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Climate change is a Chinese conspiracy! Let's burn all that coal!

 
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The title is absolutely not my opinion, but it does seem to be Donald Trump's idea about climate change.

I think that climate change is the greatest challenge that humanity has currently. And Donald Trump is going the wrong way with this and causing great damage to the world in the future.

Trump Signs Executive Order Unwinding Obama Climate Policies
Trump dramatically changes US approach to climate change
What Trump's executive order on climate change means for the world

This is one of the worst things that Donald Trump did until now.
 
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You can't blame an idiot for being an idiot. I blame the USA for putting an idiot in charge.
 
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Stephan van Hulst wrote:You can't blame an idiot for being an idiot. . . .

Of course you can.

People who make stupid decisions shou‍ld know they are stupid.
 
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When a dog takes a dump on your carpet, do you blame the dog, or do you blame yourself for not walking it?
 
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You blame the dog, even though it was your stupid decision not to take him walkies. The transfer of blame doesn't alter the fact that you have behaved badly. Are you suggesting Trump will blame people who live near the coast for not learning to swim earlier?
 
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Well, I'm just waiting to see what he says as the waves wash over Mar-a-Lago. Or hasn't he heard that his neighbors just to the south in Miami are already having to deal with routine tidal flooding? As are we, further North along the selfsame coast.

Speaking of coal, the local electric authority has just announced that they're shutting down the Northside Power Park. A twin-stack coal-burning facility first put online in 1980, it has been only running at half capacity in recent years, allegedly because the local customer base has become more energy efficient. While the overall metro population has nearly doubled.

This isn't a case of some essential service being hounded out of business by excess governmental regulation. The park was a model facility kept up-to-date with modern clean-burning emission-scrubbing gear with an adjacent nature preserve. It was also a source of something like 500,000 tons of ash that they sold to cement companies. So it could have gone right into the Wall (and being off New Berlin Road, wouldn't that be ironic?   )

But it simply wasn't being used and 250 people are looking for new jobs locally. The remaining generating stations are multi-fuel and these days, mostly burning natural gas.

If I was a miner in West Virginia, I might want to temper the celebrations a little.
 
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Tim Holloway wrote:. . . If I was a miner in West Virginia . . .

Even though Trump went out of his way to woo those miners six months ago.
 
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Jesper de Jong wrote:The title is absolutely not my opinion, but it does seem to be Donald Trump's idea about climate change.



It is not.
 
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Jan de Boer wrote:

Jesper de Jong wrote:The title is absolutely not my opinion, but it does seem to be Donald Trump's idea about climate change.



It is not.



Oh? https://twitter.com/realdonaldtrump/status/265895292191248385?lang=en
 
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Tim Holloway wrote:

Jan de Boer wrote:

Jesper de Jong wrote:The title is absolutely not my opinion, but it does seem to be Donald Trump's idea about climate change.



It is not.



Oh? https://twitter.com/realdonaldtrump/status/265895292191248385?lang=en



The fact is that we allow the Chinese to burn cheap coal, producing cheap electricity and therefore cheap production, while we have double standards for ourselves. It is always the same SJW thing, blame it on the evil west, while turning a blind eye to what other countries do wrong. Now I might not totally agree with Trump on some issues, but putting your own interests first, finally, after self punishment for years, I dearly support. I also very much support his view on islam. Go Trump!
 
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I hope you're joking, Jan.
 
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No I am not, not entirely.

I would not say climate change is not an issue, but we let China burn cheap coal, while we confirm ourselves to restrict CO2 emission rules. Why do that, and let the American working class down? They seem to be not interesting for the liberal elite. I support them. Trump may have it set backs, but I prefer him to another SJW that thinks supporting foreign people and immigrants will give them more 'credit points'.

And I won't start about Islam, if you are that shocked already. Probably will get suspended anyway.
 
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Climate change doesn't care if you're working class or elite or American or Chinese. And what are you going to do about "letting" the Chinese burn coals? You think that turning into a spiel of "They're doing it, so can we!" is going to motivate the Chinese to change their ways? I would argue that the US has started to become more aware of climate issues since the Europe has started doing more about it 60 years ago. Not that it's enough, Europe is 30 years behind. It'll be easier to convince the Chinese if we're doing it together, not if we're being isolationist.

