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Global Warming Scandal
Posted: 08 April 2008 11:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
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Rick - 08 April 2008 10:37 AM

Carbon dioxide levels are known going back several hundred thousand years.

But for tenth of thousands years they are rising.

Rick - 08 April 2008 10:37 AM

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. 

Yes, life will not become extinct because of a little CO2 more: but humans might be. And if they survive, mcgyver has already written a nice scenario.

And just one other thing: using resources like oil and coal just to burn it, might also not be a very good strategy. It is used for a lot of other industry too.

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Posted: 09 April 2008 06:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
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Rick - 08 April 2008 10:37 AM

Science takes time.  Careful data accumulation,

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. .

That is an pretty shallow interpretation of SCIENCE.

And an even more absurd analysis of the current world conditions.

Data for the Keeling curve began being collected in 1958.  The human population was slightly below 3 Billion.  What was the human population several hundred thousand years ag?.  There is less chance of climate change wiping out human life now than there was then.  But now it is quite possible that the side effects of climate change to cause people to kill more people than the actual climate change itself.  This could start wars on a planet with almost SEVEN BILLION people and now we have nuclear weapons.

What I find odd is that climatologists talk about pollution affecting the climate but not about planned obsolescence creating any of that unnecessary pollution.  Then our economists talk about economic growth while saying nothing about the depreciation resulting from that planned obsolescence.  It’s 38 years after the moon landing for Christ’s sake.  Grade school kids should be able to figure out planned obsolescence is happening in cars.

psik

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Posted: 09 April 2008 07:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]
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Psik. You make a good point about planned obsolescence. It is a probelm and a contributing factor to our overuse of energy and resources. Some of it is self driven ( everyone wants the latest cell phone, TV, car etc.) and some of it is certainly driven by the manufacturers. The one example you give however is not a particularly good one - cars. Cars actually last longer now than they did in the 60’s. I remember our family cars would begin to rust out after 3-4 years even with undercoating, and it was a big celebration if your car made it to 100,000 miles. My current car has 70,000 miles on it and runs and looks like it just came of the dealers lot. Because of consumer education and competition cars last a lot longer now than they used to. Occasionally the free market system actually works. I have a Dell axim that I use daily. It is 4 years old ( a dinosaur by todays standards), but I have done repairs when its broken instead of buying a new one. No one ever gets anything fixed anymore. They just toss the old and buy something new. Now if we could just get people to take the same approach to other goods that they do with cars we could get somewhere with this problem.

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Posted: 09 April 2008 08:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]
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psik, let’s try to keep this thread on topic. Bringing depreciation and planned obsolescence in automobiles into every thread in which you participate is beginning to seem somewhat trollish, and you’ve been warned on it before. Thanks.

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Posted: 09 April 2008 09:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]
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dougsmith - 09 April 2008 08:09 AM

psik, let’s try to keep this thread on topic. Bringing depreciation and planned obsolescence in automobiles into every thread in which you participate is beginning to seem somewhat trollish, and you’ve been warned on it before. Thanks.

Does the manufacturing produce the POLLUTION that contributes to global warming or DOESN’T IT?

Are economists saying that doing things to reduce carbon emissions would be BAD FOR THE ECONOMY or AREN’T THEY?

Excuse me if the world is complicated and interactive and the climatologists and economists don’t talk about things that are obviously related.

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Posted: 09 April 2008 09:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]
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Be careful with this “trip mechanism” concept.  It’s an interesting idea but if it’s true then the historical record of climate changes will confirm it.  The data has some provocative moments but firm conclusions cannot be drawn about geologic “blink of an eye” changes that come about in a couple of decades.  The feedback mechanisms with changes in snow reflectivity, for example, are still centuries-long cycles.

All the good progress regarding air and water pollution is a positive side benefit of this “crisis” but it actually has almost nothing to do with climate.  CO2, methane and the like are all important parts of our environment.  I hope the progress being made on eliminating pollution will continue unabated when the anthropogenic global warming scam finally dies.  Pollution is far more important to each of us every day.

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Posted: 09 April 2008 09:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]
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psik seems to be unable to do his or her own research.  It does not serve this discussion to create hypothetical scenarios that depart so far from what is known to be true, let alone ones that are only designed to attack rather than contribute or stimulate.

I have not chosen to elaborate on my view of the role that science plays in the global warming debate, let alone in everyday life because it is not germane to this discussion.  I think that psik cannot, therefore, draw any conclusions about how shallow my view of science is.  In fact, I spend my life promoting the scientific process in society.  It is the lack of that awareness that has caused the problem that we are discussing here.  It is also the misunderstanding of the methods of science that requires that I never assume that my audience has anything more than a Hollywood idea of what science amounts to.  Which is to say, a misunderstanding of the real thing.

Thank you, Doug, for being a good gatekeeper.

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Posted: 09 April 2008 10:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]
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And for GbD: please find the geologic CO2 record and examine the data for yourself.  The rise in CO2 in the near-term centuries is nearly lost in the comparison with the levels of CO2 way, way back.  You will find that the Cretaceous had ten times the amount of CO2 found today.  And that’s not the half of it, as you will see.

It’s really very much more interesting to look at the absorption spectrum for water vapor and for CO2.  There is an overlap.  Since there is about 100 times more water vapor in the atmosphere than CO2, the water takes all the sun’s radiation that it wants.  CO2 is left with only a tiny, narrow bit of spectrum.  So CO2 cannot be contributing a measurable amount of warming.

It is also important to note that there is more than enough water vapor to absorb every bit of energy from the sun possible for that substance.  More water vapor will not increase the energy trapped because there is not more available.  The same situation exists for CO2.  So using the Stephan-Boltzmann equation to calculate the expected rise in temperature with CO2 concentration becomes irrelevant.

