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Thread: global warming is a hoax

  1. #61
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    The reason that many Americans don't want to see that global warming is no hoax:

    Acceptance of global warming theory means you accept that there?s a 500,000,000 year buildup of carbon in the ground, left by all those evolving plants and animals, and that digging much of it out and putting it into the air over a few hundred years makes a difference to a world created by a diety about 6,000 years ago.

    The answer of a too religious bible belt inhabitant might be:
    "How can that be true if the earth is 6,000 years old, and the coal and oil were put there for our use? "

  2. #62
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    "Americans don't believe in global warming because they are creationists"?

    Oh fuck yes I was dying to witness a decent flamewar again! I should grab the popcorn right quick!
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  3. #63
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    Yeah, the one thing the internet really needs is another pointless climate change thread, whereby people who refuse to listen to one another type endless screeds and post stupid graphs which no one has seen ever seen before, and where scientists are somehow portrayed as being more greedy and self-serving than the corporations, cos everyone knows those universities are just hot-beds of the rich, whereas the poor corporate types are just doing their best to put food on the tables for their families blah blah blah tiny violins etc etc.

    Better off discussing the lack of balance in the talents system of a computer game which has as much chance of being updated this century as a whelk does of making a happy home in a supernova.

  4. #64
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    The argumentation I wrote was not intended to be the ONE and only reason. I read it in Fefes Blog, a famous sarcastic german blogger. I thought it would be at least worth smiling a bit about it. Nevertheless the basic message might be not completely out of truth...

    But I want to add another voice: there is an interview with Nikolaus von Bomhagen in the actual german weekly magazine SPIEGEL. He comes to the conclusion that global warming is not a matter of believing or not, it is simply a fact, because of the correlated increase of floodings and storms. His company is checking all the scientist papers (both the papers of the global warmers and those of their antagonists) and though there were some problems in handling some details on the global warmer side (the famous Himalaya glaciers) he has not the slightest scepticism in global warming in general.

    Now You might ask - who is this strange Nikolaus von Bomhagen? Why should I give any attention to his opinion? Well, he is CEO and chairman of the executive board of the "Munich RE" (the Munich Reinsurance Company) and this is one of the biggest reinsurance companies worldwide. I don't think that there is another company that has a better overview bout what's happening at the moment...

  5. #65
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    My ideology is fairly pragmatic: people have been predicting the end of the world since before the days of Christ, and have been, without exception, wrong. Despite our best efforts, we've dodged nuclear armageddon, global cooling, dozens of near-Earth asteroids, the evaporation of the ozone layer, swine flu, avian flu, SARS, smallpox epidemics, the worst wars in the history of mankind, and the collapse of several of the world's greatest empires. Is global warming going to be worse than any of the problems we've already dealt with, or had the good fortune to avoid thus far? Possibly. But doomsday prophets have a pretty poor track record. We will survive global warming. Things will be worse for some people and better for others.

    It's worth pointing out, too, that the problem as it stands is not that global temperature can't rise too high. Biodiversity heavily favours warm areas--the vast majority of living organisms are not that far from the equator. This includes, to a fairly significant degree, humans, with a majority concentrated in near-equatorial Asia. There's huge expanses of land, in, say, Northern Canada and Russisa, that are essentially inhabited, not only by humans, but also by animals because it is too cold. There is no reason to think that our current temperatures, globally, or really, even locally, are optimal. The danger is not in the increase itself, but the rate of increase. Nature takes many generations to adapt to changes in climate. If, over the next thousand years, the temperature was to slowly increase by 2, 5, or even 10C, there probably wouldn't be a problem. We'd see some extinctions, sure. But mostly we'd see outward migration of species from the equator. We'd probably see the same in people. But if the same changes happen in 20, 50, or 100 years, the effects could be much more severe, because fewer species would have the opportunity to adapt. Humans will survive. We're remarkably resilient and we can adapt to change quickly, although not always correctly.