Your continual usage of the term Social Justice Warrior suggests to me that Trump's campaign to make everything that's not looking out for yourself appear "unmanly" has been very effective. I'm not as much shocked by what you said, nor will I be shocked by what you will say, but I imagine that your thoughts regarding Islam are misconceived, much in the same way that many North-American Christians have very outdated and contradictory views regarding homosexuality, gender identity and science. Islam has the same issues as other religions, but it doesn't necessarily make its followers bad. Most of what people consider "bad" stems from a cultural difference, not a religious one.

What's wrong with "supporting foreign people and immigrants"? Can you give me a good reason that an open immigration policy with room for both integration and acceptance is bad for a country?
 
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Obviously, at a higher level, I can't completely agree with Jan -- as we only have one Earth, and everyone should do their part to preserve it. However, the "do their part" isn't exactly balanced here.

There are miners who has only worked in the coal mines their whole lives. There are mining towns where everyone in town only work in the coal mine, or support the coal mine. Sure, there is doing your part, but if you had to give up the only thing that you know; have your brothers, father, uncles, children, give up the only thing that they know; and have to move away, to a different town/city, away from family, to get a job; etc. would you think the same?

While idealistically, it is obvious. Pragmatically, it isn't a clear cut issue/solution for me...

Henry
 
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Henry, change can come gradually, I'm not promoting an instant switch to everything green. I also think that laws can be made that account for exceptional cases (such as special programs for entire mining towns), because not everything will fit nicely in a legalese framework.

However, the Trump's decree of last Tuesday is a major step in the wrong direction, and it just goes to show that he's either an enormous idiot, world's biggest egoist, or both. Normally I'm not a political hardliner, but anyone who could have voted for people like Trump (or Wilders in my own country) have a huge misunderstanding in how the world works, or they're being selfish.
 
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Well, I already have cheap electricity, it's just no longer burning coal. I think the local rate per KWH is about 1/3d what it was back when we were mostly burning coal, in fact.

I'm going to assume that Jan is too young to have heard of the glorious 1960's when secretaries sat down on public benches and got up with their underwear eaten out by acid rain. Or the considerable amount of public funds spent on restoring and protecting monuments and building façades. Ask old-time Londoners about The Smoke. That's the kind of stuff the EPA shut down and you don't have to be a SJW to not want it back.

The rest of the world is ramping up heavily on non-polluting energy sources - even China, which for all the cheap coal they may burn has been producing solar cells at a rate that has cause American manufacturers to complain about dumping. In fact, solar reportedly employs more people than coal these days. So for Trump to shut down science and energy programs in favor of dinosaur technologies is not even a proper race to the bottom, it's a race to insignificance.

When the People's Republic of China shuts down their last coal-fired station because they've made non-polluting energy cheaper and more efficient and America is a toxic wasteland lacking the technology to compete because our leadership's ideal energy policy was more suited to the 1970's than to the 21st Century, I guess the only response we'll be able to make is "Sad!"



The traditional Republican (and Democrat) response to illegal immigrants taking our jobs has been to crack down on low-paid migrant workers. Which isn't supposed to be a problem since Reagan "got the government off the backs of the people" by requiring job applicants to present their papers to prove that they were innocent of being illegals. That law worked really well, didn't it now? Of course some states did actually crack down and then their farmers began crying because they couldn't get US citizens to do stoop labor for them.

If Trump reforms H1-B, now that would be something new and noteworthy and if he did nothing else in his presidency he'd probably gain a positive legacy on that alone.
 
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Henry Wong wrote:Obviously, at a higher level, I can't completely agree with Jan -- as we only have one Earth, and everyone should do their part to preserve it. However, the "do their part" isn't exactly balanced here.

There are miners who has only worked in the coal mines their whole lives. There are mining towns where everyone in town only work in the coal mine, or support the coal mine. Sure, there is doing your part, but if you had to give up the only thing that you know; have your brothers, father, uncles, children, give up the only thing that they know; and have to move away, to a different town/city, away from family, to get a job; etc. would you think the same?

While idealistically, it is obvious. Pragmatically, it isn't a clear cut issue/solution for me...

Henry



And my heart bleeds for them. But wisdom is knowing when to change when the world changes around you.

America was settled in no small part by exactly the people who saw their communities dying and uprooted themselves to go to a strange new land. And we've got our share of ghost towns even as relatively young as we are. Of course, we're a rootless bunch in general, which is why communities often lose most of their young people.

There is an alternative. Re-invent your community to rid yourself of dependence on what isn't coming back. Find an industry - or better yet - multiple industries - that are growing and not dying and that are a good fit for the land and the people. A lot of places will attempt to pretend that the old days are going to come back and not do that. That's not how the world works, and eventually they'll die out.
 
