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The Rest Of The Story...

You might have seen this giant size picture on the Drudge Report under the headline Holy Kyoto! The World Is Changing, which links to a BBC photo essay called, In pictures: How the world is changing.

bbc_glacier.jpg


A Wizbang reader thought that picture looked familiar. It turns out it's a Greenpeace myth that's worthy of a spot at Snopes. Here's a translation of the original Spanish Greenpeace provided story.

OWN3D!!!

Update: The picture and link are gone from the Drudge Report.

Related Entries: All I Really Need to Know I Learned In High School Science


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Comments (26)

Even if you accept that fir... (Below threshold)

Even if you accept that first one, the rest become laughers. None of those photos actually prove anything other than climate may have changed in some locations (and even then, the pictures are questionable at showing what the BBC purports they show - ie photo of waves breaking in Pacific, and shoreline at Cape Hattaras, which happens to be a barrier island whose shape is constantly being adjusted by storms and tides).

To expound further, barrier islands are formed and destroyed due to natural tidal cycles plus storms. Both of those are natural and regularly recurring phenomenon. People don't like barrier islands moving because they happen to live on them, but the islands do what nature has 'em do, which is constantly evolve and adjust to the tidal and storm influences. Fire Island, Cape Hattaras, and other barrier islands get whammed periodically because of storms, but the erosion of the beach doesn't show anything other than nature doing what it has always done - take sand from one place and move it somewhere else. It's just that we've become attached to some of those sandy places and don't want to see them moved to other places.

Even if...I agree with (^^)... (Below threshold)
-S-:

Even if...I agree with (^^)...but the mere fact that climate changes is not a phenomenon. Climate, weather and other affects modify and do so continuously, our planet's geography.

We exist on a tiny orb travelling around a small star in a giant universe and the fact that on that orb, weather is continuously affecting the geography and atmosphere and vice versa is not an unusual aspect to the orb's characteristics.

I have greater concern for super volcanic events than I do for most weather induced phenomena and so should others. It's interesting that our species has never experienced in any recorded sense, any super volcanic event (once, early on in human existence and it reduced human life worldwide to a mere handful of individuals) and that they are going to take place in our future bodes terribly for our future. If and when the Yellowstone super volcano ever erupts, even in a "normal" sense, it's going to be doom or very near doom for most human life on the planet, but certainly for most of North America. Fact, not fiction.

About Drudge running those images, I wonder if it was for fantasy effect? I'm curious about motive there.

Didn't the NY Times run a s... (Below threshold)
Cousin Dave:

Didn't the NY Times run a scare piece very similar to this about a year and a half ago? As I recall, it was eventually shown that the photos they ran with the story were not taken at the times the story claimed, and the whole story fell apart.

Typo: should have read....... (Below threshold)
-S-:

Typo: should have read....

"the mere fact that climate change is not a phenomenon but an ongoing process that is, rather, 'normal'..."

Near where I live there are... (Below threshold)
andre3000:

Near where I live there are sand dunes which some folks (you know who) insisted needed to be "preserved" in their current state. Significant sums were spent to halt the movement of the dunes until someone pointed out that the dunes' behavior was natural and that the preservation was unnatural. Now the dunes claim some poorly located roads.

Another thing: why does Gr... (Below threshold)
-S-:

Another thing: why does Greenpeace get a pass on activity like this? Among other "environmental action" newsletters I try not to receive any longer, they all advance many outrageous fear factors that aren't based in reality, but in politics.

andre3000: in Hawaii (and ... (Below threshold)
-S-:

andre3000: in Hawaii (and elsewhere), there is this nutty trend called "nourishing beaches" that is based upon a lone and older female's interpretation that the sand that was lost on a beach in her residential area was "starving" and was in need of "nourishment."

Thus, was sprung a nationwide environmental trend to "nourish" beaches that are eroded. Eroded, by the way, mostly because of human construction on the beachfront.

Ask any engineer: you build a wall adjacent to waves, or build a structure, the waves will erode the sand and/or soil at that location. Many homeowners eager to barricade their beach fronts from public access or otherwise build walls at the water line, and presto, they lose their "sandy" beaches if not soon their structures due to erosion.

Instead, they want their sea walls AND they want to "nourish" the erosion, spend millions dredging sea beds for sand to do so, and thus, accelerate further erosion and further environmental damage that would not otherwise occur.

Nutty.

