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Old 06-16-2007, 10:56 PM   #21
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I'm wondering about the "...basic chemistry. Very well understood" part since I've had about as much chemistry as anyone can stand and don't understand. The whole part about CO2 being a "greenhouse gas" is part of the "theory" that one may not question.
Sure you can question it. You can question gravity as well.
The behavior of CO2 in the atmosphere is key to the issue of GW and if you don't understand the foundation of it, it is a very good part of the issue to ask questions of.
CO2 does not absorb very much of the radiation that comes from the sun directly. However, after the sun's light strikes the earth, some gets absorbed, and some bounces back towards outer space. The wavelength of the reflected light is 'stretched'. The CO2 is more effective at absorbing this lengthened wavelength. The more CO2 the more absorbtion takes place.
The chemistry of the absorbtion of different wavelengths of energy is very well understood. However, if you can prove that this understanding is incorrect, the whole 'house of cards' of GW will fall apart.
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Old 06-16-2007, 11:22 PM   #22
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ERD50,
It is nice to see that they included population growth, but no one is talking about ways to reduce it with the urgency that the reduction in greenhouse gasses are being discussed.

All in all we really screwed up a really unique and beautiful little blue plant.

Mother nature doesn't like imbalances. Maybe she will do something to slow down economic activity drastically and thereby reduce greenhouse gasses.
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Old 06-16-2007, 11:41 PM   #23
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Mother nature doesn't like imbalances. Maybe she will do something to slow down economic activity drastically and thereby reduce greenhouse gasses.
Oh, I'm pretty confident that Mother Nature will survive. But Mankind? Heck, we're just a blip so far. We could go the way of the dinosaurs, I doubt the buffalo would cry for us.

We've had ice ages and other temperature extremes. Nature (and even mankind ) survived. It just seems that now, we want everything comfy, just like it is (for some of us). Along the lines of the recent thread - who says that the climate we have *today* is the one that should be 'preserved'?

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Old 06-17-2007, 12:10 AM   #24
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I agree with Dex. Unless the human population of the world can be reduced--not just arrested--everything is for naught. I don't think that is going to happen. It is too late. I do not envy my children's future.
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Old 06-17-2007, 12:26 AM   #25
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The only economic crisis will be to those companies that rely an adding more co2 to the atmospher and refuse to advance their technology towards using cleaner fuels.
I am curious. Which fuel did you have in mind? Burning alcohols also make CO2. Even hydrogen is made from natural gas, which puts CO2 into the atmosphere. It is possible, at great expense, to make hydrogen by gasification, capture the CO2 and pump it down into the ground, hoping that it never comes back up again.

Many things are possible. They just cost money—your money.
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Old 06-17-2007, 07:11 AM   #26
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Sure you can question it. You can question gravity as well.
The behavior of CO2 in the atmosphere is key to the issue of GW and if you don't understand the foundation of it, it is a very good part of the issue to ask questions of.
Einstein made a pretty good reputation for himself by questioning gravity.

The GW zealots (of which I assume you are a member) focus on small changes in CO2 causing the climate shift and that the "magic number" where we "didn't really see anything" and it's "gone beyond our ability to stop" is just a few 0.001%s away. Absorbtion of heat, wavelength, etc. is all part of the attempt to make it sound scientific. No credit is given for factors that might reflect heat or the increase in sun spot activity that just generates more heat to get absorbed.

BTW - CO2 "caused" the global cooling in the late 60s and early 70s.
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Old 06-17-2007, 08:17 AM   #27
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It's tough to tell what the winkie refers to sometimes - your 'cute use' of the term 'Easy Speasy' or that you thought your response was clever, or what.

Apparently there arent enough winkies in the world. Maybe global warming will help them multiply and flourish.
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Old 06-17-2007, 08:33 AM   #28
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Let's see...

Forum posters, bloggers, and Michael Crichton claiming that AGW is a conspiracy by Al Gore and environmentalists.

vs.

The IPCC and various national scientific groups.


