Bolivia -- Our Canary for Climate Change?

Some people continue to deny climate change. While those numbers are decreasing, many just don't want to hear what is obviously bad news. The most common way we deny that such a thing is happening is by picking some statistics that show, in a particular place on the planet, everything is "functioning within normal parameters". (An expression of Lt. Commander Data of ST:TNG.)

An article titled Bolivia: Life at the extreme edge of climate change tells us why Bolivia is the climate equivalent of a canary in a coal mine. That is, Bolivia is more sensitive to what is a global issue than, say, Miami. As for Nicaragua, having Lake Nicaragua is an important buffer but not a long-term solution.

Bolivians live with the suspenseful effects of climate change every single day. In recent years, Bolivia has suffered from extreme climate, heavier-than-ever rainfalls that have cascaded mountainsides crashing onto entire villages, severe frosts, and intense, scorching droughts. Rising temperatures are causing the glaciers to melt ever-faster. Dr. Edson Ramirez, Universidad Mayor de San Andres, has studied Andean ice caps for 20 years. He says temperatures in the high Andes have been accelerating since 1975, and entire glaciers he monitors like Chacaltaga Glacier (18,000 years old) have disappeared right before his eyes, disappearing for the first time in millennia.

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hide the decline, east anglia emailgate

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2217286/Global-warming-st...

Global-warming-stopped-16-years-ago-reveals-Met-Office-report-quietly-released--chart-prove-it.html

The Daily Mail is not a reliable source unless you're thick

Species that burn out their environments crash harder.

I don't see any signs that the human species, on average, can extract its thinking from what it wishes would be so.

Hope the raccoons can do better in a half million years or so from now.

Rebecca Brown

Second biggest circulation of any newspaper in Britain but.....

Rebecca says they are all thick.

I wonder

if rebecca is thick? but to give her the benefit of the doubt, the internet does not convey the nuances of people very well.

however, the ad hominem attack of rebecca against that newspaper without any facts speaks volumes about rebecca.

I'm more concerned

I'm more concerned with NicaLiving and all the people calling each other thick. :-(

I'm Thick, and Not Very Smart, and

proud of it.

I just wanted to add that. Don't waste your time trying to insult me, it's water off my back. There's a long line ahead of you.

I do like to hear what you think about my ideas and conclusions, however. I've never been a choir boy; bring it on.

Yeah, I Agree

Civility is everything if we want to truly understand the issues. Everyone's input is worthwhile. If you want to see how Ad hominem attacks cloud the issue, look at the recent Nicaragua Dispatch comments on a small piece written by "Andrea".

I apologize to anyone I have offended. One measure of a man is his ability to rise above petty a provocation like "I think you're thick . . ." or "you're not very smart " New Years 2013 is coming up, I hereby resolve to behave myself (at least in this respect).

Let's argue the issues, not the personalities.

i gave

as good as i got. but i am sorry, i don't have much patience these days. everyone is entitled to thier own opinion. they are not entitled to thier own facts. instead of refuting the facts, someone shot the messenger, to wit, me. apparently, i lived up to my quote, i made a scene.

i promise never to make a scene again............. 'til the next time......i....uh...... make a scene..... ok,..i'll hide ....my decline ......ok, i'll only quote the NYT.....

OK? i'll have more patience, the subtle discrimination of lowered expectations.....oh, i am s so confused....i'll go back and re-read that article.....

"Maybe, just once, someone will call me 'sir' without adding, 'you're making a scene." -Homer J. Simpson

This is what I know about "ClimateGate"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climatic_Research_Unit_email_controversy

....although I read much of that as it came out. I rather trust Wikipedia because I know some of the people involved and their commitment to Neutral Point of View is fairly well documented. One problem is that like creationists, people who want to deny climate change tend to cherry pick statements from the other side (Stephen Jay Gould found this particularly annoying since he wasn't denying that evolution occurred, just doubted that it was as gradual as others believed).

The reality is that people who benefit from selling oil and getting subsidies for drilling for oil are the ones who benefit economically from the denial. Nobody gets rich doing science. People have gotten rather spectacularly rich selling petroleum and machines that use it.