What's really scary is that... (Below threshold)

What's really scary is that this garbage is being spoon-fed to our public school students on a weekly, if not daily, basis. I still remember all the crap I was told and bought in high school in the late 80s.

Nourishing beaches? Sounds ... (Below threshold)

Nourishing beaches? Sounds like a Mexican pimp taking his stable out to lunch.

Amen Jinx.... (Below threshold)

Amen Jinx.

So what's the worst case sc... (Below threshold)
John S.:

So what's the worst case scenario that the enviros are whining about? I believe it's a 4 degree warming over the next 100 years. That's the difference in average annual temperature you'd experience if you moved 70 miles south from Concord, N.H. to Boston. Either place is pretty damn cold. Excuse me, I've got to go out and burn some more fossil fuels.

Nourishing beaches? Soun... (Below threshold)
Paul:

Nourishing beaches? Sounds like a Mexican pimp taking his stable out to lunch.

ROFLMAO

I suggest the bottom photo ... (Below threshold)
McCain:

I suggest the bottom photo is a vast improvement. Hopefully the photos are fake but accurate.

John S. asks: So ... (Below threshold)
s9:

John S. asks: So what's the worst case scenario that the enviros are whining about? I believe it's a 4 degree warming over the next 100 years.

No, the "worst case scenario" is a runaway greenhouse effect, in which the oceans boil and some of the rocks sublimate.

Fortunately, that's not the consensus forecast for what will be the most probable scenario. The most recent consensus forecast is for global average surface air temperature to increase by somewhere between 1.5 and 4.5 degrees centigrade over this century. That's not a "worst case scenario" by any means, but it will be pretty costly in terms of natural disaster insurance and agricultural production. It also doesn't say very much about the possibility of global warming causing a shutdown of thermohaline circulation.

If you're going to mock the science, at least have the courage to do it with an awareness of what you are mocking.

To add to this: Alan Alda's... (Below threshold)

To add to this: Alan Alda's science show on PBS talking about evidence of frequent spontaneous heating and cooling of the earth over the past thousand years.

s9, the 'worst case scenari... (Below threshold)
Al:

s9, the 'worst case scenario' isn't sane though. It isn't 'consensus doesn't agree' but _consensus_ amongst the scientists is that that scenario is unhinged.

The reason is quite simple: at one point there was ZERO free oxygen in Earth's atmosphere with it being tied up entirely in rocks + CO2. You can't get 'more' CO2 than that! There was LIQUID water even then.

The reasons (other than the glossed over distance to the sun) that Venus and the Earth have such different atmospheres quickly becomes very involved to discuss. But the presence of more CO2 (even total replacement!) isn't going to cause Venus style weather, boiled oceans etc.

Wow! Thanks, Kevin, for li... (Below threshold)
BR:

Wow! Thanks, Kevin, for linking that translated Argentinian article in "Greenpeace myth." I've learned more about glaciers in 20 minutes of reading that, than all the generalities I've heard from "Greenbacks $$ Paranoia" in decades!

Ha! So just 50 km away from this pictured receding glacier, there is one growing at an alarming rate! I guess Greenpeace hadn't raised enough money to travel across the nearby border to Peru to verify that!

Ha!! So glaciers have a time-delayed reaction to temperature changes in the magnitude of thousands of years! So even if Greenpeace's warnings of global warming due to human pollution were true, they'd have to blame those SUV-driving medievallers or those earlier Humvee-driving Pharaohs! Or perhaps those ETs waging nuclear war over Africa in pre-historic times!

Al writes: The 'w... (Below threshold)
s9:

Al writes: The 'worst case scenario' isn't sane though. It isn't 'consensus doesn't agree' but _consensus_ amongst the scientists is that that scenario is unhinged.

I did not assert otherwise, and I have nothing to offer in dispute. Personally, I don't find the runaway greenhouse effect scenario very convincing either. Nevertheless, at least some of the "enviros"— though, I'm not sure who is supposed to be covered under this pejorative— hold the runaway greenhouse effect as a worst case scenario, as can plainly be demonstrated.

I'm not looking forward to the effects of a 4+ degree centigrade increase in global average surface air temperature. That will play hell with the insurance industry.

You'd be surprised how much of our cherished freedoms and "way of life" depend on having a functioning insurance industry.