Hmmm.
I've experienced the way the IPCC makes their sausage and it's no different than any group of scientists who are selected out for their particular persuasion on a topic. Unfortunately, the real science of global warming is in obscure scientific journals that not many have access to or the background to understand. Suffice it to say that the IPCC does accurately reflect the scientific opinion of those scientists who believe in the anthropogenic basis of GW from CO2. That is not the only scientific opinion, nor is it grounded in all of the data. There is an equally compelling case to be made for cyclical warming based on stochastic feedback loops not well understood, but understood better than the simplistic CO2 is a greenhouse gas, we make a lot of CO2, therefore the earth will warm. Wish it were that simple. If it were, we might be able to control our weather.
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Old 06-17-2007, 09:50 AM   #29
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...The GW zealots (of which I assume you are a member) focus on small changes in CO2 causing the climate shift...
...Absorbtion of heat, wavelength, etc. is all part of the attempt to make it sound scientific. No credit is given for factors that might reflect heat or the increase in sun spot activity that just generates more heat to get absorbed.
2B, you really ought to read up on the actual science as opposed to Time or Newsweek.
First, the changes in CO2 in the atmosphere is anything but small as measured as a percentage. CO2 in the atmosphere has increased approximately 33% since the industrial revolution. Why you use the term small to describe the increase in CO2 levels is beyond me. The percentage of CO2 compared to the total atmosphere is small, however the change has been large.
Much credit is given to factors that would reflect sunlight or lessen the absorbtion of heat. These are accounted for in research as well as climate models.
Why you have these assumptions about the science of GW I don't know, hopefully most people keep an open mind and actually listen to the facts rather than headlines or talk show hosts.
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Old 06-17-2007, 09:58 AM   #30
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I am curious. Which fuel did you have in mind? ...
Many things are possible. They just cost money—your money.
Keep in mind, I am not implying no co2, I am working on pumping LESS of it into the atmosphere.
Some of the particular fuels that I am using right now are geothermal heat for heating and cooling my home (75% less co2), solar power for electricity (15% less co2). Much of my electricity from the grid comes from wind power and more each year as wind power continues to grow. Another chunk of my electricity comes from nuclear power.
And yes, energy costs money. After 5-7 years I will have spent less on heating and cooling my house that someone else would have usine a standard HVAC system.
The solar is costing me more, but I feel it is worth it.
In two years I plan on having an electric car. The electric car will produce far less co2 than a gasoline powered car. Yes, it still produces co2, but a lot less of it.
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Old 06-17-2007, 10:43 AM   #31
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2B, you really ought to read up on the actual science as opposed to Time or Newsweek.
First, the changes in CO2 in the atmosphere is anything but small as measured as a percentage. CO2 in the atmosphere has increased approximately 33% since the industrial revolution. Why you use the term small to describe the increase in CO2 levels is beyond me. The percentage of CO2 compared to the total atmosphere is small, however the change has been large.
Much credit is given to factors that would reflect sunlight or lessen the absorbtion of heat. These are accounted for in research as well as climate models.
Why you have these assumptions about the science of GW I don't know, hopefully most people keep an open mind and actually listen to the facts rather than headlines or talk show hosts.
What passes for science with regards to CO2 and GW would be better described as alchemy. They know the answer and what's the problem. And amazingly, it's always the same solution.

CO2 makes up a few hundred ppm of our atmosphere. It measures all of 0.03 - 0.04 wt% but even a 33% increase from almost nil to just above nil in 250 years isn't going to get me all excited.

I find your comments in your post to be insulting and demonstrate your emotional rather than intellectual involvement in this thread. I wish no more contact with you on this subject.
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Old 06-17-2007, 01:08 PM   #32
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CO2 makes up a few hundred ppm of our atmosphere. It measures all of 0.03 - 0.04 wt% but even a 33% increase from almost nil to just above nil in 250 years isn't going to get me all excited.
I don't see the logic to that statement at all. Just because something makes up a small % of the total, does not mean that a 33% change in that small amount could not have a big impact on something. It could be a delicate and complex balance point at those levels.

I don't disagree that there is much that is not understood about how all these things inter-relate. There are plausible theories that the increase in Co2 will set off other reactions that may compensate and send us back into some form of balance, or over-compensate into another ice-age! Could be. Or not. Maybe.

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Old 06-17-2007, 02:00 PM   #33
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2B, I am sorry you found parts of my post insulting, I was just observing that the only place I have heard the type of argument put forth has been in popular media and not scientific journals.
While I admit, my response may have been terse, your comments such as "The GW zealots (of which I assume you are a member)..." seem to be a bit on the insulting side as well.

Yes, CO2 makes up a very small percentage of the overall atmosphere.
That small amount makes a big difference to our global average temperature. If you doubt that fact, it is a very good place to attack the idea of GW as if you can disprove it, the whole GW argument falls apart.
Now, the chemistry behind the way CO2 behaves is pretty well documented and understood. But if it can be disproved, please do.
Frankly, I would love to be proven wrong about GW. If I am wrong it means we won't see a lot of misery and hardship in the future due to GW.
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Thanks for the comments!
Old 06-17-2007, 06:28 PM   #34
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Thanks for the comments!

I didn’t expect agreement on whether there is or is not global warming any more than I would expect agreement on abortion rights, evolution vs. “intelligent design”, or the war in Iraq.

People seem to be more polarized than ever and there are zealots on both sides.


I can be a zealot on my own causes but try not to because few minds are changed and most are made up.

(wanna talk about population control? I advocate Federal Permits required to have children with legally binding financial, emotional, and time commitments….no winky inserted... but that’s a whole ‘nuther thread)

What I have learned from this thread that I think neither side would disagree on is:

Doing what are being touted as “carbon-neutral” or “earth-friendly” things aren’t going to change anything qualitatively globally.

