Managers and scientists must deal with climate skepticism along with changes

My story this morning on the changes measured in the Boise River system over the last 100 years and the increasing climatic variability has attracted a lot of comments particularly from readers who think there is still a debate about whether rapid climate change is taking place, and that it is a debate between the right and the left.

No matter what you or I think is going on, the people who manage natural resource systems like rivers and forests have to deal with the conditions they see. These include state and federal land and water managers and the scientists who back them up by monitoring the system they try to control.

I spoke with many in the last few days, and they don’t all agree with the extent of the changes or even, in some cases, the permanence of the direction of change. None had anything to say about what society might need to do to reverse it. Instead, they all were looking at ways they must adapt to the obvious changes in the systems they study and manage.

Peter Brooks, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers chief of the hydrologic engineering and power branch of the Columbia Basin Water Management Division in Portland, outlined his relatively conservative agency’s read of the changes they see in the Pacific Northwest and possible steps they can take to adapt in response to my question:

Idaho Statesman: Describe how the Corps believes climate change has affected the flows of the Boise River and the Snake River and what the agency expects in the future based on the scientific forecasts of climate scientists regionally and internationally.

Peter Brooks:“Within the Pacific Northwest there are undeniable changes to the hydrologic system that are likely to continue. These include alterations to the types of precipitation that falls including a shift from snowfall to rain as well as earlier snowmelt runoff in the Spring.

A reaction to that might be to evacuate reservoirs earlier than done now in anticipation of the earlier start to the spring runoff. Evacuating less is probably not a prudent flood risk management strategy because even though overall volumes seem to remain unchanged (based on preliminary analysis of the 2007 International Panel on Climate Change data set) the portion of the seasonal runoff volume historically provided by rain will increase making real-time forecasting more difficult and less predictable.

Therefore reservoirs may need more space available than in the past to accommodate an even wider variability of hydrologic events that has been to date."

The idea that we might need to build more reservoirs is coming from Republican leaders in Idaho, not Democrats, even though it likely means the government is going to have to get involved. Environmentalists are pushing alternatives to new dams.

The science that has driven and dominated this debate is the psychology of persuasion. The Heartland Institute an organization that has led the climate skepticism campaign, pushed its case recently with billboards showing the Unabomber, Ted Kaczynski, Charles Manson and Fidel Castro as examples of people who believe in global warming.

But it is not surprising that with the most famous promoter of climate science, Al Gore, a former Democratic candidate for President, many Republicans would see the issue in partisan terms.

The Write & Switch.......

I find it rather comical that this person writes a headline that states that Global Warming is fact and that there are no differing opinions and then posts this to some blog that few will see. Two things Dr. Barker. One, the person you quote in the "news" story calls Global Warming a "roller coaster" which I guess allows for the dismissal of years when the weather doesn't support the Global Warming "trend".
Two. "But it is not surprising that with the most famous promoter of climate science, Al Gore, a former Democratic candidate for President, that many Republicans would see the issue in partisan terms." Its viewed not in partisan terms, but in factual terms. It is fact that memos surfaced that paint Gore as a the minimum an alarmist and at worst a liar. Global Warming or not, to hitch your wagon to people like Al Gore doesn't exactly prove much of a point. You'd be better off going with Michael Moore.

Appropriate sources?

Truly odd that you would pick Mr. Brooks of ACOEs as a point of contact on climate change and act surprised when an engineer presents ways to adapt to the changes.

It's also odd that the media gravitates toward one of the last "hold outs" who want to ignore solid data evidence - The Heartland Institute - in promoting it's controversy.

A person saying they don't 'believe' in climate change is like saying "I don't believe in Dinosaurs." It's not a question of faith. It's examining the data and trying to find the trends that, with enough of it, amount to evidence.

"I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn't learn something from him." Galileo

Apostle AL Gore a 1% er

Apostle AL Gore a 1% er loves you for your loyalty and allowing him to stay caught up on his mortgage payments and jet plane payments. You should tell him he owes you a couple of carbon credits at the least.

He carries a carbon credit condom...


"foreignoregonian" is not anonymous

It is my identity and my philosophy

Would you prefer everyone to be called 'Poster'?

Algor iz a tool and so too Heartland PTOOOI


"foreignoregonian" is not anonymous

It is my identity and my philosophy

Would you prefer everyone to be called 'Poster'?

The pro says, "to evacuate

The pro says, "to evacuate reservoirs earlier than done now in anticipation of the...:

I don't need a scientist or an alarmist manager to figure this out.

"Hey, there's a lot of snow in the mountains. Let's drain the resevoirs in February to make room for spring runoff. Whenever that is. "

Let's see a drainage system without a resevoir and the Corp messing up the flow to come up with rational conclusions about the run off.

Wood River? Data?
Anyone heard of Salmon or Challis flooding?

It did BIG TIME a few years ago. Ask Rick Lantz for video.


"foreignoregonian" is not anonymous

It is my identity and my philosophy

Would you prefer everyone to be called 'Poster'?

blind mice

The Rock did it:

"I spoke with many in the last few days, and they don’t all agree"

"And they don't all agree".

So they don't all agree? They are the scientists, and professionals, and they don't all agree--- so why is it a puzzle that the common citizens don't agree?

