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Conservative Argument on Climate Change

Post in 'The Green Room' started by Flatbedford, Sep 27, 2012.

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  1. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

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  2. btuser

    btuser Minister of Fire

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    Good Gawd man! You can't LEVEL WITH THE PEOPLE!!!!!!

    You might as well start telling them that a $4 coffee drink with 2000 calories costs 3x as much as a gym membership. What happens to GDP (greed's destruction of pecunium) when people start realizing what things really costs?
  3. Slow1

    Slow1 Minister of Fire

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    I can see this discussion quickly deteriorating into the ash can... but having heard the article when it aired on NPR I too found it thought provoking.

    Although I can accept the theory of including the "true cost" of a given product, anyone who has taken a graduate level cost accounting course will easily understand that establishing this is no easy matter. Sure, you can easily come up with any number of objective measures of cost that each sound reasonable and balanced, but which one is "THE right" one? The answer is that it all depends on the objective of the exercise - i.e. what it is you wish to prove/account for or do with the final numbers. This is where the social or political agendas come in - anyone with decent research and accounting skills can in fact likely come up with a cost allocation that supports most conclusions that they desire. What do you want to look better? Coal or Natural Gas? You can come up with a way of justifying it. Even solar costs can be increased once you consider impact of the energy required to manufacture the panels (and waste produced in that process) over the duty cycle and then the disposal costs (environmental etc).

    Just about the only environmental argument that cannot be disputed is conservation - if we simply use less of whatever resource (energy or materials) as a greater society then the impact on the environment is going to be less. Even those non-global warming folks should be able to agree to this. Sadly even though there seems to be some improvement here the concept really hasn't gotten into the core of our society - we still seem to delight in purchasing consumable products that are designed to be replaced rather than repaired simply due to lower initial cost of acquisition. Anyone have any idea what the % of out of warranty TV repair is these days? I'll bet it is in the single digits. How many folks actually wash dishes/cups/utensils after a group gathering vs buying plastic/paper and tossing it? I know we rationalize all this easily enough, but is really is a society attitude that has developed - our economy even seems to rely on it.

    Back to the main point though - it does come down to cost. As was said in the article folks will "act in their own enlightened self interest" - i.e. take the less expensive option. However, our policy makers tend to do the same and as such put exceptions into their rules base to protect their voting blocks which then prevents much of the balance in the policy side of these proposals. The exceptions would likely put so many holes into it that the shift would not be noticed except by those to whom the tax actually applied.
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  4. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    I wonder how many other decent moderate GOPs were driven out by the TP insanity?
  5. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Their positions are not all odd. They propose eliminating all energy subsidies, full accountability for all the costs of energy production including environmental and health costs, and reduced taxation on energy growth with a shift toward taxing polution, in particular carbon emissions. These are not totally unreasonable goals and have support across the aisle. Face it, if we are to get something done, we all need to find common ground that allows progress while doing the least harm.

    Gridlock and stalemate is another option, but not without its own set of consequences.
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  6. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Not sure I agree with that assessment. Gates is a pretty serious philanthropist. He's dumping his wealth into some excellent world projects.
  7. blades

    blades Minister of Fire

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    Sorry I have an extreme problem with the whole carbon tax credit scheme. And you might as well anti up and face the simple fact that no matter what you apply to a company it is just added in to the cost to the consumer. Who is forever on the short end of the stick.
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  8. Thomas Anderson

    Thomas Anderson Member

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    First you have to prove that carbon is a threat.
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  9. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    Thomas,

    For someone so obviously into alternative and renewable energy its odd that you would be in the AGW denier camp. Surely you must be aware of the IPCC reports and the general consensus that the vast majority of climate scientists worldwide have endorsed CO2 forced greenhouse effect as the best fit model to the changes we are seeing.

