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We are thinking on climate change wrong
Posted: 02 July 2011 08:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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Stormy Fairweather - 30 June 2011 03:00 PM

¶2… {...}Another fact is the doubt regarding the association between human activity and current global trends, such as evidence indicating the current warming trend began 15 000 years ago,...

You show a studied disregard of the past couple centuries of ever increasing anthropogenic inject of known “Green House Gases” which have nothing in common with anything that has occurred in the previous 15,000 years.
You talk about effects of past climate change, now shouldn’t an understanding of those past profound climate changes and their effects cause us to take our current influence seriously? Since we know that Earth’s climate can go through radical swings?  Why disregard the physical effects our civilization is inflicting?

Stormy Fairweather - 30 June 2011 03:00 PM

¶3… 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 environment, and it continues to change?

Hypothetical nonsense, and a misstating of the situation
I’ll be honest I’ve been struggling to find some way of conveying my impression of your mind-frame… as it comes across. 
Quite simply, it boils down to the THE THELMA AND LOUISE PRINCIPLE.  “To hell with it, lets go out in a blaze of glory.”

Stormy Fairweather - 30 June 2011 03:00 PM

What if we cannot stop it?

Well, are we supposed to roll over and play dead?

Stormy Fairweather - 30 June 2011 03:00 PM

¶4… Every step we are taking, few and painful as they are, is completely dependent on our presumption that human activity is the root cause of, and can prevent, the apparent global warming acceleration.

No babe, it too late for prevention,
The “presumption that human activity is the root cause” of sky rocketing atmospheric greenhouse gases is established about as well as the “theory” of gravity. 

.... furthermore even talking in terms of “intentionally control ...” shows a lack of appreciation for the actual natural processes at work here ~ we are talking about ameliorating effects before they get totally out of hand.

Stormy Fairweather - 30 June 2011 03:00 PM

¶5… 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.

Where does stuff like this come from and what does it mean.  How are you and like minded going to find solution when you refuse to take the known science seriously?
Stop playing mind games:  you’re implying, that climatologists are just guessing… that’s utter nonsense, they have been studying and gather real knowledge… and I suggest you refuse to look at it in a good faith manner.

Stormy Fairweather - 30 June 2011 03:00 PM

¶6… We need to worry about saving humanity, the planet is beyond our control to destroy or save.

Oh man now you got me wanting to pound my head on the desk. . . do you think about these words of yours?  You are implying that humanity is somehow supra-earth or what the ~?
Or are you a person of the “Book” and see humanity as disconnected to this planet anyways?

Stormy Fairweather - 30 June 2011 03:00 PM

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.

You’re right we don’t have the capacity to destroy our Earth or the life upon it, but we most certainly do have the capacity to destroy our civilization, it has happened before! We do have the capacity to impose another planet wide extinction event ~ that will take tens and hundreds of thousands of years to play itself out.  The Earth will do just fine, it’s our kids and future generations that will be screwed.

I’m sorry but your scree adds up to a hill of silly head games trying to pretend that humanity’s welfare is somehow separated from our biosphere’s welfare.  Actually I notice you didn’t us that word… do you know what the “biosphere” is and why it is important.

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Posted: 02 July 2011 08:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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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.

What do you mean?
It already is a huge self-destructive problem.

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Posted: 02 July 2011 09:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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I do not think climate change is a threat to human survival.

I would not be surprised if wars resulting from climate change results in more deaths then actual climate change but I find it difficult to imagine the population going below 500,000,000.  That much of a population drop combined with the infrastructure destruction that would entail would considerably reduce the stresses on the environment.  Of course there is no telling what a few hundred nukes thrown around might contribute to the mess.

I am not trying to say the climate change doesn’t matter.  If we let it get that far it will be really stupid.  But it still is not human extinction.

psik

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Posted: 02 July 2011 06:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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psikeyhackr - 02 July 2011 09:52 AM

I am not trying to say the climate change doesn’t matter. If we let it get that far it will be really stupid.  But it still is not human extinction.

Interesting. 
So who’s going to not let it get that far,
if we steadfastly ignore the consequences
of continuing our relentless injection of about two and a-half gigatons a month of CO2 into our atmosphere?

