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Re: Global warming and financial positioning
Old 04-14-2007, 12:05 AM   #221
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Re: Global warming and financial positioning

Quote:
Originally Posted by bosco
lemme see--on the one hand you discount data since 1970 as being not long enough , and on the other hand you discount global warming based on one winter in Texas Can't have it both ways.
I used to think like that too, bosco. But I was in a motel last night that got FOX news, and it turns out that almost anybody knows more about global warming and environmental models than scientists. News commentators, politicians who get contributions from big polluters, posters on internet boards, . . . all know more about global warming than a few thousand scientists. These scientists, it turns out, have done nothing more than devote years of their lives to getting formal training, collecting data, and doing research. Ha. How would that possibly qualify them to make judgements on the subject. We have folks on this board who have solved a nonlinear problem. Others have read an article in the Newspaper. Still others have viewed internet discussions about global warming. Surely they know more about global warming than thousands of scientists.

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Re: Global warming and financial positioning
Old 04-14-2007, 12:41 AM   #222
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Re: Global warming and financial positioning

SG is right. Let the scientists handle it. They've got training and PhD's and stuff. You know, like in predicting the future and saving humanity. Why worry? Why even discuss it? The Real Scientists(TM) will save us.

[And remember, when you can't argue your way out of a wet paper bag, all you need to do is Appeal To Authority....]
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Re: Global warming and financial positioning
Old 04-14-2007, 02:37 AM   #223
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Re: Global warming and financial positioning

Quote:
Originally Posted by bosco
lemme see--on the one hand you discount data since 1970 as being not long enough , and on the other hand you discount global warming based on one winter in Texas Can't have it both ways.

That IS my point.... trying to explain global warming because of a few years of 'hot' is ridiculous... just like trying to use this one year to disprove it...

And... as I have said before, I actually DO believe in global warming... it has been going on for thousand of years (tens of thousands).. the question that I have not come to 'believe' is that man is THE MAJOR CAUSE OF THE CURRENT GLOBAL WARMING... I am sure we are a minor cause. we are doing to much to the atmosphere etc not to have some effect... and as the 9-11 showed the airplanes have a major impact on the temps...

And living in the center of a city where there are heat sinks galore... it is warmer than the burbs..

I just don't see the gloom and doom...

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Re: Global warming and financial positioning
Old 04-14-2007, 08:51 AM   #224
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Re: Global warming and financial positioning

So given that the current mania is gaining momentum, I guess alternative fuels like solar, wind and uranium will be good investments in the next 5-10 years.

But what about oil & gas companies?
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Re: Global warming and financial positioning
Old 04-14-2007, 10:10 AM   #225
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Re: Global warming and financial positioning

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Originally Posted by kcowan
So given that the current mania is gaining momentum, I guess alternative fuels like solar, wind and uranium will be good investments in the next 5-10 years.

But what about oil & gas companies?
It will take decades to have any major impact on the use of oil and gas.... so for the rest of my life I think they are still good to go...

And, a company like Exxon has a LOT of money to invest... and they consider themselves an 'energy' company, so I would think they would be in the thick of things when something percolates to the top that actually looks like it can be a good investment...

What I think the OP wants is those things that will percolate so when Exxon comes a calling with their billions, he gets his piece...
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Re: Global warming and financial positioning
Old 04-14-2007, 10:17 AM   #226
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Re: Global warming and financial positioning



Here is an interesting 'unintended consequence' that might fit into the original (and recent) question about investment opportunities:

http://tinyurl.com/2c3ty5

That chart (directly from the IPCC site), indicates that a 'clean' power plant (one that captures CO2) uses about 25-30% *more* fuel than a standard power plant. So, the idea of sequestering CO2 is somewhat at odds with energy conservation. Could that make oil and coal *good* investments?

So, I think it is reasonable to really question if these efforts will help. There is a price to pay, not only in $$, but the environmental impact of obtaining the additional fossil fuel.


