2 of 4
2
Global Warming Scandal
Posted: 08 April 2008 07:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
Jr. Member
Rank
Total Posts:  4
Joined  2008-04-01
Barto - 08 April 2008 06:47 AM

Well, the 0.0275% to 0.035% increase is huge in almost every complex system. I don’t want to experience a 30% increase in my potassium concentration in blood (from 4,8 mEq/l to 7,7 mEq/l for instance)

I don’t know where you went to school but the percentage of CO2 in our atmosphere, which is attributable to mankind, is ~0.0075%

Well done Barto you missed the point completely, very good, collect a gold star on the way out.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 08 April 2008 07:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  15370
Joined  2006-02-14

No need to be sarcastic, Vince. The point remains that any particular percentage, even a very small one, may be benign or dangerous depending on the case. Simply citing a small number tells us nothing.

 Signature 

Doug

-:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:-

El sueño de la razón produce monstruos

Profile
 
 
Posted: 08 April 2008 08:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4521
Joined  2007-08-31

Hi Vince,

Can you rule out all possible positive feedbacks?
- snow and ice is melting, so the albedo of the earth decreases
- tundras are melting, there is a lot of methane in it, that will be set free. Methane is even a stronger greenhouse gas than CO2
- more water in the atmosphere, which also increases the greenhouse effect
- CO2 dissolved in the oceans will set free

Even if there are potential mechanisms that might reduce the effect, wouldn’t it be better to stay on the safe side, and keep the ecological footprint of humanity as small as possible?

I also request to stay polite in the discussion.

GdB

 Signature 

GdB

“The light is on, but there is nobody at home”

Profile
 
 
Posted: 08 April 2008 08:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  459
Joined  2007-06-19
Vince - 08 April 2008 07:42 AM

I don’t know where you went to school but the percentage of CO2 in our atmosphere, which is attributable to mankind, is ~0.0075%

Which is 22% of the total.

As Doug said, a small number means nothing.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 08 April 2008 10:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
Jr. Member
Rank
Total Posts:  14
Joined  2008-04-07

I see a recurring theme common to discussions of this type developing here.  Some of the respondents are speaking off the top of their heads, expressing opinions that clearly show the fear that has falsely been implanted by the media’s incorrect science; there seems missing any intent to read further into the existing knowledge base.  Other respondents are simply accepting the media stories and the political statements without question.  Please look further into this important topic.  I reiterate: this is a true scandal, a moral departure of the worst kind.

If the powers that be succeed they will deny the developing world their only source of energy: burning wood, charcoal, dung, peat and the like.  Much of Africa, as one example, has no other resource for heating and cooking.  Their people will suffer far more than they already are and the economies of those countries will never enter the modern world.  This consequence of the Kyoto Protocol is never discussed in the media for obvious reasons.  Europe and the U.S.A. are already complicit in keeping the poor countries poor by not importing their agricultural products to any large extent.  Import barriers supposedly protect our farmers, another questionable concept.

I am a physicist and materials scientist, currently semi-retired.  I wrote a technical textbook that came out two years ago.  I spend a good part of my day reading science and keeping up on important research advances.  I highly recommend that others spend more time staying in touch with science and technology because it is interesting and expands one’s understanding of the world.  With a little exposure to the vocabulary, everyone can understand more about science topics.  The big benefit: you will be much harder to deceive.

I have a great book to recommend: “A Primer on CO2 and Climate” by Howard C. Hayden.  It is very short and summarizes most of the incorrect science succinctly.  It is quite easy to understand for the non-scientist and actually a fun read.  Hayden is Professor Emeritus of Physics at the University of Connecticut.  But he is an alum of my Alma Mater, the University of Denver which has a fine Physics department.  He takes no money from anyone except customers who buy his books.  No government grants, no industry grants.

There are several more deceptions that everyone should be made aware of.  One is the malaria scam.  Malaria is not a disease of the tropics.  The largest number of deaths from malaria occurred in that “global hot spot” Siberia.  Malaria mosquitos live at surprisingly high altitudes, too.  Higher temperatures have nothing to do with spreading the disease.  But if you do a little reading you will see some actual data on this and other topics related to global warming.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 08 April 2008 10:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2190
Joined  2007-04-26

I agree with the comment above that there is a good argument for staying on “the safe side”. I think the argument against the concern about global warming comes mostly from those who are worried about the cost of doing something about it. That is a valid concern. We are talking about billions if not trillions of dollars that would need to be invested to overcome our additcion to fossil fuels. Its reasonable to ask whether there is enough evidence to warrant that kind of investment.