[ Edited: 02 July 2011 06:44 PM by citizenschallenge.pm ]
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Posted: 02 July 2011 08:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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Stormy Fairweather - 30 June 2011 03:00 PM

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 perspective 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.

Hellloo Stormy, you started this thread, why drop out of it?  Defend your suppositions.

For instance, here’s an interesting development hot off the press:

Extreme Weather Link ‘Can No Longer Be Ignored’
Scientists to end 20-year reluctance with study into global warming and exceptional weather events
by Steve Connor
Published on Friday, July 1, 2011 by The Independent/UK

“Scientists are to end their 20-year reluctance to link climate change with extreme weather – the heavy storms, floods and droughts which often fill news bulletins – as part of a radical departure from a previous equivocal position that many now see as increasingly untenable.

They believe that it is no longer plausible merely to claim that extreme weather is “consistent” with climate change. Instead, they intend to assess each unusual event in terms of the probability that it has been exacerbated or even caused by the global temperature increase seen over the past century.”
{...}
“We’ve certainly moved beyond the point of saying that we can’t say anything about attributing extreme weather events to climate change,” said Peter Stott, a leading climate scientist at the Met Office Hadley Centre in Exeter.

“It’s very clear we’re in a changed climate now which means there’s more moisture in the atmosphere and the potential for stronger storms and heavier rainfall is clearly there.”

Kevin Trenberth, a distinguished senior scientist at the US National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colorado, also believes the time has come to emphasize the link between extreme weather and the global climate in which it develops.

“The environment in which all storms form has changed owing to human activities, in particular it is warmer and more moist than it was 30 or 40 years ago,” Dr Trenberth said.

“We have this extra water vapor lurking around waiting for storms to develop and then there is more moisture as well as heat that is available for these storms [to form]. {...}

What do you think when you read stuff like that?

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Posted: 14 July 2011 02:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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I didn’t drop out of the discussion, my interests wander, as does where I allocate my time.

What I will say, before I get back to what has my current focus, is that we have at our disposal an evolutionary advantage so great that it puts us humans in a compeltely separate league from other animals. No, we are not ‘supra-earth,’ no are we are not somehow disconnected from our home, but we do have the unique capability of surviving outside of that home, of making new territories inhospitable to other life our home.

On the topic of the Extreme Weather Link, another fact about ancient climate history is that it is a very tumultuous normally, and the last hundred thousand years have been a period of unparalled tranquility. Before that wild fluctuations and extreme weather conditions were normal. It is also possible the earth is simply returning to its normal state. Either way it is not directly relevent to my actual argument. You did not understand my message one whit.

My ultimate point is that we need to prepare for worst case scenario. So far we, as a species, have been lucky, but luck is a finicky mistress. We need to take control of our own fate, rather than simply hoping an extinction event, climate change or otherwise, doesn’t take us out. Keep in mind that a single signifigant volcanic eruption would render the human contribution to greenhouse gases completely insignificant, and there is at least one extiction scale eruption some 40’000 years overdue. As I already said, I know of at least one solution already. I consider it so obvious that I should not even have to say it, but the only person who hit it did so in sarcasm.

Finally, your numerous implied insults are more telling of your character than my own.

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Posted: 14 July 2011 03:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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Stormy Fairweather - 14 July 2011 02:07 PM

My ultimate point is that we need to prepare for worst case scenario. So far we, as a species, have been lucky, but luck is a finicky mistress. We need to take control of our own fate, rather than simply hoping an extinction event, climate change or otherwise, doesn’t take us out. Keep in mind that a single signifigant volcanic eruption would render the human contribution to greenhouse gases completely insignificant, and there is at least one extiction scale eruption some 40’000 years overdue. As I already said, I know of at least one solution already. I consider it so obvious that I should not even have to say it, but the only person who hit it did so in sarcasm.

Well, luck is what got us here to begin with so bad luck might as well take us out. The sarcastic solution to which you refer must be the “concrete jungle,” no? Can you really say that without being sarcastic (I’m serious)? Could you better describe that to which you “eluded?” While I don’t understand your perspective, I have not mocked. So let me know more, please.

Finally, your numerous implied insults are more telling of your character than my own.

They aren’t mine, but I have to say you did preface all of this with your expectation of reading insults.  smile

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Posted: 14 July 2011 06:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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... space.