I don't think the IPCC claims are a slam-dunk on the issue:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPCC#Contributors
Quote:
# Warming of the climate system is unequivocal
# Most of (>50% of) the observed increase in globally averaged temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely (confidence level >90%) due to the observed increase in anthropogenic (human) greenhouse gas concentrations
# Hotter temperatures and rises in sea level "would continue for centuries" no matter how much humans control their pollution.[9], although the likely amount of temperature and sea level rise varies greatly depending on the fossil intensity of human activity during the next century (pages 13 and 18)[10]

* Sea levels will probably rise by 18 to 59 cm (7.08 to 23.22 in) [table 3]
So, a 90% confidence that more than half of the global warming is due to human actions.

And we can only mitigate the damage to a degree.

And, that mitigation comes at a price (some of it an environmental price).

To me, that means we should have a reasonable understanding of just how much 'good' a given solution can provide, versus the 'cost' of that solution. IOW, prioritize and evaluate the solutions. This is not something our politicians are good at. They like high profile, 'look, I'm doing something', sound-bite type solutions.

I am somewhat hopeful that the problems won't be quite as bad as we currently think, that technology will provide some solutions despite the political interventions, and that we will be able to adapt to the changes that do occur.

And where did Al Gore get that 20 foot rise in sea level he dramatizes in "Inconvenient Truth"? The largest number I see in the IPCC report is 35" (.9M) which was revised downward to a max of 23 inches in the 2004 report. Does exaggerating by a factor of ten still count as 'truth'? Or was 20 feet just a 'convenient' number to use? He seems to draw on the consensus of the experts when it fits his needs, and then choses to ignore the consensus when it does not make such a dramatic video. 20 feet is much more dramatic than 23 inches (max).

-ERD50
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Re: Global warming and financial positioning
Old 04-14-2007, 01:04 PM   #227
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Re: Global warming and financial positioning

So, that wikipedia article on the inefficiency of plant photosynthesis inspired me to investigate photosynthesis a bit more. Turns out that plants are close to 100% efficient (not sure what the wiki article was measuring), but we still don't understand photosynthesis well enough to engineer a similar mechanism. Personally, I think this should be a major focus. Not just to improve our solar energy efficiency, but also to build efficient carbon sequestration machines if we need to. Imagine being able to build arbitrary structures out of carbon using solar power.

Anyway, interesting article on the latest scientific breakthrough:

Quantum Secrets of Photosynthesis Revealed
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Re: Global warming and financial positioning
Old 04-14-2007, 02:55 PM   #228
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Re: Global warming and financial positioning

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Originally Posted by wab
So, that wikipedia article on the inefficiency of plant photosynthesis inspired me to investigate photosynthesis a bit more. Turns out that plants are close to 100% efficient (not sure what the wiki article was measuring), but we still don't understand photosynthesis well enough to engineer a similar mechanism. Personally, I think this should be a major focus. Not just to improve our solar energy efficiency, but also to build efficient carbon sequestration machines if we need to. Imagine being able to build arbitrary structures out of carbon using solar power.

Anyway, interesting article on the latest scientific breakthrough:

Quantum Secrets of Photosynthesis Revealed
I've avoided rejoining this thread until now. How can a plant not be "100% efficient?" CO2 comes in and O2 leaves. The carbon gets incorporated into the plant. There are no byproducts. The only way a plant can't be "100%" is to put it in an evironment of CO2 and wait for the plant to die because the CO2 level becomes too low to utilize. Perhaps that's what the alternative definition meant but it seems like a stretch for any rational evaluation.
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Re: Global warming and financial positioning
Old 04-14-2007, 03:56 PM   #229
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Re: Global warming and financial positioning

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I've avoided rejoining this thread until now. How can a plant not be "100% efficient?" CO2 comes in and O2 leaves. The carbon gets incorporated into the plant. There are no byproducts. The only way a plant can't be "100%" is to put it in an evironment of CO2 and wait for the plant to die because the CO2 level becomes too low to utilize. Perhaps that's what the alternative definition meant but it seems like a stretch for any rational evaluation.
"Inefficient" usually means "heat loss" or otherwise failing to convert energy to a useful purpose. Humans generate a lot of heat (some of it on purpose), but plants don't.
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Re: Global warming and financial positioning
Old 04-14-2007, 04:24 PM   #230
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Re: Global warming and financial positioning

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"Inefficient" usually means "heat loss" or otherwise failing to convert energy to a useful purpose. Humans generate a lot of heat (some of it on purpose), but plants don't.
Since it never occurred to me that living plants generate heat, I just assumed the it would all be chemical efficiency. Now if plants generated a few moles of CH4 for every mole of O2 we would then be able to talk about chemical efficiency.

