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Old 06-08-2007, 11:30 AM   #41
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Wouldn't it be better to spend the money on adapting to the change rather than throwing money at trying to have a small impact on that change?


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With all due respect, I believe this is quitting before we have even made a serious effort. I also believe global change will devastate poorer nations and worsen global tensions to the point of making carbon reduction look cheap in hindsight.
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Old 06-08-2007, 12:00 PM   #42
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i don't think it's either or - i mentioned the scientist's talking about adapting because whatever you believe is the cause - adapting will be a necessary step we have to take.

but reducing emissions etc - may not help in the near term (next 100 years?) but in the longer term should have an effect because we need to change people's habits and understanding of impact we may have on our habitat...we can't just keep the smoke stacks burning and say, oh, what's that cloud over our heads?
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Old 06-08-2007, 12:21 PM   #43
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With all due respect, I believe this is quitting before we have even made a serious effort. I also believe global change will devastate poorer nations and worsen global tensions to the point of making carbon reduction look cheap in hindsight.
Also respectfully, why would this be looked at as 'quiting' rather than facing reality and making intelligent choices? Those poorer nation are going to need to adapt whether we implement carbon reduction or not (see numbers below).

I'm not quoting some anti-global warming group here. These numbers are from the IPCC - the same group that I think Gore refers to when he talks about the 'consensus' among scientists today.

Global warming has a natural component (consensus on that) and a man-made component (consensus is just a bit weaker on that). Much of the what is assumed to be man-made is already out of the barn. Reducing output of greenhouse gases today can't undo the past hundred years. It can only help to slow it somewhat ( a 13" sea level rise versus a 16.5" rise appears to be the best estimates of the IPCC). Also note that there is so much unknown in these models, the numbers in the various estimates almost overlap.

Going back to the analogy I used in the earlier thread, if I know my basement will flood each year to a level of 16.5" or, I could add thousands of dollars of pumps and reduce the flooding to 13" - what should I do? Since I need to get everything 13" off the floor anyway, why not just build those shelves 16.5" high? It will not cost much more, and the damage will be about the same either way. Why spend money/energy on pumps to get 3.5" less flooding?

Those appear to be our choices, based on what we know today. I also think the original post is quite thought provoking. Who are we to say that the last one-hundred years climate is the *right* climate that must be preserved? What if we were in the middle of the ice age right now - would we say we need to preserve that from change? Some areas will actually benefit from global warming. What about their rights? It's a complex issue.

-ERD50

PS - to bright eyed post - remember, reducing pollution and reducing carbon emissions can be looked at as two different things. As I pointed out, reducing carbon emissions could increase the damage to the environment in some other ways. I'm not sure we know which is worse - 30% more coal mining, or some slight reduction in the man-made element of global warming?
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Old 06-08-2007, 12:47 PM   #44
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Global warming has a natural component (consensus on that) and a man-made component (consensus is just a bit weaker on that).
PS - to bright eyed post - remember, reducing pollution and reducing carbon emissions can be looked at as two different things. As I pointed out, reducing carbon emissions could increase the damage to the environment in some other ways. I'm not sure we know which is worse - 30% more coal mining, or some slight reduction in the man-made element of global warming?
global warning is like cholesterol!

well, would you disagree, then, that it is in fact beneficial to examine and change behaviors, habits, whatever that contribute to pollution? let's talk about cancer rates, autism, asthma - if not considering temperature, there are other ramifications for the outputs of technology in our recent past and present...frogs won't be the only disappearing species! or perhaps we will just evolve our way around the pollutants!
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Old 06-08-2007, 12:58 PM   #45
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global warning is like cholesterol!

well, would you disagree, then, that it is in fact beneficial to examine and change behaviors, habits, whatever that contribute to pollution? let's talk about cancer rates, autism, asthma - if not considering temperature, there are other ramifications for the outputs of technology in our recent past and present...frogs won't be the only disappearing species! or perhaps we will just evolve our way around the pollutants!
I'm all for reducing pollution and for conservation. I think that much of it can be done for very little $, and some will have a payback. We can identify the harm of some pollutants, the cost to reduce is fairly low percentage wise. Let's just say our energy would cost an extra 10% to significantly reduce the pollutants it causes. If we also conserved by 10% (not really that difficult) it would be a wash cost-wise.

I'm not sure we have identified the cause of autism (some is due to increases diagnosis). Asthma rates are on the rise, don't know if pollution is the cause, but it certainly is an irritant. Cancer rates are decreasing.

One problem I have with the media/Gore approach to global warming solutions (CFLs, turn the thermostat up/down, etc) is they seem to give the impression that this will *fix* the problem. I don't think the public is being educated that we are going to be in a heap of adaption whether we do anything with carbon emissions or not. We need to look at the big picture and make reasonable choices.

