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Author Topic: Climate Change and You  (Read 8814 times)

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Offline Valthazar

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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.

Online 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.

Online 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.

Online 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.

Online 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.