Your thoughts on climate change

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Jungle Japes, Feb 22, 2014.

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  1. Jungle Japes

    Jungle Japes Well-Known Member

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    I have always been a man-made global warming skeptic. Don't misconstrue my skepticism of a much-touted "settled scientific fact," I am well aware that the industrialization of the planet has had a huge negative impact on the biosphere. However, I don't think that impact extends, to any substantial degree, to affecting global climate patterns.

    So, who else among us is a skeptic? And who believes the so-called "scientific consensus"? And on what do you base your beliefs?
     
  2. Zanza

    Zanza Well-Known Member

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  3. ytzk

    ytzk Well-Known Member

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    I used to be skeptical.

    Adding up the CO2 emissions of termites alone, and the O2 production of seaweed alone, I figured humans are just too tiny to shift the balance.

    I based that entirely on a casual read of a few facts and my own imagination.

    I also used to think Genesis is complimentary to the theory of evolution and that the moon landing was probably faked.

    What I've learned since then is that if you spent five years fulltime reading the scientific literature, then you still wouldn't be half way towards thinking it through as much as actual experts have done.

    Once upon a time, people argued about whether pfcs dissolved ozone, whether dmt dissolved eggshells or whether nuclear fallout ended up in milk. Turns out every time the experts were right and those with vested interests were lying about it.
     
  4. Transparent Painting

    Transparent Painting Well-Known Member

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    As some of you might know, I'm currently reading my master's in geology. Global climate patterns and element cycles, such as the carbon-cycle, is something we're taught as undergraduates, since all geo-related subjects (environmental science, geochemistry, etc...) are connected. It is VERY difficult, almost impossible, to maintain a skeptical view on our effect on the short- (atmosphere-biosphere) vs. long-term cycle (atmosphere-hydrosphere-biosphere-lithosphere) of carbon; we're moving reserves out of the long-term cycle into the short term-cycle, thus increasing CO2-pressure in the atmosphere.

    What specific results this shift will lead to is a little bit more tricky to tell, at least for me. However, the general trend is pretty evident: Global warming seems to be a serious threat and should be taken care of. Ignorance, in this case, is just a temporary bliss.
     
  5. Grossenschwamm

    Grossenschwamm Well-Known Member

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    Most often when I see people denying the threat of global warming/climate change, they cite the coldness of the air around them. This was rampant over the past few weeks when the polar vortex covered most of the continental US, which shocked me to the core.

    "How is the world getting warmer when it's so cold right here?!"

    Did these people not see how Alaska averaged temperatures in the 60's? How Sochi, the location of the winter Olympics, was getting too warm to snow? How it seemed to be over 120 degrees in Australia during these times?

    Now, the only thing I can say for certain is there seems to be a warming trend in yearly temperatures on average. The amount of carbon we put into the atmosphere might be contributing to that. Another issue is that we, as humans, are more numerous than we've been before and we seem to be moving to areas that flood frequently. Since no one lived in those areas before, the flooding data didn't matter until people showed up.

    On top of that, our technology allows much more rampant reports of bad weather (among other things), to the point where it looks like the weather's been getting more violent over the years too.

    In all aspects, I think we lack the proper data to say that we're either causing or not causing the climate to change. We need several more decades of weather to say anything for sure - though it's easy to see that we're changing something.
     
  6. Wolfsbane

    Wolfsbane Well-Known Member

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    Global warming? Maybe (read: probably). Fucking the world up with careless industry? Definetly. There are heaps of garbage on the ocean floor so big they could be called continents. We're actively poisoning our surroundings with all manners of chemicals, and we're increasing radiation all over the globe with more and stronger wifi systems.

    We seriously need to think this over, because nobody knows where we're going if we don't.
     
  7. Jungle Japes

    Jungle Japes Well-Known Member

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    Speaking of radiation, I've been reading In Mortal Hands: A Cautionary History of the Nuclear Age. Very interesting read, and quite eye-opening. I used to think that nuclear energy would be the answer to fossil fuel dependency, but after learning more about just how dangerous it is and the scale of the messes it has already left us with, I'm starting to think that maybe the world would be better off if it had never been discovered.
     