I've been arguing with a net-crazy (Jay Maynard, Tron Guy) for years about the NY Times -- and anyone who thinks that's a left-wing paper is kooky. It's a nice upper-middle class aspirant paper which works for the established institutions in NYC and is as liberal as they are. Liberalism is patronizing the classes one makes one's money from; the alternative is considering them to be lazy and foolish -- neither group is particularly poor themselves or wants the poor to have much actual political power.

I promise to correct mis-information when people use discredited accounts to try to deny where the economic advantage to climate change denial lies, but I'll marshal the data better next time.

It would help if you all did a bit of research into what the other side was really saying rather than accept your favorite media's representation of what they want you to believe the other side said. If I can read The New Republic raw, you can read something about how actual Marxists represent themselves: http://www.leninology.com.

Rebecca Brown

didya

read the article? or dismiss it because of the source?

didn't algore get rich through his religous zeal over APG Global warming?

"Denying" "climate change"

The problem with the "climate change" idea is not that it is possible that "climate" is "changing". Climate changes, in fact, every day. And over the long haul, it changes as well; the earth getting warmer, then cooler, then hot, then cold, with hundreds-of-thousands-of-years ice ages and tens-of-millions-of-years periods of heat.

The problem is when generally scientifically illiterate people emotionalize their irrational fears, and turn them into governmentally-enforced coercion to force others to adhere to their pet projects (anybody know a fellow named Al Gore, for instance?), most of which have absolutely no scientific or rational basis.

The quote chosen is a classic example of this: "In recent years, Bolivia has suffered from extreme climate, heavier-than-ever rainfalls that have cascaded mountainsides crashing onto entire villages, severe frosts, and intense, scorching droughts. Rising temperatures are causing the glaciers to melt ever-faster. Dr. Edson Ramirez, Universidad Mayor de San Andres, has studied Andean ice caps for 20 years. He says temperatures in the high Andes have been accelerating since 1975, and entire glaciers he monitors like Chacaltaga Glacier (18,000 years old) have disappeared right before his eyes, disappearing for the first time in millennia."

Points to note:

1) "in recent years".... the earth has been around about 4-5 billion years. The Bolivian records extend about 100, and the "recent years" are about 30. Nothing like extrapolating a disaster from 0.0000000000001% of the data, the rest of which the commenter (as well as everybody else) is completely ignorant of.

2) "heavier than ever" rainfalls.... see point 1)

3) "Rising temperatures are causing the glaciers to melt ever-faster".... "has studied the Andean glaciers".... "entire glaciers... (18000 years old)".... see point 1). Again.

4) "for the first time in millennia".... see point 1). Again, and again.

5) Note the words... "crashing"..."scorching"..."right before his eyes"... Emotionally laden, scientifically meaningless, and pandering to irrational fear.

ANd even IF the climate is "changing" in the preferred way of the doomsayers (heating up).... so what? More oceanfront land in Canada? Sounds good. Believing that we are changing the earth's climate is ignorant hubris, of a pernicious kind. It allows demagogues and those interested in pushing their pet projects on others room to operate.

Ignore them. They are simply trying to find another way to get what they want out of you.

change

when someone changes their religion from APG global warming to climate change, they have admitted defeat.....

"Maybe, just once, someone will call me 'sir' without adding, 'you're making a scene." -Homer J. Simpson

The word "defeat" tells the whole story.

This whole issue will eventually be solved based upon science and the end result/answer will be a conclusion - Nothing is gained from a baseless argument resulting in claims of victory or defeat.

Unfortunately many of the loudest voices are "thick" scientific illiterates who actually believe they have something to contribute - Thus they turn the discussion into an argument because their opinion based upon nothing is all they have to offer.

Of course conclusions are hard to come by - Hopefully impartial experts without an agenda will find the answer but the $64K question is who are those people? I hope the answer does not come too late.

who is impartial?

when your grant money comes from oranizations with an agenda? hence we get emailgate from east anglia college and hide the decline.....

"Maybe, just once, someone will call me 'sir' without adding, 'you're making a scene." -Homer J. Simpson

emailgate & oranizations with an agenda ??

