Global Warming

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What's your opinion on global warming?

It is taking place and it is caused in large part by humans.
50
76%
It is taking place but is not caused by humans.
14
21%
It is not taking place.
1
2%
What's global warming?
1
2%
 
Total votes: 66

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Lani
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Postby Lani » Tue Jan 23, 2007 9:04 pm UTC

Shadebug, I don't think anyone disputes that pollution is a major threat to health and ecology. The issue is how dire is the problem, i.e. how quicky do we need to respond, and how thoroughly. It's really a problem of money, since major changes = expensivo.

That said, I have no answer for it all either. I don't know enough about the alternative fuels to to debate which should be our saving glory. However, I believe the evidence that has been currently obtained + the significant risk it poses is more than enough reason for us to be more aggressively looking for a solution. Ignoring the problem and saying 'the genius of humankind will find a magic solution to solve the problem of pollution and global warming when it needs to, because we are awesome!' is a bit optimistic. I also think that having an administration of a major world power that refuses to even acknowledge global warming ain't helping either.
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Postby Belial » Tue Jan 23, 2007 9:26 pm UTC

Ahh, apt metaphors both, especially considering that we've no reason whatsoever to continue burning fossil fuels. No, we're in no way dependant on the processes that create greenhouse gasses for our transportation, the production and preparation of our food, or any other econmic necessities.

No, it is as simple as ceasing to press an otherwise functionless button, or stepping out of the way of a speeding car. Sir, I applaud your rhetorical prowess.


Clearly, in order to avert global climate crisis (assuming it exists, the jury is apparently still out [getting mugged in an alley]), one would certainly have to stop burning *all* fossil fuels. Immediately.

And obviously, simply increasing vehicle fuel efficiency (to a level already considered standard in most other countries), adding carbon scrubbers to industrial complexes, and so forth, isn't even an option. That's absurd.

And besides, it's not like *that* would be analogous to expending a small amount of effort (stepping out of the way of a car) or not necessarily doing whatever one feels like all the time (pressing a useless button).

Truly, you have punctured my analogy most skillfully. Metaphorical tail tucked between my metaphorical legs, I shall now drag my metaphorical rump away in non-metaphorical shame.
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Postby Aoeniac » Tue Jan 23, 2007 10:26 pm UTC

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Postby German Sausage » Wed Jan 24, 2007 11:40 am UTC

lani wrote:The issue is how dire is the problem, i.e. how quicky do we need to respond, and how thoroughly. It's really a problem of money, since major changes = expensivo.


why else do we have money? the job of world governments is[read should be] to protect the environment, and ensure the best possible standard of living for all people on earth, and more specifically those people who elected them. running a surplus for the sake of running a surplus is stupid. yes, we have to spend money.
some wise native american wrote:only when the last tree is eaten, the last landmass has had its environment irreversibly altered, the last fish is poisoned, will we realise that money is worthless.

or words to that effect
what intrinsic value does a $5 note have? its a small piece of paper/polymer depending on where you are. nothing more.

and i'm finished.
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Postby shadebug » Wed Jan 24, 2007 12:24 pm UTC

I was under the impression that USAan money was made of linen.

Nevertheless, my point in mentioning pollution as the world´s (not sure how we're defining world) second biggest killer is that there are people who will say that we are masers of the planet, the ecosystem will sort itself out, this is all natural and so on and so forth. What can't be argued quite so eloquent that that's all a justification for dead people
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Postby Misc » Wed Jan 24, 2007 3:52 pm UTC

To answer the last question, it is a worldwide debate.

Now for my opinion:
- Global warming is taking place. Whether it is caused or not by humans does not change the fact that we must adapt to it.
- Pollution is taking place. Whether it causes global warming or not does not make it less evil and we must fight it.

==> link between the 2 is irrelevant IMHO. Trying to have a less negative impact on our environment regardless of global warming is the only reasonable attitude.

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Postby Air Gear » Wed Jan 24, 2007 4:23 pm UTC

shadebug wrote:Nevertheless, my point in mentioning pollution as the world´s (not sure how we're defining world) second biggest killer is that there are people who will say that we are masers of the planet, the ecosystem will sort itself out, this is all natural and so on and so forth. What can't be argued quite so eloquent that that's all a justification for dead people


Most of modern applied economics is "a justification for dead people". It's basically how we can do things now and put off/transfer the consequences so other people, whether somebody else now or future generations, can deal with it. It's "economics of the apocalypse".

And Sausage, YOU RUN A SURPLUS OVER THERE?! Damn, we just run debts over here (8.6 trillion or so in the hole right now if these numbers are right with about 2.7 trillion of that coming from the Bush Administration).

