have always recommend not using the post 1960 part of their reconstruction, and so while hiding is probably a poor choice of words (since it is hidden in plain sight), not using the data in the plot is completely appropriate, as is further research to understand why this happens.[/i]
... many of the predictions of climate science continue to come true, in many cases sooner than originally predicted. Must be an awesome religion.
[i]Their ideology forces them to ignore reality.[/i] Agreed. What passes as "climate science" very much resembles aspects of religion; based almost entirely upon faith and appeals to authority.
John, I edited my message to clarify exactly what I was responding to. I put people who disbelieve the basics of climate change science in the same class as people who disbelieve the basics of evolution science. Their ideology forces them to ignore reality. It appears at this point that by 2020 the Arctic Ocean will be mostly ice free in the late summer, including the North Pole so I don't have a problem with your nephew's play. The main point is scientifically justifiable.
...is ignoring evolution over creationism any more egregious and intellectually bankrupt than using Santa Claus as agitprop?