    What bothers me about the whole debate is the way that the proposed solutions have been framed. Namely: reduce emissions or perish. I don't believe that this position is defensible because it ignores a whole host of measures that could be extremely efficient at dealing with the problem of global warming, although they may create other problems. For example, consider a geoengineering solution: rather than reducing warming emissions directly (eg. CO2), we could simply increase the amount of cooling emissions (eg. SO2) to compensate. It's been argued that we already produce more than enough cooling emissions that, properly deployed (namely in the upper atmosphere rather than the lower atmosphere where most of these end up), we'd be easily to easily overcome the effects of global warming. What's great about this is that it's a dynamic response system: we can design our instruments to eject coolants either into the upper atmosphere, and have a bypass that dumps into the lower instead. Thus we could tune with some accuracy the amount of cooling we want. Now, of course, we then have to deal with the consequences of dumping extra SO2 into the atmosphere, but if you believe that global warming is a problem of apocalyptic scale, then such solutions shouldn't be off the table. The utility of such a thing is almost certainly higher than allowing a genuine catastrophe. On the other hand, if you don't feel that global warming is such a problem to justify such solutions, how can you argue that people should be willing to severe compromise their quality of life to justify emission reductions? The utility of the geoengineering could well be higher than lowering carbon driven standards of living worldwide as well, at least until a renewable, cheap, replacement for fossil fuels can be found.
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  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by JellySlayer View Post
    We will survive global warming. ... Humans will survive. We're remarkably resilient and we can adapt to change quickly, although not always correctly. .
    I don't doubt that. And Humans will get used to worse conditions more and more - and forget there were better conditions decades ago. But I honestly ask You: "Do WE have the right to determine the life conditions of OUR future generations like that? "

    Quote Originally Posted by JellySlayer View Post
    "Things will be worse for some people and better for others."
    Look at the globe closely: probably worse for a lot of people and better for the minority of people. And the lucky few won't allow the majority to migrate to the comfort zones - until they are FORCED to give the room. Then the lucky few will discuss military solutions or they will get used to live in gated communities. Yes, You can get used to live a life like that - there are a lot of rich people that live like that in South Africa, Mexico City, some places in the U.S.A., ... But it gives the creeps to most Europeans to think of living like this a lifetime.

    Quote Originally Posted by JellySlayer View Post
    ... how can you argue that people should be willing to severe compromise their quality of life to justify emission reductions?
    Just think about the quite probable loss of quality of life of a LOT of people in the future in comparison... By the way: The Deepwater Horizon Incident proves that the quality of life of a lot of people already is lowered RIGHT at the moment by the oil industry, because greed and taking risks without really mastering the technology is an unholy alliance.

  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by JellySlayer View Post
    My ideology is fairly pragmatic: people have been predicting the end of the world since before the days of Christ, and have been, without exception, wrong.
    Well, for everything there must be a first time

  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by JellySlayer View Post
    For example, consider a geoengineering solution: rather than reducing warming emissions directly (eg. CO2), we could simply increase the amount of cooling emissions (eg. SO2) to compensate. It's been argued that we already produce more than enough cooling emissions that, properly deployed (namely in the upper atmosphere rather than the lower atmosphere where most of these end up), we'd be easily to easily overcome the effects of global warming.
    SO2 has a much shorter lifetime in the atmosphere than CO2. So that would mean you permanently need to keep adding SO2 to the atmosphere in order to keep the temperature down. That doesn't sound like a very practical solution.

    A transition to renewable energy is already possible. It would be a large investment, but in the long run it would mostly pay for itself because fossil fuels will in any case become more and more expensive anyway. With a combination of nuclear power, wind and solar energy it is already possible to supply a very large part, if not all of our energy needs. The only thing needed is the political will to do it. It would be expensive, but not as expensive as the Iraq war, for example.