    Sadly, by even responding I probably just bought this thread a ticket to the 'can.
  10. Thomas Anderson

    Thomas Anderson Member

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    I'm a scientist. There's no such thing as "consensus" in science. The foremost precept of science is eternal skepticism. So any scientist who puts faith in a political philosophy dressed as science is not a scientist. I've read the IPCC reports and found that none of the climate science indicates anthropogenic global warming. Only flawed computer models with carefully chosen inputs make that claim, and the politicians run with it to promote bigger government and fewer individual freedoms. There is zero evidence that CO2 represents a threat either to the planet or to humanity.
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  11. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    Ok then, lets have some fun with this. If the ice caps are suddenly melting, we are setting year after year of record temps, extreme weather, all exactly at the time when humanity is pumping millions of years of buried carbon into the air (all that fossil carbon that was previously sequestered in an age when the earth was so warm the poles where tropical)

    If its not related - what IS the cause of the effects we are witnessing in your view? 7 billion of us would like to know, so we can fix it.
  12. Thomas Anderson

    Thomas Anderson Member

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    Is climate changing? Yes, of course, climate always changes. It's been doing so for billions of years, long before humans were around. Looking at historical trends, including Milankovic cycles, we are at the peak of an interglacial warming, and we are more likely than not to descend into another ice age within a few generations. Talk of global warming is preposterous. Could we go another few fractions of a degree higher yet? Maybe. Depends on the strength of the coming sun spot cycles. But catastrophic warming we will never have. And given that we've had no warming trend for the past 16 years, I'm thinking the warming has probably stopped for good. Truthfully, I really wish humans could have such an impact on climate. We may find that useful as we start to cool drastically. But, unfortunately, we don't. The greenhouse effect doesn't work that way. It's a logarithmic relationship between the concentration of a gas and its absorbance. Even if we pumped twice as much CO2 into the atmosphere as all of humanity produced since the beginning of the industrial revolution til today, it would have a negligible effect. I.e. a degree or two. That is no threat to our existence and it would be little help to stop cooling caused by natural cycles. Moreover, the hotter it gets, the more water evaporates from our oceans, which creates greater high-albedo cloud cover, which causes cooling. We are very lucky to have so many buffers built into our climate which tends to prevent wild swings in temperature. Otherwise the place would be quite inhospitable. But these buffers and the natural cycles which can overcome them are way, way more powerful than anything humans can do. We are not statistically significant to our planet. We're just noise. No more powerful than ants. To believe otherwise is pure hubris.
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  13. woodgeek

    woodgeek Minister of Fire

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    Ok. Do you buy the following premises....not about climate or weather...

    (1) Human activity emits a net positive amount of CO2 that can be estimated
    (2) The amount of CO2 in the atmosphere has increased over the last 50 (or more) years.
    (3) The amount of increase of CO2 in the air is less than the estimated cumulative release by human activity (typical estimates are ~30-50%)
    (4) The measured pH of ocean surface water has fallen over the last few decades, by an amount consistent with equilibrium with higher atmospheric CO2.
    (5) Under a business as usual projection, the amount of CO2 released by humans will likely continue, and probably expand.
    (6) Some ocean creatures are unable to live or reproduce at pH's only somewhat less than the current value.

    Just want to see where you see the disconnect.
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  14. woodgeek

    woodgeek Minister of Fire

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    Are you familiar with the recent model projections that claim the opposite i.e. the land warms up faster (years) than the ocean (millenia) causing higher evaporation and less rainfall over the land? Suggests that a warmer planet would indeed be a wet jungle with high agricultural potential (as seen in the fossil record), but only centuries after the 'forcing' has occurred. In the interim it is a global dust bowl.
  15. jeffoc

    jeffoc Member

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    There is so much wrong in this it makes my head hurt.
  16. Thomas Anderson

