Global Warming

xxanime_junkyxx

-sama
Retired
Well, i thought this topic could call alot of discussion, so i thought i might as well put it up! Okay, so one day i was sitting in the car with my dad and we began to talk about global warming. He said that some people didn't even believe that there was such a thing! That there was a climate change from the ice age to now, so the same thing must be happening now right? I was shocked that people were being so ignorant? Are there others out there that really believe that global warming is a fluke?

It's not the fact that the climate is changing, it's the fact that the climate is changing at such an exponentially high rate. Such a high rate that other animals are not able to adapt to such a quick change. What is happening to humanity these days? Do they not want to care about the very planet that they are living on?
 

darkdog

-dredg
Retired
well, i've heard quite a few arguments from both sides..

there are 2 major facts that we should be aware of, in my opinion:
1- Weather isn't constant.
It's perfectly normal for weather to change -- we might be accelerating those changes, but the weather could be warming up even without our intervention. And i guess that weather cycles take a long time to happen, which means that, if we're having the highest temperature of the last X years, it might only mean we're on the "warming" part of the cycle right now.

2- The temperature measurement today might not be in the same conditions as years ago.
From what i know, metereologic posts where temperatures are measured were created outside of cities, to prevent being influenced by a city's local pollution and "warmth". However, cities have grown and many metereologic posts are closer to cities now than they were before -- which might justify the increased temperature such posts are reading.

My point is not that there isn't such a thing as global warmth: the threat exists and should be dealt with. But there's more to it than the straight "we pollute, thus the world gets warmer" way of thinking many people are stuck at..
 

rtgmath

-san
Kouhai
QUOTE (darkdog @ Jan 29 2007, 06:58 AM)well, i've heard quite a few arguments from both sides..

there are 2 major facts that we should be aware of, in my opinion:
1- Weather isn't constant.
It's perfectly normal for weather to change -- we might be accelerating those changes, but the weather could be warming up even without our intervention. And i guess that weather cycles take a long time to happen, which means that, if we're having the highest temperature of the last X years, it might only mean we're on the "warming" part of the cycle right now.


True. Weather isn't constant. However, even accounting for known factors which influence warming and cooling (and we know quite a lot), the fact is that mankind's "civilized" activities have contributed or altered a very significant share of these. We are learning that even relatively minor changes in the weather can have significant effects elsewhere.

Which brings us to the neglected point of the whole warming debate. The issue is not whether the change in weather is bad for the earth. That we are hastening the extinction of huge number of species by our reckless behavior is evident. But that is not the major issue. The issue is that changes in the weather are bad for humans. Our own contributions to the changes in weather are altering the environment in which we developed. We are endangered by our own success. What we are doing to other species we are in fact doing to ourselves.

Let us take the argument that weather cycles are entirely natural. Does anyone really believe that to be true? Does anyone argue that processes once in a state of relative balance have been turned out of balance by human activity?

And even if not, what does global warming mean for the human species? What do we need to prepare for? Somehow we have got to understand it. Even saying that humans don't have anything to do with it can't excuse ignoring what is happening.


QUOTE 2- The temperature measurement today might not be in the same conditions as years ago.
From what i know, metereologic posts where temperatures are measured were created outside of cities, to prevent being influenced by a city's local pollution and "warmth". However, cities have grown and many metereologic posts are closer to cities now than they were before -- which might justify the increased temperature such posts are reading.

This is problematic. Yes, many of the meterologic posts are closer to the cities. However, we have many posts throughout the world, and the concensus is that warming is occurring. Not on a linear scale, and not all at once. But average temperatures have increased, many of them far away from the cities. This is what we find affecting sea ice in the Arctic. No cities there! Yet temperatures have increased dramatically on average, reducing the amount of ice formed and increasing the amount of melt. It is a major factor in the melting of glaciers, far from where cities are.

But suppose you were correct in this assumption. The growth of cities affects local weather -- which affects weather elsewhere. Devasting storms have been generated by the intense heat of the cities on areas downwind of them, sometimes for over a hundred miles. You have heard of El Nino and La Nina? These are ocean effects a third of the globe away and they influence our weather *here* in the US, they influence the formation and strength of hurricanes in the Atlantic. And they influence weather in Northern Europe. There are a multitude of other effectors, true. However, the discovery of how dramatic an influence ocean temperatures far away can have on our own weather was one of the major achievements in meteorology.

Indeed, we hardly know at times where a "natural" influence ends and the "human" influence begins. But that does not negate the human influence except to say that no matter how big we think it is, everytime we investigate deeper, the human influence appears to get bigger.


QUOTE My point is not that there isn't such a thing as global warmth: the threat exists and should be dealt with. But there's more to it than the straight "we pollute, thus the world gets warmer" way of thinking many people are stuck at..

I'll agree. But my experience with those who argue against the human influence in global warming has been that their arguments are an excuse for inaction. There is no proof that humans are the major mercury polluters (since there is evidence of natural mercury pollution!), so we don't need to stop polluting. There is no proof that we will run out of oil one day, so we don't need to make vehicles more efficient or find alternate sources of energy. The depletion of fish stocks can't be proven to be attributable to overfishing or strip mining the ocean floor of life, so keep doing it.

Sigh. It will be a wonder if humanity survives.

