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We are thinking on climate change wrong
Posted: 30 June 2011 03:00 PM   [ Ignore ]
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I refer to our fear, assigned guilt and attempt to curb climate change. It is impractical, and ultimately useless. I realize this subject is controversial (and I have expectations of being called several unflattering this with this post), but I think we need a paradigm shift in our perspecticve to react to it in a manner that will facilitate human survival, and when it comes right down to it, that is, and must be, our primary concern.

First, let us establish a few facts. Every major extinction event is associated with climate change, regardless of whether the trigger was terrestial or extra terrestial in orgin the results are the same. Another fact is that the earth’s climate has always been in a constant state of flux and this is probably as important to life itself as it is to the processes of evolution. Another fact is the doubt regarding the association between human activity and current global trends, such as evidence indicating the current warming trend begain 15 000 years ago, evidence the world has been hotter during the vast majority of its history, evidence co2 levels were between 2-8 times higher during the time of the dinosaurs, and the sheer complexity of the global climate and our incomplete understanding of the same is enough to doubt in itself. When people are fixated on the idea that 100 years is a long time they accept graphs that go back 200 years as proof, and seem to lose sight of the fact that life has been living in the atmosphere above water for 425 000 000 years. It may be an interesting subject for study or discourse, but is not relevent to our immidiate concern; surviving global climate changes.

Hypothetical question; what if we manage to stop all emissions of human produced gases associated with greenhouse effects, manage to (impossible as it is) completely eliminate our effect on the enviroment, and it continues to change? What if we cannot directly affect climate change, and it is either already out of control or caused by as-of-yet undiscovered factors? Will anything we are doing now about climate change actually help our survival? Would any advances made in reducing our atmospheric impact directly help surviving an active disaster? What if we cannot stop it?

Every step we are taking, few and painful as they are, is completely dependant on our presumption that human activity is the root cause of, and can prevent, the apparant global warming acceleration. The arrogance of that notwithstanding, it has precluded any discussion relating to how to survive a change that is occuring outside of our control. We need to consider the possibility that we do not yet have the capacity to intentionally control a system as large, complex and transitional as the earth’s climate, and think more about how to survive it no matter what it does. The answer seems obvious to me, but I see no effort by any government in the direction I think we need to go.

Don’t misunderstand, I am in no way advocating we stop concerning ourselves with our enviromental effect; man is one of the greatest forces of nature and so will always have an effect, nor that we should continue pumping toxins into our atmosphere, I think our dependancy on fossil fuels is as misplaced and self destructive as our dependancies on systems that rely on human inequality to function (if everyone has what they wanted and needed, capitolism dies). Notice the greatest obstacle to alternative fuels is not technological, but economic? What I am advocating that we try to find a solution that will work even if we are wrong about the cause of the problem we are currently faced. Not only would that be more managable, and realistic, it may also be able to involve the public in a way that does not consist of assertions regarding personal limitations, guilt, and may even help the depression caused by all these messages of gloom and doom that has been measured in many people.

We need to worry about saving humanity, the planet is beyond our control to destroy or save. There is nothing humans can do (as of yet) that could actually destroy the planet, even if we could kill much of the life on it by, say, detonating all human nuclear weapons at once the planet would remain and life would regrow. And if we lack the capacity to destroy it, we certainly lack the capacity to save it. (destruction is always easier). But saving humanity is within our capability… at least, we need to proceed with that assumption.

[ Edited: 30 June 2011 03:08 PM by Stormy Fairweather ]
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Posted: 30 June 2011 03:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Well, you’ll get no recriminations from me.  Your ideas are a lot more pragmatic and realistic than the bollocks I hear from a lot of the environmentalists, climate change howler monkeys, and their collective naysayers and haters.  Have fun getting pelted with stones though.

