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Author Topic: Climate Change and You  (Read 20288 times)

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Offline VekseidTopic starter

Climate Change and You
« on: December 02, 2013, 05:52:49 PM »
I made a post in another thread, stating that people who denied human-caused climate change were either willfully ignorant, or paid to hold that opinion.

Some people took offense.

Since not many people paid to troll forums like this get through the approval process, it's worth giving most the benefit of the doubt.

So, if you do take offense, I have a question.

If it was true, would you want to know?



About a year and a half ago, there was some question as to whether the current rate of oceanic acidification was matched anywhere in the past 300 million years.

There is no more doubt about this.

I would highly suggest reading the articles regardless of viewpoint.

The impact of what humanity is doing is enormous. 40% of Oceanic phytoplankton has died off in the past half-century. This is not some recoverable cyclical change - species of plankton are actually being wiped out.

Some skepticism comes from the form of "How could humans possibly have this much of an impact?"

Geology does give us a sort of measuring stick, in the form of igneous provinces. The most famous of these are the Siberian Traps, responsible for the largest mass extinction in the fossil record. These 'events' are in fact comparable to human activity - the total amount of fossil fuels we've burned + will probably burn is of a similar total magnitude, in terms of what gets released into the atmosphere.

Similar, but for one point: Humans are releasing carbon and other pollutants at least ten times faster than any flood basalt province we can analyze. There is no parallel, no point you can cherry-pick from history to say "but THIS!"

The impact of human emissions is a singularly unique event in world history, and its effects are reflecting this. Insurance companies are not betting on denial, either. Nor are most governments.

Go look up more about what is going on with Earth's oceans, if you can stomach it. They are a catastrophe in the making.



You cannot spend any meaningful length of time studying the Earth's oceans, and what is happening to them, without coming to a fairly solid conclusion.

Which generally resembles "How thoroughly have we fucked ourselves?"

Not as much as some apocalyptic nutjobs will proclaim, no. The cost of ignoring it goes up with each election, however, and it will be paid one way or another.

Offline Moraline

Re: Climate Change and You
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2013, 06:24:28 PM »
All I can do is second this opinion, "people who deny human-caused climate change are either willfully ignorant, or paid to hold that opinion."

If a person doesn't believe it then I think they really need ask themselves why and take a long hard look at the mass of evidence out there that proves it.

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Re: Climate Change and You
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2013, 09:43:24 PM »
I used to see it said all the time that talking about human-caused climate change is a commie conspiracy. I understood it was supposedly designed to provide an excuse for robbing entrepreneurs and workers of their earnings...

Offline VekseidTopic starter

Re: Climate Change and You
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2013, 12:34:40 AM »
I used to see it said all the time that talking about human-caused climate change is a commie conspiracy. I understood it was supposedly designed to provide an excuse for robbing entrepreneurs and workers of their earnings...

Whether or not carbon credits are a good idea is a completely separate concern. My personal view is they are a bad idea.

This does not mean I have to deny reality to come to that conclusion.

Offline consortium11

Re: Climate Change and You
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2013, 09:40:30 AM »
I used to see it said all the time that talking about human-caused climate change is a commie conspiracy. I understood it was supposedly designed to provide an excuse for robbing entrepreneurs and workers of their earnings...

I think one of the issues that at times clouds the debate is that I've seen the term denier/skeptic (often used interchangeably) to describe everyone from the fundamentalist deniers who refuse to accept climate change is occurring at all to those who simply object to the solutions offered. Hell, in one discussion I saw Hans von Storch called a denier because he believes that certain scientists have oversold the issues and because he's pointed out that global temperatures haven't risen as much as climate models predicted.

The other issue is that we're only really given three different "solutions" to climate change, each of which come with pretty significant political attachments; a return to the pre-industrial age, give the government lots of money in "green" taxes or carbon credits and trading (a capitalist "solution").

Those issues all get conflated together and thrown back on the science.

Offline IStateYourName

Re: Climate Change and You
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2014, 10:26:54 PM »
I think one of the issues that at times clouds the debate is that I've seen the term denier/skeptic (often used interchangeably) to describe everyone from the fundamentalist deniers who refuse to accept climate change is occurring at all to those who simply object to the solutions offered. Hell, in one discussion I saw Hans von Storch called a denier because he believes that certain scientists have oversold the issues and because he's pointed out that global temperatures haven't risen as much as climate models predicted.

The other issue is that we're only really given three different "solutions" to climate change, each of which come with pretty significant political attachments; a return to the pre-industrial age, give the government lots of money in "green" taxes or carbon credits and trading (a capitalist "solution").

Those issues all get conflated together and thrown back on the science.

I've been something of a skeptic on this myself...but I've long maintained we should develop nuclear fusion for power and try and take carbon-emitting power plants offline sooner rather than later.  My reasoning hasn't been global warming, necessarily, but rather that we as a species really don't know enough about the atmosphere and how it works to go altering its chemistry.  We are like a small child wandering into the cockpit of a 747 in flight and randomly fussing with things.  Not a good idea, whether global warming is truly produced by humans in whole, in part, or not at all.  There are other effects--and I believe ocean acidification is almost certainly among them--to fiddling with things outside our understanding.

"If you're not trained to operate it, don't muck around with it" has been sound advice for my whole life, and I think we should take it.

Offline Skynet

Re: Climate Change and You
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2014, 10:07:49 PM »
All I can do is second this opinion, "people who deny human-caused climate change are either willfully ignorant, or paid to hold that opinion."

If a person doesn't believe it then I think they really need ask themselves why and take a long hard look at the mass of evidence out there that proves it.

In the US at least, it seems that a lot of it comes from Republican and Libertarian groups and figureheads, and members of said organizations are inclined to believe them as trusted sources.

Offline TaintedAndDelish

Re: Climate Change and You
« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2014, 01:14:00 AM »
In the US at least, it seems that a lot of it comes from Republican and Libertarian groups and figureheads, and members of said organizations are inclined to believe them as trusted sources.

+1

This is frustrating. I am not a meteorologist or climate scientist or whatever. I need to trust someone more educated than myself on issues like this as I really don't have the time to pick apart each and every thing that I need to be informed of. When I see lots of conflicting information, I'm left wondering who to believe. It's very easy to just pick a side and argue that whoever is not for your side is stupid or uninformed. Ultimately you either believe what you believe because:

A. You blindly took the word of someone who you trust.

B. You educated yourself, amassed enough data, and researched the issue enough to be able to decide for yourself which side is right or wrong with a very high level of conviction. ( This is not always possible - especially if this is not your area of expertise. )

For me personally, I don't have enough first hand knowledge and data to determine for myself if global warming ( climate change or whatever ) is man made or not.  I am much more inclined however,  to go along with the consensus of the scientific community than with alarmists, religious folks and yellow journalists ( which all seem to be in the "denial of climate change" camp ).

This situation doesn't just apply to global warming but many other issues. Picking things like this apart is very time consuming. Sometimes you have to pick and choose which topics you are going to really delve into.

Offline Kane

Re: Climate Change and You
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2014, 09:39:30 AM »


Now, let's get real here. If you are in the 'climate denier camp' then you obviously place no value to science whatsoever. To say that climate change is not real -and- human made is just an opinion someone pulled out of their hat these days. It has 0 credibility as a claim. It isn't even a debate worth having.

And for the sceptics among us: Going against overwhelming evidence and scientific consensus is not scepticism. It is scepticism to not believe the crazy conspiracy theories surrounding the subject.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2014, 09:40:51 AM by Kane »

Offline HDWalker

Re: Climate Change and You
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2014, 09:23:43 AM »
The problem I have with this 'environmental lobbying' is that there are no alternatives.

Whether or not I agree with it or not is not very relevant.

Suppose we have 'thoroughly fucked ourselves', what can we do to either stop fucking ourselves or to turn it back. As Vekseid stated, some changes are irreversible, other things are but the alternatives are even worse.

Let me give you an example of my personal issues. I own three trucks, lorries, rigs, whatever you want to call them. They run on diesel and require a lot of it to transport the good my clients have to their destinations. The engines have gotten cleaner and cleaner but still, some people insist on me exploring the possibilities of electric driving. These people still seem to think that electricity is generated by pixies and that batteries grow on trees. Then there is the simple fact that the current day batteries are so unbelieve inefficient that it's hardly worth trying. You need more batteries to get lower radius and then you need to charge them again with power coming from the pixies.

If I could get trucks which are 'green' for roughly the same money, with the same specifications as the MAN V8's I have now, I'd gladly buy them but until then, until I see or read a report that states that batteries grow on trees and pixies make electricity, that won't happen.

Humans have an impact on the earth. Simple fact of life.

I'm going to stick my neck out with this question but look at it from a different angle.

Instead of panicking that we have a (bad) impact on the planet, why can't we accept that we have one and try to limit that impact as we are doing now. The way I see it, there is no point in worrying about irreversible damage as it can't be fixed.

Accept what you cannot change or change what you cannot accept.

Offline VekseidTopic starter

Re: Climate Change and You
« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2014, 04:19:10 PM »
The problem I have with this 'environmental lobbying' is that there are no alternatives.

Whether or not I agree with it or not is not very relevant.

Suppose we have 'thoroughly fucked ourselves', what can we do to either stop fucking ourselves or to turn it back. As Vekseid stated, some changes are irreversible, other things are but the alternatives are even worse.

Let me give you an example of my personal issues. I own three trucks, lorries, rigs, whatever you want to call them. They run on diesel and require a lot of it to transport the good my clients have to their destinations. The engines have gotten cleaner and cleaner but still, some people insist on me exploring the possibilities of electric driving. These people still seem to think that electricity is generated by pixies and that batteries grow on trees. Then there is the simple fact that the current day batteries are so unbelieve inefficient that it's hardly worth trying. You need more batteries to get lower radius and then you need to charge them again with power coming from the pixies.

If I could get trucks which are 'green' for roughly the same money, with the same specifications as the MAN V8's I have now, I'd gladly buy them but until then, until I see or read a report that states that batteries grow on trees and pixies make electricity, that won't happen.

