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Alaskan Village Sues Over Global Warming 670

hightower_40 writes to mention that a small Alaskan village has sued two dozen oil, power, and coal companies, blaming them for contributing to global warming. "Sea ice traditionally protected the community, whose economy is based in part on salmon fishing plus subsistence hunting of whale, seal, walrus, and caribou. But sea ice that forms later and melts sooner because of higher temperatures has left the community unprotected from fall and winter storm waves and surges that lash coastal areas."
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Alaskan Village Sues Over Global Warming

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  • Re:Erm (Score:4, Informative)

    by gatzke ( 2977 ) on Wednesday February 27, 2008 @02:39PM (#22576504) Homepage Journal

    Or at least before we switch back to "Igloo effect" hysteria!!!

    http://www.dailytech.com/Temperature+Monitors+Report+Worldwide+Global+Cooling/article10866.htm [dailytech.com]

    I was taught about climate change in middle school from a book that managed to have both cooling and warming in it, so I am always skeptical...
  • "Alaskan Village" (Score:5, Informative)

    by ajs ( 35943 ) <ajs AT ajs DOT com> on Wednesday February 27, 2008 @02:42PM (#22576552) Homepage Journal
    The term might mislead some Slashdot readers. Please see:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alaska_Native_Claims_Settlement_Act [wikipedia.org]

    which established:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alaska_Native_Regional_Corporations [wikipedia.org]

    We're talking about the established tribal "village," which is a legal entity representing a group of natives for purposes of interacting with the Regional Corporations, not the traditional meaning of the word. The easiest comparison would be if you took recognized Native American tribes from the lower 48 and segmented them up into "villages" of roughly the size of a rural town.

  • nice timing (Score:3, Informative)

    by syrinx ( 106469 ) on Wednesday February 27, 2008 @02:44PM (#22576568) Homepage
    Good (for some values of "good") timing on their part, what with the news that the world is actually cooling [dailytech.com], including the most snowfall in 50 years in North America, and record levels of Antarctic sea ice.

    Here we are, trying to keep our planet warm with a nice, insulating layer of carbon dioxide, and the darn ol' sun has to go and become less active.
  • Re:Yes but... (Score:5, Informative)

    by ArcherB ( 796902 ) * on Wednesday February 27, 2008 @02:46PM (#22576616) Journal

    Of course. I always value the scientific opinion of the founder of The Weather Channel over the consensus of hundreds of climate scientists.
    Would believe raw data?

    Over the past year, anecdotal evidence for a cooling planet has exploded. China has its coldest winter in 100 years. Baghdad sees its first snow in all recorded history. North America has the most snowcover in 50 years, with places like Wisconsin the highest since record-keeping began. Record levels of Antarctic sea ice, record cold in Minnesota, Texas, Florida, Mexico, Australia, Iran, Greece, South Africa, Greenland, Argentina, Chile -- the list goes on and on.

    No more than anecdotal evidence, to be sure. But now, that evidence has been supplanted by hard scientific fact. All four major global temperature tracking outlets (Hadley, NASA's GISS, UAH, RSS) have released updated data. All show that over the past year, global temperatures have dropped precipitously.
    That's from HERE [dailytech.com]. They provide a nifty graph to go with it HERE [dailytech.com]

    It appears to me that those who said that the SUN was causing global warming due to increased sunspot activity, that has recently subsided, were correct. And all those scientist that claimed it was solely man made were wrong.

    Scientists quoted in a past DailyTech article link the cooling to reduced solar activity which they claim is a much larger driver of climate change than man-made greenhouse gases. The dramatic cooling seen in just 12 months time seems to bear that out. While the data doesn't itself disprove that carbon dioxide is acting to warm the planet, it does demonstrate clearly that more powerful factors are now cooling it.
  • Re:Yes but... (Score:5, Informative)

    by snarfer ( 168723 ) on Wednesday February 27, 2008 @03:00PM (#22576808) Homepage
    You are linking to a site that is funded by Exxon, in case you didn't know.
  • Re:Yes but... (Score:5, Informative)

    by jonnythan ( 79727 ) on Wednesday February 27, 2008 @03:03PM (#22576854)
    NASA's GISS just said that 2007 was tied with 1998 for the second-warmest year in the past century.

