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Looks like we do not have to do anything about global warming...
Old 09-30-2009, 10:44 AM   #1
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Looks like we do not have to do anything about global warming...

I hope this does not go downhill quickly... but this was one of the reasons that I had said about spending many billions on reducing global warming gasses are probably not well spent...

If it is 'unstoppable', then the money would be better spent in helping out the affected people...

Note: this does not mean we should stop reducing our pollution.. I want clean air...

Two meter sea level rise unstoppable: experts - Yahoo! News
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Old 09-30-2009, 11:05 AM   #2
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Maybe in my 6th or 7th life, I can buy beachfront property in Nevada.

The author notes a time frame of 300 to 1000 years.
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Old 09-30-2009, 11:53 AM   #3
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Maybe in my 6th or 7th life, I can buy beachfront property in Nevada.

The author notes a time frame of 300 to 1000 years.
I predict in 300 to 1000 years that the Mogollon Rim in Arizona will be prime oceanfront property, Afghanistan will the be the cultural and religious capital, all the remaining people in the world will live in Antarctica, and pigs will fly around in nuclear-powered personal aircraft. Prove me wrong.
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Old 09-30-2009, 12:45 PM   #4
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We have discussed this concept in previous global warming threads. My take has long been we should should have started conserving on oil use in the 70s (tax gas) as a national security measure. Whatever we do won't make much difference on global warming so we should focus on steps to help us adapt to the inevitable changes. If we take oil dependency seriously as a security issue the gas tax, cap and trade, fuel efficiency standards, or whatever still make as much sense as ever. It would be a lot easier to assure our security be escaping the oil shackles than by invading country after country in the mid-east.
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Old 09-30-2009, 02:54 PM   #5
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It amazes me that the same people that refuse to put any value in the warnings or statements of hundreds of scientists will then use the statement of 1 scientist to show there is nothing we can do.
Don't get me wrong, I don't necessarily disagree with the article. I just don't see the rational in the conclusion 'we may as well not do anything because we can't prevent the consequences of what we have alread done'.
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Old 09-30-2009, 03:08 PM   #6
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I remember when there was nothing we could do about the hole in the ozone layer...
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Old 09-30-2009, 03:15 PM   #7
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It amazes me that the same people that refuse to put any value in the warnings or statements of hundreds of scientists will then use the statement of 1 scientist to show there is nothing we can do.
Don't get me wrong, I don't necessarily disagree with the article. I just don't see the rational in the conclusion 'we may as well not do anything because we can't prevent the consequences of what we have alread done'.
But doesn't the IPCC say much the same thing? I think they've issued more updates since I slogged through them, but as I recall most of the sea level rise was "baked in the cake" no matter what we do.

I don't think they are saying "do nothing", but it makes sense to do what we can in the most efficient way possible, and that might mean invest more money towards adaptation rather than prevention. If I have a leaky roof, I could fix it, or try to change the weather so it doesn't rain - adaptation makes more sense.

I'll try to find a link later, but Discover magazine had an article that pointed to research that much of the global warming can be attributed to soot. The good news was that soot is far easier to control (diesel trucks/trains and coal power plants), and when you reduce it, it naturally diminishes in just a few years. They claimed that dollar for dollar, soot reduction would be far cheaper and far more effective. Could be pseudo-science, I didn't look into it further, but thought it was interesting.

-ERD50
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Old 09-30-2009, 03:32 PM   #8
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In a rational world, it would all boil down to maximizing marginal utility. If it costs $1 trillion/yr to reduce greenhouse gases by 50% (and this also comes with significantly reduced standards of living/caloric availability/life expectancy for the world's population), but moving people to higher ground costs just 5% of that, then I'd say the answer is pretty clear.

Maybe reducing CO2 by active means (e.g. adding nitrogen to the oceans to speed up phytoplankton photsynthesis, etc) will turn out to be the best bang for the buck. Anybody want to bet that we'll ever understand the earth's atmospheric system-of-systems well enough to be able to predict how to take active measures without making things worse?

One thing about moving people to higher ground-- we know it will work.

Of course, this doesn't address the other environmental aspects of increased temps--but let's not forget that the earth has been hotter than this before and mankind had nothing to do with it. Species do go extinct naturally . . .
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Old 09-30-2009, 03:49 PM   #9
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Oh don't get me wrong Erd, there are many scientists that say there is little we can do to prevent the damage already done. The 2 meter prediction is a bit further out on the timeline.
What my point was is that it is funny that people that don't believe the scientists when their conclusion is 'we are partly responsible for the situation', take the same scientists conclusions that 'we can't prevent all the damage' as gospel truth.
What we can do, is stop making things worse.
Research into adaptation is very important, but so is research into what the results of what we have done will be so we have a better idea what we will need to adapt too.
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Old 09-30-2009, 05:22 PM   #10
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The author notes a time frame of 300 to 1000 years.
Yeah, I remember Nostradamus did pretty well over that time frame too. Who the heck is going to be keeping score?

Having said that, the effort to minimize the human footprint on the rest of the planet is bound to spawn technology that will raise our standard of living even higher. I say we should stop global warming, whether it exists or not, just to reap the benefits of the attempt. And then we can start grappling with global cooling.

Besides, my home is at an altitude in excess of 450 feet. I can wait.
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Old 09-30-2009, 05:57 PM   #11
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In a rational world, it would all boil down to maximizing marginal utility. If it costs $1 trillion/yr to reduce greenhouse gases by 50% (and this also comes with significantly reduced standards of living/caloric availability/life expectancy for the world's population), but moving people to higher ground costs just 5% of that, then I'd say the answer is pretty clear.