You can’t look at the cost of changing our habit though without looking at the cost of NOT changing them if we are going to be fair about this. Many of those costs are obvious, I mentioned some of them in my post above. If the climate truly does change we can expect millions of people will eventually have to move and change careers. Society will have to invest much more in mosquito control and disease prevention. Large portions of the worlds infrastructure may have to be rebuilt.

I think part of the problem is that the current generation would have to pay the bill for any change in our fuel consumption habits ( ie: developing renewable energy sources and then using those sources which will be more expensive even when they are up and running given our current technology), but future generations would be reaping the rewards. Unfortunately people are generally selfish in this regard. Most people seem happy to enjoy the rewards and let future generations pay the bill. Very few are willing to pay the bill now so future generations can benefit. We are the credit card generation after all. Buy now pay later. Most folks don’t see it that way. They just convince to themselves through wishful thinking that the bill is never going to come due.

The two sides of this equation can be argued about forever - The cost of doing something versus the cost of doing nothing. The question is how much proof are we going to require before we decide there is enough evidence. We will never be 100% certain how the global warming scenario is going to play out until it does. By that time if the path spells disaster it will obviously be too late. But if we act too soon and the future was not so glum then we will waste billions. That money would only be wasted though if there was no other reason to make those changes and as stated above there are other reasons. We can’t continue to use non-renewable energy sources forever - they are non-renewable after all, and they make us dependant on countries that are unstable and violent.  So if for no other reason than self preservation and maintanence of our standard of living we ought to at least be agressively pursuing other ways to support our energy addiction.

 Signature 

For every complex problem there is a solution that is simple, obvious,.... and just plain wrong

Profile
 
 
Posted: 08 April 2008 10:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
Jr. Member
Rank
Total Posts:  14
Joined  2008-04-07

Macgyver’s points are also well taken.  But please remember that the most speculative elements of this “modern movement” are those predictions made by computer models.  The people who write them also agree with the low probabilities represented by their work.  The atmosphere cannot be modeled.  Yet.

Science takes time.  Careful data accumulation, carefully designed experiments, peer review, all are slow processes but it’s the only way to get objective evidence that everyone can agree on.

There is cause for calmness and patience to allow that process to continue.  Carbon dioxide levels are known going back several hundred thousand years.  The numbers were printed in a New York Times article late last year so the data is easy to find.  For most the the earth’s history there has been far, far more CO2 in the atmosphere than there is today.  Life on earth is not threatened by high CO2 levels.  The point is: there is no reason to be upset about CO2 levels rising.  As I see it, most of the anxiety has been directed toward CO2 and it’s just not warranted.

And if you read the book that I recommended earlier you will learn the science about why CO2 cannot do what Al Gore thinks it can.  Good hard science proves him wrong.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 08 April 2008 11:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2190
Joined  2007-04-26
Rick - 08 April 2008 10:11 AM

There are several more deceptions that everyone should be made aware of.  One is the malaria scam.  Malaria is not a disease of the tropics.  The largest number of deaths from malaria occurred in that “global hot spot” Siberia.  Malaria mosquitos live at surprisingly high altitudes, too.  Higher temperatures have nothing to do with spreading the disease.  But if you do a little reading you will see some actual data on this and other topics related to global warming.

Rick, as someone who has spent many years training in the sciences I have a good deal of respect for where you are coming from. I got my BS in Biology and an MS in Physiology before going into medicine. With all due respect I have to disagree with this comment. I am afraid you are a victim of propganda by the “Anti global warming” side on this point.

Here’s a quote directly from the CDC website:  “Malaria is a mosquito-borne disease ...Each year 350-500 million cases of malaria occur worldwide, and over one million people die, most of them young children in sub-Saharan Africa.”
( link - http://www.cdc.gov/malaria/)

And here’s a map of the geographic distribution of malaria:
geodistribution.gif 

( link- http://www.cdc.gov/malaria/distribution_epi/distribution.htm)

Unless the CDC is in on this conspiracy and all my years of training and experience are wrong, malaria is still a tropical disease. Errors like these make one wonder about the accuracy of some of your other statements. You are absolutely correct that no one should believe these theories without investigating them thoroughly. But that goes for both sides of the argument.