Regards,
 

Bold

-kenja sama
Retired
QUOTE (rtgmath @ Jan 29 2007, 05:52 PM) Let us take the argument that weather cycles are entirely natural. Does anyone really believe that to be true? Does anyone argue that processes once in a state of relative balance have been turned out of balance by human activity?
stable? I would like to point out the ice ages (there were at least 2 major ones I know of). Even toady we are unsure of why they started and what exactly cause the "global warming" that cause the land to look like what we see today.

I am not denying we are acting on our environment, but saying its all humans fault is not so easy. Weather specialist like to say things like "this is the hottest summer on record". But keep in mind that we have weather data only for about the last 100 year. And those are not records of the whole globe.

Considering the earth is a few million years old, basing calculation on the last 100 year is a bit small to presume explaining the way it all works.


QUOTE (darkdog @ Jan 29 2007, 08:58 AM)My point is not that there isn't such a thing as global warmth: the threat exists and should be dealt with. But there's more to it than the straight "we pollute, thus the world gets warmer" way of thinking many people are stuck at.. Totally agree there. Pollution is definitely not a good thing but way too many people are using the "global warming" simply to support their political agenda. And many of the masses of people follow blindly saying "they are scientists, they must know what they are saying".
 

d'observer

-Procrastination Expert
Sempai
Well,according to some research and calculation made by the experts,if the raises of the global temperature keep it's pace like it were tday,three of our contry's major port would sink permanently under water by 2050(though I don't know how long is that permanently,1000 or 10,000 years could be considered as one I guess...)*sigh*Just how I couldn't be concern about this thing...
Well,guess when stuff happens,stuffs happens.But if we could do something about it,why the hell we not do it?Because when the thing take it's effect,we(our generation) have already gone,dead?That's pretty selfish I must say.I agree with rtgmath-san,since we know a little bit of the cause and effect things that's going on here,why not try to reduse the cause,so the effect would also be reduced?QUOTE (Bold-sama)stable? I would like to point out the ice ages (there were at least 2 major ones I know of). Even toady we are unsure of why they started and what exactly cause the "global warming" that cause the land to look like what we see today.

I am not denying we are acting on our environment, but saying its all humans fault is not so easy. Weather specialist like to say things like "this is the hottest summer on record". But keep in mind that we have weather data only for about the last 100 year. And those are not records of the whole globe.

Considering the earth is a few million years old, basing calculation on the last 100 year is a bit small to presume explaining the way it all works.Kind of agree on that too_Our knowledge over this matter was indeed small,and there's lots of thing yet to be discovered.But at least we know some of humans actions were indeed accelerating this global warming stuff,like I said before,why not we find a way to reduce that 'acceleration'?It won't hurt much I guess.If there's indeed nothing can we do about it,then that's it.(of course I'm aware neither darkdog-sama nor Bold-sama says they against this
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)
It's just many people,especially the factories' owner have the mentality of "providing environment friendly stuff cost lots of money..." and "Well,we're in 40's/50's,when this s*** happens,we're long gone from this world!".Well for those type of people,don't you think your 'precious' money won't do any good either when you're dead?!
Anyway,I guess i gonna stop at that,will be joining in for more when thing got 'warmer' here...
Good Day,
 

Bold

-kenja sama
Retired
QUOTE (d'observer @ Jan 30 2007, 03:30 AM) I said before,why not we find a way to reduce that 'acceleration'?It won't hurt much I guess.If there's indeed nothing can we do about it,then that's it.(of course I'm aware neither darkdog-sama nor Bold-sama says they against this
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)
It can be more costly than you think. And I am not talking only money. There are some concrete things that can be done today and believe me, many are being done. But the point is that any actions, takes time to be implemented by the industry and will tie up lots of ressources.

For instance, look at the RoHs standard. It is a standard where your product are lead free as well as 6 other polluting chemical. It will be mandatory to sell products in Europe in 3 years. This may look like a great idea (and it is) but there are some engineering challenges around it. For instance, most electronic components are soldered on lead based "wave oven". Replacing lead by a nickel based material is doable, but it means higher soldering temperatures (which can harm electronic components) and a new wave oven machine. Those things are rather expensive (we are talking about a few 100 000$)

Bottom line is, your DVD player will cost more to produce, so you (the consumer) will have to bear the cost.

So the point is that we have to be aware that its not just "the big bad industry" that is polluting. No one likes to pollute. But we have to be careful not to produce an economic shock that would reduce greatly the activity level. It is specially important since activity means R&D (research and development) which in turn can lead to newer, more efficient and environment friendly ways of doing things.

Of course, the idea is NOT to believe in magic by saying "no need to reduce pollution, science will solve it all in due time". Things have to be done now, but we have to be aware of the repercussion.
 

darkdog

-dredg
Retired
well, i wasn't trying to convince anyone that global warming isn't an issue and that it isn't our fault that it is happening.. i just thought that this discussion would become one sided if i just said "global warming is happening and i'm shocked that so little is being done about it"
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QUOTE (rtgmath)Indeed, we hardly know at times where a "natural" influence ends and the "human" influence begins. But that does not negate the human influence except to say that no matter how big we think it is, everytime we investigate deeper, the human influence appears to get bigger.
i couldn't have said it better! see, posting some arguments "against" global warming was worth it, the replies were pretty good
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d'observer