  8. Wolfsbane

    Wolfsbane Well-Known Member

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    Not to mention all the shit it leaves behind for us to clean up. Where are we going to store all that shit that takes 1000 years to stabilize? And how can we be sure it won't poison us in the meantime?
     
  9. ytzk

    ytzk Well-Known Member

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    Either you assume that the earth can continue to absorb damage forever, and take all these 'ecosystem goods and services' for granted, or you logically observe and conclude that it is a finite system with breaking points.

    Actually, I believe that certain vested interests are deliberately destroying the free to all ecosystem services for the sake of privatising them. Fresh air, water, seafood, rainfall, sea levels, added up, is worth more than 70 trillion dollars per year in real terms. Someone is eyeing that money off as ripe for the picking. Probably someone who spent their childhood indoors studying for their MBA.

    Obviously, part of this business plan would be to harness the ignorance and prejudice of the public. Fifty per cent of people are stupider than average, after all. That's all it takes.

    Personally, I'm just glad I don't have kids.

    P.S., theyre going to store all that shit in south australia, and it will take 10,000 years minimum to degrade, not 1000.
     
  10. FilthyJack

    FilthyJack Member

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    I might be a bit delusional here but don't you think people who really 'know' the current state of the ecosystem and have proper data (probably Illuminati and rich company leaders) would deliberately mess up the place they live in?

    I think they don't give a fuck about environement but they wouldn't destroy it either, they need people to buy their shit, and they need the shit harvested, in any case they need to maintain the level of degradation to something that won't threaten the safety of their business. I think you can trust them on that.

    Another interesting fact, we had a lot of oil coming to european shores due to wreckages, and guess what, the sea started producing special seeweeds that could live properly next to petrol... I mean when the planet gets tired of human beeings, it will definately get rid of 'em easily.

    Also has anyone heard of chemtrails program? Weather manipulation?
     
  11. ytzk

    ytzk Well-Known Member

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    Don't subscribe to that kind of conspiracy theory.

    If I did, then perhaps I might trust the invisible elite to think of the big picture.

    However, what I see is millions of millionaires and thousands of billionaires fighting over workers, customers, resources and real estate. They don't have the brainpower to spare for wilderness being allowed to maintain itself.

    From the perspective of a skyscraper in Singapore or Dubai, 2 billion subsistence farmers are not only a wasted market, but a threat to their monopolies. A general policy of making it impossible to live outside of the market while simultaneously making their products both indispensable and expensive, makes perfect sense from the limited worldview of a purely economic model of reality.p

    A die hard capitalist would never consider de-growth as a viable economic policy when infinite growth may yet be achieved by consolidating the exploitation of this planet and then using that wealth for interstellar expansion. It makes sense, as long as you ignore biology and physics because ECONOMICS.
     
  12. FilthyJack

    FilthyJack Member

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    I'd love to see that day on national TV when they annouce fresh air and water are registered trademarks and can only be bought from official stores. :akimbo:
     
  13. Wolfsbane

    Wolfsbane Well-Known Member

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    They ARE selling water by the bottle in a lot of places already. Selling fresh air to the inhabitants of Beijing "live longer with CleanBreath TM" would probably generate a sizeable amount of money. I don't think we're too far off from that scenario.
     
  14. Transparent Painting

    Transparent Painting Well-Known Member

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    After visiting Forsmark, the spent nuclear fuel repository of Sweden, I don't feel that's a major threat. The seals, the bedrock, the structure and design of the whole facility has taken predictions, even the extreme ones, for the coming 1000+ years into account, and the risk of leakage or, for that matter, pollution from it all is slim, next to negligible.
    I've heard of chemtrail conspiracy, but not a program. When it comes to weather manipulation, I've only read about stratospheric sulfate aerosols, which, when it all comes down to it, has, at best, a local temporary positive effect and a regional longer lasting negative effect. If you make it rain in Sahara, it will be drought somewhere else. Current models that I've encountered has been financially difficult but more so, the moral ground is even shakier. The first world might have the tools, but the third will pay for it.
     