    Their data also shows that I think 8 months of 2007 were warmer than the corresponding months in 2006 - and all months of 2007 were at least as warm as the corresponding months in 2000.
  • Re:nice timing (Score:3, Informative)

    by MyNymWasTaken ( 879908 ) on Wednesday February 27, 2008 @03:06PM (#22576904)
    Here's the Hadley Center's global temperature record [uea.ac.uk]. Each of the past 6 years of decreasing solar activity, the waning side of solar cycle 23, have been in the hottest 8 on the 158 year record.

    Antarctic sea ice is at record high levels, while Antarctic land-based ice loss speeds up [sciencedaily.com] (full paper [cosis.net]).
  • Re:Erm (Score:3, Informative)

    by xaxa ( 988988 ) on Wednesday February 27, 2008 @03:10PM (#22576956)
    That's why it's called climate change -- higher temperatures in some places, lower temperatures in others. Ocean currents play a big part, and changing the temperature of the ocean changes the place warm water ends up, so a previously warm place (e.g. western Europe) could get colder, and a previously cold place (e.g. Greenland) warmer.
  • by MyNymWasTaken ( 879908 ) on Wednesday February 27, 2008 @03:16PM (#22577022)
    This blog post seems to be a denier's primary point today.

    Here's the Hadley Center's global temperature record [uea.ac.uk]. Each of the past 6 years of decreasing solar activity, the waning side of solar cycle 23, have been in the hottest 8 on the 158 year record.
  • by Mr. Underbridge ( 666784 ) on Wednesday February 27, 2008 @03:19PM (#22577076)

    Local weather does not refute a global climate trend.

    I'm pretty sure that freaking SUNSPOTS probably create global climate trends. You know, unless you have a few sunspots caged up in your backyard.

  • Re:nice timing (Score:3, Informative)

    by gnuman99 ( 746007 ) on Wednesday February 27, 2008 @03:37PM (#22577340)
    http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/info/warming/ [uea.ac.uk]

    *Maybe* looking at something more than a few months is more valid when looking at long term trends like Global Warming trend???????? You know, a few weeks or months of cold doesn't mean "global cooling".

    Also, the sun just started a new 11-year cycle this year. The solar output was marginally dropping for few years now and now it will increase. Cheers and enjoy more denying in spite of reality.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_minimum [wikipedia.org]
    http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2006/10mar_stormwarning.htm?list862664 [nasa.gov]
  • Re:nice timing (Score:3, Informative)

    by Saige ( 53303 ) <evil.angela@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Wednesday February 27, 2008 @03:43PM (#22577442) Journal

    Go directly to the NASA GISS site [nasa.gov] and check the data. It shows that 2007 is tied for second warmest since they've been tracking. The other temperature sources show the same thing. Daily Tech is either using bad data or deliberately lying.
  • by snarfer ( 168723 ) on Wednesday February 27, 2008 @03:50PM (#22577528) Homepage
    Gore's house is entirely solar and wind now, FYI.
  • by jejones ( 115979 ) on Wednesday February 27, 2008 @04:09PM (#22577784) Journal
    Gore is chairman of Generation Investment Management, the company that he buys carbon offsets from (see here [billhobbs.com] for details), so he is paying himself.
  • Re:Erm (Score:2, Informative)

    by FatMullet ( 1086469 ) on Wednesday February 27, 2008 @04:17PM (#22577912)
    This might place the graph in that article into a little more context http://hadobs.metoffice.com/hadcrut3/diagnostics/global/simple_average/> The bottom graph show the HadCRUT3 monthly mean timeseries from 1850 onwards. Some of the big peaks and troughs in the monthly mean timeseries of global surface temperature are from El Ninos (when the Tropical Pacific warms) and La Ninas (when it cools), e.g. you can see the big peak in global temps during the 1997/98 El Nino. We're presently going through a La Nina, http://www.cpc.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/enso_advisory/ensodisc.html> which partially explains why the global surface temperatures are so cold. When La Nina ends in a few months time expect the global temps to go back up. Global warming (aka climate change) is the long term upwards trend in global surface temps.
  • by keineobachtubersie ( 1244154 ) on Wednesday February 27, 2008 @04:18PM (#22577930)
    "How do you relocates a culture? History?"

