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Thank the Deity we are in global warming!

Post in 'The Green Room' started by theonlyzarathu, Nov 24, 2012.

  1. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    I'm way over my head here but perhaps the question is, why should we do anything? or what could we do? The difference between could and should is profound.

    I didn't get too excited about the year 2000 switch either.

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  2. woodgeek

    woodgeek Minister of Fire

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    how about...

    1) build better models (negligible cost compared to world GDP)
    2) implement energy efficiency programs economy wide that save consumers and businesses money (negative cost)
    3) take steps to limit minor greenhouse gas emissions that are easier/cheaper than CO2....like freon recycling and fixing gas pipeline and wellhead leakage.

    Y2K was a jobs program for geeks.
    Tramontana likes this.
  3. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    A little off topic but I have to ask...
    I keep reading that sea levels are rising faster than predicted. Some of this has been explained by water pumping subsidence and reduction in the gulf stream flow rate which decreases the Sargasso Sea swell (in addition to polar bear habitat disappearing).
    Since someone mentioned increasing ocean temps earlier I'm wondering if models are accounting for the volumetric expansion of a substance, in this case, sea water, that occurs with warming?
    Sometimes the simplest explanations are overlooked.
  4. woodgeek

    woodgeek Minister of Fire

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    I'm not that into the sea level rise stuff. IIRC, thermal expansion of the surface layer of the ocean accounts for a significant portion of the observed rise, along with the other effects you mentioned.

    Its in there.
  5. Ehouse

    Ehouse Minister of Fire

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    Would you get excited about Ranier sloughing off it's considerable mass of muck and burying you?
  6. GaryGary

    GaryGary Feeling the Heat

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    This is what we did: http://www.builditsolar.com/References/Half/Half.htm

    Applied on a wide scale, it would be a good step in the right direction and save people a ton of money as well.

    I'm an engineer as well and have been following climate change for some time -- have to say I am much less relaxed about it than you are. I think there is a good chance it is going to profoundly change both physical and political world that my kids and grandkids live in.

    Gary
    Dune likes this.
  7. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    That's happened before and greatly influenced nearby topography, but not in my location. Are you implying that "the sky is falling"?
  8. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    Highbeam I think you are taking a very narrow viewpoint that looks only at the United States.

    It might well be that 2ft of sea rise wont hurt us... But there are countries that have almost there entire populations within a few feet of the current sea level. Ive heard estimates that 3ft could innundate half the population of places like Indonesia. Sure that doesnt hurt you or me but with half their people drowning do you think those countries governments will have the resources to cope? Doubt it, and the next thing you know we will be sending in a carrier or monetary aid.

    Day to day weather variation and changes in average temperatures are two different things. We have had a decade of record hot years, and record droughts here in the US, in China, in Russia and Europe over that time. Las year we had all time record droughts both in here and in Western China. The chinese had to buy more and more food from us to cope driving up the prices for the food you and I eat. Recall a few years ago the temps around Moscow hit something like 105F and the wheat crops caught fire? Or the monsoon floods in Pakistan last year (or was it 2010?) that left 10s of millions homeless? Or the heat wave in Europe a few years before that that killed thousands? Events like that are becoming more common and as with teh above when the local government hasent the resources to cope they ask the world for aid and more often than not its us who provide that aid.

    The world is interconnected. Just because an event doesn't happen in your back yard doesn't make you immune. Most of the time you (and I and all of us) are paying for it whether you realize it or not.
  9. Ehouse

    Ehouse Minister of Fire

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    No. I agree that there are too many Chicken Littles looking for research grants, admin. positions, funding to combat this or that invasive species (and moving on to the next as soon as the money is pocketed) or to sell us aging boomers some more snake oil or pills. Catastrophe economics is everywhere, but disturbing trends towards increasing instability in our environment are staring us in the face. Perhaps you don't give a rat's ass about polar bears, but coal miners are smart enough to hightail it to the surface when the canary stops singing.

    Ehouse
  10. Frozen Canuck

    Frozen Canuck Minister of Fire

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    Not to worry folks. If we lose the Artic ice things should speed up fast. Then we will all have our answer. It maybe too late then but...
  11. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    You're right, I could care less if microindonesia was totally wiped out. Just as I don't expect to see a microindonesian helicopter swoop in to rescue me if my house falls down in an earthquake I do not feel responsible to guarantee the well being of other populations.

    jharkin, you're argument seems to be fueled by theoretical catastrophies happening in a land far far away that have little or no influence on america's world. We are similar in age and I think we both grew up watching the commercials on TV about the starving ethiopians. Guess what? They're still there starving, and breeding, and we're still sending money.

