[lbo-talk] Cockburn on AGW?

Chuck Grimes cgrimes at rawbw.com
Wed Dec 30 16:15:18 PST 2009

the greenhouse effect is a little different from the blanket/insulator model .. in the case of cooler gases, they still can radiate energy to a warmer surface, it's just that they absorb from the surface more than they radiate ... the NET effect is that surface radiates to the atmosphere.

Les Schaffer


Thanks for putting this up. I read through the syles crit where he goes into a lot of detail, including his criticism of the model. I decided that I didn't understand much of syles' post to the depth needed to argue it. I simplified the key parts I understood and left it at that. My understanding of thermodynamics is superficial so I didn't want to fall prey to the point I was using against Cockburn, i.e pot calling kettle black.

There was another part about the difference between surface v. volume that had more detail that I left out. I found a website that showed satellite photos of the arctic ice cap in time lapse. Then they showed the same series using a filter to register the `oldest' ice areas. These are (I think) also the bands of greatest density, and therefore something like a volume indicator. You can see how these bands have shrunk a great deal over time, while surface area has shrunk but less alarmingly so. The trouble was I was unsure of my own assumptions that oldest was roughly equivalent to density, and density was in turn related to volume. So instead I relied on my own experience in the mountains.

Here is a conversation of three guys in different sciences discussing global climate change from mainly two different perspectives that converges for the most part. All started as physicists. The first speaker turned to economics and the second to engineering for energy efficiencies:


It is very dull in presentation, but really interesting in content. It takes awhile to get into. The short answer to the question, will it cost the earth to save the planet, is no. Unfortunately the panel was done before Copenhagen.

My only criticism is that they steered clear of the question of what to do about the corporate grip on government, that is, the political reality of neoliberalism.


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