-Procrastination Expert
Sempai
QUOTE (Bold-sama)Of course, the idea is NOT to believe in magic by saying "no need to reduce pollution, science will solve it all in due time". Things have to be done now, but we have to be aware of the repercussion.
I guess so
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It's just this "life ain't that easy".....I guess?But as long as we don't yet achieve the ability to move and survive at other planet,guess we need to take care of our big ol' Earth.
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To be honest,I myself think that it's quite hard to accomplish that,especially for the developing countries.(guess that includes my own country
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).Most of them have not yet attained the level of technology to deal with this effectively.Also one of the main course of air polution,that is the industrial sect(which contributes to 'global warming'
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) is crucial for their development process,which itself crucial for attaining the proper technology for all this environment-friendly stuff.So,it's pretty hard for most of us.
"You want to save the Earth?But your current technology won't allow it.Guess you'll have to drop your industrial sect along with your development process for good to do this
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"
or
"You want to develop as hi-tech and well-develop nation?No good.How about all the 'sacrifices' needed to do this?Don't you care about your lovely Earth?"
The situation is like,uh.......well...a pinch!No matter which path we took,it'll cost us heavily.And not to mention,no matter which path we took,there's always people who will be disapproving it.
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Guess we have to rely on the already well-developed countries to do some research and develop a proper technology needed for this.But then,it'll be like just Bold-sama has mentioned,the under-developed contries mostly couldn't shoulder the cost needed for such stuff,if there's any.And of course,the contry that developed it would become all the way richer.
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while the contry that was already 'poor',well would become all the way 'poorer',IF they decide to bought the tech.
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Anyway,I'm actually kinda pissed with lots of 'well-developed' nation on this thing.Many of them tends to blame other under-developed contries,saying "Hey,your industry produced to much smoke!" or "What a barbaric contry,for the sake of your own development,you'd rather sacrifice the whole mankind?!".It's not like they've never done this before!Remember "Industrial Revolution'?Duh!
QUOTE (darkdog-sama)well, i wasn't trying to convince anyone that global warming isn't an issue and that it isn't our fault that it is happening.. i just thought that this discussion would become one sided if i just said "global warming is happening and i'm shocked that so little is being done about it"


QUOTE (rtgmath)
Indeed, we hardly know at times where a "natural" influence ends and the "human" influence begins. But that does not negate the human influence except to say that no matter how big we think it is, everytime we investigate deeper, the human influence appears to get bigger. 


i couldn't have said it better! see, posting some arguments "against" global warming was worth it, the replies were pretty good  Pretty slick moves by darkdog-sama,eh?
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The stronger we 'approve',yet the stronger they 'disapprove'...opening lots of way of viewing a thing.
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xxanime_junkyxx

-sama
Retired
i agree to the extent that third world countries really dont have the time or the money to be thinking about such things, but what really makes me mad is the fact that one of the richest countries in the world, hersay, america, doesn't seem to give a damn! they are one of the largest contributers towards pollution in the world, standing 3rd behind china and india!

Europe is much farther ahead than asia or north america in terms of taking care of the environment, and i am impressed at the initiative that they have taken. I mean, the European Union does take time and actually cares about the environment, for the UN, they did have the Kyoto protocol, which was a sad excuse for an attempt because it wasn't mandatory first of all and it wasn't a regulation either, it was just something that could be done at will.

if such sad and meger attempts are used in the future then it can be certain that saving the environment will be a failure. Though I can understand that environment isn't priority right at the moment, countries are too busy building their GDPs and having god forsaken wars over oil and power, ha, how can saving the environment even compare?

on another note, it really amazes me at the fact at how beautiful this earth really is, taking a look of a photo from space, it is so serene and stunning, it sustains life, yet we as humanity are contaminating it, taking it for granted, we are too spoiled by the abundant sources that it has to offer, as soon as though natural resources are gone, we're officially screwed.

actually, i was quite happy when i think 5/6 mnths ago, oil prices jacked up. i was hoping that people would realize that they couldn't depend on oil and gas so much, that they'd use less energy and drive their car around less. But it amazed me that people carried on with their normal routines as if nothing was the matter, so if higher oil and gas prices wont even help, then honestly, what will knock some sense into people?!
 

Hiroyuki

-sama
Retired
Interesting story in the Guardian tomorrow about the extent to which the White House has muzzled american scientists to supress the truth about global warming, with scientific papers actually being rewritten by a White House spin doctor:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/frontpage/story/0,,2002574,00.html
QUOTE Much of the testimony yesterday centred on the influence exerted by Mr Cooney, a former lobbyist for the petroleum industry who was put in charge of the Council on Environmental Quality. ... In one instance, Mr Cooney personally edited out a key section of an Environmental Protection Agency report to Congress on the dangers of climate change
 

Bold

-kenja sama
Retired
QUOTE (xxanime_junkyxx @ Jan 30 2007, 11:32 PM) for the UN, they did have the Kyoto protocol, which was a sad excuse for an attempt because it wasn't mandatory first of all and it wasn't a regulation either, it was just something that could be done at will. It could not have been any different, the UN do not have legislative powers. They cannot make anything mandatory.


QUOTE (xxanime_junkyxx @ Jan 30 2007, 11:32 PM)actually, i was quite happy when i think 5/6 mnths ago, oil prices jacked up. i was hoping that people would realize that they couldn't depend on oil and gas so much, that they'd use less energy and drive their car around less. This is actually an example of the "things that have consequence" I was referring to earlier. Why do most people drive cars? To go to their jobs. Limiting the usage of cars, reduces mobility which in turn reduces job mobility and limits the economic prospectives of workers.