Humans have an impact on the earth. Simple fact of life.

I'm going to stick my neck out with this question but look at it from a different angle.

Instead of panicking that we have a (bad) impact on the planet, why can't we accept that we have one and try to limit that impact as we are doing now. The way I see it, there is no point in worrying about irreversible damage as it can't be fixed.

Accept what you cannot change or change what you cannot accept.

You know why you use diesel engines instead of gas, right?

What most people like me are asking to do is

1) Stop coal subsidies of any sort entirely, immediately, and irreversibly. These should go to alternate methods of baseline power generation. Fission/fusion/wind/solar.

2) Begin switching other fossil subsidies to renewable and alternate sources.

3) Setup public/private division of the world's oceans, and enlist the world's navies to enforce them.

4) Ban net fishing period.

5) End all open sea fishing subsidies. Switch them to fishery subsidies.

6) Fix farm subsidies.

7) Work out how we can regulate what gets dumped into the oceans and rivers that lead into oceans.

None of this is too much to ask, except for the lobbyists of specific industries that this would destroy.

Offline HDWalker

Re: Climate Change and You
« Reply #11 on: March 21, 2014, 04:58:54 PM »
I agree with what you say but again, I don't feel there are enough alternatives. We still like to eat fish and nets are the most efficient way of catching fish. I believe my country has recently overruled an EU legislation allowing Dutch fishermen to try a new method of fishing. Something with electricity or something, not entirely sure what it was. For us in the 'west' it's a lot easier to step over onto 'green' stuff but in other parts of the world where they struggle to survive themselves, they don't really care about the environment.

I'm not a lobbyist for any industry and the reason why trucks usually run on diesel is simply because a diesel engine is a lot more efficient for a truck than a petrol engine in terms of torque, fuel efficiency and maintenance. Aside from that, in most countries diesel is cheaper than petrol. I very much doubt if the environment has anything to do with that.

Are those solar panels green? In terms of what they give, yes they probably are but all the other power methods you named have an impact on the earth as well because making a solar panel isn't exactly environmental friendly. I know you have to start somewhere and I support those things.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that we should accept that we have an impact on the state of the earth and continue to work on making progress into getting more efficient with our ways. Everything we do and make has an impact on the earth. Wind turbines are made of composite materials made out of oil. The computer screens we are looking at are in some part made of crude oil. Crude oil is a dirty business to break down into smaller molecules. Even in being green, we have an impact on the earth but as long as we're working on making that impact smaller, I think we're on the right track.

Offline Kane

Re: Climate Change and You
« Reply #12 on: March 21, 2014, 07:02:32 PM »
We need to ensure that the production of solar panels is not only environmentally sustainable but also socially sustainable. We must promote fair treatment of workers in the solar industries, especially in countries where little regulation exists.

The fact is, production of solar panels can be both environmentally sustainable, and environmentally sustainable, but it isn't either currently. This is simply another thing that has to be taken into account and regulated, it doesn't mean solar energy is not a viable method. It doesn't mean solar energy is inherently ecologically bad. In either case, solar energy is still more sustainable than fossil fuels, even as is currently.

Offline VekseidTopic starter

Re: Climate Change and You
« Reply #13 on: March 22, 2014, 09:39:12 AM »
I agree with what you say but again, I don't feel there are enough alternatives. We still like to eat fish and nets are the most efficient way of catching fish. I believe my country has recently overruled an EU legislation allowing Dutch fishermen to try a new method of fishing. Something with electricity or something, not entirely sure what it was. For us in the 'west' it's a lot easier to step over onto 'green' stuff but in other parts of the world where they struggle to survive themselves, they don't really care about the environment.

Putting the matter off until it becomes a catastrophe is not an acceptable solution.

Quote
I'm not a lobbyist for any industry and the reason why trucks usually run on diesel is simply because a diesel engine is a lot more efficient for a truck than a petrol engine in terms of torque, fuel efficiency and maintenance. Aside from that, in most countries diesel is cheaper than petrol. I very much doubt if the environment has anything to do with that.

This is exactly what I was referring to.

Quote
Are those solar panels green? In terms of what they give, yes they probably are but all the other power methods you named have an impact on the earth as well because making a solar panel isn't exactly environmental friendly. I know you have to start somewhere and I support those things.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that we should accept that we have an impact on the state of the earth and continue to work on making progress into getting more efficient with our ways. Everything we do and make has an impact on the earth. Wind turbines are made of composite materials made out of oil. The computer screens we are looking at are in some part made of crude oil. Crude oil is a dirty business to break down into smaller molecules. Even in being green, we have an impact on the earth but as long as we're working on making that impact smaller, I think we're on the right track.

Solar panels are not very green. Solar towers, however, are much more so.

Offline Sindara

Re: Climate Change and You
« Reply #14 on: May 20, 2014, 08:32:26 AM »
I had recently watched an episode of cosmos, where they discussed that there was once lead in many of our every day products and the companies were paying scientists to say the lead levels in people and the water were ok. It wasn't until a scientist challenged that statement that the government sided with what was in the best interest of public health. But as more and more money is being given to political officials from companies these days, I have to wonder what are they denying now that is actually hurting us?

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: Climate Change and You
« Reply #15 on: May 20, 2014, 05:18:18 PM »
I had recently watched an episode of cosmos, where they discussed that there was once lead in many of our every day products and the companies were paying scientists to say the lead levels in people and the water were ok. It wasn't until a scientist challenged that statement that the government sided with what was in the best interest of public health. But as more and more money is being given to political officials from companies these days, I have to wonder what are they denying now that is actually hurting us?

Just as an example, the danger of routine overuse of antibiotics was downplayed for decades. It can't have been impossible for medical researchers to see the possibility, in principle, of pathogenous bacteria and viruses becoming resistant to penicillin and the like when these were used so heavily everywhere. But it's just begining to become recognized, and now we have strains of TB, polio and perhaps bird flu that are really resistant to treatment with antibiotics, perhaps also to vaccination (I'm really not a medical pro, though I'm aware of this discussion). The results could be very unpleasant.

Offline Question Mark

Re: Climate Change and You
« Reply #16 on: May 22, 2014, 04:40:45 PM »
I think a fundamental problem, in America at least, is how the scientific community creates exposure for this problem.

Generally in academia, which is where most climate research comes from, the emphasis is on validating hypotheses and accruing evidence to support existing or theoretical models (in this case, anthropogenic climate change).  The next step would be to apply these data to real world problems, but this is where we falter.  Sure, we tell people about it.  PR offices send memos to news organizations, PopSci pages share the info, but that's where it seems to end.  The impetus in academia is on continuing research and developing technology, but the actual application is left to private and governmental interests.  In our case, the actual doing is left to the politicians and bureaucrats in DC, a place where scientists have very little influence.  In addition, more often than not scientists are more concerned with the state of their own research -- the experiments and the data and the grants and the committees -- and consider the application of their results someone else's responsibility.  Their specialization is part of this, the structure of the research process another, and the strict funding requirements and criteria as well.

It's also worth noting that there is consensus within the scientific community (97.1%, according to that famous meta-analysis), but not within the political community (only ~50%, given the highly polarized aspect of the Dems vs. GOP).  The sheer ignorance is astounding, but I feel like very little is being done about it by the scientific community.  We just keep stacking up the evidence, but the deniers are looking in the other direction already.  What we have to do is grab them by the shoulder and turn them around, but instead we just make the pile higher and higher.

Fortunately, a few outstanding figures like Bill Nye, Ann Druyan, and Neil DeGrasse Tyson are trying to bridge this gap.  Unfortunately, they are respectively an engineer, a science popularizer, and an astrophysicist.  While they do a lot for raising awareness of climate change, there's surprisingly little participation in the PopSci arena by actual climate scientists.  I think this, along with the intentional deception orchestrated by the GOP/Fox and oil conglomerates, is the main reason for the epidemic of climate denial in America.

Offline TaintedAndDelish

Re: Climate Change and You
« Reply #17 on: May 22, 2014, 05:28:13 PM »

It might help if there was more information about what individuals can do about this. We hear all the horror stories about melting ice and smog, but we still need to heat our homes, travel via automobiles or mass transit, and use electricity. I can't just stop using oil or gas to heat my home, I can't just not have electricity.

I've considered installing solar panels and a battery to get me through the night but unfortunately, I have way too many towering trees to generate a sufficient amount of power.  I could cut them down, but I don't think that's really the right way to go so for me, solar is out of the question. For similar reasons, wind is not an option either.

I try to select cars that are more fuel efficient, I used fluorescent bulbs and am transitioning to led bulbs. I try not to waste electricity or gas or use products that are harmful to the environment, but there's only so much a person can do.



Offline Valthazar

Re: Climate Change and You
« Reply #18 on: May 22, 2014, 06:33:15 PM »
I try to select cars that are more fuel efficient, I used fluorescent bulbs and am transitioning to led bulbs. I try not to waste electricity or gas or use products that are harmful to the environment, but there's only so much a person can do.

Until there's an incentive for people to do this, there's no motivation.    If they reduced my tax rate based on doing these things, I'd do it as well.

Offline lilhobbit37

Re: Climate Change and You
« Reply #19 on: May 22, 2014, 10:33:43 PM »
Until there's an incentive for people to do this, there's no motivation.    If they reduced my tax rate based on doing these things, I'd do it as well.

Shouldn't your incentive be not destroying the planet you live on?

Offline Question Mark

Re: Climate Change and You
« Reply #20 on: May 22, 2014, 10:46:36 PM »
Shouldn't your incentive be not destroying the planet you live on?

It's difficult to motivate people to hamper themselves without an immediate, tangible benefit.

Offline Ebb

Re: Climate Change and You
« Reply #21 on: May 22, 2014, 11:00:34 PM »
I try to select cars that are more fuel efficient, I used fluorescent bulbs and am transitioning to led bulbs. I try not to waste electricity or gas or use products that are harmful to the environment, but there's only so much a person can do.