For disbelievers in GW -- There is no human-caused problem…. so there’s nothing to fix.
For believers in GW -- Scientists have shown it’s too late; there’s no qualitative difference between 13’ and 16’

One might still buy a Prius to save gas money (or get a carpool lane in CA), or buy energy-efficient windows or appliances to save on electric bills….. but it isn’t going to save the planet.

As I put in Al’s poll, I still want to try to live lightly on the planet... smaller house, car, etc.... and personally "pack out what I take in" in general... because it saves some money and feels good to me.

... but there is too much that public funds can do that can really be helpful to people than to spend money that won't make a difference.

Thanks for the comments,
… Rick
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Old 06-17-2007, 06:36 PM   #35
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Keep in mind, I am not implying no co2, I am working on pumping LESS of it into the atmosphere.
Some of the particular fuels that I am using right now are geothermal heat for heating and cooling my home (75% less co2), solar power for electricity (15% less co2). Much of my electricity from the grid comes from wind power and more each year as wind power continues to grow. Another chunk of my electricity comes from nuclear power.
And yes, energy costs money. After 5-7 years I will have spent less on heating and cooling my house that someone else would have usine a standard HVAC system.
The solar is costing me more, but I feel it is worth it.
In two years I plan on having an electric car. The electric car will produce far less co2 than a gasoline powered car. Yes, it still produces co2, but a lot less of it.
This makes sense.

Yet, if world population does not stop growing, turn around and get smaller (and I don't think that will happen), nothing we do will be enough. All progress will be overwhelmed.
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Old 06-17-2007, 06:57 PM   #36
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What I have learned from this thread that I think neither side would disagree on is:

Doing what are being touted as “carbon-neutral” or “earth-friendly” things aren’t going to change anything qualitatively globally.

I must be part of that weird "third side" then that isnt particularly sure, but thinks we oughta do what we can and hope for the best. And hopes that sitting on our hands debating it as long as we have hasnt made a difference.

Now whether that third side is a cranial ridge or some soft underbelly part...thats up for debate..
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Old 06-17-2007, 08:23 PM   #37
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What I have learned from this thread that I think neither side would disagree on is:

Doing what are being touted as “carbon-neutral” or “earth-friendly” things aren’t going to change anything qualitatively globally.
I must be on that third side as well. I don't think anyone would say there is no qualitative difference between us doing nothing, and doing something. Frankly, while the sea level rise may cause dislocation and economic hardship for many, it is not really that big of a deal IF it stays within the predicted levels. I think far more severe are the changing weather patterns. The areas that may experience more intense and longer lasting droughts is my biggest concern. While I don't live in a drought prone area, I would hate have family in one.
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Old 06-17-2007, 10:59 PM   #38
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.... Frankly, while the sea level rise may cause dislocation and economic hardship for many, it is not really that big of a deal IF it stays within the predicted levels. I think far more severe are the changing weather patterns.
I think that still takes us back to the original question. Will a change in our carbon footprint have much of an impact on weather patterns (and/or sea level), or is most of the change either 'natural' or from damage already done?

The sea level rise is a little easier number to get a grip on - weather patterns are a real variable and what is bad for one area, may actually be good for another.

But, can we change any of it significantly at this point, or do we need to learn to adapt?

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Old 06-17-2007, 11:17 PM   #39
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I must be part of that weird "third side" then that isnt particularly sure, but thinks we oughta do what we can and hope for the best. And hopes that sitting on our hands debating it as long as we have hasnt made a difference.
I have no problem with that view, but let me ask you something - define 'do what we oughta do'?

On one hand, that could mean 'reduce our carbon footprint'. But, the same people who are saying that these bad things are going to happen, are the ones that seem to be saying that line of action won't really have much effect.

So the other hand says, jeez, most of the bad stuff is going to happen whether we reduce our carbon footprint or not, so maybe the best course of action is to invest time/$ to prepare for these changes.

Potentially stupid analogy, but: If a Hurricane is coming, and we think that maybe we can lessen the damage by seeding some clouds, do we do that - or do we board up our house, 'cause even if they do divert that Hurricane a few miles, we are going to get pummeled anyway? I think you need to be pragmatic and say - board up the house.

If we can do both, fine. But don't forget that some of the carbon sequestering plans are actually bad for the environment in other ways. We need to choose wisely, and the information still seems to be sketchy.

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Old 06-18-2007, 06:28 AM   #40
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I have read the same stuff and concluded that there is nothing we can practicably do that will have a substantial impact on GW effects in the next 50 years. But I still think we should attack the problem with gusto. Cutting consumption of petroleum will have a huge beneficial effect on our national security. And preparing for (not avoiding) the effects of GW could alleviate a tremendous amount of suffering if the theories turn out to be correct. If GW fails to materialize the effort to prepare for it will not have hurt. Just a few wasted dollars - nothing compared to the fiasco we are burning our treasury on currently.
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