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Postby shadebug » Wed Jan 24, 2007 6:49 pm UTC

I take it that's a shortscale trillion, I know britain switched but i still like dealing with real numbers.

Either way, isn't that number internal debt and, therefore, the fault of stupid citizens and not a stupid administration. Though I suppose if the government only buys USAan then they'd contribute to the internal debt
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Postby Peshmerga » Wed Jan 24, 2007 7:48 pm UTC

German Sausage wrote:what intrinsic value does a $5 note have? its a small piece of paper/polymer depending on where you are. nothing more.

and i'm finished.


That $5 note can be compared to anything of immediate utility. Money just simplifies trade. Trade is the essence of human civilization. Without economy, there would be no government. Telling the world to shrug off its old ways of evil capitalism and materialistic aspirations is a lazy argument.

Obviously, there are only two solutions if indeed global warming is coming to kill us all (and we are infact the sole cause of this apocalypse).

- Fund research into more effecient energy. Solar, wind, hydrogen, nuclear; anything to put into a car that will maintain public interests and freedoms.

- Fund research into space dams; harnessing the power of empty space. ;)
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Postby fjafjan » Wed Jan 24, 2007 10:38 pm UTC

Peshmerga wrote:- Fund research into more effecient energy. Solar, wind, hydrogen, nuclear; anything to put into a car that will maintain public interests and freedoms.)


You forgot the real wave of the future
Wave power

oh what a pun :P
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Postby Kin » Thu Jan 25, 2007 9:23 pm UTC

I've been reading this thread, and I must say. What I don't understand is why people are saying global warming as caused by greenhouse gases is not backed by data.

It is backed, first off, by scientific fact. The CO2 retains more of the heat.

It is also backed by a graph showing six hundred fifty thousand years (650,000) of comparison from carbon dioxide level, and temperature. These facts are true.

On the other hand, I've not got a single bit of data, perhaps my folly, that shows other theorys' validity.

I hate to jump the band wagon, but Al Gore has a great presentation that shows well compiled data.


On another note, whether or not global warming is a fact- it is a clear accepted fact. The only utterance of confusion comes from whether we cause it. However, as a whole, most of the scientific community (no, there's no massive debate, most) agree that green house gases are the leading cause.

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Postby shadebug » Thu Jan 25, 2007 9:56 pm UTC

unfortunately some of the data used in an inconvenient truth was a bit skewed. What wasn't and what I considered the most important nugget of all was the statistics on the amount of peer reviewed articles compared to popular press articles casting doubt on global warming
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Postby Lani » Thu Jan 25, 2007 11:01 pm UTC

Actually, about that report on scientific consensus --
It turns out the report wasn't quite written accurately. The author said she searched for one term when she actually searched with a far more limiting term. She ended up excluding a tremendous number of studies that way.

I'll try to find the article about it. I was pretty pissed off at the study's author for that one.

Edit: Ah, hereit is.

That said, it appears that many of the most respected scientists still support the theory of anthropogenic global warming, which earns points in my book.

Also, if you looking for a good site on GW, check here- they tag it as a blog about climate science written by climate scientists.
- Lani



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Postby Lani » Thu Feb 01, 2007 12:57 am UTC

Thisis a really good article on how life has changed global climate, and global warming in general.
- Lani



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Postby Peshmerga » Thu Feb 01, 2007 4:31 am UTC

Is there any other form of energy besides electricity and hydraulics through steam pressure to power automobiles and other things? Like could we directly tap into nuclear power somehow? I'm not sure what I'm going on about.
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Postby Hawknc » Thu Feb 01, 2007 6:40 am UTC

I'm not sure exactly what you mean by "directly" by nuclear power...nuclear power plants are still essentially just big steam turbines. Unless you mean like the Orion rockets, but people might be a little touchy about a series of nuclear explosions getting them to the shops and back. Any form of propellant-related thrust is generally a bad idea for cars because of the low efficiency at low speeds and bad maneuverability. It's better to turn the wheels to generate motion rather than pushing the car, as a general rule, because it makes turning easier. If the cars were levitating instead of sitting on wheels, it'd be an entirely different story, but...alas.

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Postby German Sausage » Thu Feb 01, 2007 8:28 am UTC

i think i know what peshmerga is getting at, and i dont think there is any way to generate electricity other than galvanic cells and turbines (of whatever variety)
i was a bit put out when i realised that we were still technically using steam power, and neither physics nor chem teachers for two years could think of another way to power things.
alas, the only thing to have changed is more efficient ways of heating the steam. :cry:
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Postby Toeofdoom » Thu Feb 01, 2007 9:22 am UTC

Do solar cells count as galvanic cells? I thought they were different...
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Postby Hawknc » Thu Feb 01, 2007 9:39 am UTC

I don't think so - galvanic cells are basically just batteries - but I could be wrong in my understanding of what a galvanic cell is, precisely.