- Well I don't know about t... (Below threshold)

- Well I don't know about the rest of you but a +4 deg. centigrade increase would have a far more serious effect if you ask me. It would put the whole idea of Reese's or ice cream sundeas out of the question.....Now that is real "sky is falling" serious. Or as Bill Murray would put it:

- "Fire and brimestone, raining cats and elephants, men dancing with their wives... a disaster of Armagedon like Biblical proportions...."

- But hey. You can't suck up big grants if you don't show a real pending disaster and play on the fears of the gullible. Greenpeace is total junk science and the biggest scam in the history of the Republic since Lyndon Jhonsons Silver star.....

Great SciAm article on GW t... (Below threshold)

Great SciAm article on GW this month. Says it started way earlier than thought and aved us from an Ice Age.

Am I the only one who think... (Below threshold)

Am I the only one who thinks that the 2004 picture looks an awful lot like something from the formation of the Genesis Planet in Star Trek II?

I believe the proper l33t s... (Below threshold)
Beck:

I believe the proper l33t spelling is "PWN3D".

s9 and Al: Here's what the ... (Below threshold)
Cousin Dave:

s9 and Al: Here's what the problem with the "worst case" scenario is, and why it isn't realistic. People are somehow being led to believe that the CO2 content of the atmosphere is basically unregulated, or regulated only by plant transpiration. But volcanoes from time to time belch out more CO2 than human activity could produce in a thousand years, and they don't lead to climate catastrophes.

Here is the clue: As we know from the existence of carbonated soft drinks, CO2 is highly soluable in water. Now, if an increase in CO2 concentration leads to a temperature increase in an area, it will also lead to an increase in rainfall in that area. The rainfall dissolves some of the CO2. A self-correcting system, and not really dependent on plant life at all. (There is far, far more CO2 locked up in rocks and minerals than there is in the atmosphere.) People who have intentionally tried to increase the CO2 levels in areas (I'm aware of at least on timber growing company that has experimented with this) find that it's difficult to maintain because increased ambient moisture winds up absorbing it.

Any system that sustains life and allows life to evolve to the point that species on Earth have today, has to be a pretty stable system. If minor CO2 swings were going to cause a climate catastrophe, it probably would have already happened long ago, and we wouldn't be here to debate it. I had some data in my hands several months ago that showed that, other than one exceptional year, the small increase in temps that the Earth has experienced since 1980 tracks almost perfectly with the increase in the Sun's energy output over that same period. I'm not sure how the federal government plans to regulate the Sun.

Climate change is something that happens on Earth. Why is Greenland named that? Because, not so long ago in geological time, at least part of it was habitable enough for the Vikings to inhabit it and farm it and name it so. 1500 years later, a mere blink of an eye in geological time, it's a solid block of ice. Climatological stuff happens.

Interesting data, Cousin Da... (Below threshold)
BR:

Interesting data, Cousin Dave. Thanks.

Just for fun I googled How Did Greenland Get Its Name?
This came up at http://www.anecdotage.com/index.php?aid=8309 :

"Greenland, discovered by Eric the Red in 982, is covered mainly with glaciers and barren rock, with very few patches of tundra and habitable land. Why did Eric the Red name it Greenland? Colonists, he surmised, would be more keen to move to a country which bore an attractive name."

Hee hee - so it was a scam, much like Greenpeace!

BR: I've heard that story b... (Below threshold)
Cousin Dave:

BR: I've heard that story before and wondered about it. The other half of the story is that the Vikings named Iceland so because they wanted to scare everyone else off from going there, where in fact it appears to be quite nice. I have no idea if either of those are true.

Actually, Greenpeace used t... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Actually, Greenpeace used to be a pretty reasonable and legit organization with a commitment to empirical science, working to stop toxic dumping in the oceans, opposing nuclear testing in Alaska, and in general helping to bring the environment to the public's attention. That was until anti-human, anti-technology, anti-science, anti-business wackos took over in the mid-late 80's. Patrick Moore helped found the organization but left to work with governments and businesses in furthering a sustainable environmental agenda, and has written extensively on Greenpeace's extremist, irrational practices and scare tactics. He continues to debunk junk coming from the extreme environmental movement which you can see here. I often see these poor wide eyed kids in their green t-shirts in downtown Chicago begging for money for an organization I'm sure most of them believe is legit. Sometimes I try to set them straight. It doesn't often go well. People like their fantasies.

BTW I'm a lefty environmentalist. I just happen to also like science.




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