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Posted: 14 July 2011 07:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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...the final frontier.

Which, for many political and sociological reasons is a nonstarter.

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Posted: 14 July 2011 07:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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another fact about ancient climate history is that it is a very tumultuous normally, and the last hundred thousand years have been a period of unparalled tranquility. Before that wild fluctuations and extreme weather conditions were normal.

That’s quite a statement. Have you any evidence to support it? As far as I know, there is no way to know the frequency and magnitude of tornadoes, hurricanes, etc at such ancient times.

Keep in mind that a single signifigant volcanic eruption would render the human contribution to greenhouse gases completely insignificant,

Not true. Annual emissions of CO2 from all volcanos all over the world add up to less than 1% of annual human emissions. Even a big blow like Pinatubo releases only about 1% as much CO2 as human annual emissions.

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Posted: 14 July 2011 07:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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Stormy Fairweather - 14 July 2011 06:52 PM

... space.

And how do you propose to ship a few billion people into “space”?  Why do you think I was sarcastic.?

The thought of terra forming another planet in space is the stuff of Sci Fi, I’m afraid.
And if we actually master the Art of terra forming, why should we not apply this to TERRA? The entire train of thought of shipping the earths’s population off-planet is an escapist exercise in futility.

We are stuck on earth, let’s try to do everything necessary to keep it habitable for humans, and as much animal life as possible.

[ Edited: 14 July 2011 09:41 PM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 15 July 2011 04:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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W4U is right. What planet do you propose we terraform? Mars won’t work because it has no magnetic field to protect its surface from the Sun’s radiation. Venus is obviously out of the question. And our other choices are….?

Besides, terraforming takes too long. We’d be better off building a Moon base and searching the asteroid belt for material to build a habitat. How long do you suppose that will take? Even if we set aside our petty differences of religion, race, social class and politics we will need decades at least to develop a program and build a habitat capable of supporting a few tens of thousands of people. Can you imagine the animosity, intrigue, betrayals and behind-the-scenes corruption that will occur when it comes time to decide who gets off planet? And do not forget the lowest bidder (or highest briber) will build the habitat. You don’t think human nature will change just because we’re moving off-planet, do you? And, of course, we will need more than one space habitat. Not only because we will have billions of people to get off planet, but also because we do not want to rely on a single point of failure for humanity’s future. One rogue comet could wipe out an entire habitat, so mankind better be spread widely throughout the asteroid belt.

The biggest problem with getting some of our population off-planet will be political. How do we convince enough people this is necessary? The Libertarians will scream and holler about government control. They’ll join the Republicans in denouncing the necessary tax increases on the wealthy to finance this venture. The Democrats will bemoan this extravagant waste of money that could be better used on social programs. Moderates will sit on the sidelines and pronounce themselves in favor of the program, as long as it doesn’t affect any other government programs, and they will refuse to get involved in the arguments over space migration because other, more passionate, people are debating the issue quite well.

There is also the problem of finding the required energy to develop and implement this space migration program. We have burned through more than 50 percent of the world’s known energy reserves in less than 200 years, at a substantial environmental cost. Where are we going to find the energy needed to build enough rockets to launch materials and people into space? At what environmental cost? The people who get left behind are not going to appreciate staying on a world with few resources, rising oceans and a warming climate while a privileged few blast off into the future.

Then there are the practical considerations. How do you shield the space habitat from cosmic rays? Where do you get the water for raising crops? Where do you get drinking water? What kind of recycling system will be sufficient? How many spare parts will the habitat need? What kind of government will you set up on the habitat?

Simply saying “space” sounds like a good idea, but when you start thinking of everything necessary to move even a few tens of thousands of people off-planet you quickly realize it is not going to happen. When the future of our society is at stake we cannot afford to indulge in fantasies, we need to be practical and take care of our home before we start populating the solar system.