It sounds like you're hitting a lot of the high notes already. It might not sound like much, but it's the sort of thing that really does add up over long stretches of time and large numbers of people. Importantly, modeling behavior like this for others can have a cumulative effect and help to spread awareness.

A quick google of "what can an individual do about climate change" turns up a lot of good resources. Among them:

http://www.gcrio.org/gwcc/part3.html

http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/wycd/

Until there's an incentive for people to do this, there's no motivation.    If they reduced my tax rate based on doing these things, I'd do it as well.

In the 1970's littering in the United States was a huge problem. Throwing trash out of your car as you drove down the highway was considered normal. Through a number of public awareness campaigns, such as Keep America Beautiful, and through stepped-up efforts to criminalize the act by increasing fines, the litter problem was sharply reduced. Not eliminated, of course; there are still pollution problems today. But importantly, it has become no longer socially acceptable to casually toss trash on the streets instead of putting it in a receptacle.

That's about where we are with the various sorts of individual behaviors that can affect climate change today, I think. If there's a recycle bin next to a trash receptacle, most people will choose to separate out their plastic bottles and toss them in. Being mindful of water, electricity and gas usage is no longer considered odd or fringe behavior. Checking the energy rating when buying a new appliance is typical, especially given labeling requirements. At least considering the tradeoff between gas mileage and other factors when purchasing an automobile is standard practice.

Littering was curbed in part by imposing sharp fines on the practice (a negative incentive), but in practice unless you're Arlo Guthrie your odds of getting cited for littering were pretty low. Mostly it simply required a change in culture, a shift in what "normal, acceptable" behavior was.


Frankly, it should not require government handing you a check in order to get you to take actions which, were they echoed by everyone else, would have substantial benefit to everyone on earth. I don't believe that most people operate on such a mercenary level, at least when it comes to actions which require relatively small sacrifice. But if you do require an immediate financial benefit, then at least consider replacing your incandescent light bulbs with either compact fluorescent or LED bulbs. The energy savings over the course of a year will more than pay for the upgrades, leading to profit after that.

Offline Valthazar

Re: Climate Change and You
« Reply #22 on: May 22, 2014, 11:13:54 PM »
There's a reason you can get 5 cents back for recycling a can or plastic bottle.  In addition to performing a good act, the reason many people are increasingly considering hybrids and electric cars is due to the rising cost of gasoline.  There's also a reason why tax penalties on corporations work as a way to reduce their emissions.

In the same manner, offering income tax reductions for average people to reduce their energy consumption will only benefit the cause.  Many health insurance companies reduce premium rates for patrons who regularly exercise, for example.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2014, 11:15:02 PM by Valthazar »

Offline Ebb

Re: Climate Change and You
« Reply #23 on: May 22, 2014, 11:25:00 PM »
There's a reason you can get 5 cents back for recycling a can or plastic bottle.  In addition to performing a good act, the reason many people are increasingly considering hybrids and electric cars is due to the rising cost of gasoline.  There's also a reason why tax penalties on corporations work as a way to reduce their emissions.

In the same manner, offering income tax reductions for average people to reduce their energy consumption will only benefit the cause.  Many health insurance companies reduce premium rates for patrons who regularly exercise, for example.

You're shifting the goalposts. Of course if you incentivize a behavior then people will do more of it. That's just common sense. But your original statement was:

Until there's an incentive for people to do this, there's no motivation.    If they reduced my tax rate based on doing these things, I'd do it as well.

Or in other words, without such direct monetary incentives there is _no_ motivation for performing these activities. I believe that to be false. And in fact I feel that "soft" pressure through cultural awareness is more effective then straight financial benefits, particularly since people tend to be very bad at doing cost/benefit analysis. For instance, the savings on gasoline will almost never justify the increased cost of an electric car over a gasoline vehicle except in relatively rare cases.


But again, even if you assume that people are driven solely by dollars and cents justifications: Isn't reducing your energy usage, and therefore your energy bill, as clear-cut an example of a direct financial benefit as you can get? Why should the government reduce your tax bill as a reward for your having reduced your electric bill? If people are motivated by lower bills, then the incentive is already there.

Offline TaintedAndDelish

Re: Climate Change and You
« Reply #24 on: May 22, 2014, 11:49:55 PM »
This is tricky. I see Valthazar's point, however I don't really like the idea of the government throwing its weight around and creating more rules for us to follow and more penalties and minor rewards with which to shape our behaviour. This I feel, will lead in the direction of a less than free country. Sadly, we're already stumbling down that dark and twisted road towards slavery.

People need to just do it because they give a shit about our planet, period.

Offline Valthazar

Re: Climate Change and You
« Reply #25 on: May 22, 2014, 11:51:58 PM »
But again, even if you assume that people are driven solely by dollars and cents justifications: Isn't reducing your energy usage, and therefore your energy bill, as clear-cut an example of a direct financial benefit as you can get? Why should the government reduce your tax bill as a reward for your having reduced your electric bill? If people are motivated by lower bills, then the incentive is already there.

I can see now that there are indeed certain people who will readily perform environmentally-friendly initiatives, regardless of the cost factors.  I will be honest that I am not one of those.  I understand what you are saying regarding reducing energy = lower energy bill, but I meant receiving a tax break for installing more energy-efficient appliances, obtaining a cleaner energy source, etc.  There are significant up-front costs associated with these types of things.  I have never considered doing such cost-intensive installations, largely because I don't see a direct financial benefit for me in the short-term (and likely not long-term as well, due to perhaps selling the home later, etc).  Many environmentally-friendly people would love to do these things, but even for them, they are cost-prohibitive, so a tax reduction would certainly help increase these types of installations.

There are already federal tax credits for purchasing hybrids, for example.
http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/tax_hybrid.shtml

Offline Retribution

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Climate change and you
« Reply #26 on: July 14, 2014, 04:13:26 PM »
Let me add my two cents here even if I fear being stoned  :-) As I have said in other places I am a long time environmental professional [24 years in the field] When it comes to climate change I am not entirely convinced it is all man made. Just look at the name change from global warming to climate change for example and it tells you the jury is still out a bit. When we talk of these mechanisms we are talking about vastly complicated things that have many contributing factors and despite our human tendency to think things are always about us they are not. For example some evidence arose last week that indicated our poles may be shifting http://www.activistpost.com/2013/11/pole-shift-it-has-started.html this is a natural phenomena that has occurred many times in the earth's history. It might also have an effect on climate because the magnetic field influences solar rays and the solar wind and how they interact with the earth. Volcanism also has an effect on climate as is pretty much indisputable.

My personal opinion not backed up by any data is that it is a combination of things. Change virtually never takes place in a vacuum. And yes I think human activity probably has and is having an affect I just do not think it is the only thing involved in climate change.  Having said that I think doing all we can to control the emission of green house gases and the like is something we could and should do. It is part of the reason why I went into the environmental field, I got tired of looking at the mess we are making of things. And trust me over the course of my career I have seen visible improvements.

But as Hurricane said when speaking of a global problem it adds up to being a sort of symbolic and meaningless gesture unless everyone in the world is on board. That includes countries like Russia and China and even more so smaller nations that their people do not have the luxury of worry about the environment in years to come because they were worrying about where their next meal is coming from. And I do not think any of us really plan on moving back into a cave without climate control in the near future even if we could for the good of the planet.

So with that in mind I feel we should do all we can to preserve the environment including the factors that influence climate change. And those who fail to follow these concerns should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.    -But- be careful to not give into the chicken little the sky is falling mind set one might read on the internet. Politics and science are both vastly complicated with many influencing factors and climate change is a marriage of the two. While I am not real up on the science of climate change because I work in land pollution I can tell you my phone often rings with someone who is terrified on the other end because of something they read or saw on TV. I supply them with facts in my area of expertise and well most times they do not let those interfere with what they think. We see the same phenomena when it comes to climate change.

My advice is do what you can, do what is right because even though I have never seen a polar bear other than in a zoo I honestly think they are very important. But much like investment you must consider your standard of living and the constraints of our personal situations as well as the demands of society. Shutting down the electric grid is not practical and would unleash a whole other set of problems [yes, I know I went extreme with the list example but it was for illustration.]

Offline Question Mark

Re: Climate change and you
« Reply #27 on: July 14, 2014, 06:46:05 PM »
As a biologist, I have to say that there's nothing complicated about the hard data behind anthropogenic climate change (yes, it's a neat term.  It's also the one used by actual scientists, because it's the most accurate descriptor of the phenomena in question).

The fact is this: rapid, unprecedented climate change is happening.

The fact is this: we are the primary cause of this incredibly fast shift in the earth's climate.

The fact is this: it is our emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses and pollutants that is driving this catastrophic change in the global ecosystem.

These are facts.  They are not up for debate.  They are as obvious and undeniable as the curvature of the earth or the fact that we need water to survive.  If you deny them, you are either corrupt or a moron.  I'm not name calling here, that's just what it boils down to.  If there was room for debate, I'd respect your position, but there isn't, so I don't.

The evidence in favor of anthropogenic climate change is simply overwhelming.  If you deny it, you are either corrupt, or you're a moron.

Now, without any of your logical fallacies or your hand waving or your petty appeals to emotion, state for me why these readily apparent facts are wrong, and why we should believe otherwise.

Spoiler: Click to Show/Hide
You can't.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2014, 06:47:27 PM by Question Mark »

Offline Question Mark

Re: Climate change and you
« Reply #28 on: July 14, 2014, 06:52:28 PM »
Hurricane -

In all of your posts under this discussion you have yet to offer a single fact. Every statement you've made has either been your opinion, or unprovable. There is no basis for discussion unless we agree on what constitutes evidence. It's impossible to debate with someone who doesn't bring anything to the table. If you just want to trade opinions we can do that, but that makes it impossible for the discussion to go anywhere.

If you have no evidence other than intuition, gut feel, suspicions or conspiracy theories, then frankly you have nothing. There's literally nothing to talk about.

