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Thread: global warming

  1. #1
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    Default global warming



    I think that most of us will agree that global warming regardless of its cause is a serious problem. The question is how to react. If global warming can be arrested by human intervention, then that is where we should spend our resources. If global warming is a natural event, then we have a far more serious problem on our hands to address, assuming we can. A natural event implies that there may be nothing we can do to mitigate the magnitude of global warming and will have to live in an entirely new kind of world. It also implies that living in this new world may be where we ought to be allocating our resources.

    Whether or not this “new world” will support our modern civilization is an unknown. What is known is that a sizable part of low lying land masses will become the seafloor and many major population areas will no longer be inhabitable. The economic and social impact of just this one aspect of global warming is staggering. Then we have the weather related impact, which is not known but suspected to be not good. Our hobby of astronomy is in dire straits as it is a hobby pursued by people with full bellies and clear skies.

    Our big problem is time. Our other problem is that the topic is far too often advanced or opposed not by science but by emotion. Considerable evidence exists that indicates we do not have the time available to debate the problem properly. That time was squandered with the “politically correct” attitude in the 80s and 90s of calling global warming advocates “kooks” instead of looking at their hypothesis and evidence in a meaningful manner. This is an excellent example of the danger of ignoring minority opinions in science. They have a nasty habit of being correct far too often. Now we are repeating the mistake of the past, calling natural event avocates "kooks." Sometimes truth is inconvenient.

    Now we have squandered some odd 20 odd years and are between the rock and hard place. Personally I think that given the seriousness of the situation, we must proceed on the assumption that global warming is human induced until proven differently as this is what the majority of evidence indicates. To do otherwise is criminal. However to ignore and not explore the possibility that global warming is a natural event is just as criminal as an natural event will require a completely different approach for our civilization’s survival.

    From my reading on the subject and I admit the topic is outside my expertise (energy), I think that we are being hit by a double whammy. To me the evidence supports both camps; thus, the correct conclusion is global warming is a natural event accelerated or amplified by human activity …… the worse of all possible outcomes.

    Even if global warming does prove to be a natural event only, then, IMHO most of the global warming interventions on the table today still make common sense to do and will not be wasted money. They should have been done years ago regardless of global warming or not. But I’m prejudiced having spent a good part of my professional career in energy conservation and environmental related activities.
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  2. #2
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    Default

    I think there's way too much we don't understand, things are moving way too slowly to fix it, and there's way too much we're not prepared to change. I expect things will turn pretty nasty at some point, and then all the changes we need to make will be forced on us.

    The science behind global warming is in its infancy - the best models produce a range of possible outcomes based on a pretty limited set of inputs and a bunch of assumptions. Not exactly reliable (just look at how much the predictions change year to year), but enough to give us an indication that things are going to change.

    Really, to fix things we need to change our lifestyles. We need to consume local products instead of importing from china, and we need to use things until they break, then repair them, instead of using them for a year then dumping them for something shinier. Here in the UK, CO2 actually dropped not long ago (or maybe not, but there was a big, positive swing reported). Actually, we're causing more pollution - we're just importing more, so the pollution has moved elsewhere. And we're adding the output from the shipping to the output from the factories. Take that into account, and it's gone up sharply.

    But how can we do that? Try buying a TV built in the UK. Even if you can find one, compare the price with the Made In China one next to it, and realise that maybe you can't even afford to go green.

    Then there's the economic problem: going green is expensive. You can push it that way very slowly, but if you push too fast, prices rocket, people stop buying, the economy crashes, and you have major problems. Governments aren't prepared to put their countries back 30 years overnight - they'll take the long, slow, fairly painless option that will get them re-elected next year.

    All that makes me think that it'll be the environment calling the shots when the changes start happening. What's likely to happen, is that some places will sink under the sea, others will freeze over, and others will suddenly get great weather. We'll probably get overwhelmed with migrants from places like bangladesh and the rift valley in africa, and perhaps from scandinavia. Perhaps central europe will be too dry to feed itself and water will get scarce. Greenland might be a good place to live.

    If things like that start happening, we'll have massive migration, huge shifts of wealth, plenty of wars and humanitarian disasters. It'll cut the population right back is the bright side, and cutting the population back will actually help rectify the problem. I think that's the real issue - too many people, demanding too much.

    Oh well, interesting times eh?

  3. #3
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    Default

    People seem to think strongly about this topic...either they believe or they don't.
    One of those so called 'kooks' is certainly Al Gore. I loved his movie, "An Inconvenient Truth" by the way. Many people say it's biased, and the facts are misleading. I think many people need to simply WAKE UP about the subject...and maybe we'd get somewhere. Maybe everyone should watch this movie...and at least they'd understand a little better on what is going on.

    I agree with Joe...money well spent.
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    Default

    Human Beings are wasteful and destructive creatures (Most of us). We squander resources like it is going out of style and ignore the fact that we all have a carbon footprint and what we dont doesnt just affect us, it affects everyone.

    The biggest problem with trying to reverse it will be the economic issues. If doing things the "environmentally friendly" way costs more then it will be overlooked or implemented half assed or outsourced to another country where they dont care about their environment. Little do these countries know that what happens to their environment has impacts on the whole world. Unfortunately we think it would be money well spent but for most companies, the bottom line is all that counts.

    I think we are gonna be in for some bad times. Severe Weather changes and more powerful and devastating storms. The last few years we have been getting more and more snow storms here on top of the Niagara Escarpment. Also this summer was one of the wettest in years(basically rain every other day). The frequency of thunderstorms seems to have gone up as well.

    I once heard a theory that The Earth is its own entity and that it is trying to shake us off like a dog does with fleas. Seems to make alot of sense to me.

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    Default

    I dont belive in global warming i think its BS that's promoted by politicans and company admnistrators who have interest to promote their buisness and interests.

    I dont belive 90% of what is been said in the media biccause the media is controlled by people behind the scanes who manipulate the public opinon as much as they want.
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by NDJollyMon View Post
    People seem to think strongly about this topic...either they believe or they don't.
    One of those so called 'kooks' is certainly Al Gore. I loved his movie, "An Inconvenient Truth" by the way. Many people say it's biased, and the facts are misleading.
    .

    As they say, figures don't lie but figurers do. I think Al Gore knew fully well what he was doing when he cooked the books in a couple of places. As a politician, he knows that there is nothing like a little controversy to keep something in the limelight and increase its visibility. People are still debating the movie today, many months later.

    The purpose of the film was not a scientific thesis but to get people's attention to the problem. That he achieved and achieved big time. He not only got America talking about the problem but introduced it as a political issue. IMHO, For that deserves all the roses that where thrown his way.

    Last edited by sxinias; 09-26-2009 at 06:26 AM. Reason: added imho
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    At times when I see the likes of celebs all coming out about the global warming matter, most are the biggest hypocrites as THEY are the ones who should be practicing what they preach.

    When I think of U2 singer, Bono, who flies by private jet, all over the world. Or Sheryl Crow who remarked of using one sheet of toilet paper to help save the rain forest yet drives around in a massive gas guzzling SUV.

    Ofcourse I do try doing my bit but no thanks to these celebs that believe they are the new climate saviors!!!!
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