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Posted: 15 July 2011 05:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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I would just repeat what Darron has said here… but I’m still listening.  smile

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Posted: 15 July 2011 04:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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Well darron, half the problems (or more) that you foresee would be defeated if we move away from a monetary system. The other half aren’t problems if we tackle the task in a reasonable manner. We need to take our civilization beyond our limitations, and we need to do this one step at a time. If the goal is to move everyone off the planet not only will you encounter massive resistance, the very scale of the task would be overwhelming and no one would even try. Of course it would take decades to establish self sufficient colonies, which is only reason to start sooner rather than later. We have not used up 50% of the nuclear fuel on the erth, and even if we did use all the uranium the process would work with other materials. Nuclear energy was the power source that would have given us enough energy in a small enough package to make space exploration feasable. Too bad paranoia took over, did you know most people think thousands died in chernobyl? Water can be recycled, the same water has been on earth for billions of years, chances are good that the last glass of water you drank was once enjoyed by a tyrannosaurus, at least in part. The only real obstacle to recycling water is human sensitivites, and they are only as large an obstacle as we allow them to be. Of course, as nuclear energy demonstrates we can allow it to become quite the obstacle.

It is not going to happen unless we change our attitutes. We need to tackle space exploration with all of our strenghts, ingenuity, creativity, ambition, and likely learn a few new ones, like patience and forethought. And we will accomplish this the same way as we do anything truly significant; one carefully planned step at a time. We took a number of steps in this direction 60 years ago, since then we have done the opposite. Today there is not a vehicle in operation that could take a human to the surface of the moon, and considering the technological advances since then it makes no sense at all that we would have less capability now.

I am not saying we need to make a plan that would get all humans off the planet, I am saying we need to expand our borders, dissolve internal ones, spread ourselves out so we are less vulnerable to extinction events and unite in the light of the common goal that is survival. The advantage of having conquered food chain is that we are now equipped to tackle threats outside of it, and it seems like the epitomy of stupidity to fail to proactively work to address them. We need to learn what is truly import… hold on. I gotta go, my TV show is coming on.

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Posted: 15 July 2011 05:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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Stormy, I agree with everything you say we need to do, and when I was your age I was naive enough to believe we would do those things. Maybe I should write a novel about man’s attempt to get off the planet, complete with terrorists attacking the Kennedy Space Center, corrupt politicians taking bribes from contractors who bring the projects in late and over budget, civil rights groups protesting the elitism of who gets chosen to go to the colonies, environmentalists suing governments to prevent them from building the infrastructure necessary to implement such a program, and humanitarians demanding we feed the people on Earth instead of spending money on something that will take multiple human lifetimes to pay off.

I would also have to work in the enormous engineering challenges of getting water to the space habitat, finding and gathering enough asteroids to build a suitable habitat, and providing proper shielding from the radiation in space. Contrary to our experience on Earth, which protects us from the vast majority of dangers, the universe is out to kill us. A flat tire on earth is an inconvenience. A broken door seal on a space habitat can be fatal.

Further questions to consider:

As mentioned previously, what governmental system should we implement on these colonies?
What religious will be allowed? Catholics and protestants have trouble getting along on Earth. Lock them into an overgrown asteroid and watch the fireworks.
How do we screen and select the people we send to space?
Recycling water is the only practical idea in space, but once again: where do you get the water in the first place?
What is the power source for these habitats? Unless we pull them into Earth orbit they will get very little solar energy. One nuclear accident and we lose an entire colony.
How do the colonists manufacture spare parts? Did you remember to screen and select factory workers?
You want to do away with money, so I suppose you will not allow Libertarians on your colonies. What will happen if second or third-generation colonists embrace Libertarian ideals?

Well darron, half the problems (or more) that you foresee would be defeated if we move away from a monetary system.

Good luck with that.

It is not going to happen unless we change our attitutes. We need to tackle space exploration with all of our strenghts, ingenuity, creativity, ambition, and likely learn a few new ones, like patience and forethought.

It is not going to happen unless billions of people change their attitudes. We still have people who think a magic sky fairy created the universe 6,000 years ago. Tens of millions, if not more, people in this country think greed is a virtue. Very few people are willing to give up a few luxuries to help people less fortunate than themselves. You are going to have an extremely hard time convincing them they should pay higher taxes so a few people can live on a rock a few decades from now.

Don’t get me wrong. I agree we need to move off planet. We should have started doing so immediately after the Apollo program ended. I joined the L5 Society in the 1970s, and fervently hoped mankind would be wise enough to see the need to not only preserve our planet but to get some people off and start colonizing the solar system. As you said, since then we have done the opposite. I cannot foresee people waking up any time soon and suddenly changing their attitudes.

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