Here's an analogy: Suppose you're having a discussion with someone who fervently believes that vaccinations cause autism. They make the following statements:
  • I heard on TV that vaccinations cause autism.
  • It makes sense to me that autism is caused by vaccinations.
  • The people who make vaccines are making a lot of money off of them, so of course they don't want to stop them.
  • Science has been wrong about things before, so when scientists say vaccines don't cause autism, I don't trust them.
  • This one kid got a vaccination, and then they turned autistic.

Now, which of these statements are provable, and thereby worth discussion? Not "true" - true or false can be determined later. But provable. Which statements are amenable to discussion, and debate, and the application of evidence? The rest is literally filler. It adds nothing to the discussion, no matter how loudly the anti-vaxxer may shout it.

That's exactly what it's like talking to climate change deniers such as yourself. This is not just a discussion about climate change. This is a discussion about standards of evidence, and level of discourse, and what kind of thought and inference should be used when making decisions that affect billions of people. It's about human progress, which you claim to be an advocate of. Technological progress comes from rigorous engineering, application of the scientific method, and logical thought. You literally cannot be a fan of science and technology without admitting that that mindset is what got us this far. To abandon it when it doesn't fit your preconceptions is hypocritical at best.

This has nothing to do with what is popular, or what is liberal, or which way (if any) this particular discussion board leans. It has everything to do with how you have a meaningful discussion about any controversial topic. If you want to be taken seriously, you need to do better. If not, carry on.

I never do this but holy crap that made my mind tingle with righteous joy.

+1

Offline Wheeler97

Re: Climate change and you
« Reply #29 on: July 14, 2014, 08:32:11 PM »
http://www.ted.com/talks/james_hansen_why_i_must_speak_out_about_climate_change

^ Former NASA scientist that gave up running a mission to study Venus because the data they were collecting taught us about the Greenhouse Effect and the possibilities for disaster. This video explains exactly why all the data that many confused deniers use to try and *refute* global climate change, instead actually falls in line with the predictions of a model for a warming climate.

Extreme heatwaves and accompanying drought, 50 years ago, used to cover approximately 0.03% of the land area on Earth's surface. These are events that are more than three standard deviations outside of the norm, which is HUGE from a statistical standpoint. Today, these anomalies cover an average of 10%!

Now, Hurricane asked about whether we expect China to be "willing to adopt anti-carbon technologies and policies." The actual answer is: YES. China has been leading the WORLD when it comes to investing in green energy projects. They are building an entire city centered on solar power and other green means of accommodating for their needs. They realize that a nation with their population will struggle to survive on only fossil fuels.

We also don't need every country around the world to stop using fossil fuels, as Hurricane proposes. The United States accounts for ~20% (China is ~13%) of global petroleum use on a daily basis, and 14% (China is ~47%) of the world's coal consumption. We're a country of only 330 million people. It's an obvious example that shows why it's feasible for the current economic powers to make the change, and the rest of the world can switch over as the means becomes feasible for them.

There are far too many arguments that I don't possibly have the time to answer right now. I find it funny, with all the arguing that solar power isn't ready to support our civilization, that Germany leads the world in solar power production. On average, their country received less sunlight in a year than Seattle, Washington (as a reference for those in the U.S.). Recently, They produced 50% of their energy needs during peak hours, for a few hours, by solar. They are paving the way while Americans bicker about it.

Offline Question Mark

Re: Climate change and you
« Reply #30 on: July 14, 2014, 08:48:05 PM »
This is getting a bit heated.

While climate change denialism is really my one hot-button this-will-get-me-frothing-with-rage topic, I should have refrained from using a derogatory term.  Not because I don't truly believe in what I said and still stand by my words, but because it is an ad hominem and does not belong in a civil discussion.  Simple manners aside, it gives the opponent more ammunition in their argument, when they shouldn't have any to begin with.

I have to go now, although I'm disappointed.  I do so enjoy picking apart the posts of deniers, but I'll leave the careful rebuttals of your lack of evidence, moral superiority, and constant deflection of our factual assertions in favor of your opinions to the others in this thread.

Offline Retribution

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Re: Climate change and you
« Reply #31 on: July 14, 2014, 08:57:33 PM »
Doh! wish I knew where the small book I just wrote went when I posted *sighs* Complete with links the gist of which was as a fellow biologist Question Mark I do not think claiming all climate change is caused by humans is a supportable stance....to the point I wrote two freaking pages on it that have now vanished!!! I think humans have caused climate change but there are other factors involved. So let me go see if I can recover my book.

Offline Question Mark

Re: Climate change and you
« Reply #32 on: July 14, 2014, 09:05:29 PM »
Okay, I lied.  My evening just cleared a little.  To the podium!

Doh! wish I knew where the small book I just wrote went when I posted *sighs* Complete with links the gist of which was as a fellow biologist Question Mark I do not think claiming all climate change is caused by humans is a supportable stance....to the point I wrote two freaking pages on it that have now vanished!!! I think humans have caused climate change but there are other factors involved. So let me go see if I can recover my book.

No one is saying all climate change is anthropogenic.  The majority of climate is driven by a number of factors, such as the sun, earth's orbit, volcanic activity, external events (e.g. meteors), the biosphere (e.g. Carbon/nitrogen cycles), and salinity, which is affected by the volume of freshwater reserves in lakes and ice.

These factors all impact climate.  In fact, they define it.  What we're doing is throwing them out of whack.  The carbon cycle (not the food chain one, the long term one), which is usually mediated by everything else, is now being artificially accelerated by our deposition of CO2 in the atmosphere.  This sets off a chain reaction -- trapping solar energy, which raises temperatures, which melts ice and throws ocean salinity out of whack; acidifying the ocean, which devastates the biosphere; and so on.

We're in the midst of a very gradual change in climate.  Solar activity is recovering from a millennia long minima, the earth is between ice ages, and our orbit is doing its usual oscillations.  However, our actions have accelerated this normal gradual change to a ridiculous speed.  10,000 years of gradual warming has been condensed into 100. 

Offline Ebb

Re: Climate change and you
« Reply #33 on: July 14, 2014, 09:13:39 PM »
Doh! wish I knew where the small book I just wrote went when I posted *sighs* Complete with links the gist of which was as a fellow biologist Question Mark I do not think claiming all climate change is caused by humans is a supportable stance....to the point I wrote two freaking pages on it that have now vanished!!! I think humans have caused climate change but there are other factors involved. So let me go see if I can recover my book.

That's so frustrating - I hate when that happens. After I got stung by that two or three times I started using a browser extension called "Lazarus Form Recovery". If it works with your browser you might want to check it out; it's free. I look forward to reading what you're able to reconstruct.

I believe that the current scientific consensus is that while there are certainly many factors that affect climate, human activity has had an effect that is both disproportionate and unsustainable without extreme environmental consequences. I doubt that there are any reputable sources claiming that human activity is the sole cause of all changes to planetary climate, and I don't see anyone here advocating that position either.

Offline Wheeler97

Re: Climate change and you
« Reply #34 on: July 14, 2014, 09:27:56 PM »
In regard to how much change is anthropogenic, consider the following. Over the last several hundred thousand years or so, carbon dioxide levels have cycled between around 200 and 300 PPM, never going above that 300 PPM line, even prior to an Ice Age. It crossed 300 PPM early in the 1900s and we're over 400 PPM today. The statistical probability that this is a natural climb is unimaginably small.

I hope everyone understands that we've stopped calling the phenomenon "Global Warming" because we're actually measuring the increasing energy input on the Earth by the Sun. We're accumulating more energy, which sticks around mostly as heat, than the Earth can possibly let out given the current levels of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere.

Another severe problem we're facing is that the rise in global temperatures is currently melting northern permafrost deposits, which store enough carbon dioxide to raise atmospheric levels another 600 to 900 PPM. That's also not including the fact that permafrost stores countless tons of frozen bio-material that will decompose and release methane, another greenhouse gas, as it thaws.

Offline Retribution

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Re: Climate change and you
« Reply #35 on: July 14, 2014, 09:58:12 PM »
Well shit it is gone so here is a reconstitution as best I can manage:

As a biologist and someone who has made a career in the environmental field I do not support the stance that all climate change is caused by human activity. For the following reasons the first of which is volcanic activity. While volcanism has more of an effect in regards to global cooling there is no doubt volcanos effect climate and volcanos can and do emit significant amounts of CO2. The actual amounts are dependent on the type of volcano.

http://www.geology.sdsu.edu/how_volcanoes_work/climate_effects.html

http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/hazards/gas/climate.php

Also I was thinking about polar shift because I read an article last week on how it appeared we may be heading for one sooner than expect, but I cannot find the article again. But polar shift is an accepted theory and while it is not going to happen tomorrow such shifts cause massive upheavals. There is not a direct link to climate change, but when one takes into consideration the influence such a shift might have on the sun’s rays and the solar wind climate change is not really a stretch. Polar shift has evidence in that the charged rock crystal as they spread from the mid ocean ridges show shift in alignment that are believed to coincide with the shifts in the earth’s poles.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pole_shift_hypothesis

Having said that I do believe that humans have had a significant effect on climate I just do not believe that humans are the only thing affecting climate. It is a vastly complicated field and I do not feel that human activity is the be all and end all when it comes to climate. I feel that simply pointing the finger at humans really dumbs down the whole conversation and I think this link from USEPA illustrates my point in that while humans have a significant affect there are many, many other factors. Of course my point is kind of moot now that QUESTION MARK has named other factors that are involved. And thanks EBB I may look into that program the issue here arose in that I ended up needing to clear my clip board and I thought it was –after- I had posted but something got lost in the world of the web.

http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/science/causes.html

With all of that said when it comes to climate change or any other environmental factor or concern the question always seems to end up back at economics.  Like it or not humans are a permanent part of the world and I for one really want to continue being a part of the world as long as I can manage. The societies of the world all ultimately come back to economics in that people in general need the means to support themselves in whatever culture they live in. With that in mind cheaper generally wins out in the form of people as individuals or in terms of people as governments and companies. I for one do not plan on taking myself back to Clovis Age society and I doubt many people would be interested in that. And I do not see the global economy going back to a barter system anytime in the future so affordability will be a consideration one way or another.