    Thomas Anderson Member

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    As to why I'm so "into alternative and renewable energy", it has little to do with climate change, although I do wish to be prepared for either warming or cooling, not that I think my "carbon footprint" has anything to do with it. My motivations are manifold. I believe peak oil and the wars for remaining oil have the potential to cause severe supply disruptions in not only fuel but everything that depends on fuel. Our whole economy is based on a just-in-time delivery by truck model. We can't go five days without trucks moving goods before people start severely suffering from shortages of all kinds of necessities. Adding punitive energy taxes and carbon caps to the mix only makes this worse. We also have an aging electrical grid created by government mandate and subsidy which isn't being properly maintained because the costs of doing so exceed the revenue permitted by government price caps on electric utilities. We've now experienced several large regional blackouts which were a complete surprise to those who oversee the grid. This will get even worse as we continually increase our electricity demands on the back of government suppressed prices. We don't know how precious of a resource we have because of price fixing, so people over-use it. Then there's the threat of terrorism, storms, and economic conditions impacting the availability of fuel and grid power. On top of that, government is getting ever more intrusive with their warrantless spying. With the new agenda to get "smart grid" controls into every home, the infringement on your freedom and privacy goes far beyond the electric company deciding when you can or can't watch TV or wash your clothes or what temperature your thermostat should be set to.

    Those are all clear and present threats which should encourage everyone to be better prepared and to buffer themselves from reliance on the grid and the on-demand economy. But the overarching threat that poses the most severe danger and is growing more likely (even inevitable) every day is the potential for a global currency collapse as central banks around the world have turned to printing money at ever-increasing rates to support their failed socialist models. The Federal Reserve last month publicly declared a policy to print $40 billion per month ad infinitum (and it will surely exceed that figure as inflation gets out of control). The ECB, BoE, BoJ, and others are on a similar course. History has shown that this inevitably will result in hyperinflation. But this time will be worse than any other in the past because it will occur in the reserve currency of the world and all major competitors for that title simultaneously. Historically, people in countries with hyperinflating currencies could just use a neighboring currency. In the 20th century, most hyperinflating countries turned to the U.S. Dollar as a stable alternative. But what is the alternative this time? Probably gold and silver, but a whole new economy of re-monetizing precious metals will have to develop before that gets widespread. In the meantime, we'll be dumped back into a barter and self-sufficiency economy which virtually nobody is prepared for. So you can expect major supply chains to shut down entirely. Electric will be spotty at best. Same with water. Food delivery will probably fall to government emergency measures. Heating fuel likewise. Most people will probably have to evacuate to FEMA camps in order to survive on government rations. And if the government response to Hurricane Katrina was any indication, the conditions there won't be enviable. Think this can't happen? Most people naturally believe that horrific things can't happen to them. But they do all the time, even to "good" people. My wife lived through hyperinflation in Poland in 1990-1992 and told me all about it. The government is currently preparing for a "mass casualty event". Do some research. It's scary, but it's scarier to be unprepared for it.

    Beyond all that though, assuming that humanity manages to solve all of those issues without American consumers missing a single reality television show episode, it's about building a better life. It's about being independently wealthy without needing millions of dollars. Inflation is certainly going to get much worse no matter what, but even if it doesn't get totally out of hand (as in hyperinflation or even the late '70s levels), even 3-5% inflation can really strain your personal lifestyle if your income doesn't keep up with it. At 5% inflation, prices double in 14 years. Double. This is especially a problem for the elderly on fixed incomes, but also for those who just can't get a raise, or whose raises don't match inflation. Or for the unemployed, who may receive some assistance, but that also doesn't keep up with inflation. If your income doesn't double in 14 years to match 5% inflation, then your living standards must necessarily decrease as a result. And if you're already pinching pennies, that might mean that you lose your house and other cherished assets. So being off-the-grid and self-sufficient eliminates many of the threats related to inflation and all of the stress related to it. If your production is not denominated in Federal Reserve Notes, then the value of FRNs is immaterial to your well-being. Your solar panels don't produce FRNs, they produce electricity. Your woodlot doesn't produce FRNs, it produces BTUs of heat. Your garden doesn't produce FRNs, it produces nutritious food. So if your standards of living are maintained locally by your own capital assets, then inflation has no bearing on you. Supply and demand have no bearing on you. Income and sales taxes have no bearing on you. This gives you an amazing feeling of freedom and relief from the stresses of the rat race. You can work at will instead of paycheck to paycheck. You can take as much time off as you please and maybe even retire indefinitely if you like. In other words, it gives you real independence.