When you can only work within a certain radius of your home, there are less jobs available. Some people would argue you can move when you get a new job, what about contracts limited in time? A few years back I had a 4 month contract that was rather far from my home. If I had not had a car, I would have had to let go of that opportunity. Cars and motor vehicles (TRUCKS!) are the heart of a modern economy.


QUOTE (d'observer @ Jan 30 2007, 03:57 PM)Guess we have to rely on the already well-developed countries to do some research and develop a proper technology needed for this.But then,it'll be like just Bold-sama has mentioned,the under-developed contries mostly couldn't shoulder the cost needed for such stuff,if there's any. There is also another aspect. As you mentioned, developing country need heavy industrialization. But a country that is developed, still has some constraints. Being a developed country does not mean you will stay one forever.

Meaning that some radical actions, while good for the environment, could cripple even a developed country economy. For instance, lets say we would ban cars over here, Canada would completely fall apart in a few dozen years. (just considering the massive amount of ground you need to cover to move around). The same is probably true if the US.
 

xxanime_junkyxx

-sama
Retired
hmm, you make some really good points there, i do agree that cars and trucks are needed for modern day society, and completly cutting it off from us would be absolutely foolish. Also i admit, the UN cannot make anything the law or mandatory, but the fact that most of the countries involved in the Kyoto protocol are so passive about it that it is ridiculous! My point being is that as a society, humanity, we should learn to conserve. We take our resources for granted and waste on a large, LARGE scale! For instance, energy usage? It is not an unknown fact that Canada itself has energy consumption problems, and they have to borrow energy from the states. In my opinion, that is absolutely ridiculous, if people made the effort of reducing their house temps by 1/2 degrees it would save a lot of energy, but no, on a hot summer day, people would rather have a freezing cold house that isn't even needed in the first place! On top of that, people leave their lights, tvs, comps on for much longer than they would be needed to!

Also, the government doesnt even seem to make more clean sources of energy! Still as a country, Canada relies heavily on coal, while I know that in Europe, they are making a concious effort to take away energy plants powered with coal! It can't be a one sided effort, we have to stop consuming!
 

darkdog

-dredg
Retired
consuming less isn't the only solution to our problems..

for example, i believe that hybrid cars will have a decent impact on worldwide pollution if their cost reaches that of a standard car. even though hybrid cars still need gas, they are way more efficient in using that gas they need!

another good step forward would be support anyone who wants to put solar panels at their house and, eventually, make that mandatory on all new houses. I'm not sure of how useful that would be in canada, but in portugal that would most definitely make a difference..

small steps like this are required for a country to move towards renewable energy (and that would pretty much mean no further worsening of the global warming) without crumbling apart economically, in my opinion..
 

d'observer

-Procrastination Expert
Sempai
Considering the transport problem....we can solve it by providing good and effective public transportation....I guess...
But even so...this method is only practical in big city......don't think rural area would be suitable for this.....(but in my country....the rurals were the one who usually used the public transport...)
My country's public transportatioon is kinda......s***!They always late.....the vehicles used(buses,taxis,etc.) are not visually appealing.....and lots more problem.....So even in our big cities....peoples prefer to used their own transport.....so the cars and other motorized vehicles are swarming around like...uh....well...there's LOTs of them....because resorting to public transportation would only made them even more late.....
I guess if the public transportation network and services are nice like in many major cities in say...Japan....guess the transportation problem at least in big cities could be reduced(again...REDUCED...)....but........it need lots of money too....and the construction works would be difficult to be carried out in already 'compact' cities.....*sigh....*
Guess we're as good as dead....in another 300/400 years...guess even our dead bodies would be in the floors of the sea.....that's something worth to be expecting......(was actually a sarcastic statement...)
 

Drakonis

-chi
Kouhai
That the Earth is getting warmer is an undeniable fact that can't be argued. The causes of this warming however, can be argued. The idea that humans are mostly, if not exclusively responsible for this warming is a rediculous one. On a global scale the influence of humans on the climate is negligible.

A lot of people seem to hold the mistaken belief that the climate is static (stable and unchanging) and everything was fine until humans started mucking up the works. The climate is actually very dynamic (always changing). These changes may not always be perceptible given the relatively short life spans of humans but they are ALWAYS occuring. Stability in the global environment will Never Happen. Why will it never happen? It will never happen because of outside influences such as: Orbital occilation of the Earth around the sun, occilations in the rotation of the Earth on its axis, and most importantly, changes in the output of the sun. The sun you see, is also dynamic rather than static. In the last 100 or so years the output of the sun has increased by 0.2%. That sounds like a small number until you consider how large the energy output of the sun is. Small changes in solar output can have large effects on earth.

Greenhouse gases - There are many more greenhouse gases than just carbon dioxide, the main one of those being water vapor. Compared to water vapor the effect of CO2 in the atmosphere is miniscule. For most of the 4 billion year history of the Earth CO2 levels were far, far higher than they are now (currently ~0.000034%). What happened? Well, there's these little things called plants that developed and for them, CO2 is food. Most people seem to think that CO2 has a linear effect on global warming (i.e. add one part CO2, get one part temp. increase). That is not the case. Atmospheric CO2 has a logarithmic effect. (Think of a line that starts low, shoots up rapidly, and then levels off. Kind of like an upside down L.) For most of the Earth's history, CO2 levels have been around or above the transition point where vertical becomes horizontal. That is called the point of deminishing returns. This means that the more CO2 you add, the less of an effect on global warming it has.
www.junkscience.com/Greenhouse/cause.html

Simply by looking at one aspect of nature, you can easily tell that nature has a far greater effect on "greenhouse gases" than humans do. That one aspect is volcanoes. In 1996 a volcano in the Pacific known as Mount Pinatubo erupted. Over the course of two week this ONE volcano released an amount of greenhouse gases equal to the amount released by ALL the automobiles EVER in their ~90 year history. Human activity is dwarfed by what nature is capable of.