Of course, the disagreement of the two data sets comparing the rise in the earth’s temperature and the increases in CO2 proves the point with a simple graph.  The point is further emphasized by the small but measurable decrease in ocean absorption of CO2 as the ocean temperature rises.  There is also out-gassing of CO2.  In no case in the thousands of years of historical data did that variability cause a runaway greenhouse effect.  It is not a meaningful feedback mechanism for global temperature rise as shown by the historical data.

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Posted: 09 April 2008 10:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]
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For good info on this topic I’d recommend realclimate.org. It’s a blog site about climate science run by actual climate scientists.

They also have a list of some articles of interest HERE.

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Posted: 09 April 2008 10:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]
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psik seems to be unable to do his or her own research.

What research have you done in climatology?  Are you calling reading what other people wrote doing research?  I haven’t been to Hawaii to measure the CO2 myself.  Have you?  ( that would be HIS )

Be careful with this “trip mechanism” concept. It’s an interesting idea but if it’s true then the historical record of climate changes will confirm it.  The data has some provocative moments but firm conclusions cannot be drawn about geologic “blink of an eye” changes that come about in a couple of decades.  The feedback mechanisms with changes in snow reflectivity, for example, are still centuries-long cycles.

The problem is that we are dealing with a situation that doesn’t match the historical record.  The historical record says the temperatures started rising before the CO2 levels began to rise.  So by burning fossil fuels constantly and increasingly we have a non-historical event.  So we are in the possible position of reaching a “trip mechanism” that has never been tripped by this sequence of events.  Before humans came along history could just happen but now we get to make it.  Unfortunately we don’t have a SPARE PLANET if we make a big enough mistake.

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Posted: 09 April 2008 04:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 41 ]
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GdB - 08 April 2008 11:22 PM

And just one other thing: using resources like oil and coal just to burn it, might also not be a very good strategy. It is used for a lot of other industry too.
GdB

Exactly. To avoid climate change we should do a couple of thing that we should do anyway, at least if we wanted to keep and improve our civilization. As far as I see, the ‘keep burning fossil fuels’ way is not sustainable and should be changed with or without global warming.

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Posted: 11 April 2008 06:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 42 ]
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Doug,

Thanks for the link to realclimate.org
Very interesting site.

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Posted: 12 April 2008 07:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 43 ]
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One thing I have to argue with the scientist postulating a global warming catastrophe are the strident voices screaming that we are destroying the Earth. Correction—the Earth can take care of itself, it’s time line is completely different from ours—-measured in the millions and billions of years, no the decades of our lives. What we will do is create an Earth that will not support our species. Earth will shrug, Humans, like other life before, will die, and the cockroaches or rats, or ants or something as improbable as the tiny insignificant mammals that evolved into humans, will take our place. I do agree that we are destroying our ability to survive on this planet, and it has to stop. Even if we are not the entire cause, adding fire to a burning house, has never put out the fire or stopped the house from burning down! My fear is that there are enough of those who believe in the Armageddon of the bible, and welcomes the ‘End of the Earth’ when the righteous will go to heaven or whatever their religions declare will happen (and I’m not convinced our current President is not one of those believers!).

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Posted: 14 April 2008 07:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 44 ]
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I’m glad there is a serious disagreement about global warming here even among secular humanists. This is an issue I have been grappling with for the past few years. For every study I read which points to human-centric GW causes, I find another that seems to offer just as compelling data which shows GW regardless of human behavior.  My best guess after digesting the “flood” (pun intended) of data is as follows:


1. We are coming out of an ice age. The earth is warming by (fill in the blank from favorite climatological study here) degrees each year. However, it seems in some cases we also find some areas of the earth where the mean temp is dropping, underlining the fact that we are dealing with an immense, dynamic, complex system.

2. However, man is very probably contributing to GW — how much and to what long-term effect is still worthy of study.

3. We should be cautious before slapping an alarmist label on any change in natural processes (“See, It MUST be GW!”)  Some phenomena like shifting glaciers can also be caused by an increase in parts of the icecap (sounds crazy I know but I have read several references and can produce same if asked). Again, the climatological system is very complex and most changes are caused by a variety of factors. That doesn’t mean ruling out GW.

4. A continued reliance on dwindling fossil fuels is a no-win game and alternatives should be researched which are viable (some highly touted ones like biofuel from corn have problems).  It’s also smart given the limited amount of fossil fuels to invest in more efficient methods of production and transportation. This is not a GW issue as much as it is a common sense priority. That also revisiting our old friend nuclear power.

5. There does appear to be telling evidence that at least some of climate scientists have been pressured to sign on the global consensus. It’s equally clear some scientists have been influenced by industrial lobbies to join the contrarian camp. 

6. Given the obvious disagreement (even in this forum) it’s clear that politicians who know very little about science should step VERY carefully through this rhetorical minefield and refuse to pass regulations which only pretend to consider all the scientific data.  While many environmental regs have proved beneficial, several have led to damaging, albeit unintended consequences which far outweighed any imagined public good.

There, I have surely managed to piss EVERYONE off. But, I’m not going to lie and proclaim the issue is all tied up in a nice “earth day” themed bow.  I have to admit I don’t know where to go next. Personally, I can start by being smart with my own transportation needs and continuing to advocate an open dialog between both “sides.”

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Posted: 14 April 2008 07:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 45 ]
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The absurd thing is how much could have been done to reduce fuel consumption since 1980 without costing very much.  More a matter of changing habitual behavior.  Building houses in the north so that they are longer east and west with south facing windows would increase their energy collection during the winter.  But once you build badly designed houses how long before they are replaced?

I wonder how many architectural schools don’t have any solar design courses.

psik

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