  15. TheDavisChanger

    TheDavisChanger Well-Known Member

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    What little I know about global warming I've gleaned second-hand from a buddy of mine who likes to keep himself informed of pretty much everything.

    According to his investigation, we have a profound impact on global warming and the only reason it isn't worse than it is is because the oceans are acting as giant heat sinks. However warmer oceans can dissolve more C02 and therefore become more acidic, making life more difficult for shellfish.
     
  16. Jungle Japes

    Jungle Japes Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunately, Sweden is the only country that has their nuclear waste situation somewhat under control, at least for the near term. There is currently no country with any plan in place to build a deep geological repository for long-term storage of high-level nuclear waste. Nor does anyone seem to know how they're going to pay the astronomical costs of cleaning up existing nuclear sites and decommissioning aging reactors. The Hanford Site in Washington State is a prime example of how we are paying for the carelessness of previous generations.
     
  17. Transparent Painting

    Transparent Painting Well-Known Member

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    The second statement is clearly wrong: Sweden has a working repository for short-lived (1,000 years) waste and they're already under way with the planning for a long-lived (100,000 years) waste repository. A quick search also showed that Canada is currently doing site investigations for potential repositories, and the total budget for the project is estimated to lie around 16-24$ billion, but I haven't dug that deep in this subject so there might be more. In Sweden, the companies involved in nuclear energy financed a joint operation, under governmental control, to take care of the after work (SKB). Even if the US doesn't have a plan doesn't mean that we're all fumbling in the dark.
     
  18. Smuel

    Smuel Well-Known Member

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    I can understand why people think that scientists have an agenda. Individual scientists probably do. But collectively they are the most unbiased group of people on the planet. There are millions of them all around the world with different religions, life experience, and motivations, so if all those people agree about something, it's a safe bet that it's the closest approximation to the truth that we currently have.

    The theory of a runaway greenhouse effect caused by a man-made increase in carbon dioxide became generally accepted by scientists about 30 years ago. Since that time, thousands more have looked into it. And here's the crucial part - every single one of them would have been hoping to disprove it. The way you make your name as a scientist is by overthrowing the status quo - all the most famous scientists are the ones who challenged the consensus at the time and came up with something better. So I can guarantee you that right now there are hundreds of climate scientists scouring the available data and hoping to spot something that everyone else has missed. They've been at it for 30 years though, and generally when a theory has withstood that amount of analysis it remains pretty solid.

    In short, when it comes to climate change, or any other contentious issue, I believe the scientists.

    On the subject of nuclear power, I used to be against it, because of the possibility of catastrophic accidents, but lately I've become more persuaded of its advantages. When considered globally, nuclear accidents aren't actually that bad. A few small areas have become uninhabitable, but by comparison, coal has caused thousands of direct deaths from mining, and pollutes the air for millions of people who then suffer lung complaints. It's also not sustainable as an energy source. In my opinion, in centuries to come we'll be using fusion or solar power. In the meantime, nuclear fission is the next best thing.
     
  19. Jungle Japes

    Jungle Japes Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, I misspoke. There are currently no deep geological repositories for High-Level Waste in existence or under construction.

    I'm pretty sure fusion for electricity generation is a pipe-dream, at least in this century. As for coal, it supplies the lion's share of electricity worldwide. Replacing it with nuclear would mean building hundreds, possibly thousands, of reactors, thereby multiplying the risk of serious radiation release incidents, and compounding waste management problems. Also consider the proliferation implications.
     
  20. Smuel

    Smuel Well-Known Member

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    I'm not convinced by that argument. It sounds similar to saying "Cars supply the lion's share of transport worldwide. Replacing them with planes would mean multiplying the risk of serious aviation incidents." I mean, yes, that's true, but travelling by plane is still safer than by car. I'm saying that per watt, nuclear power is safer than coal - whether you measure by deaths, illness, or pollution. Having more nuclear reactors doesn't change that. If anything it improves it, since the more reactors we build the better we'll get at building them.
     
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