As I said before I am not an expert on climate. I work in solid waste and I got into that field from an educational knowledge of entomology and bacteriology. It is a long story how that all happened but I started with vectors in artificial containers before time marched on. Over the course of my career here is how I have observed new environmental regulations and issues evolve normally over the course of about a decade from start to finish.

There are new regulations passed concerning an environmental concern. There is not an infrastructure in place to deal with the new regulations and concerns there is only a blue print. Not to mention utter lack of experience and working knowledge concerning the matter. Then there is a huge influx of folks who quite frankly are full of hair brained ideas and out to make their first fortune. They proceed to make more of a mess than was already in place. Gradually, over time these types go under or are forced out by environmental compliance and in come more sound businesses and procedures. The competent ones have a greater initial cost than the fly by night types, but it is ultimately always cheaper to do things the right way. So while there is a larger upfront cost but over time one does not need to keep pouring money into a problem and gradually we see the problem or issue that was initially addressed improve.

How this applies to climate change is as follows: fossil fuels are more economically viable or were going back in history. Alternative energy sources such as solar, wind, are cost prohibitive. Remember people, governments, and companies have to still keep the proverbial food on the table. Over time though the costs grow closer together because new technology gets cheaper as it is better developed not to mention just plain old experience. Old technology gets more expensive based on numerous factors, in the case of fossil fuel it is growing scarcity and to some extent government sanctions [there is quite a tax on gas for example]. So the newer technology which is greener becomes more and more economically viable. Finally one reaches a point where it does not make any sense to use the old [fossil fuels and the climate change baggage that goes with] technology as opposed to the new. And as it has now had time to develop there are personnel and technology in place to make it all work.

This has happened in the recent past in other fields. For examples not long ago homes were heated with coal. Then it went to fuel oil and now most are heated with natural gas, electricity with a side order of geothermal. It is the natural progression of things or another example that was given earlier in the thread the anti-litter campaigns of the 70s which I recall from my childhood years. Of course not all of these environmental ideas are so great. We all know Smokey the Bear, but we have now found that years of suppressing the natural cycle of fire have actually made forest fires worse http://headwaterseconomics.org/wildfire/fire-cost-background

So what my point is that simply pointing the finger entirely at human activity when it comes to climate change is dumbing the whole discussion down in my opinion. There are many factors involved including humans, but we might also be having a ‘fire suppression’ issue as well. And while economics is often portrayed as the bad guy in all things climate it has a role to play in the ultimate solution. In science we have very few hard laws and mostly we have theories which may or may not stand the test of time. And that is as best as I can reconstruct my lost diatribe, but my point is do not overly panic all sides have an ax to grind.

Offline Question Mark

Re: Climate change and you
« Reply #36 on: July 14, 2014, 10:33:31 PM »
Agree with pretty much everything you said Retribution.

Offline Wheeler97

Re: Climate change and you
« Reply #37 on: July 14, 2014, 10:50:04 PM »
I agree in principle, I suppose.

I've never heard an expert, or any scientific individual, claim that all climate change is human-caused. The point I have always heard made is that the climate system of the planet is designed to balance itself. Large quantities of plant material (especially algae) filter out the carbon emissions that are caused by the natural processes, such as volcanoes. However, over the past 200 years we have been burning through fossil fuels, broken down over millions of years, at a rate which is tipping the natural balance of the process. That is the problem.

As for the cost-prohibitive argument, it's frankly a cop-out. I turn to the regular analogy of buying a computer. We know that every 18 months, CPU processing power will have doubled. Better parts are constantly coming out. When does one ever buy a computer, then, if they'll get a better one in a year or two for the same cost? How would any industry ever take off if the initial costs are not paid to develop the technology? Oh, and private business NEVER takes that cost on itself. They take grants and subsidies from governments, which makes it a public project. Thankfully Germany and China are accepting the losses to develop the technology while we wait around and twiddle our thumbs because it's too inconvenient to act.

Sorry, but that's not acceptable to me.

Offline Retribution

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Re: Climate change and you
« Reply #38 on: July 15, 2014, 06:24:32 AM »
I am not all on board with the whole concept that China is willing to absorb the costs Wheeler. For example I work in the solid waste field which deals with hazardous waste. In the US we got the lead out so to speak many years ago. China as evidenced by their paint on children's toys not so much. And like it or not cost prohibitive is a fact of life. We all have to commute to work on some level and we have to be able to afford that commute for example. I live a rural life style and a pickup is my only practical option because a hybrid will not pull my horse trailer and in town they do not like my horse crapping on the street.

But you are right business never absorbs the cost themselves. What I refer back to in that is recall I said over time in environmental fields more legitimate businesses squeeze out the get rich artists. It costs more up front and that cost is passed on to the consumer, but over time it costs less to do it right the first time ultimately saving the consumer money.

Offline Darwishi

Re: Climate change and you
« Reply #39 on: July 15, 2014, 08:47:00 AM »
While I've got a friend in the field, I'll admit most of what he says when he says it goes way over my head.  But when it comes down to it each time someone pays for a research project they bias the results just because of who might be funding it.  Big oil wants the results to say one thing, advocates of global warming want to say it's all of humanity's fault.  And the truth really lies somewhere between there. 

He did say that geologically speaking (is that the right term? I have no idea), the Earth goes through phases.  The last big dip in our climate change was the Ice Age.  Temperatures bottomed out and well, ice was everywhere.  Essentially since that point in history, the globe has been getting warmer and warmer and warmer and will eventually top out at some very high temperature potentially causing an Arid or Desert Age.  Then after that age the Earth will go through a global cooling, but this will take thousands and thousands of years, and these curves aren't perfect, they have curves within curves. 

According to him, yes, absolutely the Earth is going through climate change.  It always has and it always will.  Do humans have an impact on it? Naturally, but it seems to be kind of small compared to what the Earth does to itself.  Basically even if we totally change our ways of life, get rid of carbon emissions and manage not to totally trash the oceans and the atmosphere...the Earth will still be getting warmer.  Now that's not to say it wouldn't maybe slow down a little bit, but it's difficult to tell since we've been around for such a small amount of time compared to the swings that the Earth goes through. 

That is...at least, what I took from our conversation.  So basically do humans have an impact on the environment? Absolutely. Does it affect climate change? Ehhh, we're not really sure.  The sample of time to pick from is simply too small to get an accurate reading.  His, and my, personal opinion on the matter seems to be that it certainly couldn't hurt to start looking into alternative forms of energy...but then, that still requires someone to fund it.

Offline Question Mark

Re: Climate change and you
« Reply #40 on: July 15, 2014, 09:21:38 AM »
Darwishi: No.  Your friend is wrong.

He's correct in saying that the earth goes through long term oscillations in climate due to precession and orbital mechanics (i.e. Milankovitch Cycles), but these occur over tens of thousands of years, and the net result of these changes is a few degrees Celsius.

Yes, we think we're on the way up from a global cool period, and yes we'd expect to see warming.  But the warming we've been seeing over the past 150 years is magnitudes faster than what we'd expect.  Global temperature should barely shift over this period -- shift upward, but not by much -- but we've observed a dramatic change in temperature that correlates with atmospheric carbon dioxide, which itself correlates with our technological advancement (i.e. Industrial Revolution).

In short, the tired old argument of, "the earth is warming anyway, this is just natural processes" is a fallacy of magnitudes easily debunked by some simple math.  Yes, our warming is not beyond the extent of what's expected to happen to earth, but the timescale by which we are warming is so truncated that it's occurring in less than 1% of the time that it should.  These changes of tenths of a degree should be measured over millennia, not decades.

Finally, we're not trying to promote policies that will reverse earth's natural warming -- not only is this thousands of years beyond our current technology, it's also probably a bad idea to go around altering planetary orbits.  We're trying to slow and eliminate the dangerous and intense acceleration of the warming trend.  But when people can't sit down and face facts, and instead cling to easily refuted arguments and value their "intuition" over hard data, we're left spinning our wheels in the mud.

EDIT: A note on sample sizes.

We only have hard data on climate from direct atmospheric samples for the past century or so.  However, we can infer the state of past climates using sedimentary rock, air bubbles in ice cores, and the fossil record.  When we combine these two data sets, we find that the climate undergoes natural changes, but our direct data over this past century doesn't line up.  Where historic changes were slow and small, our observed changes are insanely rapid and extreme.  The pattern doesn't fit, and when you cancel out all of the commons, you're left with one confounding variable: humanity.

Yes, our predictions and theories will become more accurate as we go forward and collect more current data.  But that doesn't invalidate what the past 100 years has shown us.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2014, 09:26:21 AM by Question Mark »

Offline Ebb

Re: Climate change and you
« Reply #41 on: July 15, 2014, 10:15:59 AM »
Do humans have an impact on [climate change]? Naturally, but it seems to be kind of small compared to what the Earth does to itself.

This is absolutely false, and is the primary falsehood that we're struggling to stamp out here. It is an incredibly dangerous notion. The fact that people believe this to be true is why it is so important that we don't skip the step in the discussion about 'what caused climate change'.

http://www.ipcc.ch/

The overwhelming scientific consensus from researchers in the field is that human activity has been the cause of over 50% of climate change, primarily through the burning of fossil fuels and through deforestation. There are few things in the world that I'm dogmatic about, but this has to be one of them. This is true.

I make no accusations here about either you or your friend in the field, Darwishi. But it is incredibly frustrating to again and again come across this viewpoint that these matters are "open to debate" or that "the answer is somewhere in the middle" or that "we can't really know". The fact is that we do know, beyond the shadow of a doubt. There is no agenda or bias here, there is just reams and reams and reams of scientific data and analysis.