    There are some things worth fighting for globally. Temporary disaster relief will always be something that america should provide and that aircraft carrier would have been somewhere anyway. When and if an area becomes uninhabitable for whatever reason, the residents should scatter naturally. That might mean me moving to another place or accepting new populations from elsewhere. Adapt or die.

    Thank you all for tolerating me and helping me wander into these topics for the first time in my life. It is not necessary for most americans to think about these things at all. We could spend our lives totally oblivious to the GW crying and I can't think of a single side effect. Might be better, less arguing.
  12. woodgeek

    woodgeek Minister of Fire

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    Always try to be tolerant....but not sure what you are saying at the end there....are there no side effects relevant to americans from GW? americans in PNW? from the crying?

    My take all along is that there is so much varied news coverage on AGW (hot spells, hurricanes, arctic ice, droughts, sea level, bark beetles, fires, glaciers, polar bears, gulf stream, permafrost, tipping points, etc) that many/most folks just shut down and filter the whole thing out. All that stuff makes for better news stories than 'scientists reduced the error bar on their projected 2050 temperature by 40%', but the latter 'boring' result would be far more important.

    IMO a classic 'forest through the trees' problem. The bottom line is that scientists are very confident that current and projected CO2 releases will change seasonal temperature and rainfall patterns in a way that will severely affect humanity and the natural biosphere, in our children's lifetime. The major problem for humans will be changing/decreased land available for agriculture and for the biosphere changes in habitat. Many species that don't move will become extinct.

    And contrary to doomers....the worst projections are completely avoidable with inexpensive policy changes.
  13. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    I don't think the doomer crowd believes its impossible to avoid., rather they don't see the political/societal will to do it before the repercussions become so impossible to ignore that its to late.
    Tramontana and Dune like this.
  14. Ehouse

    Ehouse Minister of Fire

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    Would you elaborate on these policy changes?
  15. woodgeek

    woodgeek Minister of Fire

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    Primarily, I figure geoengineering will go from unthinkable to very popular at some point.

    If we do a great job reducing carbon intensity of the global economy in the next decade or two, I think we won't need much geoengineering, if we (or folks overseas) take a couple more decades, then we will need more geoengineering.

    And I **think** both sides of the fence, reducing carbon intensity and geoengineering, will turn out to be cheaper than we currently think, once we start to do them at greater scales. Not free, but not so expensive as to be infeasible or kill the economy either.

    A separate open question is our psychological connection to 'growth'. A lot of macroeconomic trends are tied to population growth and demographic waves. The US in the 60s and China now were/are on the crest, The US and Japan now are at the bottom. How do we need to modify our economic structures and trade to have a healthy economy in a flat or declining population?? I don't think we have figured that out yet!
  16. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    At our current pace, the entire world will be affected. A billion people displaced would impact all. The effect would be global. Agricultural changes also would be dramatically noticeable as would bugs and disease moving northward. We are already seeing these effects. Insurance costs for the losses of crops and large coastal areas would also impact us.

    This video was in the biochar thread but I think it bears posting here too. Take time to watch this presentation. It is enlightening and offers a positive solution.

  17. ailanthus

    ailanthus Feeling the Heat

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    When the ocean temps rise (i.e. due to increased solar intensity) CO2 would be released. Do some reading on it- interesting stuff. It's generally assumed that CO2 is causing the ocean temperature to rise, but I don't believe that anyone truly knows which is causing which.
  18. sesmith

    sesmith Member

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  19. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    Don't hold your breath.....
  20. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Looks like it is going down hill since 1998 or so.
  21. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    They call that cherry picking and it is ultra common and another of the tricks folks use to try and prove their point. Folks on both sides use this trick so as consumers of this "science" we need to watch for it.
  22. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Locally we had a "king" tide last week coupled with high winds. Locals that have lived here all their lives report that it is the highest they've ever seen. Several yards and some houses flooded. Up on Whidbey island it took out a house. California coastal towns noted the same thing. These shoreline areas will be seeing greater impacts as the seas rise.
  23. Doug MacIVER

    Doug MacIVER Minister of Fire

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    hey the seas rise they fall , seas up what 2cm last year? just think the temps have been slowly going up since that last ice age some 10 to 12,000 yrs ago. ice age every 10-12,000 yrs what does that mean?how long will halocene period last???????????
  24. gmule

    gmule Feeling the Heat

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    Not to kick the hornets nest but....haven't we been getting warmer since the end of the last ice age? I think the real discussion is are we the cause or is this a normal cycle of the earth?
  25. farmerblue

    farmerblue New Member

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    I thought we were in global wobble not global warming.

    If you go back and look at post #12. That graph clearly shows that in 1910 the north poll had wobbled away from the sun and then we started to wobble back towards the sun.

    The earth is like an unstable spinning top. I think we need to ship a few hundred billion tons of trash back to china to try to redistribute the weight and slow the wobble back down.

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