Plants do die and decompose or they can be fermented. Maybe we should consider the whole life cycle. We could start a whole new thread.
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Re: Global warming and financial positioning
Old 04-14-2007, 04:30 PM   #231
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Re: Global warming and financial positioning

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Originally Posted by 2B
Plants do die and decompose or they can be fermented. Maybe we should consider the whole life cycle. We could start a whole new thread.
Or we could keep it in this thread since that's where our oil comes from. All we're doing is burning dead plants to use some of the solar energy they converted into chemical bonds.

And, as a side-effect, we're putting the carbon we dug up back into the atmosphere. Surely, we can do better than that (even if you don't believe the free carbon is a convoluted indirect threat to the polar bears).
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Re: Global warming and financial positioning
Old 04-14-2007, 05:05 PM   #232
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Re: Global warming and financial positioning

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Originally Posted by wab

Turns out that plants are close to 100% efficient
I suspect their definition of 'efficiency' is too narrow, I don't think the efficiency they measured is comparable to solar cells (or our energy independence for that matter).

For one thing, how can I look at a plant (which appears green) and say it is 100% efficient at converting solar energy to anything? It would need to appear black to my eyes (all light energy absorbed and converted) to be 100% efficient. So right there - we know the efficiency they are talking about is something different.

Second, a plant is not electricity, or some other useful form of fuel yet. If we burn the plant, we lose efficiency in the conversion. Solar cells are in the 15% eff range - and that is electric power that can be used (in many cases it must be converted to AC power, but that loses only a few % total).

-ERD50

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Re: Global warming and financial positioning
Old 04-14-2007, 05:31 PM   #233
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Re: Global warming and financial positioning

Heh. I actually think this in on topic.

Humans generally want electrical or mechanical energy as the end product. Sometimes we want to build stuff, too.

Plants are good at converting solar (at the specific wavelength that excites chlorophyll) to free electrons (which is basically where our solar cells stop) and use that electricity to convert water and CO2 into structural carbon chains.

photosynthesis primer

I'm pretty sure we could learn a bunch from plants both as solar-based electrical generators and for building carbon-based structures. Today, we're using very crude methods to break down the carbon chains of plants for mechanical energy to power our cars and electrical generators.
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Re: Global warming and financial positioning
Old 04-15-2007, 01:11 PM   #234
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Re: Global warming and financial positioning

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Originally Posted by ERD50
And where did Al Gore get that 20 foot rise in sea level he dramatizes in "Inconvenient Truth"? The largest number I see in the IPCC report is 35" (.9M) which was revised downward to a max of 23 inches in the 2004 report. Does exaggerating by a factor of ten still count as 'truth'? Or was 20 feet just a 'convenient' number to use? He seems to draw on the consensus of the experts when it fits his needs, and then choses to ignore the consensus when it does not make such a dramatic video. 20 feet is much more dramatic than 23 inches (max).
-ERD50
I listened very carefully and he said IF the entire ice glacier on land in Antarctica, or Greenland, or half of both were to completely melt, then the sea level would rise 20 ft. He implied that the melting action observed on the western Antarctic ice shelf might portend this.

He was mixing some science with lots of theatrics. Entertaining but that is all.
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Re: Global warming and financial positioning
Old 04-15-2007, 02:05 PM   #235
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Re: Global warming and financial positioning




I say, keep your finances warm and positioned close to your globes


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Re: Global warming and financial positioning
Old 04-15-2007, 04:00 PM   #236
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Re: Global warming and financial positioning

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Originally Posted by kcowan
I listened very carefully and he said IF the entire ice glacier on land in Antarctica, or Greenland, or half of both were to completely melt, then the sea level would rise 20 ft. He implied that the melting action observed on the western Antarctic ice shelf might portend this.

He was mixing some science with lots of theatrics. Entertaining but that is all.
Yes, that is it. And it is very, very dangerous. Al Gore's theatrics have led many, many people to believe that our coastal cities are in imminent danger of being under 20 feet of water in our children's lifetimes. And that we must take action now.