Now we can have in-depth and productive conversations and debates about what we can do about it, and in fact there is a much wider range of opinions on that matter. That part of the problem is still up in the air, so to speak. However, and again please don't take this personally, it has been my experience that any discussion about solutions and paths forward which takes place with someone who doesn't accept the above fact ends up being unproductive, as the conversation tends to keep sliding back to some middling point of "well, maybe it will just all work out, since it could be this is just a natural cycle."

Does [human activity] affect climate change? Ehhh, we're not really sure. 

Once again, just to be clear, this is simply not true. We do know this, and we know it to a degree of certainty comparable to knowing about continental drift or the efficacy of vaccines. At the above link (http://www.ipcc.ch/) there is essentially a complete distillation of what science understands about climate change. It's a gigantic document, containing the work of over a thousand researchers. (There's a 28 page "summary for decision makers" that's an easier read.) The researchers who contributed to this report are not part of some conspiracy, they are not all secretly funded by environmental groups. They are hard-working reputable scientists from across the political spectrum situated in over eighty countries around the world.

There is no shame in not being informed about an issue. But claiming that the answer to a question is unknown when in fact it is settled science is just incomprehensible to me.

Offline Darwishi

Re: Climate change and you
« Reply #42 on: July 15, 2014, 12:16:02 PM »
Clipped.  I had this introduction about posting on these forums, but the important stuff is below anyway.

Quote
Now we can have in-depth and productive conversations and debates about what we can do about it, and in fact there is a much wider range of opinions on that matter. That part of the problem is still up in the air, so to speak. However, and again please don't take this personally, it has been my experience that any discussion about solutions and paths forward which takes place with someone who doesn't accept the above fact ends up being unproductive, as the conversation tends to keep sliding back to some middling point of "well, maybe it will just all work out, since it could be this is just a natural cycle."

I didn't actually say it would all work out.   I think I even said something to the effect that we should try to do something about it.  Your experience, no offense, in this case would be wrong.  At least in the case of me, which is all I can speak for, since I do believe that we should do something about what we're doing to the environment.  To me, whether it's 50% or 5% or even .5% really doesn't matter.  As we learn more the statistics will change, and as we learn more we may find out that it's more like 95% or we might find that it's more like .05%. 

As Question said, we're taking a small sliver of time and inferring about the past and the future.  Taking my friend out of the equation here (though I do take offense to you saying he's wrong without him being here to defend himself...), it's a tiny sample of time compared to the tens of thousands of years we're taking about.  Maybe it is humanity.  Maybe it's just a natural spike that always happens and we're going to, in the next few hundred years going to experience and incredible valley.  To me, all of that, the "it's absolutely positively right" is just buzz words, or your opinion. Even the opinion of a thousand scientists and researchers.  That opinion isn't going to fix anything, fixing something will fix it.

So rather than arguing about why it's happening, what about coming up with solutions.  I figure we can only fix, really, what we mess up.  If the Earth is on an uphill climb, then yeah, okay not going to change the orbit of the Earth.  That would...probably send us into the Sun...talk about your global warming.  =P

But serious we're trashing the oceans, we're trashing the atmosphere.  I know we're doing these things, so what are some real solutions for helping with this? I say real, because saying "everyone stop driving cars" is pretty much not going to happen.  I don't actually have a lot of solutions myself.  I think putting hybrid cars out there, hydrogen cars, stuff like that can help and is helping, but it's still going to take a LONG time to phase out engines as we know them today.


Offline Wheeler97

Re: Climate change and you
« Reply #43 on: July 15, 2014, 12:35:37 PM »
Hurricane, your reply suggests that since we have already caused drastic change that would take a long time to correct, we just give up and drive the situation further out of control?


In regard to Retribution on the potential of hybrid technology, you are correct that it is not going to be a sufficient replacement for heavy loads without significant improvement in technologies. The optimal replacement is hydrogen fuel cells, which have a drastically higher energy output than fossil fuels that will result in better torque and speed outputs than what is current. In the meantime, we need to improve our ability to break down plant matter for bio-fuels like ethanol. Corn and sugar ethanol are actually not very efficient when considering the amount of fossil fuels required to produce one unit of ethanol. There are actually better sources in the rather useless switchgrass that grows across most of our plains states. It also grows quickly, so growing the plant for fuel purposes could result in at least one, and hopefully two or more, cultivations per year.


Darwishi, or at least his friend, suggests that all researchers bias their results based on who is funding them (your words were "each time..."). There is a reason that researchers go through a lot of ethics training over the course of their degrees and careers. Most researchers that are contracted are not told who is funding their research, for precisely the reason you suggest that they all manipulate data. If they are informed of their financiers, they are expected to disclose that plainly. Some, you are correct, are employed solely by large companies to churn out results that support their business. Many researchers care far too much about their reputations and their work to fudge data. If they are found out, they lose their license with their trade organizations and most of the prospects that go along with it. I'm sorry that you and your friend think so little of ALL scientific research because some, occasionally, sell out.


I think the misunderstanding by most of the flat out deniers is that we (those of us seeking change) expect everything to change in one sweeping motion. That on a given day we want all existing coal and petroleum plants to flip the switch and shut off. Not a single person that I know, in favor of changes to our current system, thinks that way. We just want to see efforts put forth at a greater rate to move away from these systems. Right now, there is barely any progress at all, simply because of a fear of change. Just because fossil fuels have achieved our needs since the industrial revolution does NOT mean they are good for the future.


What I want to see:

Renewable energy sources, the sooner the better:

Wind and water-based turbine systems, there is plenty of room on the Earth, especially at sea
Large solar plants: it's reported that a 1.5 x 1.5 mile square in the Nevada desert could collect enough power to replace the entire current system of power plants
Advance batteries/power storage: We need carbon-based batteries, nanotubes show promise but something like graphene is probably more feasible at this point.
Hydrogen fuel cells (the most abundant element in the Universe): Optimal vehicle fuel source, byproduct is water
More efficient electrolysis process: Break that water back into hydrogen and oxygen to be recycled for more fuel cells.

As one of my previous posts suggested, the whole world does NOT need to switch all at once, only the main economic centers. The U.S., China, and the E.U. would do wonders and provide time for the rest to slowly move off.

Offline Ebb

Re: Climate change and you
« Reply #44 on: July 15, 2014, 12:50:27 PM »
I didn't actually say it would all work out.   I think I even said something to the effect that we should try to do something about it.  Your experience, no offense, in this case would be wrong. 

It's not my intention to paint with a broad brush, Darwishi, and I don't mean to imply that your specific behavior would match that which I've seen from others in the past. I do agree with you that something ought to be done, obviously.

So rather than arguing about why it's happening, what about coming up with solutions.  I figure we can only fix, really, what we mess up.  If the Earth is on an uphill climb, then yeah, okay not going to change the orbit of the Earth.  That would...probably send us into the Sun...talk about your global warming.  =P

I think you're hitting the nail on the head here. The importance of knowing how much human activity is to blame is that it can help us tailor solutions to address the problem. Secondarily it's also important in order to spur people into activity -- more people will be more willing to take steps toward a solution if they believe that human activity was the cause in the first place, rather than if they think this is just a natural progression. That's human nature, I think.

I also complete endorse your plan to not alter the orbit of the Earth. That would be bad.

Offline Darwishi

Re: Climate change and you
« Reply #45 on: July 15, 2014, 01:08:05 PM »
Darwishi, or at least his friend, suggests that all researchers bias their results based on who is funding them (your words were "each time..."). There is a reason that researchers go through a lot of ethics training over the course of their degrees and careers. Most researchers that are contracted are not told who is funding their research, for precisely the reason you suggest that they all manipulate data. If they are informed of their financiers, they are expected to disclose that plainly. Some, you are correct, are employed solely by large companies to churn out results that support their business. Many researchers care far too much about their reputations and their work to fudge data. If they are found out, they lose their license with their trade organizations and most of the prospects that go along with it. I'm sorry that you and your friend think so little of ALL scientific research because some, occasionally, sell out.

I'd like to clarify that this conversation was a few years ago.  We don't have climate change conversations every time we talk and since he  has a family now...we don't talk as often as we used to, better to fill it with catching up than on climate change (no offense to anyone here).  So it's totally possibly that he's changed his mind on the whole bit of whether humans are involved or not since it is his field.  Ask me how hard it is to start a business or be an animator or get a YouTube channel going and I'll be the expert for a while, this? Not so much.  And it's more of MY opinion of researchers than his, I probably miscommunicated that bit.  I'll admit too that I didn't know that they don't know who their financers are, at least for the most part...so maybe a small amount of faith can be restored...ish.  That's really not the point of this post, so moving onnnn.

I think the misunderstanding by most of the flat out deniers is that we (those of us seeking change) expect everything to change in one sweeping motion. That on a given day we want all existing coal and petroleum plants to flip the switch and shut off. Not a single person that I know, in favor of changes to our current system, thinks that way. We just want to see efforts put forth at a greater rate to move away from these systems. Right now, there is barely any progress at all, simply because of a fear of change. Just because fossil fuels have achieved our needs since the industrial revolution does NOT mean they are good for the future.


What I want to see:

Renewable energy sources, the sooner the better:

Wind and water-based turbine systems, there is plenty of room on the Earth, especially at sea
Large solar plants: it's reported that a 1.5 x 1.5 mile square in the Nevada desert could collect enough power to replace the entire current system of power plants
Advance batteries/power storage: We need carbon-based batteries, nanotubes show promise but something like graphene is probably more feasible at this point.
Hydrogen fuel cells (the most abundant element in the Universe): Optimal vehicle fuel source, byproduct is water
More efficient electrolysis process: Break that water back into hydrogen and oxygen to be recycled for more fuel cells.

As one of my previous posts suggested, the whole world does NOT need to switch all at once, only the main economic centers. The U.S., China, and the E.U. would do wonders and provide time for the rest to slowly move off.

I'm not sure on the efficiency of breaking water into Hydrogen and Oxygen but I do know that nuclear subs already do it...they just use the oxygen and discard the hydrogen.  I also know Honda has a few Hydrogen cars (maybe only one) out and that there are refueling stations across California and a couple of other states.  Aren't they using hydrogen to power electric cars though? I'm not totally sure about that, and the worst thing about electrical cars are the batteries.  Which may be why you want better batteries to be made? 