    Are you saying that culture is tied to a place? So nomads can't have culture and history?

    So these people have no culture or history?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roma_people [wikipedia.org]

    What about these people?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irish_Travellers [wikipedia.org]

    Or these?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yeniche_(people) [wikipedia.org]

    Sorry, that's a thinly veiled excuse, and it doesn't fly at all.

    I'd have a lot more sympathy if these people hadn't been taking money from the oil companies for years.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alaska_Permanent_Fund [wikipedia.org]

    As it is, they have a 40 billion+ fund for things like this. Give back the money you so greedily took when you didn't care about the consequences, or use the money you've saved for this purpose, but don't expect us (and it WILL be us, the customer who gets the cost passed to them) to pay you off again.

  • by brian0918 ( 638904 ) <brian0918 AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday February 27, 2008 @04:38PM (#22578208)
    "The term "cancer sticks" was first used in the 1800's."

    What is your source for this? The first source listed in OED for "cancer stick" is from 1959. Cassell's Dictionary of Slang [google.com] says it's from the 1950s. Google Books shows nothing to support your claim either.
  • by CTilluma ( 1046002 ) on Wednesday February 27, 2008 @04:41PM (#22578250) Homepage
    Interesting... When looking at images at http://nsidc.org/ [nsidc.org] - There is distinctly less ice now in 2008 than there was in 2006...
  • by keineobachtubersie ( 1244154 ) on Wednesday February 27, 2008 @04:56PM (#22578522)
    "We are living and walking around on soil that we took from Native people by force.

    Why don't you develop some respect."

    Thanks, any chance you could reply to something I said, or a point I made, or just not with a total no sequitur?

    Thanks in advance.

    "We are living and walking around on soil that we took from Native people by force."

    And THEY got it from the previous natives by force. Why don't you learn something about history before you comment on it?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorset_culture [wikipedia.org]

    "The Dorset culture preceded the Inuit culture in Arctic North America. Inuit legends mention the Tuniit (singular Tuniq) or Sivullirmiut ("First Inhabitants"), who were driven away by the Inuit. According to legend, they were "giants", people who were taller and stronger than the Inuit, but who were easily scared off and retreated from the advancing Inuit."

    You're welcome.

  • by snarfer ( 168723 ) on Wednesday February 27, 2008 @04:57PM (#22578528) Homepage
    "Offsetting one's "carbon footprint" is just about the stupidest thing I've heard in awhile."

    Maybe you do not understand the concept. Here is what offsetting is: When you can't avoid using fossil fuels, you contribute to a fund that builds wind, solar and other alternative non-carbon energy infrastructure. So your use of fossil fuels now is OFFSET by the future non-carbon generating capacity you are helping to develop.

  • by dietdew7 ( 1171613 ) on Wednesday February 27, 2008 @04:58PM (#22578558)
    Maybe he meant 'coffin nails' my great-grandfather said that they used that term at least as early as the 20's.
  • by Chris Mattern ( 191822 ) on Wednesday February 27, 2008 @05:02PM (#22578638)
    He's probably confusing it with "coffin nails", which *is* documented back to the late 1800s. Cassell's claims it's only based on a resemblance, but I don't think so. While the linking of tobacco and cancer only goes back to the 1950s and 60s, there's always been a widespread perception that it's only common sense that breathing burning smoke on a regular basis *can't* be good for your lungs. Autopsies of smoker's lungs blackened by tobacco smoke go back that far.
  • by SacredByte ( 1122105 ) on Wednesday February 27, 2008 @05:12PM (#22578804)
    No. I'm saying that propaganda you have been fed about the dangers of nuclear power are largely untrue, and that there isn't anything to worry about.

    Now before I go any further lets step back and compare pictures of coal plants to nuclear plants:

    Coal plant: Plant is DWARFED by a MOUNTIAN of coal. This is a 50-60 day supply.