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Old 06-08-2007, 02:14 PM   #46
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One problem I have with the media/Gore approach to global warming solutions (CFLs, turn the thermostat up/down, etc) is they seem to give the impression that this will *fix* the problem. I don't think the public is being educated that we are going to be in a heap of adaption whether we do anything with carbon emissions or not. We need to look at the big picture and make reasonable choices.

-ERD50
aah yes, i agree there - it seems misleading and the public will turn around and throw their hands up if they don't see "changes" for their efforts in a few years or decade...

on the other hand - the "we don't know it's man made, the earth has had varying temps" argument can seem like recklessness, and wanting to give license to polluters to keep on truckin'...
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Old 06-08-2007, 04:21 PM   #47
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aah yes, i agree there - it seems misleading and the public will turn around and throw their hands up if they don't see "changes" for their efforts in a few years or decade...

on the other hand - the "we don't know it's man made, the earth has had varying temps" argument can seem like recklessness, and wanting to give license to polluters to keep on truckin'...
Well the problem seems to have begun when human population started clearing forests to plant crops. They removed the trees that were very efficient at absorbing CO2 and producing oxygen. It is all well and good to blame the burning of fossil fuels. But the problem started long before that. We need to take steps to reduce emissions just as we have been doing since the 70s. A lower footprint is always a good model. Can you point to anyone who is a good model for this movement and has actually walked the walk?

Otherwise it is just a lot of CO2 being released with every breath....
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Old 06-09-2007, 12:05 PM   #48
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on the other hand - the "we don't know it's man made, the earth has had varying temps" argument can seem like recklessness, and wanting to give license to polluters to keep on truckin'...
I don't know that I'd call this reckless. The IPCC is the one saying that most of the climate change cannot be affected by reductions we make today. I don't think it gives anyone a license to ignore anything, or to keep polluting (which is a separate issue anyway). It just means we need to be realistic about the choices and actions we take.

It might be reckless to invest too much time/money on the 3.5 inch difference that we might be able to make if we almost totally get away from fossil fuels versus not preparing for the 13 to 16.5 inches of flooding we will get (according to present estimates).

Hopefully, advances in true alternate energy sources (not just storage methods like hydrogen) will take care of both carbon and pollution. I'm actually fairly hopeful that this will come to pass (cheaper solar cells for example) - technology will save us for the next big unforeseen crisis.

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Old 06-10-2007, 05:39 AM   #49
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I've seen the 16 inch figure thrown around in other things I've read/watched. The question that always comes to my mind is how is 16 inches going to flood most of the coastal lands like is be purported. Most of the beaches I've been on have larger swings between the tides. These same beaches look to be able to absorb and extra 2 or 3 feet of water without too much problem, even at high tide. I do know there are places where people have built ridiculously close to the water and will have issues, but most of the places I've been/heard about, do not fit into this category.
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Old 06-10-2007, 07:40 AM   #50
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Did you ever wonder how 1.8 billion and another 1.5 billion people , China and India, can limit the use of fossil fuels? I remember a comment one of my students had last year about the Chinese. I said many want to have a western type lifestyle with a car and such. Her response was what happened to THEIR BIKES?
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Old 06-10-2007, 11:04 AM   #51
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...The question that always comes to my mind is how is 16 inches going to flood most of the coastal lands like is be purported. Most of the beaches I've been on have larger swings between the tides....
Good question. I don't know the answer, but i will point out one thing. In the Al Gore movie, "Inconvenient Truth", the scene he dramatizes with all the flooding, and major cities under water and billions of people displaced has nothing whatsoever to do with anything the IPCC is talking about. Al's lies, scare tactics, fear mongering, attention getting , errrrr, dramatization shows what would happen with a 23 foot rise in sea level. I think the maximum the IPCC has talked about is a 24 inch rise. Oops.

Funny how Al Gore calls on the consensus of scientists when it fits the story he wants to present, and ignores it when it is, ummm, 'inconvenient'?

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Old 06-10-2007, 11:38 AM   #52
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Good question. I don't know the answer, but i will point out one thing. In the Al Gore movie, "Inconvenient Truth", the scene he dramatizes with all the flooding, and major cities under water and billions of people displaced has nothing whatsoever to do with anything the IPCC is talking about. Al's lies, scare tactics, fear mongering, attention getting , errrrr, dramatization shows what would happen with a 23 foot rise in sea level. I think the maximum the IPCC has talked about is a 24 inch rise. Oops.

Funny how Al Gore calls on the consensus of scientists when it fits the story he wants to present, and ignores it when it is, ummm, 'inconvenient'?