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Posted: 30 June 2011 06:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Mankind’s contribution to our current global warming is not controversial science, it is controversial because energy industries have employed the same tactics (and people) who once worked for tobacco companies trying to convince the public that cigarette smoking is safe. We do not think 100 years is a long time, and do not limit our knowledge and understanding to the last two centuries. Scientists from several disciplines have studied different lines of evidence showing our climate for hundreds of millions of years. How else could we know the temperatures and amount of CO2 in the atmosphere during the time of the dinosaurs? The rate of change is unprecedented. If we stop producing CO2 immediately the climate will keep changing. Indeed, we may have already past a tipping point where anything we do will not stop climate change, but continuing business as usual will keep accelerating the rate of change.

Yes, we need to talk about surviving a changing climate. I keep harping on this, but the solution involves drawing down our population, probably to the same level as human population in the mid 19th Century. I do not foresee that happening voluntarily.

I agree that we need to worry about saving humanity, but that is too narrow a view. We also need to save the species that are dying off because of our wanton environmental destructions and habitat encroachment.

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Posted: 30 June 2011 06:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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DarronS - 30 June 2011 06:26 PM

Mankind’s contribution to our current global warming is not controversial science, it is controversial because energy industries have employed the same tactics (and people) who once worked for tobacco companies trying to convince the public that cigarette smoking is safe. We do not think 100 years is a long time, and do not limit our knowledge and understanding to the last two centuries. Scientists from several disciplines have studied different lines of evidence showing our climate for hundreds of millions of years. How else could we know the temperatures and amount of CO2 in the atmosphere during the time of the dinosaurs? The rate of change is unprecedented. If we stop producing CO2 immediately the climate will keep changing. Indeed, we may have already past a tipping point where anything we do will not stop climate change, but continuing business as usual will keep accelerating the rate of change.

Yes, we need to talk about surviving a changing climate. I keep harping on this, but the solution involves drawing down our population, probably to the same level as human population in the mid 19th Century. I do not foresee that happening voluntarily.

I agree that we need to worry about saving humanity, but that is too narrow a view. We also need to save the species that are dying off because of our wanton environmental destructions and habitat encroachment.

I agree 100% about the population,however have you noticed that mentioning anything about population control makes many people scream RACIST?

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Posted: 30 June 2011 06:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I had alluded to an obvious solution within my post, one that would preclude any need for population control.

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Posted: 30 June 2011 06:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Yeah, the problem with population control is who decides? One thing that should be easy, given all that is going on the in the world, is eliminating the Catholic Church’s influence in poor nations. Letting people use birth control when they cannot afford to feed children would be a good first step. The key, however, is this being voluntary and educating people about birth control and why they would want to agree not to have more children than they can feed. Developed nations, and especially the most educated in those nations, are already slowing their population growth.

Letting governments decide how many children people can have is an abhorrent scenario. There is too much possibility for abuse when politicians get involved.

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Posted: 30 June 2011 06:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Stormy Fairweather - 30 June 2011 06:36 PM

I had alluded to an obvious solution within my post, one that would preclude any need for population control.

I missed it. What is that obvious solution?

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Posted: 30 June 2011 07:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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DarronS - 30 June 2011 06:42 PM
Stormy Fairweather - 30 June 2011 06:36 PM

I had alluded to an obvious solution within my post, one that would preclude any need for population control.

I missed it. What is that obvious solution?

A concrete jungle (partly subterranian), airconditioned, airscrubbed, with little zoos (terrariums) proudly showing the remaining life on earth, and museums showing the skeletons of all collected extinct species.

Could work!

oh, another possibility, to find a suitable planet elsewhere and terraform it with a strictly controlled atmosphere .

[ Edited: 30 June 2011 07:21 PM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 30 June 2011 07:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Sorry, that was sarcastic and I apologize.  The question of how to survive is valid.

But why don’t we try to terraform Terra, first by strictly controlling our pollution and then concentrating on how to artificially (scientifically) maintain what will still be habitable by the time we have some ability to affect our own atmosphere on a global scale.