Finish the sentence.

"And they don't all agree with the extent of the changes or even, in some cases, the permanence of the direction of change." You put a period after "agree".
At least you provide insight into the faulty logic and poor reasoning so many exhibit.

Interesting read

for the naysayers.....

If you are SO STUPID that you believe in the fraud that is

"Global warming" - then I have a lot of OCEAN-FRONT properties in KANSAS for sale that I would just LOVE to sell to you. As clearly you are so stupid you will buy virtually anything.

Very persuasive

Wow, you just persuaded me to ignore the National Academy of Sciences and go with you instead, since your use of capitals in calling scientists SO STUPID was SO PERSUASIVE!

What is your source? What is your PhD in?

Or was it a story you saw on Fox News?

Bob, I hate to have to ask my uncle to request a PRN...


"foreignoregonian" is not anonymous

It is my identity and my philosophy

Would you prefer everyone to be called 'Poster'?

Cyclical Trend as opposed to Global Warming

Really it all depends on your perspective. The fact that we can point to stats that say this is the warmest day since... or the coldest day since... says that these weather patterns are pretty much cyclical. Over the age of the earth there have been cyclical weather patterns. What we're seeing is probably another piece of that ongoing cycle.

The alarmists use the term Global Warming to incite a fear that all this man-made stuff we're doing is hurting things to the point that it is causing weather to change. At the opposite end of the spectrum are those that have their heads in the sand and say nothing is happening.

Are conditions changing? I believe the facts are showing that. Can we stop it? I doubt it, its part of a larger cycle that we have little control over. Are we causing it? Here again I think there's some influence we have that might contribute to accelerating the cycle, but I doubt if we stopped cutting down forests and burning fossile fuels that the weather will reverse itself.

We do need to be good stewards of this planet, but we also need to understand the already cyclical nature of the weather and improving models for predicting it and managing the consequences.

Peace - Out.

I agree

Pretty much exactly. And I hope this is the opinion of the majority of people.
Simply add, being good stewards means conserving our limited resources and not polluting the Earth.

Now, what to do about those outside of this well thought and reasonable opinion?

What if we all die off quickly?


"foreignoregonian" is not anonymous

It is my identity and my philosophy

Would you prefer everyone to be called 'Poster'?

The Science is Debatable

Rocky, it's cool you post your left leaning views on a blog so few will comment. Global warming is happening, man made global warming is debatable at best. I really wish reporters like you would post "news" instead of your agenda. The public (contrary to the belief of liberals like you) is smart enough to formulate an opinion if unbiased information is given. You are supposed to be a journalist. Try setting the bar a little higher and give both sides of the story.

Jen - what you don't understand is that .......

journalist = elitist. Rocky believes if it were not for him, you couldn't function on a daily basis. Rocky sees his purpose in life as spoon feeding you with the facts of life - facts you are too stupid to comprehend when left to your own devices. By the way - science is not debatable.

Too much ink, rubs you wrong.


"foreignoregonian" is not anonymous

It is my identity and my philosophy

Would you prefer everyone to be called 'Poster'?


So are you questioning the Boise River monitoring data that shows the runoff is two weeks earlier than 100 years ago?

Reporting this makes me an elitist?


if they had not been caught lying, cheating, cherry-picking, and ignoring data so often, people would give them credit. The left likes to re-frame whenever possible.If I don't believe that my SUV caused the planet to warm, somehow I don't believe that weather patterns change. Not true. Weather and climate are in constant flux. They always will be.

Rocky Facts

FACT - Yes, I’m questioning scientific data collected by people dressed in Eddie Bauer hiking boots, Bermuda shorts, matching tropical hats and Warby Parker sunglases hanging on croakies and carrying their little water purifiers. It's my opinion they have an agenda to keep their posh gov't jobs. They are biased and walk in circles...usually to the left.

FACT - I remember my grandparents telling me about winters without snow or a lot of rain as well as hard snow winters. Mine and my grandparent’s lifetimes span over 100 years and nothing has drastically changed. Factoid - These things, especially weather are cyclical and for ions have been a part of the natural order of the universe. Voids are created and voids are filled with something stronger.

FACT – Continental drift and changes in the earth’s axis cause weather change. In my lifetime magnetic north on my compass has moved from about 19 degrees in the 1950s to 17 degrees today. Today the 19 degree declination of Central Idaho is located in Oregon a 2 – 3 degree change. This is due to the earth hurtling through space, gravity, centrifugal force and other natural forces all combined together.
The changes in continental position will cause slight changes in weather patterns when moving over the oceans and continents and changes in the earth’s axis will cause more extreme seasons. In fact, this could be a reason for the loss of some plant species unable to adapt to the change in the sun’s angle and/or the seasons. Would a change of 3 degrees in the earth’s axis cause ice to melt in the northern regions? Due to change in the earth's axis/tilt the northern region is exposed to more sunlight than 50 years ago and hence some ice is melting. Big deal…we will have to adjust a little, but it’s in increments and we can do it. The world is not going to burn up as Al Gore implies.

Get Willis another drink.


It you go online and yell FAQ YOU TOO

You are cut off at the well son.