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 Cold, Hard facts take the heat out of some hot claims

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Josh
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 10:36 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

meyer wrote:
How do you run an economy that is based on growth with decreasing resources? In particular if the resource that is decreasing happens to be the most basic of all?

That is the real question isn't it? Reaper's article above outlines very effectively that resource use - whether it's fish, forests or clean water - is really the thing that's going to hurt us probably earlier than climate change does. Sure we can probably adapt to having the earth a couple of degrees warmer, people may have to move away from living near the coasts in hurricane prone areas or suffer the consequences of getting nailed each year, but how will we deal with many of our most basic resources becoming increasing rare at a time when demand for them is growing almost exponentially?

Regarding bio-fuels, I agree that they're really not a solution at all - yet merely shift the problem. USA politicians love the idea, as it means they don't have to rely on the Middle East for oil, but surely it only leads us down a path where some day someone will go "hey look at the Amazon rainforest, that's the biggest source of biofuel ever". The effects of biofuels on world food prices is another issue that's only going to get bigger and bigger.

I think we've managed to keep this thread clear of politics so far, which is actually quite some achievement given the subject matter.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2007 1:43 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Josh wrote:
I think we've managed to keep this thread clear of politics so far, which is actually quite some achievement given the subject matter.


Yep, all because of me of course. Laughing

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2007 1:49 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Of course Reaper, of course.

I haven't heard much of your opinions on this matter Reaper, just that you posted two articles (of very good quality mind you). Come on, what do you think?

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2007 5:11 am Reply with quoteBack to top

well having read the three pages very thoroughly, the unanswered question which lingers on my mind is - Which political direction should I throw my vote if I want to have an impact on global warming?

*stops drops and covers*

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2007 6:17 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Josh wrote:
I haven't heard much of your opinions on this matter Reaper, just that you posted two articles (of very good quality mind you). Come on, what do you think?


That's the trick isn't it? Laughing Post the articles for people to discuss but don't actually give your opinion. I did give a slight opinion when I posted the second article. Hopefully we'll somehow get out of this mess and science will come up with some solution for this.

It is a fact, humans are greedy by nature. Big businesses like electric companies only want profit and really don't care about the environment. Everyone uses excuses to not help, like China said they will only stop if the US stops.

Why can't the world just all get along and do good! Rolling Eyes

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2007 7:10 am Reply with quoteBack to top

China:

China produces stuff for almost every country in the world, which doesn't get taken into account when emmissions commities wave sticks at her, touting her as an even bigger source of emmisions than the whole of the West combined. Yahoo news is a great source of slanted comments regarding this matter.

Hearing these comments calls to mind an image of negotiating with my neighbour to use his lawn as a tipping area and then complaining at him about the smell.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2007 11:41 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I am sorry to anyone who took my post in this thread other than a joke. Sad

BTW, We are constantly recycling. Wink

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2007 11:16 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

UncleNed wrote:
I'm studying physics in University right now,

The strongest image was a graph on the rate of change of the average temperature of the planet based on data collected in the UK since before the industrial revolution compared to CO2 concentrations in the air. There is a natrual rise in temperature every year due to internal processes of the Earth, aswell as fluctuations in the Sun. These processes were responsible for a lot of the natural climate changes in our history. When the CO2 concentration began rising due to industry, so did the rate at which the Earth heated, by a dramatic amount. The type of dramatic that doesn't randomly happen but needs an external effect to cause it. While the Earth has been hotter in the past, there was no evidence that the temperature rose as quickly as it has been doing.


Uncle Ned,

As a scientist you should know that correlation is not causation. I would submit that stating CO2 is rising and temperature is rising, therefore CO2 is the cause is as plausible as the statement that pirate attacks are on the decline and temperature is rising, therefore pirate attacks must keep the temperature down.

http://www.spitting-image.net/archives/004312.html provides all the evidence I need!

(now where is that tounge in cheek emoticon?)

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2007 4:07 am Reply with quoteBack to top

The Man,
Why would you bring up tenants of science? The discussion was just getting emotional. Confused

I have two questions that this group might be able to help me with:

1. Is the earth's atmosphere an OPEN or CLOSED system?
As far as I can figure, all "models" of the atmosphere have to be constructed as a CLOSED system. In other words, do any gasses (greenhouse or other) ever escape to outer space?