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Old 06-12-2007, 07:08 AM   #53
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Al is all about Al...and politics.
He did say that his portrayal was based on either the Antarctic or the Greenland land-based ice sheets melting entirely (or both by 50%). But it would have had more credibility if he had said that NO ONE is predicting that happening. Funny he did not show the scenario if both melted entirely. I guess that would be a 46 feet rise.

Do we know when was the last time that scientists correctly predicted anything? AGW proponents are quick to say that this time it's different.
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Old 06-12-2007, 07:50 AM   #54
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He did say that his portrayal was based on either the Antarctic or the Greenland land-based ice sheets melting entirely (or both by 50%). But it would have had more credibility if he had said that NO ONE is predicting that happening.
Yes, that's is what he says if you listen closely (w/o the disclaimer). I doubt 1/1000 people who watch the film catch that distinction. I have heard people talk about how New York will be under water in 'just a few years - we need to do something!'.


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Do we know when was the last time that scientists correctly predicted anything? AGW proponents are quick to say that this time it's different.
Hmmm, I kinda hate to take that approach, it sounds 'head in the sand-ish', but you probably have a good point. I think maybe scientists have not had a good track record when it comes to long term predictions.

Lets see: unmetered nuclear electricity; enough food to feed everyone or the population will increase and everyone will starve by now; we should have run out of oil by now; cancer should be as rare as polio; - there's a few.

It also seems the scientists are maybe not too good at envisioning the unintended consequences. Not to pick on scientists, it's a complex set of interactions, esp when you through social/governmental interaction into the mix.

Flying cars, jet packs? _ mmmm, probably the media more than scientists, I'll give 'em a pass on that one.

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Old 06-12-2007, 08:01 AM   #55
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Do we know when was the last time that scientists correctly predicted anything? AGW proponents are quick to say that this time it's different.
Well, gravity seemed to be working normally when I woke up this morning. I am alive because a scientist got it right with recombinant dna Insulin. And I seem to recall a number of predictions and warnings regarding New Orleans and its vulnerability to hurricanes.

Sure, you can always come up with examples of misses. However, to ignore all science because every scientist isn't always right seems, silly.
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Old 06-13-2007, 12:00 PM   #56
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Well, gravity seemed to be working normally when I woke up this morning. I am alive because a scientist got it right with recombinant dna Insulin. And I seem to recall a number of predictions and warnings regarding New Orleans and its vulnerability to hurricanes.
There are a couple of aspects to Katrina. The Army Corps knew that the levies were only good for Cat 3. They told the government. The government failed to act. No one seems to be able to forecast hurricanes.

Scientists make many valuable contributions through their discoveries. Sometimes their explanations are revised with more knowledge. We need to expect that and cut them some slack.

Show me a committee that claims it can forecast the future. I need a laugh today. (Written by a Master of Applied Science - Retired.)
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Old 06-14-2007, 11:20 AM   #57
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A couple links here showing an interesting viewpoint from the President of the Czech Republic and some interesting findings from the Danish National Space Center.

"As someone who lived under communism for most of his life, I feel obliged to say that I see the biggest threat to freedom, democracy, the market economy and prosperity now in ambitious environmentalism, not in communism."

"I agree with Professor Richard Lindzen from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who said: “future generations will wonder in bemused amazement that the early 21st century’s developed world went into hysterical panic over a globally averaged temperature increase of a few tenths of a degree, and, on the basis of gross exaggerations of highly uncertain computer projections combined into implausible chains of inference, proceeded to contemplate a roll-back of the industrial age”.

FT.com / Comment & analysis / Comment - Freedom, not climate, is at risk


The sun and the stars could explain most if not all of the warming this century, and he has laboratory results to demonstrate it. Dr. Svensmark's study had its origins in 1996, when he and a colleague presented findings at a scientific conference indicating that changes in the sun's magnetic field -- quite apart from greenhouse gases -- could be related to the recent rise in global temperatures.

The sun moves climate change
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Old 06-14-2007, 11:39 PM   #58
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Well I cannot agree with that. I think the IPPC has a great deal of valuable data. It is really important to separate the data from the opinions!

Once they start to forecast the future, I check out!
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Old 06-16-2007, 07:44 PM   #59
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Do we know when was the last time that scientists correctly predicted anything?
I've been thinking about this, and I can't think many cases of a consensus of scientists predicting anything similar to the way in which they are predicting global warming.

The only one I can think of is: There will be a major quake in California in the next 30 years.

Can you think of others?

Things like "Air cars in five years" doesn't count. That's more of the popular press (e.g. Popular Science Magazine) hyping something someone said.
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