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Maybe Detroit would have been booming right now if they had reinvented themselves as Solar Panel City, rather than Motor City.
 
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Stephan van Hulst wrote:or they're being selfish.



Sure, if you do not agree with me you are stupid or selfish .............. Bye Stephan!

That is just my point, the elite liberals are promoting their ideals at the expense of the working class in the first world. Nobody cares about them (the old working class), and they are not in such a good position. Their gross income may be higher than in other 'poor' countries, so are their expenses. I promote them being more selfish! Far more selfish even. They have been tolerant for too long. All the guilt of the world is thrown upon them, since they live in a developed country and therefore privileged anyway.
 
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You're assuming people who think far-reaching environmental reforms are important are elite, liberal or privileged.

If Trump is looking after the working class so much, then why is he trying to kill the Affordable Healthcare Act? Why is he not taxing the 'privileged' more? Why is he continuing the same old GOP tune of making the rich richer and the poor poorer? Nothing about supporting this man makes sense, unless you're already in a privileged position, and want to stay that way no matter the costs to others.
 
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Tim Holloway wrote:
There is an alternative. Re-invent your community to rid yourself of dependence on what isn't coming back. Find an industry - or better yet - multiple industries - that are growing and not dying and that are a good fit for the land and the people. A lot of places will attempt to pretend that the old days are going to come back and not do that. .



There can me more than one alternative. Yes, the town re-invent itself. And I am not surprised if many are doing it today.... but that doesn't mean that you give up trying to save your town/industry too. The coal industry played politics, and won a round for their constituents. This doesn't make them backwards -- as anyone would do that to save family and traditions.

Anyway, as I mentioned, I didn't vote for Trump, and I certainly don't agree with him (on the majority of issues, including this one)... but in this case, he did fulfill a promise that he made (and I can't fault him for that).

Henry
 
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Jan de Boer wrote:Sure, if you do not agree with me


I'm curious, what changes were you hoping Trump would effect, when the elections were still on?
 
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Stephan van Hulst wrote:why is he trying to kill the Affordable Healthcare Act?


Good riddance.  It did nothing to "bend the health cost curve" Forbes.com
Now that the IRS is not enforcing the insurance mandate (convenient that the date for that enforcement fell after Obama's term was up, eh?), ACA will collapse under its own weight.  

As for coal, it's not coming back, but that's natural gas' fault.

As for climate change, I don't think most people who live a comfortable, first-world existence is willing to sacrifice enough to make a dent in global CO2 emissions (goodbye air travel, home heating, meat, automobiles, etc.).  And even if they did, as Jan points out, developing countries are more than willing to take up the slack burning fossil fuels (and us refraining from using them would make them cheaper and more attractive to developing nations.).  
 
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Joe Ess wrote:Good riddance.  It did nothing to "bend the health cost curve" Forbes.com
Now that the IRS is not enforcing the insurance mandate (convenient that the date for that enforcement fell after Obama's term was up, eh?), ACA will collapse under its own weight.  



My impression at the time was that ACA was Obama's gift to the insurance companies. And now that it's under threat, the insurance companies are having to cut back. Whether it is or was a good thing for the people buying or not buying the health insurance... that's never been an issue for most politicians as far as I can see.

As for climate change, I don't think most people who live a comfortable, first-world existence is willing to sacrifice enough to make a dent in global CO2 emissions (goodbye air travel, home heating, meat, automobiles, etc.).  And even if they did, as Jan points out, developing countries are more than willing to take up the slack burning fossil fuels (and us refraining from using them would make them cheaper and more attractive to developing nations.).  



I know first-world people who are willing to make that sacrifice, and do make it, but you say "most" and I'd say you're correct there. The only way to soothe people's fear that they are cutting back on their comfort but the people in Zimbabwe are continuing to pollute the air with their cattle dung fires is by an agreement that everybody is going to cut back. The recent Paris Agreement was an attempt to do that, but it has its problems. Of which jealousy is one of the largest problems.
 
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Henry Wong wrote:

Tim Holloway wrote: that doesn't mean that you give up trying to save your town/industry too. The coal industry played politics, and won a round for their constituents. This doesn't make them backwards -- as anyone would do that to save family and traditions.