I had more, but a client just called and now I need to work, lol.

Offline VekseidTopic starter

Re: Climate Change and You
« Reply #46 on: July 15, 2014, 01:52:35 PM »
I've split Hurricane's climate trolling off and locked it.

Fairly clear that he has zero intention of honest discussion here.

Edit: If you're skeptical and want to post questions, this is fine, however, make sure your facts are straight before you make claims, and refrain from baseless accusations.

Also, giggling like a schoolgirl at people getting frustrated is a bit of a tip-off that you are trolling.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2014, 01:58:03 PM by Vekseid »

Offline Wheeler97

Re: Climate Change and You
« Reply #47 on: July 15, 2014, 03:03:47 PM »
Darwishi, thank you for the reply. I was trying not to be to forward with assumptions, and I wasn't sure which opinions were yours vs. your friends'. Thank you for clarifying for me.

I included the bit about research mostly just to educate, as a side note.

Electrolysis is definitely used today, but I imagine there is still room for improvement on reducing the energy input needed to break water molecules.

Hydrogen is not used to power electric cars. Honda did release the first commercially available hydrogen-powered car, although there are only around ten fueling stations in California, so it would require drivers to go well out of their way to refuel. It is definitely a start! To oversimplify the process, hydrogen fuel cells produce energy by taking pure hydrogen and oxygen (H2 and O2 gases), breaking them into individual atoms, and introducing them in a way that facilitates the bonding of the two gases into water. The process only has products of heat, electricity, and water, and is far more efficient in applying the energy than an internal combustion engine.

Most electric or hybrid cars use large lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries, which is the same technology used for mobile phones and laptop computers. Lithium-ion batteries are far more efficient than the standard lead-acid or slightly newer Nickel metal hydride batteries that they have replaced. They are considered a "gold standard" in battery technology. Luckily Lithium and the other components of Li-ion batteries are not toxic, so they do not need to be disposed of in controlled conditions.

Graphene is a layer of carbon atoms, only a single atom thick, as close to two-dimensional as is possible; carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are made by creating a microscopic tube-like structure from a sheet of graphene. It acts as a supercapacitor, very quickly charging energy and able to very quickly discharge that energy.

I brought up battery technology not only regarding automobiles. It is true, current electric vehicles take a long time to charge and it is an inconvenience, and CNTs could make the charging process much faster. Battery technologies also need to improve because energy storage is one of the most common arguments used against solar power. Solar plants only generate power during the day, so we need to be able to store energy to distribute over-night, or else have plenty of wind- and tidal-turbines to make up for the loss.

Offline Euron Greyjoy

Re: Climate Change and You
« Reply #48 on: July 24, 2014, 10:41:54 PM »
As selfish as it sounds while I do believe in climate change, I don't care about it. I mean by the time climate change becomes big enough to endanger us, I'll be long dead. Yeah the next generation will inherit our mess, but thats just how it works.

Offline Ebb

Re: Climate Change and You
« Reply #49 on: July 24, 2014, 11:04:52 PM »
As selfish as it sounds while I do believe in climate change, I don't care about it. I mean by the time climate change becomes big enough to endanger us, I'll be long dead. Yeah the next generation will inherit our mess, but thats just how it works.

Unless you're an octogenarian or are planning on having a fatal accident in the next ten years, this is simply untrue.

Offline Euron Greyjoy

Re: Climate Change and You
« Reply #50 on: July 24, 2014, 11:10:46 PM »
Unless you're an octogenarian or are planning on having a fatal accident in the next ten years, this is simply untrue.
I'm about to be twenty two and why do you think the world will end in ten years, unless we change our ways as race?

Offline Ebb

Re: Climate Change and You
« Reply #51 on: July 24, 2014, 11:19:36 PM »
I'm about to be twenty two and why do you think the world will end in ten years, unless we change our ways as race?

I'm certainly not claiming that the world will end in ten years. I don't believe anyone espouses that.

However, there will certainly be visible effects within ten years. How well insulated you are from them largely depends on your socioeconomic class. Food will become more expensive, for example. The effects on weather should be evident, including a greater frequency for damaging weather events such as hurricanes. Once again, the poor will be disproportionately affected.

And over the next fifty years? Far greater effects. This article is a bit overdramatic, I think, but the general facts and trends it presents are solid:
http://www.discovery.com/tv-shows/curiosity/topics/worst-effects-global-warming.htm


Offline Euron Greyjoy

Re: Climate Change and You
« Reply #52 on: July 24, 2014, 11:24:48 PM »
I'm certainly not claiming that the world will end in ten years. I don't believe anyone espouses that.

However, there will certainly be visible effects within ten years. How well insulated you are from them largely depends on your socioeconomic class. Food will become more expensive, for example. The effects on weather should be evident, including a greater frequency for damaging weather events such as hurricanes. Once again, the poor will be disproportionately affected.

And over the next fifty years? Far greater effects. This article is a bit overdramatic, I think, but the general facts and trends it presents are solid:
http://www.discovery.com/tv-shows/curiosity/topics/worst-effects-global-warming.htm
Sorry I thought you were implying the destruction of the world in ten years.

Not to mention as the water levels rise in the ocean, the larger floods will grow. Eventually most of the world will be covered in water, but at least the Mid West might finally have a beach front ha.

Offline Ebb

Re: Climate Change and You
« Reply #53 on: July 24, 2014, 11:28:37 PM »
Eventually most of the world will be covered in water, but at least the Mid West might finally have a beach front ha.

Not quite that far. Here's a fascinating map if you're interested:

http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2013/09/rising-seas/if-ice-melted-map

Offline Euron Greyjoy

Re: Climate Change and You
« Reply #54 on: July 24, 2014, 11:39:10 PM »
Oh wow at least I'd be safe.  While I know we can at least slow down the effects of climate change by cutting CO2 levels, but is it even possible to reverse it? From what I remembered in my biology class CO2 can last thousands of years in the atmosphere.

Offline Ebb

Re: Climate Change and You
« Reply #55 on: July 25, 2014, 03:56:05 PM »
Oh wow at least I'd be safe.  While I know we can at least slow down the effects of climate change by cutting CO2 levels, but is it even possible to reverse it? From what I remembered in my biology class CO2 can last thousands of years in the atmosphere.

Ah, there's the rub. There are certainly things that can be done, but it's up in the air (no pun intended) which things would be most effective, and which would be worth the cost. That's an area of great debate and intensive study right now.

The sooner we can move past "Is it happening?" and "Should I care?" and get on to "So what should we do?", the better.


Offline VekseidTopic starter

Re: Climate Change and You
« Reply #56 on: July 25, 2014, 04:06:42 PM »
Oh wow at least I'd be safe.  While I know we can at least slow down the effects of climate change by cutting CO2 levels, but is it even possible to reverse it? From what I remembered in my biology class CO2 can last thousands of years in the atmosphere.

The primary way in which you are directly affected by climate change isn't through rising sea levels, it's through changes in regional water supply. Salination of low-level aquifers, changing rain patterns, etc.

This has already caused violence in some countries, and parts of the US (e.g. bottled water plants in drought-affected areas) probably aren't many years away from it.

Online Oniya

Re: Climate Change and You
« Reply #57 on: July 25, 2014, 04:09:54 PM »
Also, changing storm patterns.  Seen the tornado reports this year?  I used to live in the Midwest, and I remember my daughter going through 'tornado drills'.

Offline Mikem

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Re: Climate Change and You
« Reply #58 on: August 06, 2014, 07:45:22 AM »
Quote
stating that people who denied human-caused climate change were either willfully ignorant

Can I say that I just partially agree with this?

Oh yeah Humans have horribly damaged the climate/ecosystem possibly way beyond repair since we came into the Industrial age. But I also believe the planet has it's own cycles of natural Climate shift. We just horribly sped up the process. The Earth wasn't counting on Humanity as an unstable variable in the equation.

Offline Question Mark

Re: Climate Change and You
« Reply #59 on: August 06, 2014, 09:08:50 AM »
But I also believe the planet has it's own cycles of natural Climate shift.

I'm not pouncing on you Mikem, or calling you a denier, but I'm just using your words as an example,

In this modern day and age, facts no longer matter.  All people care about is opinions.  This is how deniers peddle their lies: they believe man-made pollutants aren't significantly impacting the environment.  They believe that this recent unprecedented warming trend is a natural phenonema.  They believe the data in support of climate change is either flawed or faked.

The nice thing about truth is that it doesn't give a damn what you believe.  All that matter in this arena are facts, and all the facts point to anthropogenic climate change.

The word believe should never, ever be used in these discussions.  It dilutes the weight of the evidence, and it allows worthless opinions with no basis in reality to be taken seriously.  Just look at Fox News.  They're constantly smearing climate change, but if you listen closely, it's always just opinions and beliefs.  Actual facts are few and far between.

The worst part is that most people don't even care.  They see opinions regarding climate change as just as valuable -- if not more so! -- than facts.  Until we can correct this horrifying delusion, I think we're all going to have a rough time of it.

Offline Mikem

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Re: Climate Change and You
« Reply #60 on: August 06, 2014, 05:23:52 PM »
Quote
I'm not pouncing on you Mikem, or calling you a denier, but I'm just using your words as an example,

So...did you purposefully leave out the rest of my opinion so you could say all that?

Offline Question Mark

Re: Climate Change and You
« Reply #61 on: August 06, 2014, 09:20:04 PM »
So...did you purposefully leave out the rest of my opinion so you could say all that?

Yes.

I wasn't responding to your opinion, I was commenting on something only tangentially related.

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: Climate Change and You
« Reply #62 on: August 07, 2014, 08:05:18 AM »
Just a minor side effect, but the highest peak in this country will most likely be dethroned within a few years by another peak - in the same massif, but considerably easier to climb and without a glacier on top. The ice cap growing thinner, year by year, and thus lower...