    Nuclear plant: Every single ounce of fuel that plant has ever used is still in that picture (in holding tanks).

              Now that we've seen the difference, lets talk about it. Most of the fuel used by the coal plant gets released directly into the atmosphere, and we have to breathe it in. In large quantities the gasses released by a coal plant can be harmful--And there are numerous examples of neighborhoods around coal plants having very poor air quality.
              Now lets look at the nuclear plant again; Every ounce of fuel it has ever used is contained within the plant--that spent fuel is much denser, and harmful than the gasses released by a coal plant, but the likelyhood of actually coming into such contact with it are slim to none.
              Have you ever seen what they did when they tested those containment casks? They placed a trailer carrying a cask across a railway. Then they launched a rocket-train at it. The train hit the trailer at > 70 MPH. the cask was dented, but maintained containment. Then they put it and the train engine next to each other in a pool of jet fuel and let it burn for > 30 minutes. Temperatures on the outside were freakin' hot (as you'd expect) but temperatures on the inside didn't get nearly high enough to melt the spent fuel. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spent_nuclear_fuel_shipping_cask [wikipedia.org]

    So, basically what I'm saying is that I don't worry about nuclear power because there is nothing to worry about. Aside from one major accident (And that in Russia) there have been no major accidents (where containment was lost) at any nuclear power station.
  • by aurum42 ( 712010 ) on Wednesday February 27, 2008 @05:25PM (#22579008)
    Right, random moron mouthing off on slashdot with the usual "correlation not equal to causation" bromide (which you didn't phrase accurately) must be believed over the overwhelming scientific consensus [realclimate.org] regarding anthropogenic global warming/climate change. Regarding solar output variability and the recent rise in average global temperatures: read this [arstechnica.com].As for "I don't understand where these people are coming from saying that warmer temperatures are bad", try asking the people in coastal areas and island nations such as Tuvalu [tuvaluislands.com], who have already been displaced, what they feel.
  • by Dachannien ( 617929 ) on Wednesday February 27, 2008 @05:40PM (#22579240)
    Don't forget to mention the part where Exxon has incurred $3.4 billion in cleanup expenses and fines, and has already paid the compensatory damages (nearly $300 million) to the plaintiffs in the case. The point of punitive damages is (supposedly) to punish, not to be a windfall for the plaintiffs.
  • by Rukie ( 930506 ) on Wednesday February 27, 2008 @08:14PM (#22581594) Homepage Journal
    There's a difference between air warming and surface warming. Sure there are obnoxious amounts of CO2 being released, along with methane and other "greenhouse gases." Everything depends on minute details. First, we don't have records that go back much more than 100 years on a world wide scale. We don't know that much about the weather, if we did, the meteorologist would never be wrong. Air warming (actual air, nitrogen, oxygen, etc) has seen a small increase over the past 100 some years (as records show from studies by NASA/etc) However, surface warming (the actual planet, ground, iron, granite, etc, solid forms instead of gasses), has not seen a steady increase as would be expected. The surface undergoes cooling periods, warming periods, I believe end of the 70's it went down. The majority of our own greenhouse contributions happened when, after 1930's? 1940's? I think thats when 70-80% of human greenhouse gases come from. So if 20&% is before 1940, then the earth's atmosphere must have been warming on its own quite well to keep the trends. The sun goes through cycles, which could easily affect earth and it's cycles. We know the sun has periods where there are high amounts of sun spots, and low amounts. These could attribute to the earth raising and lowering in atmosphere temperature. There are THOUSANDS of reasons why temperatures could be changing, and human made greenhouse gases do NOT seem like the most likely reason to me. Feel free to bash me, i said people were ignorant. Before you accept the media's interpretation of things, check stuff out for yourself. I'm not saying I have any insight not available to anyone else, I just think too many people have jumped on a political bandwagon after lots of misinformation. I'm sure there's information out there that I do not know about, and it might just change my opinion. But from what I've read and learned I disagree with the majority of people, does that make me a bad person? I guess so. Maybe I'll just sign those referendums to jail people who don't believe in global warming!

Someone is unenthusiastic about your work.