The investigation of the emails showed that a couple of "scientists" there used statistical methods that suited their *personal* agenda. One specific example like that involving a couple of individuals.does not lead to a general conclusion concerning the whole issue and thus is not very important. That does not affect the validity of the huge collection of sound research studies (if they really are sound).

Most governments and Universities pay scientists to do research work and their job does not depend upon what they conclude. Scientific research does not have an agenda but undoubtedly there will be a few bad apples in any business.

The "scientists" that are hired by big oil & big business with an agenda are the ones paid to refute any possible problems due to climate change and thus are most suspect. Several researchers have "changed sides' so to speak and are gaining a lot of personal self serving publicity.

The problem is that unless a person is intimately involved and has all the facts & data in front of him this is a pretty tough subject to answer individually. .And a link can be found on the internet that will "prove" just about anything. But the overall picture of what is happening around the world as a possible or even probable problem is hard to ignore.

If you believe you are a scientific expert so be it - Maybe you can save the world from worrying about climate change - That would do us all a big favor - No complaints from me!

so

if your money comes from those that want to get more money through carbon offset tax, good!

so if your money comes from those that want to get more money through selling carbon, bad?

how can someone assert that?

"Maybe, just once, someone will call me 'sir' without adding, 'you're making a scene." -Homer J. Simpson

Recent times, yes

Those 4-5 billion years don't really matter a lot if our concern is survival of a short-lived species that seems to think they can control anything. Nomadic populations of all sorts adjusted to climate changes by going somewhere that met their needs. The chances are that they still will.

Unfortunately, a large number of these new 2-legged animals have cut off their options. The article talks about one million of them in El Alto Bolivia who see their supply of water vanishing. There are many more -- from Manhattan New York to the pacific beaches of Nicaragua where there will be no lack of water -- because their property will be under water.

Whether or not you believe humans are the principle cause of climate change is one issue. If we are then maybe we can do something about it before Manhattan is under water. The much bigger issuse is will these 2-legged animals notice a problem that will, at the least, require significant lifetyle changes for many of them.

"The much bigger issuse is

"The much bigger issuse is will these 2-legged animals notice a problem that will, at the least, require significant lifetyle changes for many of them."

The problem is that we're descended from apes, who foul their temporary nests in the morning before moving on, and not from cats, who bury it.

The other problem is assuming that "we" will be able to do the moving to the better featured parts of the globe when almost everyone on the planet can access a AK-47 in less than 24 hours. Whole thing will be a lot bloodier than the European over-population expansion into the Americas --- that 70 to 90% disease die-off on top of the military actions is unlikely to be repeated.

Rebecca Brown

Adaptation Has Always

saved the human race, and that trait will continue to be our salvation. The mistake comes from assuming that all humans are alike. Some still foul their environment (squat in the gutter to defecate is common in the Middle East); others flush their excrement into a system whose output is drinkable.

The simple fact is, an AK-47 has very limited killing ability compared to other weapons available to developed countries. The AK-47 has been most useful as a tool for controlling over-population in countries that can't seem to develop a rational governance -for whatever reason.

Global warming offers as many opportunities as it does challenges. Climate patterns will change: vast areas of Canada and Russia may become available for cultivation. Sea water levels will be offset by greater evaporation into the atmosphere. We may experience more precipitation, rather than less.

In the meantime, Al Gore gets richer and fatter, and expands HIS carbon footprint by the minute. Isn't that what it's really all about?

The idea that "we" should be able to just invade "them"

...is a bug, not a feature. Most of the indigenous population of the Western Hemisphere died due to immune system issues, not due to better weapons.

The really unfortunately things is that this all has become politicized by idiots and con men.

Rebecca Brown

Very well said.

I liked the "ignorant hubris, of a pernicious kind".

Anyone who has flown recently more than a couple degrees

...of latitude has seen just how many people there are on the planet now and just how few places are untouched (brown rivers tend to go with someone touching the land with a plow).

This phenomenon is actually new -- the planet hasn't had a carbon-burning mammal on the planet before the evolution of genus Homo, certainly not several billion of them which is what we have now, none of them living without fire (local or displaced).

Rebecca Brown