So then, this frightened populace votes in people to approve all these drastic measures to 'save us' from these 'problems'. We all get hit with the costs associated with it. Worse, money is taken away from real needs. I could call it 'entertaining' if it was a made for TV fiction piece, but it is presented as a documentary. And many people are buying it, hook, line and sinker.

Al Gore just admonished Congress for not listening to the scientists. But, Al Gore is not listening to the scientists when he shows a 20 foot rise in sea level. The scientists say 2 feet, maximum.

Al Gore's hypocrisy galls me, but it is worse than that - he is dangerous. The more I see of his contradictions and calls to action, the more I'm thinking maybe we are just better ignoring this until we have a better look. Mis-steps might do more harm than good. That harm might not be so apparent, like taking money from good causes.

At this moment, I am more afraid of Al Gore than I am afraid of Global Warming. Not because I'm less afraid of Global Warming, I just became more afraid of Al Gore.

-ERD50
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Re: Global warming and financial positioning
Old 04-15-2007, 06:34 PM   #237
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Re: Global warming and financial positioning

Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50
Al Gore just admonished Congress for not listening to the scientists. But, Al Gore is not listening to the scientists when he shows a 20 foot rise in sea level. The scientists say 2 feet, maximum.
Which scientists would these be exactly eh? The figure is 21.something feet if Greenlands ice sheet alone melts.

More facts and figures
http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/fs2-00/
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Re: Global warming and financial positioning
Old 04-15-2007, 08:27 PM   #238
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Re: Global warming and financial positioning

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Which scientists would these be exactly eh? The figure is 21.something feet if Greenlands ice sheet alone melts.

More facts and figures
http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/fs2-00/
Al Gore is not listening to the IPCC scientists. They say 7 to 23 inches over one hundred years.

summarized here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intergo...Climate_Change

Quote:
Sea levels will probably rise by 18 to 59 cm (7.08 to 23.22 in) [table 3]
If you want it from the IPCC directly, here is a link - table 3 is found on page 13:

http://www.ipcc.ch/SPM2feb07.pdf

Your link is an estimate of the rise in sea level *IF* the Greenland Ice Sheet totally melted. That is a calculation, not a prediction. Which 'consensus' of scientists is predicting total meltdown?

Looks like the USGS talks about glaciers melting in one hundred years, while the IPCC is talking about thousands (yes, plural) of years (if present trends continue - another big IF)(p17). So, where is this 'consensus' we hear so much about? The scientists were wrong about global cooling just 20 or 30 years ago - now they are going to be accurate thousands of years out?

And remember, Gore compared the affect of this rise in sea level in the cities with the efforts to evacuate during Katrina. Hmmm, that happened over a period of days, we have hundreds or thousands of years to deal with this, if it does materialize. I recently heard a caller to an environmental radio program say 'Well, when New York is under water in ten years....', and the host didn't even stop to challenge the statement.

Here is a valid statement (from me): If nuclear chain reactions on the Sun cease, the Earth will get very cold. Not a prediction, but an accurate statement.

If GW is a real problem, and Al Gore is going to do something about it, he better get his act and his facts together. Scare tactics and dramatizations will fool some of the people some of the time. But it will ultimately undermine any real efforts towards real solutions.

JMO, but I don't think Al Gore has the slightest intention of saving the environment. He is a politician and sees it as a ticket to... something, somewhere.

-ERD50


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Re: Global warming and financial positioning
Old 04-15-2007, 08:50 PM   #239
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Re: Global warming and financial positioning

Obviously 2 ft isn't as bad as 30 ft, but neither change is predicted to happen in a rush. People and critters would have plenty of time to adapt to the changes. Still, people are afraid of change, and fear is good for political and moral crusades.
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Re: Global warming and financial positioning
Old 04-15-2007, 10:16 PM   #240
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Re: Global warming and financial positioning

This is interesting.... and I can say I am learning some more stuff reading the tos and fros.... from ERD50s article...

"Sea levels during several previous interglacials were about 3 to as much as 20 meters higher than current sea level. The evidence comes from two different but complementary types of studies. One line of evidence is provided by old shoreline features (fig. 2)"

SO... just NORMAL global warming without human intervention COULD have the water level rise by as much as 20 METERS!!!

Well, that will take my house out... but Iwill not own it then... and it also continues to show how little we can 'change' the weather in the long run.. because it sounds like it will happen anyhow...
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