[ Edited: 08 April 2008 11:14 AM by macgyver ]
 Signature 

For every complex problem there is a solution that is simple, obvious,.... and just plain wrong

Profile
 
 
Posted: 08 April 2008 12:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
Jr. Member
Rank
Total Posts:  14
Joined  2008-04-07

I’m going to have to put you off for a while.  I am having to search for my references on malaria.  The giant tragedy in Siberia is pretty well documented but I’ll find the reference for you.

If you dig into the DDT controversy some of the little known data comes to light.  Yes, the vast majority of cases of malaria are found in the tropics today, but malaria is not, by any means, limited to the tropics. 

The Mayo Clinic has even published incidences of malaria in Indiana.  I will find that reference for you, too.

Back to you later…

Profile
 
 
Posted: 08 April 2008 12:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2190
Joined  2007-04-26

Malaria can occur in non tropical areas but such cases are rare and in most situations they are found in people who recently returned to those areas from a tropical region. Your comment though to quote you directly was “The largest number of deaths from malaria occurred in that “global hot spot” Siberia. “. You weren’t talking about a few sporadic cases that occasionally turn up in temperate or cold climates. Even if there were a large number of cases in Siberia on one occasion that is not representative of the global distribution of malraia cases and malaria deaths. Its the exception not the rule.

I think we’re losing the forest for the trees though. The fact is that any change in climate will most certainly cause a change in the distribution of many diseases and parasitic organisms, not just malaria. Dengue fever, yellow fever, filariasis are just a few additional diseases that are much more common in tropical regions. There are also many illnesses that are common in temperate climates. Some diseases that are not even thought of as infectious diseases are climate dependant such as multiple sclerosis which is more common in temperate regions. Influenza is also more common in temperate reions. As with other climate issues, some areas may see a decrease in certain illnesses and others may see an increase. On balance though we will probably see a net increase.

[ Edited: 08 April 2008 01:36 PM by macgyver ]
 Signature 

For every complex problem there is a solution that is simple, obvious,.... and just plain wrong

Profile
 
 
Posted: 08 April 2008 01:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  339
Joined  2008-02-27

I am admittedly no scientist, but I see a number of things that make me skeptical of global warming.  First, the temperature has risen one degree in 100 years.  That’s really not that much and it would seem that there could be a number of factors that caused this rise.  It is interesting to me that half of the rise in temperature occurred before 1950 which was before the significant increase in human influenced CO2 output.  One would think that the increase would be greater in the last 50 years. 

http://cdiac.ornl.gov/trends/temp/jonescru/graphics/nhshgl.jpg


Second, a number of theories upon which the global warming theory is based have been challenged.  First, the “hockey stick” graph has been shown inaccurate.  Second, I read that the assumptions regarding the oceans’ temperatures were being reassessed.  I read somewhere that now that scientific instruments can make temperature readings 24 hours a day, previous measurements may have to be disregarded.  It seems that by using 24 hour measurements, it has been learned that ocean temperatures can fluctuate in a single spot by up to 15 degrees in a single day.  I could not find that article, but that discovery may have spawned the news that the ocean temperatures have not been rising as expected:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=88520025

It has always seemed strange to me that the sun could be so quickly disregarded as the source of temperature fluctuation.  It is my understanding that we can’t really even measure how much heat the sun puts on the Earth when factoring all of the output of the sun in radiation, heat, etc is taken into account.  I have included an article that details some of the uncertainty about how the sun works and the heat discharge:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17723866/


There is evidence that the sun is responsible for the increase in temp, it appears that the Martian polar caps are melting at a higher rate than usual:

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/02/070228-mars-warming.html


I guess that puts me in the minority.  Point taken Doug on finding 400 scientists to say anything, you really crushed the legitimacy of the number effectively.  That being said, I think the aforementioned anti-manmade global warming minority has more available evidence than the anti-evolutionary people.  Further, our basis of skepticism does is not based on an article of faith such as the Bible. 

My suspicion is that global warming has been cast in stark and overstated terms for largely political purposes.  The Left, with cause, has accused the Bush Administration of fear mongering re: terrorism, but it seems the global warming side engages in some of the same tactics when talking about ocean floods and ice ages within the next 100 years.  The danger here is that if the sky doesn’t fall and we don’t become cannibals in 30 years (ha ha, you global warming advocates are stuck with Ted Turner), the average person loses interest and confidence in the scientific community. 

There are serious issues to be addressed, we should reduce pollution (whether global warming is real or not, reducing pollution has improved air quality in LA and we don’t have to wear surgical masks in our large cities unlike in Beijing).  We need to create more efficient forms of energy.  We need to address the reduction of natural habitats and species on land and sea.

