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Global Warming





ponda
Ok I'm a little lost on the whole issue. From what everyone's saying that in 50 years the earth will fry. But there are alot of conflicting reports about the temperture, then the climate gate scandal....I don't know. I really dont believe that Global warming's happening like how Fr.Vice president Gore or the UN claims. If the scientific community is at conflict on the subject, then I dont think the debate is over.

Like how polar bears numbers are increasing, the lacking of major hurricanes down here, and the fact that it snowed in my state's capital (louisiana.)

I could be wrong, but if global warming is happening, then: Where's the evidence that it's all human?
It's hard to believe with all of the volcano, solar, and cosmic activity going on constantly that humans are the sole sourse of global warming. What if it's the planet's natural evolution taking place, or the fact that it's the sun? What if we can do nothing to stop the changing effects of nature?

The only good I see out of all of this is the fact we're getting off of fossil fuels and everyone's getting evironmentally conscious. Hopefully we'll swich to nuclear power and solar energy...and discover faster than light travel within our lifetime.
ocalhoun
ponda wrote:
Ok I'm a little lost on the whole issue. From what everyone's saying that in 50 years the earth will fry. But there are alot of conflicting reports about the temperture, then the climate gate scandal....I don't know. I really dont believe that Global warming's happening like how Fr.Vice president Gore or the UN claims. If the scientific community is at conflict on the subject, then I dont think the debate is over.

It looks like the temperature will probably rise a few degrees in the next few centuries. This may -- or may not -- be caused or contributed to by human actions, and it may or may not be stoppable.

As for Gore, I wouldn't listen to his opinions about it at all, any more than I would listen to Rush Limbaugh's opinion about it. Even if global warming is true, and is human caused, Gore's exaggerations are still only self-serving scare tactics.
Afaceinthematrix
ponda wrote:
Like how polar bears numbers are increasing, the lacking of major hurricanes down here, and the fact that it snowed in my state's capital (louisiana.)


That's why I really don't like the term "global warming." It's a legitimate term but it leads to confusion among some people. Global warming doesn't mean that if it was 105 degrees F last August 5, then it will be 110 this August 5. Global warming models do show that you can have more extreme winters and more extreme summers. That's why I prefer the term "climate change." Global warming is used because models show that over time, average temperatures will probably globally increase by a couple of degrees C.

The polar bear argument doesn't work too well either because animal populations tend to increase if the food supply allows it to and if they aren't being over hunted.
deanhills
Regardless of the "ifs" and what the temperatures are, icebergs are melting and sea levels are rising. Looks to me that people have got so caught up with verification of stats, that they have completely lost the big picture problem here. Or who knows, possibly all of the "confusion" is deliberately publicized so that no one really needs to take responsibility for the heating of the earth. I'm not a climatist, nor an intellectual giant, but for the most uninformed of citizens, it makes sense that if so much of the earth's resources are being "burnt" to heat up things, that obviously the world will get warmer. Who cares about by how much at this stage, should we not be focussed more on the consequences, and how these should be dealth with? Such as the Maldive Islands being guaranteed to disappear for example as sea levels are rising?
ocalhoun
Afaceinthematrix wrote:

The polar bear argument doesn't work too well either because animal populations tend to increase if the food supply allows it to and if they aren't being over hunted.

Which is why both sides should never have trotted it out as an example.
silverdown
Funny.... I just seen on TV ( TrueTV Channel AKA Court TV) Jesse Ventura Conspiracy show about Global Warming. He believes its a scam to make is buy more GREEN products as that will probably more priced so the government and participating companies get rich. I fell asleep( dozed off) thru half of it tho... Embarassed . He tries to say it's not MAN made it just an effect from the sun and we didnt to alot of they claim.
deanhills
silverdown wrote:
Funny.... I just seen on TV ( TrueTV Channel AKA Court TV) Jesse Ventura Conspiracy show about Global Warming. He believes its a scam to make is buy more GREEN products as that will probably more priced so the government and participating companies get rich. I fell asleep( dozed off) thru half of it tho... Embarassed . He tries to say it's not MAN made it just an effect from the sun and we didnt to alot of they claim.
When people like that start on conspiracy theories, there is always something of the rediculous involved. Did this guy come up with scientific evidence as to why he believes it would be a scam? I have to agree that most likely the Government is going to score with more income, as companies may argue that they are willing to pay certain penalties in order to get away with the minimum of costly changes to their operations. I.e., the penalties may cost the companies less than what changes to their manufacturing processes would cost them in order to maintain legal emission levels. Would be interesting what Government is planning to do with the revenue, no doubt it will be as transparent as the bail-out money expenditure has been at the beginning of last year.
Indi
ocalhoun wrote:
As for Gore, I wouldn't listen to his opinions about it at all, any more than I would listen to Rush Limbaugh's opinion about it. Even if global warming is true, and is human caused, Gore's exaggerations are still only self-serving scare tactics.

i agree. i don't know why anyone would consider Gore an authority on climate change - and so far as i can tell, no one really does but the deniers.

His movie was fascinating, but it wasn't even a documentary on climate change, it was a documentary on Al Gore's struggle to raise awareness about climate change. In other words, it wasn't a documentary on climate change, it was a documentary on Gore. For christ's sake, it has long sequences of Gore waxing reflectively on his childhood! The hell does that have to do with climate change?

Now i'll grant that the science in An Inconvenient Truth is quite good; amazingly good, even, in comparison to what you would expect in a movie featuring a politician. Not perfect, but really quite good. But a biopic with reasonably good science is still a biopic... not a science documentary. What science is there was put there for the purpose of serving Al Gore's political desires. That doesn't make it wrong, but it does make it at least suspect. (And, in fact, while there is very little that is outright wrong in An Inconvenient Truth, there is a lot that is... strained... to make Gore's talking points.)