    There's a very good book (available for free) about this subject that discusses the numbers behind this matter. Without the Hot Air, by McKay.
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  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nobbse View Post
    I don't doubt that. And Humans will get used to worse conditions more and more - and forget there were better conditions decades ago. But I honestly ask You: "Do WE have the right to determine the life conditions of OUR future generations like that? "
    As I said, people have been predicting the end of the world for generations. On average, things have been getting better, not worse. Worse things than global warming have already happened, and things are still better. Worse things than global warming have already been avoided, and we're no worse for it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nobbse View Post
    Look at the globe closely: probably worse for a lot of people and better for the minority of people. And the lucky few won't allow the majority to migrate to the comfort zones - until they are FORCED to give the room. Then the lucky few will discuss military solutions or they will get used to live in gated communities. Yes, You can get used to live a life like that - there are a lot of rich people that live like that in South Africa, Mexico City, some places in the U.S.A., ... But it gives the creeps to most Europeans to think of living like this a lifetime.
    It's no coincidence that the majority of people already live in the world's warmest climates--that is the world's prime real estate. Increasing temperature is not going to necessitate mass migrations from Mexico City to Toronto, or from Dubai to Berlin. I don't see any reason to entertain such notions without proof.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nobbse View Post
    Just think about the quite probable loss of quality of life of a LOT of people in the future in comparison... By the way: The Deepwater Horizon Incident proves that the quality of life of a lot of people already is lowered RIGHT at the moment by the oil industry, because greed and taking risks without really mastering the technology is an unholy alliance.
    Thanks for quoting me completely out of context.

    [edit]
    Quote Originally Posted by grobblewobble
    SO2 has a much shorter lifetime in the atmosphere than CO2. So that would mean you permanently need to keep adding SO2 to the atmosphere in order to keep the temperature down. That doesn't sound like a very practical solution.
    We already produce more than enough SO2 as a by-product in many industrial processes. We're just not putting it in the right place, but getting sufficient SO2 isn't a problem. Yes, it doesn't stop the warming in the long term, but if it buys us another 200 years to develop a fully renewable energy source? I'd buy that.[edit2]Just to add, I'm not saying that SO2 is the only solution. I'm saying that process like these shouldn't be ruled out as part of the solution. This particular one has the advantage of being cheap, easy to do, controllable, and we essentially understand the science behind it.

    Quote Originally Posted by grobblewobble
    A transition to renewable energy is already possible. It would be a large investment, but in the long run it would mostly pay for itself because fossil fuels will in any case become more and more expensive anyway. With a combination of nuclear power, wind and solar energy it is already possible to supply a very large part, if not all of our energy needs. The only thing needed is the political will to do it. It would be expensive, but not as expensive as the Iraq war, for example.

    There's a very good book (available for free) about this subject that discusses the numbers behind this matter. Without the Hot Air, by McKay.
    You need fossil fuels to extract uranium; you need fossil fuels to build solar cells; you need fossil fuels to make windmills. More to the point, something like 20% of the world's fossil fuels go to making fertilizers to maintain food production. That latter point is probably actually a much more serious short term problem that needs fixing than global warming.
    Last edited by JellySlayer; 07-05-2010 at 07:26 PM.
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  10. #70
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    About SO2: If I understand correctly, it needs to be injected into the upper atmosphere to have sufficient effect, right? That sounds like a very costly operation. In principle any kind of geo engineering is nice to think about, but I'm not yet convinced it would be practical. How many tons of it would be needed and how would it be transported to the upper atmosphere? What would the side effects be? Maybe you could give me a link to more info?

    In any case, whatever happens, the solution to global warming will surely be a combination of prevention and damage control.

    By the way, another type of geo engineering that is possible is to mine and crush CO2 absorbing rocks at a massive scale. In this case however, absorbing one ton of CO2 is more expensive than not emitting it.

    Quote Originally Posted by JellySlayer View Post
    You need fossil fuels to extract uranium; you need fossil fuels to build solar cells; you need fossil fuels to make windmills.
    At least in the case of solar cells and windmills, this is negligible in comparison to the amount of fossil fuel you need for coal and oil powered stations. In terms of fossil fuel use a windmill pays itself back in a couple of months, while it has a lifetime of about 20 years.

    With regards to fertilizer production, this is another reason why it would be wise to switch to renewables quickly. We need fossil fuels (especially oil) for production of materials, so burning them for energy is a waste.
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