JRM

Profile
 
 
Posted: 08 April 2008 03:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
Jr. Member
Rank
Total Posts:  14
Joined  2008-04-07

I have a bunch of malaria references that I will list below.  I understand the natural speculation that tropical diseases will become more prevalent at higher latitudes but that would require quite a bit of a temperature change, one that may never come about.  I reiterate: these predictions of the future are highly flawed. 

The actual effects of this warming period have been very small.  For example, I have a list of seven or eight researchers from all over the world who have found no change in the ocean’s depth in the last century measured in the Pacific Islands, Asia, Europe and North America.  Another example is the continual downward revision of the increase in troposphere temperature.  The thickening of the Greenland ice sheet in some places while it melts in others, the lower temperature of Antarctica in recent years with higher accumulation of snow and ice…  The data is coming in and is there for all to see.

Paul Reiter of the Pasteur Institute is a well known expert on malaria.  He says that it should not be called a tropical disease because it has always been found native to much higher latitudes.  No, this is not because of a carrier being infected in the tropics although there are plenty of incidences of that happening, too.

A book that was recommended to me is, “The Making of a Tropical Disease: A Short History of Malaria (Johns Hopkins Biographies of Disease) by Randall M. Packard.  I don’t know why he uses “Tropical Disease” in the title when he begins the book with the story of the Siberian outbreak that killed a million or so.  He includes many examples of malaria existing in higher latitudes.

A quick Google search turned up a zillion (or more) papers on malaria around the North Sea, in the coastal marshes in the South of England and lots of stuff from the WHO European Division about controlling malaria in Kazakhstan and neighboring, hard to spell, countries.

“Dr. William Worrall Mayo and the Minnesota Territory” Mayo Clinic Proceedings at http://www.mayoclinicproceedings.com/inside.asp?AID=2542&UID;=  tells about malaria in Indiana.  Interestingly, it is the malaria in Indiana that is the reason for the location of the Mayo Clinic.

I must agree with Paul Reiter and I wouldn’t call malaria a tropical disease because it has occurred naturally and often outside the tropics.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 08 April 2008 04:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2190
Joined  2007-04-26

Rick. I’ll have to see if I can get my hands on that book, but any way you look at it malaria is primarily a tropical disease. The vast majority of people who contract and die from malaria live in warm climates. Please refer to the CDC map above. I will have to look at the referrence in the book about the Siberian malaria episode since I can’t find anything about it through google yet, but even if a million people did die in Siberia in an isolated incident that is not a common occurence there. A million people die from malaria every single year and the majority of them are in sub Saharan Africa. I’ve treated several cases of malaria in NY, but all of them were from people who recently returned from areas where malaria is endemic. I have never seen a native New Yorker who contracted malaria locally despite an abundence of mosquitos in this area.

There will always be exceptions, but by and large malaria is a tropical disease. That’s why the author you cited called it such in the title of his book. It wasn’t just an oversight.

 Signature 

For every complex problem there is a solution that is simple, obvious,.... and just plain wrong

Profile
 
 
Posted: 08 April 2008 04:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
Jr. Member
Rank
Total Posts:  14
Joined  2008-04-07

Yes, it’s just a matter of accepted terminology, I agree.  And you will notice that some of the historic references are in places that no longer have common malaria outbreaks.  So in our lifetimes, malaria has mostly confined itself to the tropics, making the terminology meaningful.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 08 April 2008 11:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2416
Joined  2007-07-05

Even if temperatures did rise slowly there is a possibility that the climate has a ‘trip mechanism’ where a positive feedback loop will cause more rapid temperature changes once a certain global temperature is reached. There seem to be some very plausible arguments to support this theory ( ie: loss of snow and ice leading to greater absorption of sunlight causing increase temperatures and more loss of snow and so on)

Exactly!

Messing with the only life support system you have should be obviously DUMB.

Especially when they talk about doing it for the economic growth of GDP but they fail to mention NDP.

Even worse than that is they don’t say what is wrong with NDP.  When was the last time you heard an economist specify the losses due to the depreciation of consumer automobiles?

How much pollution is created to manufacture the automobiles?  They make a big deal of the pollution coming from the cars after they are manufactured but who talks about the pollution that results from making them?  So if the cars last longer then we might have less pollution from manufacturing and there would be less of that depreciation that economists pretend ain’t happening.

psik

 Signature 

Fiziks is Fundamental

Profile
 
 
   
2 of 4
2
 
‹‹ Thermodinamics      Twins ››