A workable idea might be to isolate humans from the natural world by building domes over cities and industrial parks. Then we would have to deal with out own pollution and not destroy all other natural life in the process.

[ Edited: 30 June 2011 07:33 PM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 30 June 2011 07:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Because it does not matter if we do not draw down our population. The vast majority of the water on Earth is poisonous, and we are deleting our aquifers at an alarming rate. We cannot continue feeding 6+ billion people if we do not have enough water to grow crops. Another problem is oxygen depletion. Very few people talk about this, but all these people inhaling oxygen and exhaling CO2 contribute to climate change, and also reduce the amount of oxygen in our atmosphere. Think about that one for a few minutes. More people = less oxygen to breathe.

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Posted: 30 June 2011 07:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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DarronS - 30 June 2011 07:32 PM

Because it does not matter if we do not draw down our population. The vast majority of the water on Earth is poisonous, and we are deleting our aquifers at an alarming rate. We cannot continue feeding 6+ billion people if we do not have enough water to grow crops. Another problem is oxygen depletion. Very few people talk about this, but all these people inhaling oxygen and exhaling CO2 contribute to climate change, and also reduce the amount of oxygen in our atmosphere. Think about that one for a few minutes. More people = less oxygen to breathe.

Cutting down the forests (the lungs of the world) doesn’t help either.

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Posted: 30 June 2011 07:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Darron,

I fear that we will first kill off every other living “breathing” thing before we start considering population control. Outlawing voluntary abortion certainly is the wrong direction to go, IMO.

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Posted: 30 June 2011 07:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Write4U - 30 June 2011 07:43 PM

Darron,

I fear that we will first kill off every other living “breathing” thing before we start considering population control. Outlawing voluntary abortion certainly is the wrong direction to go, IMO.

I don’t think we are ever going to get serious about population control. Our environment will force it upon us. We are currently in the midst of the fastest species die off in 65 million years. The big question is how much damage we’ll do to the world’s ecosystems before the fecal matter contacts the rotating blades and forces our population to a sustainable level.

Edit: added missing word

[ Edited: 30 June 2011 08:05 PM by DarronS ]
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Posted: 30 June 2011 07:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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DarronS - 30 June 2011 07:47 PM
Write4U - 30 June 2011 07:43 PM

Darron,

I fear that we will first kill off every other living “breathing” thing before we start considering population control. Outlawing voluntary abortion certainly is the wrong direction to go, IMO.

I don’t we are ever going to get serious about population control. Our environment will force it upon us. We are currently in the midst of the fastest species die off in 65 million years. The big question is how much damage we’ll do to the world’s ecosystems before the fecal matter contacts the rotating blades and forces our population to a sustainable level.

Damn right,the points you make,very true they are,they seem to make most of the population say"I don’t wanna hear that depressing stuff,let’s watch American Idol instead"but like you say, its gonna come down on our heads eventually.

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Posted: 30 June 2011 11:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Write4U - 30 June 2011 07:43 PM

I fear that we will first kill off every other living “breathing” thing before we start considering population control.

Ahh, here we go again. The fertility has been declining since the sixties. Overpopulation will not become a problem.

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Posted: 01 July 2011 12:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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George - 30 June 2011 11:46 PM
Write4U - 30 June 2011 07:43 PM

I fear that we will first kill off every other living “breathing” thing before we start considering population control.

Ahh, here we go again. The fertility has been declining since the sixties. Overpopulation will not become a problem.

I so hope that you are right on this point.
But it is not like we are a wolfpack that depends on available caribou. The natural food chain does not apply to us. We are independent of the food chain, we breed and grow our food. Food won’t be the problem IMO.
But we are the only species that pollute, without contributing to the natural lifecycle. It’s pollution that will kill us all in the end.
The Hellstrom Chronicle was a valid warning warning, IMO.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7R8UN9zGD04

[ Edited: 01 July 2011 12:09 AM by Write4U ]
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