Offline laa

Re: Climate Change and You
« Reply #63 on: August 13, 2014, 12:08:49 PM »
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/06/29/antarctica-sets-new-record-for-sea-ice-area/

The link includes data suggesting that the area of ice has been increasing, not decreasing.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2014, 01:22:04 PM by laa »

Online Oniya

Re: Climate Change and You
« Reply #64 on: August 13, 2014, 01:51:41 PM »
Area does not equate to volume, no matter what math you use.  How thick is that ice?

Offline Avis habilis


Offline VekseidTopic starter

Re: Climate Change and You
« Reply #66 on: August 13, 2014, 02:00:18 PM »

Offline laa

Re: Climate Change and You
« Reply #67 on: August 13, 2014, 02:57:48 PM »
Taking the first article I found can't really be called 'cherry-picking'.

Also, I found this in a quick search: http://www.thegwpf.org/arctic-sea-ice-volume-increases-50/
And this: http://www.reportingclimatescience.com/news-stories/article/latest-data-shows-arctic-ice-volume-has-increased.html
Cus' they're related by a link in the bottom of the first one.

Which both documents an increase in ice volume.

I shan't say that I know these sources to be accurate, but I will say this - there's a lot more to the one-sided climate-change situation than what the media is let on - a lot more insecurity about data, so on and so forth.

Offline VekseidTopic starter

Re: Climate Change and You
« Reply #68 on: August 15, 2014, 06:05:43 PM »
Both or your links use the same data mine uses. Except mine presents the past thirty+ years of said data, yours cherry-picks two points.

Cherry-picking is all climate skeptics have.

Notably, not a single climate skeptic on this entire forum (or anywhere, for that matter) has made a single argument against the statements made in my opening post for this thread - we have a lot more than just temperature readings to go on, and they tell a far more drastic story.

« Last Edit: August 15, 2014, 06:06:55 PM by Vekseid »

Offline laa

Re: Climate Change and You
« Reply #69 on: August 16, 2014, 10:43:25 AM »
Look at it again. There is thirty+ years of data. I have no idea what you're talking about.

Also, I don't exactly consider myself a 'climate skeptic' in the more American definition of the term. I'm skeptic, but in a literal sense, not in an 'against it' sense. See, I'm just beginning to learn about the subject, so I'm still uncertain about most aspects of it, but from a more neutral perspective.

Per example, Shell mining oil in the arctic is retarded as a spill would be more than catastrophic and mass-deforestation needs to be stopped as it causes mass-extinctions.

However, when it comes to the ice, things are pointing in the other direction than what pop-science tells us - it's beginning to seem like things might even get pretty chilly, to put it mildly. And this makes sense, when you look at the past ice-ages and cooling events - we've been incredibly lucky for it to have been warm for as long as it has.

Although a cooling event isn't exactly something to fear in the present, as it happens very slowly. VERY slowly.

Offline VekseidTopic starter

Re: Climate Change and You
« Reply #70 on: August 16, 2014, 10:51:14 AM »
Look at it again. There is thirty+ years of data. I have no idea what you're talking about.

Also, I don't exactly consider myself a 'climate skeptic' in the more American definition of the term. I'm skeptic, but in a literal sense, not in an 'against it' sense. See, I'm just beginning to learn about the subject, so I'm still uncertain about most aspects of it, but from a more neutral perspective.

Per example, Shell mining oil in the arctic is retarded as a spill would be more than catastrophic and mass-deforestation needs to be stopped as it causes mass-extinctions.

However, when it comes to the ice, things are pointing in the other direction than what pop-science tells us - it's beginning to seem like things might even get pretty chilly, to put it mildly. And this makes sense, when you look at the past ice-ages and cooling events - we've been incredibly lucky for it to have been warm for as long as it has.

Although a cooling event isn't exactly something to fear in the present, as it happens very slowly. VERY slowly.

No, they both highlight one single pair of data points. The first site is particularly bullshit-laden. The second site at least acknowledges that there is a general decline and that the recent expansion was an exception to a long trend.

You call it 'pop-science' while blatantly ignoring the data - see 1982-1986, 1995-1998 in my first link. You'd have called that a 'cooling trend' as well I would wager. Do you think the upward trend will last five years, and that levels will still be higher in ten?

Would you bet money on it? Because no government is.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2014, 10:58:27 AM by Vekseid »

Offline laa

Re: Climate Change and You
« Reply #71 on: August 16, 2014, 11:18:52 AM »
The first article is inspired by the second, so that's why.

And I'm sorry, I should've explained what makes me think a cooling trend is about to occur.

http://www.space.com/23934-weak-solar-cycle-space-weather.html

See, the sun's activity has been eerily low lately. Combine that with the recent increase in ice mass, and yes, one might expect an increase in ice over the next ten years.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2005/11/1130_051130_ice_age_2.html

Not only that, but the things going on now match up with the beginning of a potential mini ice-age within the next 100 years.

Offline VekseidTopic starter

Re: Climate Change and You
« Reply #72 on: August 17, 2014, 01:04:06 AM »
Weak solar cycles are not forever, and the sun is, over aeons, continually getting hotter. Thinking the next solar cycle is going to likewise be weak, when we have next to no ability to predict future cycles (beyond starting a neutrino record, which is going to be a hundred thousand years before that starts telling us anything. A bit late) is nothing more than gambling blind.

To say nothing of e.g. Greenland does not paint a pretty picture. At least arctic ice melting is neutral.


Offline laa

Re: Climate Change and You
« Reply #73 on: August 17, 2014, 06:33:23 PM »
Well, that's a valid point indeed. The sun is still incredibly hard to predict, yeap. Even then, it might be good to find solution for both possible scenarios - although if ice is going to be the problem, I guess we're going to have plenty of time to figure it out.

Offline Wheeler97

Re: Climate Change and You
« Reply #74 on: August 18, 2014, 01:28:01 PM »
laa,

The problem with talking about levels of sea ice going up is actually a point that supports the data that the oceans and the surface of the continent are warming. The way it's reported on is misleading.

Sea ice is covering more area over the past few years, great, but the continental ice, which is on land, is what is melting permanently. Antartica is a desert that receives very little precipitation, including snow, so once the ice melts, it's gone into the oceans. "Sea ice" comes and goes with the seasons. As more melts each summer, there's more surface area that returns in the winter, although it comes back thinner and doesn't last as long each spring. Just measuring the returning surface area isn't gathering the whole picture.

Offline consortium11

Re: Climate Change and You
« Reply #75 on: August 20, 2014, 05:56:39 PM »
To take this in a slightly different direction, it's been interesting how some of the tactics that climate change deniars/skeptics use have filtered out into other fields.

Despite the similar names I doubt many would think of there being much common ground between the climate change skeptics and atheist skeptics but in relatively recent times we've seen the likes of Rebecca Watson and PZ Myers use a similar approach when they criticise branches of science; conflating the media presentation of a topic with the topic itself, going after the more radical, fringe figures rejected by the mainstream rather than the mainstream itself, rubbishing peer-review and presenting it as a meaningless friends club etc etc.

Offline Kythia

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Re: Climate Change and You
« Reply #76 on: September 14, 2014, 06:05:56 AM »
Climate change has found us the Franklin expedition.

By my count that's one major historical breakthrough to CFCs and deforestation while locally grown food and lack of pollution is yet to get started.  Your move, hippies.

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Re: Climate Change and You
« Reply #77 on: September 14, 2014, 07:17:24 AM »
I could not find the original article that I read on this and am not real proud of this one but it links the report. Essentially the earth showed an ozone improvement last year. Now the first article I read and cannot located pointed out this was due to an increase in green houses gases, but take what one can get I suppose.

http://www.salon.com/2014/09/10/good_news_the_ozone_layer_is_showing_signs_of_improvement/


Offline Hemingway

Re: Climate Change and You
« Reply #78 on: November 10, 2014, 05:45:39 AM »
What the article may have been referring to is that we now use HFCs instead of CFCs; HFCs do not damage the ozone layer, but they do contribute to enhancing the greenhouse effect.

As an interesting aside: I was told at a recent lecture that, had we major companies decided to use bromine instead of chlorine ( evidently they can be used in much the same way; chlorine was cheaper ), we'd pretty much be done right about now, as bromine is much more damaging to the ozone layer than chlorine. Just something to consider.

Offline Mera1506

Re: Climate Change and You
« Reply #79 on: June 18, 2018, 04:17:24 PM »
The problem is that there's two sides of extremes again. One wanting to force supposed green energy before there's a reliable alternative and making people utterly dependant on one energy source namely electricity. This is the side that started to call this climate change rather than global warming. You can deny global warming, but there's no denying climate change.

The other side is in total denial..... So I think yes it's a mess, do what you personally can to help. But the biggest polluters is still the large companies. We need common sense in how to deal with this. You need a reliable alternative, not every function in your home should be relying on the same energy source. Also make it easier for people to take solar panels rather than having to jump through a bunch of hoops. Like the ability to generate electricity and possible store in homes for emergencies....

All in all sure we need greener energy sources and should innovate of course, but don't have people pay thousands for a a method that's going to be making us so reliant on one energy source.

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: Climate Change and You
« Reply #80 on: June 20, 2018, 12:20:13 PM »
Er....what? You're right that everything is dependent on electricity, but that isn't a source of energy, it is energy itself. Coal, oil, gas, wind, solar, hydro, nuclear, convicts running on giant hamster wheels, are all means of generating electricity. I think the point you're trying to make got a little muddled, or else your terminology is off, because I'm a little confused.

Offline legomaster00156

Re: Climate Change and You
« Reply #81 on: June 29, 2018, 10:31:12 AM »
Personally, I think that we should be using nuclear energy. The after-effects are extraordinarily dangerous, and we need a permanent deep-earth vault to store spent nuclear fuel in, but nuclear energy is cleaner than fossil fuels and more efficient. It would serve as a good stepping stone until we have the infrastructure to run on entirely renewable energy: wind, solar, geothermal, and hydroelectric.