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Postby German Sausage » Thu Feb 01, 2007 10:46 am UTC

galvanic is electricity produced by a spontaneous chemical reaction. pretty useless for most practical purposes beyond batteries. its the reverse process which gives us electroplating and all sorts of useful things.

i cant believe i forgot solar power. [shame]
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Postby cathrl » Thu Feb 01, 2007 2:27 pm UTC

It's a global thing, and the US is WAY behind many other countries in it becoming a controversy.

I just recently subscribed to National Geographic, and in the very first issue I received (October 2006) there's an interview with a guy called George Schaller, "one of the world's most preeminent field biologists", and he comments on global warming.

The quote which left me with my mouth open was "If you raised the fuel efficiency of cars to 40 miles per gallon, which is perfectly feasible..."

'Scuse me? It's not "perfectly feasible". It's a done deal. My very ordinary second-hand Renault Laguna gets 50 mpg. On the UK's official website on fuel economy, Ford alone has ten pages of car models which get over 40 mpg. It's normal. All the manufacturers have to do is sell their European models in the US. Now, whether it's in the political interest for people to suddenly need 50% less gas, that's the interesting question.

Course, with our fuel prices, it doesn't have to be an environmental issue. Some people will run gas-guzzlers no matter what, but many of the ones who don't put thought into the environment will go for the environmental option because it's a byproduct of being able to afford to buy fuel.

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Postby Akula » Thu Feb 01, 2007 8:14 pm UTC

My take, from the meteorology background I've received studying aviation is that we should be prudent in our actions.

Global Warming is happening, but the number of things that affect the climate that could be causing it is vast. The science supporting claims that humans are definitely the primary cause seems dubious at best - for instance, the change in CO2 levels from pre-industrial levels to current levels does not jive with the amount we have put into the air since the industrial revolution. Further, we do not fully understand how strong CO2s impact in the atmosphere is. More importantly, the consequences of global warming are even more unknown - I don't care how many letters someone has behind their name, if they tell you they can make accurate climate predictions they are lying. The only tool for such predictions are Global Climate Models run on computers. They are incredibly inaccurate, in that they have never produced reliable forecasts beyond a few years. And as I understand it, because of their mathematical nature, they can be used to "predict" historic weather going backwards through time as well, and do not accurately reflect historic weather patterns either.


With all of this in mind, IT IS STILL A GOOD IDEA TO CLEAN OUR TECHNOLOGY UP. I want to stress that, because it seems I have to repeat myself a lot when I discuss this. We should become more efficient and clean. I only stress that we should not resort to drastic measures that bring large economic damage with them.

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Postby shadebug » Thu Feb 01, 2007 8:39 pm UTC

economic damage like reducing the world's dependance on nonrenewable and expensive energy?
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Postby Disruptive Idiot » Thu Feb 01, 2007 8:52 pm UTC

Cathrl, if you live in Europe, don't you measure fuel efficiency in kilometers per liter? Just checking whether you converted in getting those figures, because it's a huge suprise that such cars are commonplace in Europe. It must be the incredibly high gas rates.

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Postby Belial » Thu Feb 01, 2007 8:59 pm UTC

Disruptive:

He's right. Mileage standards are ridiculously higher, just about everywhere in the world aside from the US.
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Postby Jesse » Thu Feb 01, 2007 11:07 pm UTC

Do be careful though, a US gallon is different from an Imperial gallon. Can't remember by how much though.

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Postby Hawknc » Thu Feb 01, 2007 11:25 pm UTC

We actually measure in L/100km in the civilised world. ;) And yes, 1 US gallon = 0.832 Imperial gallons, so 40 mpg in Europe is about 48 mpg in the US. In other words, you guys have a LOT of catching up to do, but so do we here in Australia.

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Postby aldimond » Thu Feb 01, 2007 11:30 pm UTC

Hawknc, you multiplied the wrong way.

The correct form is (with British gallon = B, American gallon = A):

40 miles / B * (0.832 B / 1 A) = 33.3 miles / A

EDIT: and this math makes sense intuitively; a British gallon is larger, and so you should be able to drive more miles for each one.
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Postby Hawknc » Thu Feb 01, 2007 11:54 pm UTC

I...uh...aw, shit. I blame it on being sick. I still say you've got a ways to go, though! //shakes fist

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Postby Akula » Fri Feb 02, 2007 1:08 am UTC

shadebug wrote:economic damage like reducing the world's dependance on nonrenewable and expensive energy?