Rising sea levels, so what? They're not going to rise overnight, or even over a year. They'll rise over centuries. I am unaware of any living thing, plant or animal, that is incapable of moving itself elsewhere. Animals by walking, plants by seed dispersal.

Extinction of species? Yes, human activities may speed them up some, but the majority of them would happen regardless of humans. Diversity among species is only valuable in so far as it increases the suvival of the genus. As an example... Canis canis (dog) Canis lupus (wolf) and Canis latrans (coyote) are three species in one genus, Canis. If an environmental change occurs that is unfavorable to any two of the three and they die out, the third will adapt and diversify over time to fill the gaps. The point being that Canis survives. Diversity is not a virtue, it is a long term survival strategy. That which cannot adapt is weak, and that which is weak dies. That's nature, pure and simple, in all its brutal glory. Crying over a species that has become too specialized (ex. Polar bear) to live anywhere except in its small niche is a waste when there are others of its Genus elsewhere (Grizzly, Kodiak, Brown, Black, others).

Hybrid cars? Until they can match the towing and carrying capacity of trucks and SUVs, they won't even be considered by most people. Until then, they're just symbols for envirodinks to let everyone else know how much they "care" and what wonderfully "conscientious" people they are. South Park pegged that one Hard!

A hydrogen based economy? Don't make me laugh. Most people don't realize that it takes more energy to produce hydrogen than you get out of it. Hydrogen is produced through the electrolosis of water, which would require HUGE amounts of electricity to get the amount of hydrogen required to replace gasoline. Where would this electricity come from? Most likely from coal fired power plants. Any polution reduction gained by using hydrogen powered cars would be lost to the power plants necessary to provide the electricity needed for the production of hydrogen.

The most significant change that could be made to reduce greenhouse gases without destroying the world ecomony would be to make nuclear power plants the primary source of electricity and eliminate coal and natural gas fired plants. Nuclear power would supply the vital base load necessary and wind would provide for peak power consumption. (Currently the cost of solar panels is too high and their efficiency is too low to make them practical on a large scale, but in ten years....?) This change would have a far greater effect than the poor joke that the Kyoto Protocol would have had. Enacting the Kyoto Protocol would only have pushed 100 year warming predictions back to 103 years, and done so only at immense cost.

For those who knock Americans for their consuption, consider this. Americans are 5% of the world's people and they consume 25% of world's resources, but Americans also produce 35% of the world's goods and services. Our production is 40% greater than our consumption. The rest of the world consumes the remaining 75% of resources and produces 65% of goods and services. The rest of the world consumes 15% more than it produces. It would appear to me that Americans are the model of efficiency and that the rest of the world could stand to learn from us. For those who think Europeans are so much more environmental than Americans, I'd suggest a visit to Rome. A friend of mine took a trip there last year and said the Tiber river made the worst river he'd seen in America look like a wonderful place to take a swim. Eurpeans have a tendency to place words above actions. They seem to think that if they say the right things often enough then they won't actually have to do anything.

As to public transportation, I also think it would be great if more people used it. Unfortunately it never developed in America the way it did in Europe and Japan. Now I admit this is just speculation, but I think it may have something to do with many European and Japanese cities having the dubious benefit of having been bombed to rubble in WWII. This allowed them to 'start from scratch' and incorporate public transportation into the plans for rebuild their cities. American cities were untouched and therefore continued to grow in the same way they always had. Simply obtaining the land neccessary to build a train route would be nearly impossible in any American city.

Please people, educate yourselves. Anime is awesome (may it live forever) but it isn't the only thing there is. If you want to learn about something, the internet is a great place to start looking and see what's out there but in the end you have to read books to truly learn.

Enough of my rant. Carry on people.
 

Bold

-kenja sama
Retired
QUOTE (Drakonis @ Feb 03 2007, 06:43 PM)Unfortunately it never developed in America the way it did in Europe and Japan. Now I admit this is just speculation, but I think it may have something to do with many European and Japanese cities having the dubious benefit of having been bombed to rubble in WWII. There is an even bigger factor. The same applies to Canada and the US. The distances to cover are vastly superior to the ones in Europe. North-american cities are a lot less dense and bigger (bigger in dimensions, not population) than their European counter parts. The reason is simply because there was more space where to expand. So we expanded.


QUOTE (Drakonis @ Feb 03 2007, 06:43 PM)This means that it is harder to develop efficient public transportation because people are a lot more scattered. That comparison is kind of weird. I do agree that transportation of good (meaning trucks) are a prime source of pollution. But most people do not drive trucks. The most popular kind of vehicle is the 4 door, 5 place car.

Having a more efficient vehicle is not just good for the environment, it benefits the owner by reducing the consumption hence reducing costs.