2. Why do humans think we are so entitled that we must maintain the current status quo to survive?
Meaning, why do things (technologically) have to stay as they are now or improve for humankind to continue as a specie? What if we evolve and survive better in a warmer climate?

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2007 4:16 am Reply with quoteBack to top

ParaNoid wrote:
Meaning, why do things (technologically) have to stay as they are now or improve for humankind to continue as a specie? What if we evolve and survive better in a warmer climate?

Possibly I suppose. It's a bit of an anthropocentric point of view though - what about all the other plants and animals that wouldn't adapt quick enough to a warmer climate, should we not give a damn about our effects on them?

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2007 4:51 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Poor dinosaurs, woolly mammoths and saber tooth tigers and all the other creatures that humans have made extinct by driving SUV's Sad Not to mention all the SUV's on Mars causing global warming.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2007 5:24 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Since the discussion in the scientific community on this topic is over I've resisted the gravitational pull to post.

Stargate's post about the SUV's reminded me of a sign at a underground parking structure that I saw today. "NO VANS or SUV's" One participant to the meeting I attended was thirty minutes late from walking 10 blocks in high heels in 35 C weather because she could not park in the structure. More signs like this with yellow plastic tubes hung under parking garage overhangs would be good for the environment.

Edit: missing an "a".

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2007 8:59 am Reply with quoteBack to top

^^^ And the people would be healthier too. Is it just bias, or do particularly people who drive those things need more exercise? Laughing

Quote:
do any gasses (greenhouse or other) ever escape to outer space?
Since the greenhouse gases are heavier than oxygen, there is no significant effect. Otherwise we'd have much more to worry about Wink

However, IIUC, that is why there is not much helium around.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2007 9:09 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Apropos of what Don said, I notice that The Economist magazine recently concluded that the most graceful thing humanity could do is gradually make itself extinct.

Unfortunately, we are going steadily (+300,000 people/day) in the other direction.

There are now more than twice as many humans alive as there were when I was born, and I'll possibly live long enough to see the start of the mass survival migrations (from places which can no longer support their teeming populations) which I believe will be the defining feature of the 21st century.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2007 11:18 am Reply with quoteBack to top

^^ If you can't bring the resources to the people, bring the people to the resources?

Interestingly, our obsession with national borders is something that is unnatural and is probably one of the major reasons behind humanitarian problems. Naturally we would have just been able to cross into another area where the food was, but these days it's impossible.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2007 4:03 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

@ Paranoid:

Sorry about the science thing! I tried to temper it with Pirates... maybe you are more of a Ninja person? Laughing

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2007 5:11 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Sorry i missed this one while I was away. You even woke up the rusty dinosaur, and that takes some doing. Lol about Rush and his rants while off his buttcheeks on hillbilly heroin, btw. And he's the one who thinks society is too soft on criminals.

The climate change deniers are often cheer led by vested interests who want to leave things as they are. Perhaps you would like to rant at the roses in my garden, who have taken to flowering in December. They are obviously misinformed leftie roses. Meanwhile, the planet doesn't give a flying f*ck what anyone thinks, if it wants to have a warm wet bit that deluges the low-lying bits, it will. Ask the citizens of New Orleans.

I overlook a large plain, with a couple of million inhabitants. One day lad, all this will be sea. Get over it. I might start building a pier.

The damage is probably done now, however much we tinker around the edges. My mate just came back from working in Dubai. Fleets of big SUV's are left ticking over all day long in the desert while they work, so the aircon keeps them cold.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2007 8:02 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Josh wrote:
^^ If you can't bring the resources to the people, bring the people to the resources?


Josh:

I think that it was Sam Kennison (spelling?) that took care of this idea. Was about one of the famines in Africa.... he said they live in a desert, they don't need food, they need U-Hauls. Move them where the food is!

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2007 10:11 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

^^ That's my point. It's probably quite a normal process for some areas to have their resources depleted and for the people to move on - just look at slash & burn techniques in some rainforests by indigenous people, which has been proven to be a fairly sustainable method of living as long as you give the land enough time to recover.

By imposing national borders, and all the controls that come with it, you're locking people into areas they would normally leave after a while, to recover.