Like the cost of shutting down or reducing production in factories all over the world. India has said it would rather deal with whatever global warming brings then exacerbate problems with poverty.

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Postby fjafjan » Fri Feb 02, 2007 1:19 am UTC

Akula wrote:
shadebug wrote:economic damage like reducing the world's dependance on nonrenewable and expensive energy?


Like the cost of shutting down or reducing production in factories all over the world. India has said it would rather deal with whatever global warming brings then exacerbate problems with poverty.

India has a very large well educated populance, developing and producing more enviormental factories/power plants etc could be a large boost to their economy rather than a downthing.
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Postby aldimond » Fri Feb 02, 2007 1:21 am UTC

If those plants cost more money to build and operate, making India less competitive in the global market, then building them would hurt their economy relative to building and operating cheaper, dirtier plants.
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Postby fjafjan » Fri Feb 02, 2007 1:32 am UTC

aldimond wrote:If those plants cost more money to build and operate, making India less competitive in the global market, then building them would hurt their economy relative to building and operating cheaper, dirtier plants.


Developing new plants would mean they could export them, and those industries could be a growth industry for India.
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Postby Akula » Fri Feb 02, 2007 2:00 am UTC

fjafjan wrote:
Akula wrote:
shadebug wrote:economic damage like reducing the world's dependance on nonrenewable and expensive energy?


Like the cost of shutting down or reducing production in factories all over the world. India has said it would rather deal with whatever global warming brings then exacerbate problems with poverty.

India has a very large well educated populance, developing and producing more enviormental factories/power plants etc could be a large boost to their economy rather than a downthing.


India has large population, but I don't know about well educated. Their middle class has begun to emerge in the last decade, but it still partly a third world backwater shithole. Literacy is 59.5%, and heavily skewed towards males; per capita GDP is just over 8k (ours is something like 45k).

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Postby fjafjan » Fri Feb 02, 2007 2:05 am UTC

Never noticed those very bright indian students being shipped from there?
Calling it a "thirld world country" is true, but also innaccurate, india has for quite some time been educating their people, Now in a country of a billion people this is not the huge majority, but still a large group of people, that are very well educated and could proceed in this area.
GDP is not a meassure of education
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Postby Peshmerga » Fri Feb 02, 2007 2:14 am UTC

Al Gore for Nobel Peace Prize!
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Postby fjafjan » Fri Feb 02, 2007 2:17 am UTC

Peshmerga wrote:Al Gore for Nobel Peace Prize!


Well he DID invent the internet!

EDIT: I just realised, he invented the internet, what has caused more bickering and feuds over nothing than the internet? He should be awarded the Nobel WAR prize!
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Postby Hawknc » Fri Feb 02, 2007 2:18 am UTC

On the one hand, I think Al Gore deserves it. He's brought what may well be the most pressing issue of our generation to the forefront of the public mind, which is finally causing some government action on the issue. On the other hand, he's brought about a Michael Moore-style backlash on him and his cause (people attacking him and decrying his message for political reasons), but unlike Michael Moore, it's not entirely justified. It's just another one of those left/right things that people insist on categorising.

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Postby aldimond » Fri Feb 02, 2007 2:22 am UTC

fjafjan wrote:
aldimond wrote:If those plants cost more money to build and operate, making India less competitive in the global market, then building them would hurt their economy relative to building and operating cheaper, dirtier plants.


Developing new plants would mean they could export them, and those industries could be a growth industry for India.


They can export the technology, but that's only going to benefit a small, elite part of the population. Even if they export that technology they still need their manufacturing sector to be competitive.
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Postby cathrl » Fri Feb 02, 2007 10:15 am UTC

Disruptive Idiot wrote:Cathrl, if you live in Europe, don't you measure fuel efficiency in kilometers per liter? Just checking whether you converted in getting those figures, because it's a huge suprise that such cars are commonplace in Europe. It must be the incredibly high gas rates.


Kilometres per litre? Err - no. Maybe on the mainland, but not in the UK. No conversion.

What surprised me was realising a couple of months ago that such cars aren't commonplace in the US.

We buy fuel in litres, but most people (me included) think in gallons as far as fuel efficiency goes. The figures I gave are from the infoscreen of my car (which is in mpg) and from this UK government website:

http://www.vcacarfueldata.org.uk/search ... Search.asp

Edit: I confess I hadn't realised that gallons were one of the measurements that's different. Even so, there are still pages and pages of cars getting over 50 miles per UK gallon.


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