Maybe reducing CO2 by active means (e.g. adding nitrogen to the oceans to speed up phytoplankton photsynthesis, etc) will turn out to be the best bang for the buck. Anybody want to bet that we'll ever understand the earth's atmospheric system-of-systems well enough to be able to predict how to take active measures without making things worse?

One thing about moving people to higher ground-- we know it will work.

Of course, this doesn't address the other environmental aspects of increased temps--but let's not forget that the earth has been hotter than this before and mankind had nothing to do with it. Species do go extinct naturally . . .
So where do we move all those folks in Bangladesh?
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Old 09-30-2009, 06:13 PM   #12
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I don't have a problem with reducing wasteful stuff, in that spirit:

Stop making cell phones, ipods, blackberries, tv remotes, anything from plastic such as children's toys, propeller hats, kitchen gizmos, plastic chairs, plastic laundry baskets, food wrappers, styrofoam cups etc. Oh wait what will the yuppies do

Immediately recycle in a proper fashion all of the above.
The creative mind could come up with a lot more crap everyday stuff that is made and is fast becoming landfill.

If the kids want toys, let them make them, I had to, mom had no money for such frivolity. She brought home veggies from the market in her own canvas bag, live chicken by grabbing the tied feet, which we killed and plucked etc. No offers of plastic or paper bags, or pre cut chicken.

Ah the good old days!

Think of the possibilities, no distracted drivers, no more plastic clogging the landfills.

Gee, how much oil can we save if no plastic gizmos are made?

Yeah right....
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Old 09-30-2009, 06:24 PM   #13
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A seven meter sea level rise over 300-1,000 years ... who cares? We have much bigger problems to deal with, and shouldn't waste time, energy or money worrying about this sort of trivia.

In the much longer term the trend may cause a problem, but as John Maynard Keynes famously said, “In the long run, we're all dead”. Anyway in approximately a billion years or so the temperature of the earth will have tripled and all of the oceans will evaporate, which will fix the problem and then some!

I'm in no hurry to kick the bucket, but sometimes the certainty of one's mortality is a comfort ("I won't have to worry about that!").
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Old 09-30-2009, 08:11 PM   #14
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Having said that, the effort to minimize the human footprint on the rest of the planet is bound to spawn technology that will raise our standard of living even higher. I say we should stop global warming, whether it exists or not, just to reap the benefits of the attempt.
The environmental movement has been surprisingly successful with this argument. That abandoning perfectly good existing infrastructure and replacing it with less efficient new infrastructure somehow makes us richer. It's the economic equivalent of breaking a window so you can replace it with a more expensive one.

It may be worth doing, but we shouldn't kid ourselves that cleaning up the environment is going to be a free lunch. It is going to cost us.
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Old 09-30-2009, 08:23 PM   #15
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So where do we move all those folks in Bangladesh?
Higher?
They don't have to leave tomorrow--we've got a few generations to work this out.

Many get flooded/monsooned/typhooned out of their homes every few years. If they didn't move back, the population centers would gradually get pushed onto higher ground.

Where would they have moved when the planet heated up again naturally?
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Old 09-30-2009, 08:57 PM   #16
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Oh don't get me wrong Erd, there are many scientists that say there is little we can do to prevent the damage already done.
...

Research into adaptation is very important, but so is research into what the results of what we have done will be so we have a better idea what we will need to adapt too.
Agreed. I just hope we can learn enough to make good decisions about how much to invest where. It would most likely be some of each.

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Old 09-30-2009, 09:17 PM   #17
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The environmental movement has been surprisingly successful with this argument. That abandoning perfectly good existing infrastructure and replacing it with less efficient new infrastructure somehow makes us richer. It's the economic equivalent of breaking a window so you can replace it with a more expensive one.
Absolutely. Funny thing is, if it is economically sound, no one needs to be coerced into it.

~ 15 years ago, I replaced the furnace in our house as part of a remodel. The existing one was a low end 1986 model, not sure of the eff, but no special features, maybe 65-75%? Getting to 90-92% was not much of a cost premium (draft inducer was about it), seemed like a no-brainer in our climate.

That was good for the environment, we've saved lots of NG over the past 15 years. I actually am richer for it and the environment is better for it. No pain whatsoever. Those are the items we should be going after first.

Counter-example - 22 YO freezer uses $6/month of electricity. No way am I going to replace that before it dies. How efficient do they get? The new one might die before I ever get payback.

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Old 09-30-2009, 09:33 PM   #18
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So where do we move all those folks in Bangladesh?
Greater Dayton Area? 750 feet above sea level
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Old 09-30-2009, 09:40 PM   #19
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Counter-example - 22 YO freezer uses $6/month of electricity. No way am I going to replace that before it dies. How efficient do they get? The new one might die before I ever get payback.
-ERD50
If you lived in AZ, the local utility would pay you $30 for the beast and haul it away. Plus a rebate on buying a new Energy Star model, not sure of the amount $20? $30 $50? Energy consumtion less than half.
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Old 09-30-2009, 10:16 PM   #20
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Higher?
They don't have to leave tomorrow--we've got a few generations to work this out.

Many get flooded/monsooned/typhooned out of their homes every few years. If they didn't move back, the population centers would gradually get pushed onto higher ground.

Where would they have moved when the planet heated up again naturally?
So who is going to volunteer to share their land with all the Bangladeshis forced to evacuate? Same people who gave up their land to all our people from New Orleans?
Just asking.
Just having your feet out of the water does not guarantee quality of life. Some people believe that taking care of humans alone and be damned to the rest of the critters on the planet is not the way to go. Besides caring for other critters, we need intact ecosystems to survive ourselves.
Just saying.
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