Although from a self-interested perspective I don't think I'd like 10 million immigrants to all come to New Zealand in a big rush.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2007 10:20 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

ParaNoid wrote:
1. Is the earth's atmosphere an OPEN or CLOSED system?
As far as I can figure, all "models" of the atmosphere have to be constructed as a CLOSED system. In other words, do any gasses (greenhouse or other) ever escape to outer space?

It's an acceptable approximation to consider the Eath's atmosphere as a closed system. Yes, some gases do escape (and replacement material arrives from outer space), but the Earth's magnetic field and gravity are strong enough to ensure that significant change would require millions (billions?) of years.
ParaNoid wrote:
2. Why do humans think we are so entitled that we must maintain the current status quo to survive?
Meaning, why do things (technologically) have to stay as they are now or improve for humankind to continue as a specie? What if we evolve and survive better in a warmer climate?

Evolution is a much slower process than climate change. Humans can survive in a wide range of climates, that's known already, but most of the species that we rely on can't. In the past, species could react to temperature change by migrating seamlessly to different latitudes and/or altitudes, but this is increasingly difficult when "natural" environments are increasingly fragmented and separated by wide tracts of man-made environments.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2007 11:11 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

@Josh
Quote:
Although from a self-interested perspective I don't think I'd like 10 million immigrants to all come to New Zealand in a big rush.

Aye, there's the rub.

This year, thousands of Senegalese have decided to go where there is the chance of a decent life and have been packing on rickety boats to the Canary Islands.

It is exactly that process (by land and sea) that I see increasing 100-fold globally over the next few decades.

EDIT: An excellent read on this subject is Jared Diamond's "Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed."

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2007 11:30 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

^^ I totally agree with you there Wright. As our resources become more and more stretched we will discover that some areas can literally no longer support their populations no matter how hard we try. At that point I guess there will be a huge question about whether the food can be moved to the people in a long-term sustainable manner, or whether the people will have to be moved to the food.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2007 1:16 am Reply with quoteBack to top

@ Zen,

Thank you. I had been wondering, and don't have access to the kind of brain power in RL that exists here!

My other question about the atmosphere is: Does it make a difference that the atmosphere is dynamic (as opposed to static) in considering models of the future? [I am guessing it does.]

@ Migration, I have heard that plant types and insects are migrating North/South in response to climate change. I guess the interference of human landscape disruption has a lot to do with the locale. Where I live, there are only 39,000 people in over 200 square miles, so there is a lot of room for migration.

I still maintain that without Science and Technology, humans would be making a much smaller impact on the environment. Famine, drought, pestilence, disease and injury would really thin the herd. Maybe we are just too "smart" for our own survival... Shocked

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2007 4:34 am Reply with quoteBack to top

This story is pretty much on target, and it gave me a good laugh. The good news is that I can now kill a moose, and feel like I'm saving the environment. Smile

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20070822/sc_afp/sciencenorwayclimate

Quote:
Belching moose add to global warming

Wed Aug 22, 3:12 PM ET

A grown moose belches out methane gas equivalent to 2,100 kilograms (4,630 pounds) of carbon dioxide a year, contributing to global warming, Norwegian researchers said Wednesday.

That is more than twice the amount of CO2 emitted on a round-trip flight across the Atlantic Ocean from Oslo to the Chilean capital Santiago, according to Scandinavian Airlines.

"An adult moose emits about 100 kilograms of methane gas a year. But methane gas is much stronger than carbon dioxide, so to get the equivalent you have to multiply by 21," professor Odd Harstad at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences told AFP.

With an estimated 140,000 moose roaming Norway's forests, that is a total of of 294,000,000 kilograms of CO2 per year.

But Harstad said that was no reason to begin killing off the entire moose population.

"Moose have very important functions in nature. They are ruminants that eat the grass. If we don't have ruminants, we have too much grass and that changes the landscape and has consequences for the flora and fauna," he said.

Harstad said the figure of 100 kilograms of methane gas was a rough estimate based on earlier calculations for beef cows in Norway.

As is the case with cows and other ruminants, methane is produced from the microbes in the moose's stomach which help break down the roughage they eat.

Because methane gas is stronger than carbon dioxide, it is considered even more harmful to the environment. Both methane and carbon dioxide are so-called greenhouses gases, one of the main causes of global warming.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2007 4:38 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Cow farts are the biggest source of New Zealand's emissions.

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