That plays into the common fallacy that people exist to serve an economy rather than the other way around. A "Company town" is never a good idea - except to the company. Because, whether it's coal, or paper manufacture (a local problem), or whatever, when the company no longer finds the town profitable, the entire town suffers. My own city used to be a banking and insurance center, but these days banks mostly reside in Charlotte and only a few big insurance companies remain. On the other hand, we are a major mortgage industry hub these days. And we don't do naval stores at all like we did around 1865.

Playing politics with coal is not that far removed from playing politics with buggy whips. Once an industry's day is done, it's time to move on. And while we'll always have some use for coal, even as there's still a niche for buggy whips. Coal will be mined, but like everything else, you can expect cheap robots to do a lot of the hard work, and the quantity won't be as much. And indeed, already isn't, which is why all the noise.


Pet peeve: "Elite" is a favorite sneer-word on the right. Apparently going to the work and trouble of obtaining an education makes you out of touch. But being able to afford membership in an exclusive country club where poor people can't get in isn't "Elite", even though statistically you're far more likely to be able to afford the fees if you chose the right parents and did nothing than if you worked 2-3 jobs a day 100 hours a week for years.
 
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Tim Holloway wrote:. . . That plays into the common fallacy that people exist to serve an economy rather than the other way around. A "Company town" is never a good idea . . .

The mining villages round here (well, twenty miles or more away), as well as where I am writing, were all like that. Entrepreneurs set up factories (here, iron), or dug mines (coal 20+ miles one way from here and ironstone 10+ miles the other way). And how the area has suffered with the loss of those industries. The places haven't reinvented themselves at all. Given fifty years, they might reinvent themselves, but that means fifty years's unhappiness for the population, and generations growing up who aren't familiar with the concept of going to work for a wage.

That produces large areas with a disaffected population, and one of the things they do is vote against the status quo. Another thing they don't do is vote. Recently the British population awoke to how much annoyance they can cause the government by coming out of the woodwork and voting.
 
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I didn't read all the posts, but this is my opinion. if global warming is real and if it is manmade(something I am still not convinced of), it is not coal that is the problem. it is all the third world countries who are burning their forests. trees need carbon dioxide. they consume it and produce oxygen as their waste product. destroying trees destroys natures balance. burning them is even worse than cutting them down. I saw a picture on the internet once, taken from space at night. half the world was on fire
if you want to do something about the alleged global warming plant a tree
 
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I just looked at some of the other posts. about Miami(and Galveston too) they are sinking. the ocean is NOT rising. this is not just my opinion, I read it in a science magazine(I forget which one because it was over a year ago). just like the Netherlands, Miami will have to build dikes.
 
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Randall Twede wrote:I didn't read all the posts, but this is my opinion. if global warming is real and if it is manmade(something I am still not convinced of), it is not coal that is the problem. it is all the third world countries who are burning their forests.


How do you know all of that so definitively? You're not a climate scientist who carefully studied the facts, it's just your opinion and armchair reasoning.

I used to have a friend like that, who had lots of theories that he invented himself about how this works and how that works. It all sounded very logical, but was not based on anything real, just his own imagination and what he considered to be "logical".

You have to be very careful with conclusions, and that's why science is hard and why we need to be very careful to make sure our theories are actually based on facts and not on feelings that something seems "logical".
 
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Jesper de Jong wrote:

Randall Twede wrote:I didn't read all the posts, but this is my opinion. if global warming is real and if it is manmade(something I am still not convinced of), it is not coal that is the problem. it is all the third world countries who are burning their forests.


How do you know all of that so definitively? You're not a climate scientist who carefully studied the facts, it's just your opinion and armchair reasoning.



Scott Adams has a bunch of articles about climate change, not taking one side or the other, but taking a critical view of an ordinary person's ability to make sense of the information: Check  this out.

For example, Jesper, you were quick to question Randall's statement, but it's easy to find sources that say he's correct:

In the next 24 hours, deforestation will release as much CO2 into the atmosphere as 8 million people flying from London to New York. Stopping the loggers is the fastest and cheapest solution to climate change. So why are global leaders turning a blind eye to this crisis?” … “The accelerating destruction of the rainforests that form a precious cooling band around the Earth's equator, is now being recognised as one of the main causes of climate change. Carbon emissions from deforestation far outstrip damage caused by planes and automobiles and factories ...deforestation accounts for up to 25 per cent of global emissions of heat-trapping gases, while transport and industry account for 14 per cent each; and aviation makes up only 3 per cent of the total


source

 
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I am also not a climate reseach scientist. But there is very strong evidence that climate change is caused by our activities, especially burning fossil fuels. This is well-established science.