The bigger problem is the higher cost of hybrid technology. Specially compared to some other technology that can improve energy efficiency. For instance, the CVT. A countinious variable transmission system. It has been in use in skidoos for years. Lately, Nissan has turned to it (and a few others technologies), since they officially defend the position that hybrid cars are not the best efficiency solution considering the increase in production costs.
 

xxanime_junkyxx

-sama
Retired
okay, Drakonis, may I please give you props for completly whooping my ass and all others who believed that global warming was an issue to be dealt with? In my life, I've never heard from anybody, on the news, in the newspapers, from respected teachers and adults the absolutely speechless arguments you gave in your post! Honestly, I am so impressed at the moment I really don't have much to say, ha i feel like a complete dumb ass though.
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But please, next time, please don't make it sound like we are completly shut off in our rooms, only watching anime our whole lives with no awareness of what is going on around us. In fact, literally BILLIONS of people around the world, governments, celebrities, well-known scientists, respected leaders and countries believe the same as we do, that global warming is an issue. Now, you cannot argue that all of them are stuck in their rooms watching anime all day and they are completely void of anything going on around them. It's the fact that throughout our lives that is all we have been hearing from people, on the news, in the media, even learning in SCHOOL, if on a wide-scale, this is what is known then this is what we will believe, until someone has valid arguments and contradicts them (like you have done). The majority of books and reports will support global warming, few rarely argue against them, in science textbooks globally, this is what students are learning, people are making CAREERS based on this issue! There are world-wide organizations that are attempting to 'tackle' this issue, respected scientists even believe this!

So please, next time, don't make it sound like we know nothing about anything except anime, b/c that is quite offensive.
 

Drakonis

-chi
Kouhai
Bold, in reference to trucks, I was talking about standard pick-up trucks (eg. Ford F-Series). I should have been more clear on that, but my point stands. A Hybrid isn't an option for anyone who has a boat, camper, or livestock trailer to tow. The US govt. is currently trying to increase the overall efficiency of vehicles in the US by targeting SUVs and pick-ups. Unfortunately most of the increase in efficiency will come at the expense of power. For example, you have a camper and you're looking for a new pick-up. You're faced with the choice of pick-up A which has 200hp and gets 25 mpg, and pick-up B which has 350hp and gets 15 mpg. Which do you buy. You know that most of the time you won't be pulling that camper. Heck, you only get to go camping two or three times a year. Pick-up A would deffinitely be more economical for you, but it won't pull your camper up a hill. You end up buying pick-up B because it will do what what you need it to. If a vehicle can't handle the most extreme task you know you will need it for, you don't buy it. Hybrids also have safety issues regarding their construction and with the liquid inside the batteries. The battery thing may have been resolved already though. I'll have to look into it.

A-junky, it wasn't my intention to whoop anyone's ass or to imply that anime fans are shut-ins. I sincerely appologize if I came across that way. You're absolutely right, many, many people around the world agree (or at least say that they do) that humans are a scourge upon the Earth and bear sole responsibility for global warming. There are some things to keep in mind about the groups you have mentioned though. Governments have their own agendas and will (rightfully in my opinion) do their best to screw other nations for the sake of their own people. Carbon caps for thee, but not for me. Celebrities? I wasn't aware that fame made people smart. Any time I find out that a celebrity shares my opinion on something, I immediately go back and rethink my position to make sure I didn't screw up somewhere. Scientists? What is their field of study? You see many stories about how 4 out of 5 scientists believe humans are causing global warming, but you don't see the stories about how 4 out of 5 Climatologists think that when it comes to global warming 4 out of 5 other scientists have their heads up their asses. If you have a stomach problem, do you ask a neurologist for help, or a gastro-enterologist? It's the same with science. If you have a question about the climate, you go to a climatologist for answers, not a biologist. Beware the generic 'scientist'!

One thing to remember about science is that there are a great many scientists battling over a limited amount of funding. The bigger you can make a problem seem, the more likely you are to get funding. The squeaky wheel gets the grease so to speak. This goes hand in hand with the media belief that tragedy sells. A 'No Problem' story is boring, but a 'Disaster Looms!' story is exciting. That's why you see far more stories about the coming 'global crisis' than you ever will about things being normal or fine.

Recommended Reading:
Silencing Science by Steven Milloy - Tells how science that doesn't fit the agenda of the moment can be shut down. At 50 pages long, it's a quick easy read.
Damned Lies and Statistics by Joel Best - Tells how a set of numbers can be used to support almost any position you wish to take.
It Ain't Necessarily So by Murray, Schwartz and Lichter - How the media remakes our picture of reality.

None of these books has anything to do with the environment, but they'll all help to make anyone more scientifically literate.


Does anyone else think that Black Lagoon deserves a rating of "Fist of Metal"? *(If someone made a headbanger smiley, this is where it would go.)
 

Konohamaru

-chan
Kouhai
QUOTE (Drakonis)
Enough of my rant. Carry on people.


Thanks a lot ! Be assured that my post here is only meant to expose the failings of your argumentation and the randomness of the underlying postulates, thus fully emphasizing the ridiculousness of your position.



QUOTE That the Earth is getting warmer is an undeniable fact that can't be argued. The causes of this warming however, can be argued. The idea that humans are mostly, if not exclusively responsible for this warming is a ridiculous one. On a global scale the influence of humans on the climate is negligible.

Hmm, let's start with an authority argument:

The world - represented by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has come together in Paris last week to discuss the possibility of human impact on global warming. One of the conclusions of the summit was: there are 90% chances that the human species bears indeed some of the responsibility for global warming.