    A side-effect from that is that my carbon footprint is almost zero, or maybe negative if you deduct the fossil fuels I would be using as an average American. I.e. I could sell carbon credits under such a trading scheme. If you naively believe in anthropogenic global warming, my lifestyle is very attractive to you. And that's fine. But don't try to sell me on it to save the planet. If you want to sell conservatives on alternative energy, sell them on the points I made above. Any one of them should be sufficient to pique their interest and any two will probably convince them to go in that direction.
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  17. Thomas Anderson

    Thomas Anderson Member

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    Models are mostly worthless. Garbage in, garbage out. This should be obvious by now since none of the climate models have been remotely accurate to date. They certainly didn't predict a 16 year hiatus in the warming trend. As a software engineer who has to produce reports from a huge database, I'm well aware that you can make the same data seem to say very different things depending on how you ask for it. The more data you have, the easier it is to do. It's truthful but misleading to use true data to imply something false, especially if you include projections into the future. So if you try to tell me that a model postulates something which is obviously false based on current data, I won't be convinced. Dr. Roy Spencer, Ph.D, former NASA climatologist, observed, "I found from the CERES data a strongly negative SW [short wave] feedback during 2002-2007. When added to the LW [long wave] feedback, this resulted in a total (SW+LW) feedback that is strongly negative [i.e. the hotter it gets the more incident light is reflected]" He further complained, "Is my work published? No... at least not yet... although I have tried. Apparently it disagrees too much with the IPCC party line to be readily acceptable. My finding of negative SW feedback of around 5 W m-2 K-1 from real radiation budget data (the CERES instrument on Aqua) is apparently inadmissible as evidence. In contrast, Dessler et al.’s finding of positive LW feedback of 2 W m-2 K-1 inferred from the AIRS instrument is admissible." So you really have to be more discerning about what you believe. The IPCC is a political organization pushing a particular agenda -- bigger government and more control. All of their findings are obviously going to be slanted toward that end.
  18. btuser

    btuser Minister of Fire

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    So, if we put garbage into the atmosphere, are we going to get garbage out of it?
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  19. jeffoc

    jeffoc Member

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    Climate change refers to global changing weather patterns. Not just warming.
    You can pick and choose any single or group of models you want. But you have to ignore huge mountains of data to claim that it doesn't exist.
  20. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    Amen. Thomas must choose to wilfully ignore the visual evidence of a nearly ice free arctic we had this summer.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    Nope, no warming there. The arctic just melted because it felt like it....



    It saddens me that these attitudes are running our congress right now and will likely doom my children to live thought the worst yet to come.
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  21. woodgeek

    woodgeek Minister of Fire

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    There have always been doomers. But this time is different.
  22. Thomas Anderson

    Thomas Anderson Member

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    So you can't argue about atmosphere, so you instead turn to sea ice? Typical diversionary tactic. Next you're going to talk about acid rain, or income inequality, or El Nino. The question is if carbon is a threat. If you can't prove that carbon is a threat, then you have no business trying to limit it. It's really very simple.
  23. Thomas Anderson

    Thomas Anderson Member

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    Oh, I missed this one somehow before!

    I'm not sure about the reliability of the pH info you point to, but in theory, I agree with all six points to an extent. But, without harping over differences, this has nothing to do with anthropogenic global warming. The question is if CO2 in the atmosphere causes global warming. Which it doesn't. Or at least not a significant amount. But I wouldn't be concerned we're going to kill all the life in the ocean either. Mother Nature will go on long after humans are extinct.
  24. Thomas Anderson

    Thomas Anderson Member

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    Remember that all of the fossil fuels we burn were once living organisms fixing carbon from the atmosphere. The Earth flourished with MUCH higher levels of atmospheric CO2 than we have currently. Sometimes, those period were colder than our present one, sometimes (rarely) warmer. The fish did just fine.
  25. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    No, sorry. You are the one reading straight out of the big-oil denier handbook. Atmospheric warming has caused the continual melting of arctic sea ice. I'm showing you visual evidence that you CANNOT ignore - unless you want to claim that NASA is faking the satellite photos.

    You really are a scientist? really? whats your degree in, is it climate science? Do you somehow know more than thousands of climate researchers?
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