I recently heard an explanation on a podcast I was listening to. One of the most clear pieces of evidence has to do with the ratio of different isotopes of carbon in the CO2 in the atmosphere. I'll try to explain what I've remembered from it.

Carbon has different isotopes, just like many other elements. The most abundant is carbon-12, which has 6 neutrons in its core. With regard to climate change, carbon-14 plays a specific role.

Living creatures absorb C-12, but dead creatures do not. Using this fact, you can use radiocarbon dating to determine how long ago a creature died.

Ofcourse, the carbon in fossil fuels has been dead for a very long time (hundreds of millions of years) so it contains a high amount of C-14 compared to C-12.

Scientists have been measuring the proportion of C-12 vs. C-14 for a long time, and can see from gas trapped in ice core samples what the ratio has been in the past. And what do they see? That there is now much more C-14 in the atmosphere than there used to be. It's easy to understand where this comes from: from the fossil fuels that we have been burning so eagerly.

So it's quite clear and not controversial at all that a large part of the CO2 in the atmosphere today comes from the fossil fuel that we have burned. If it would have come from burning trees that lived recently, there would not be so much C-14 in the atmosphere, because these trees contain more C-12 because they died recently.

And there's no question that too much CO2 in the atmosphere causes climate change.
 
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Are you sure it is that way round? I thought that C₁₄ gradually declined with age, so coal has a lower C₁₄/C₁₂ ratio than wood.
 
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I am also opposed to burning fossil fuels, especially petroleum, but for different reasons. it is a limited resource and is used to make plastics and other things. once it is gone it is gone. I have been concerned about this for several decades.
I tried to find the picture from space I mentioned but I couldn't find it. I saw it back in 2001 after all.
 
Randall Twede
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y'all act like climate change is something new. when the Vikings found Greenland it was actually green! they even raised cattle to graze on the grass. they and the cattle all died when the climate changed and it got colder. now it is covered in snow all year!
 
Paul Clapham
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I've heard that argument too.

Analogy:

A: Help, my house is burning down!

B. Naah... it's normal for your house to get hotter and colder. It was hot yesterday when the sun was out and then it cooled down at night.
 
Stephan van Hulst
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Randall Twede wrote:y'all act like climate change is something new. when the Vikings found Greenland it was actually green! they even raised cattle to graze on the grass. they and the cattle all died when the climate changed and it got colder. now it is covered in snow all year!


Actually, the story I heard were that Vikings arriving in Iceland didn't want the next group of immigrant bunching up with them, so they called Iceland "Iceland" and told the next group to go to "Greenland", which they already found was a barren land of ice.
 
Paul Clapham
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Stephan van Hulst wrote:Actually, the story I heard were that Vikings arriving in Iceland didn't want the next group of immigrant bunching up with them, so they called Iceland "Iceland" and told the next group to go to "Greenland", which they already found was a barren land of ice.



No, that was earlier. Randall's talking about the Medieval Warm Period. If you look at How does the Medieval Warm Period compare to current global temperatures? you'll find some discussion. Look particularly at the graph there; the sharp increase at the right-hand end (i.e. now) makes earlier fluctuations seem kind of irrelevant.
 
Jan de Boer
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Stephan van Hulst wrote:

Randall Twede wrote:y'all act like climate change is something new. when the Vikings found Greenland it was actually green! they even raised cattle to graze on the grass. they and the cattle all died when the climate changed and it got colder. now it is covered in snow all year!


Actually, the story I heard were that Vikings arriving in Iceland didn't want the next group of immigrant bunching up with them, so they called Iceland "Iceland" and told the next group to go to "Greenland", which they already found was a barren land of ice.



That 'ice land' giving a negative name to block new immigrants is I think a 'typical PC' interpretation of the story, more reflecting present day thinking than history. It is true though that Erik the Red expelled from Iceland called Greenland green to attract more settlers. Also it is likely that Greenland was more green in that period in time.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medieval_Warm_Period

 
Jan de Boer
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Paul Clapham wrote: the sharp increase at the right-hand end (i.e. now) makes earlier fluctuations seem kind of irrelevant.



No, not irrelevant. I'd rather think there is a double effect. The natural fluctuation which already happens between 1600 and 1900 is not caused by green house gasses. The latest increase probably is an addition of a continued natural fluctuation, increased by the effect of CO2 in the second half of the 20th century. Anyway, nothing compared to the climate changes during the Permian–Triassic extinction event!
 
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