Based on world's expert's opinions, not on your huffy complaints. Brilliant people have dedicated their lives to studying the phenomenon, and have concluded this. Whereas you, you living ***t, you, who barely reach your average C every semester in your studies, come and try to teach the world lessons ???
Based on what, on some doubtful reading you've done last night ???



QUOTE (Drakonis)A lot of people seem to hold the mistaken belief that the climate is static (stable and unchanging) and everything was fine until humans started mucking up the works. The climate is actually very dynamic (always changing). These changes may not always be perceptible given the relatively short life spans of humans but they are ALWAYS occuring. Stability in the global environment will Never Happen. Why will it never happen? It will never happen because of outside influences such as: Orbital occilation of the Earth around the sun, occilations in the rotation of the Earth on its axis, and most importantly, changes in the output of the sun. The sun you see, is also dynamic rather than static. In the last 100 or so years the output of the sun has increased by 0.2%. That sounds like a small number until you consider how large the energy output of the sun is. Small changes in solar output can have large effects on earth.

Duh. of course the global climate is a dynamic system, and a very complex one at that. Measurements in climate have been taken for over a century now

"Historical records include cave paintings, depth of grave digging in Greenland, diaries, documentary evidence of events (such as 'frost fairs' on the Thames) and evidence of areas of vine cultivation. Daily weather reports have been kept since 1873, and the Royal Society has encouraged the collection of data since the seventeenth century. Parish records are often a good source of climate data."

Source:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_change

So please cut the crap about the "short life spans of humans", unless you have a 134+ year-old grandma to testify that her life was short. Science makes use of all human intelligence because it communicates reliably over time and space. That's one of the cornerstones of its credibility.
This is for the existence of direct recent observations, but geology provides scores of information on ancient climates. That's how we know the ice ages even existed.

Granted, Earth is not an isolated system, so it may never reach equilibrium, but consider a system called "human environment" and formed of
1) the ecosphere --> humans and living beings (plants, bacteria, viruses etc.)
2) the atmosphere --> all gases surrounding earth, up to some 10,000 km into space (add the artificial satellites if you wish)
3) the hydrosphere --> all the oceans on earth and all water in liquid form
4) the lithosphere --> the earth's crust, made of solid rock, down to some 150 km (although at that depth the limit between solid and liquid is not clear-cut)

The outside influences upon this system are quantifiable, and if not measurable (sunlight input), or computable (gravitational trajectories in the Sun-Moon-Earth system) at least statistically assessable (volcanic eruptions, meteorites, drift of the magnetic axis of the globe etc.).

Their time scales are also very different from the interactions that occur within the "human environment", which makes it easier to estimate them over a 100-150 year period.

Put those in the mix and you have an approximation of an isolated system out of equilibrium. Then check
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_law_of_thermodynamics

The second law of thermodynamics, first formulated in 1850 and verified numerous time since then, says
"The entropy of an isolated system not in equilibrium will tend to increase over time, approaching a maximum value at equilibrium."

Meaning that the 'disorder' within the human 'environment system' will reach, at some future moment in time, a state were Earth as we know it will resemble much much more with a desert world like Mars or Venus.

Needless to say we will all be dead by then.

The principle does not say
"when" or "how fast" this will happen
or
"whose fault it is"
.

One thing is sure. That the people in Paris last week spoke of "global warming" as a phenomenon that is part of this (entropy maximization) process, and not as the latest fad.


Then the question is :
"If the scientists saw it coming in 1850, why has nobody acted upon knowing about this irreversible change in our environment ?"
Well the answers are multiple:

1) political situation on the globe --> it has enormously changed since the mid 19th century ( end of the industrial revolution, colonization then decolonization, 2 world wars, globalization = increased exchanges and communication, a relative standstill in power balance between nations due to nuclear weapons )

2) the coming into light of blatant proof that the resources (easily exploitable energy, easily exploitable minerals, biodiversity, drinkable water) of our environment are dwindling DUE TO OUR CONTINUING EXPLOITATION

3) The population on the globe has been multiplied by 5, and its growth is foreseen to continue at an exponential, not logarithmic, rate.

Experts have taken all these things into account and many many others before even coming together in Paris.
So don't think you can trick anyone by saying "Oh, they completely forgot about Mount Pinatubo"



QUOTE (Drakonis)
Greenhouse gases - There are many more greenhouse gases than just carbon dioxide, the main one of those being water vapor. Compared to water vapor the effect of CO2 in the atmosphere is minuscule. For most of the 4 billion year history of the Earth CO2 levels were far, far higher than they are now (currently ~0.000034%). What happened? Well, there's these little things called plants that developed and for them, CO2 is food. Most people seem to think that CO2 has a linear effect on global warming (i.e. add one part CO2, get one part temp. increase). That is not the case. Atmospheric CO2 has a logarithmic effect. (Think of a line that starts low, shoots up rapidly, and then levels off. Kind of like an upside down L.) For most of the Earth's history, CO2 levels have been around or above the transition point where vertical becomes horizontal. That is called the point of diminishing returns. This means that the more CO2 you add, the less of an effect on global warming it has.

Again that crap ...
Of course they have taken into account the effect of water vapor. If the discussion is about CO2 it's because it is proved scientifically, like 2+2=4, that by reducing CO2 emissions from human activity, the world can act against global warming.

And "these little things called plants" are less and less present and less and less diverse (and therefore prone to quick extinction) on the emerged surface of Earth (I don't know about the oceanic plateau) DUE TO HUMAN ACTIVITY.


QUOTE (Drakonis)
Rising sea levels, so what? They're not going to rise overnight, or even over a year. They'll rise over centuries. I am unaware of any living thing, plant or animal, that is incapable of moving itself elsewhere. Animals by walking, plants by seed dispersal.

Yeah, well, fact is that if sea levels rise, coastal areas like New Orleans become much more exposed to catastrophes like Katrina, for instance.
You can build levees, but there's a limit to how much they can hold. Engineers can do miracles, but unlike god, they cannot foresee everything. And global warming might speed up out of the predictions. So just prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

Plus check the cost of moving, by foot, millions of people from the seashore to the hills. And how happy people living in the hills will be about it.

The same is worth for plants and animals, with some violent turf clashes, natural selection and species becoming extinct.


QUOTE (Drakonis)
Extinction of species? Yes, human activities may speed them up some, but the majority of them would happen regardless of humans. Diversity among species is only valuable in so far as it increases the survival of the genus.

And diversity among genera is only valuable in so far as it increases the survival of the family.
And diversity among families is only valuable in so far as it increases the survival of the order.
And diversity among orders is only valuable in so far as it increases the survival of the class.
And diversity among classes is only valuable in so far as it increases the survival of the phylum.
And diversity among phyla is only valuable in so far as it increases the survival of the kingdom (or regnum). E.g. Animalia or Plantae

"But we humans are the toughest the wisest, the most beautiful, we are completely apart from the Linnaean classification
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linnaean_taxonomy
so it's only normal that we (and our internal viruses and bacteria) remain the last ones standing."


QUOTE (Drakonis)
The most significant change that could be made to reduce greenhouse gases without destroying the world economy would be to make nuclear power plants the primary source of electricity and eliminate coal and natural gas fired plants. Nuclear power would supply the vital base load necessary and wind would provide for peak power consumption. (Currently the cost of solar panels is too high and their efficiency is too low to make them practical on a large scale, but in ten years....?) This change would have a far greater effect than the poor joke that the Kyoto Protocol would have had. Enacting the Kyoto Protocol would only have pushed 100 year warming predictions back to 103 years, and done so only at immense cost.

Nuclear power most certainly, but currently the trucks that deliver Uranium to the nuclear plants still use fossil fuels. Nuclear power is considered, but it comes at a non negligible environmental cost too. (Radioactive waste pollutes the lithosphere)

And some countries are denied access to civil nuclear technology by the stupid political stances of other countries ruled by assholes. => they are forced to continue using fossil fuels.

Same type of argument as yours:
What can be done about switching to clean nuclear power is being done. Think of what you can do to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels. Especially regarding the transportation issue.

Wind power yes, provided that coastal areas that are so rich in this natural resource don't get submerged soon, provided that wind patterns don't change in this non-isolated, out of equilibrium, HUMAN INFLUENCED system that is the Earth atmosphere. Provided the technology is made available - no ! militantly spread - worldwide, to take advantage of the best winds out there. (Ok, please share that joke about farts with everyone now
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)

Solar panels ? Yes - but not sure about the initial cost, the repairs required, the total lifetime, the efficiency. One thing is sure, plants make much more efficient use of the sunlight than any solar panel. They just happen to store the energy under a different, and currently not trendy, form. Yes, currently you cannot power your laptop with carrots and onions.
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QUOTE (Drakonis)
For those who knock Americans for their consumption, consider this. Americans are 5% of the world's people and they consume 25% of world's resources, but Americans also produce 35% of the world's goods and services. Our production is 40% greater than our consumption. The rest of the world consumes the remaining 75% of resources and produces 65% of goods and services. The rest of the world consumes 15% more than it produces. It would appear to me that Americans are the model of efficiency and that the rest of the world could stand to learn from us. For those who think Europeans are so much more environmental than Americans, I'd suggest a visit to Rome. A friend of mine took a trip there last year and said the Tiber river made the worst river he'd seen in America look like a wonderful place to take a swim. Eurpeans have a tendency to place words above actions. They seem to think that if they say the right things often enough then they won't actually have to do anything.

[Americans also produce 35% of the world's goods and services.]
Bravooo !!!
But if Americans do so in a wasteful manner it is only normal for Chinese, Indians and other nations to think: we would do better if the rules of the game took environmental cost into account. We could share some 30% of those 35 between us.
The US citizen is a wasteful subspecies that is far too specialized. It cannot adapt itself to the new rules of the game and therefore it must croak in poverty.

[The rest of the world consumes the remaining 75% of resources and produces 65% of goods and services. The rest of the world consumes 15% more than it produces. It would appear to me that Americans are the model of efficiency and that the rest of the world could stand to learn from us.]

Hahaha. I don't know what you count under "good and services" but try this instead:

The USA represent 5% of the world population and they consume 25% of the world's resources to live.
The rest of the globe make up 95% of the world population and they consume 75% of the world's resources to live.

If there are too many people living on Earth, who should be eliminated first, in order to spare some resources ?

But I won't go further in this direction. My view is that there are not too many people living on Earth, but too much blind ambition and not enough shared knowledge.
And the drive towards more environment-respectful technologies is a legitimate one and it comes just in time.

After what happened in New Orleans, and while unprecedented floods strike Indonesia, hurricanes Florida, storms England, it is a crying shame and a slap in the face of human intelligence that there are people claiming we should continue living on just as if nothing had happened.

So US people try to be sports and participate to the effort
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