For what it was intended to do - raise awareness of the issue - An Inconvenient Truth was a magnificent success. But that's all it's good for - making you aware that the problem is real, it's big, and it is damned serious. Once you understand that, you've graduated beyond the "inconvenient" truth, and start on the process of learning the real truth.
azoundria
Heaven forbid Al Gore might want to use his movie for self promotion...
Indi
azoundria wrote:
Heaven forbid Al Gore might want to use his movie for self promotion...

Gore could use his movie to promote tap-dancing if he wants. But how is that relevant?

i am quite sure that Gore honestly believes he did a very good job presenting an honest and scientifically accurate case for climate change, and i am also quite sure that he hoped his film would be a good resource for climate change science facts (along with being self-promotion, perhaps). i don't doubt Gore's good motives, and i don't doubt that he tried very hard to present a scientifically accurate picture of the problem.

But AL GORE IS NOT A SCIENTIST. And his movie should, because of that (because he almost certainly had the last word in what went in it), not be taken as a legitimate "science documentary". Or, to put it another way, if you want to know what the truth about climate change science is, you should not use An Inconvenient Truth as your ultimate source. You should use scientists as your ultimate source.

That being said, there is nothing wrong with using An Inconvenient Truth as a starting point, because real scientists have looked it over and said it's pretty good (science-wise). It's not perfect, of course, and where science and Gore disagree, i think it's obvious who you should go with.

Here's my take on it. If you're curious about climate change, go ahead and watch An Inconvenient Truth. It's not only a fairly accurate depiction of the problem, it's a very well made documentary (personally, i love the theatrics with Gore using the lift on the graph of CO₂). As an introduction to the issue, it's fantastic. BUT, if you want to enter the debate on whether it's real or not, you'd better effing well go beyond Gore. Because Gore is not a scientist, he is a politician who made a really good movie that covers the topic. He's as much an authority on climate change for making An Inconvenient Truth as Micheal Moore is on health care for making Sicko - in other words, not at all. An Inconvenient Truth should be your launch pad if you're interested in the topic, from which you then move on to the real arguments, issues and science. It should not be where you stop and plant your flag.

In other words, if you're arguing that climate change is real, and the only exposure you have on the subject is Gore, then you really don't know what you're talking about. And if you're arguing against climate change, and you raise Gore as a talking point, you're a bloody idiot.

(If you want my opinion of the real value of Gore on the climate change issue, it's his points on policy... not the science. Case in point: in An Inconvenient Truth, at one point, he points out the folly of American automobile emissions policies in terms of the economic costs of competing with foreign manufacturers... not in science terms. THAT is, in my mind, one of the most important parts of An Inconvenient Truth - and it is a tactic Gore is now following up on, more so than harping on the science, because Gore is no fool. He knows where his strengths are.)
Cliffer
Global warming can make the earth colder and colder? like the ice-age before?
ocalhoun
Cliffer wrote:
Global warming can make the earth colder and colder? like the ice-age before?

Rolling Eyes

Yes, yes, that right. Global warming makes the whole earth colder. Makes perfect sense.


(Though personally, I think we should be grateful it's warming up. Warming is less harmful than cooling, and may actually be beneficial in many way.)
Indi
ocalhoun wrote:
Cliffer wrote:
Global warming can make the earth colder and colder? like the ice-age before?

Rolling Eyes

Yes, yes, that right. Global warming makes the whole earth colder. Makes perfect sense.


(Though personally, I think we should be grateful it's warming up. Warming is less harmful than cooling, and may actually be beneficial in many way.)

Actually, global warming can and probably will make the whole Earth colder.

The Earth is a very complex thermodynamic system that is unstable and chaotic. It's not intuitive. The only way to understand it is to think very carefully about the potential thermodynamic interactions of all the various parts of the system.

That's why the preferred term now is "climate change", not "global warming" - because "warming" is only the short term average trend, and accounts for neither local variation nor long-term effects.
ocalhoun
Indi wrote:

That's why the preferred term now is "climate change", not "global warming" - because "warming" is only the short term average trend, and accounts for neither local variation nor long-term effects.

If the warming trend is only a 'short term average trend', what is everybody worried about?
TBSC
Indi wrote:
azoundria wrote:
Heaven forbid Al Gore might want to use his movie for self promotion...

Gore could use his movie to promote tap-dancing if he wants. But how is that relevant?

i am quite sure that Gore honestly believes he did a very good job presenting an honest and scientifically accurate case for climate change, and i am also quite sure that he hoped his film would be a good resource for climate change science facts (along with being self-promotion, perhaps). i don't doubt Gore's good motives, and i don't doubt that he tried very hard to present a scientifically accurate picture of the problem.

But AL GORE IS NOT A SCIENTIST. And his movie should, because of that (because he almost certainly had the last word in what went in it), not be taken as a legitimate "science documentary". Or, to put it another way, if you want to know what the truth about climate change science is, you should not use An Inconvenient Truth as your ultimate source. You should use scientists as your ultimate source.

That being said, there is nothing wrong with using An Inconvenient Truth as a starting point, because real scientists have looked it over and said it's pretty good (science-wise). It's not perfect, of course, and where science and Gore disagree, i think it's obvious who you should go with.

Here's my take on it. If you're curious about climate change, go ahead and watch An Inconvenient Truth. It's not only a fairly accurate depiction of the problem, it's a very well made documentary (personally, i love the theatrics with Gore using the lift on the graph of CO₂). As an introduction to the issue, it's fantastic. BUT, if you want to enter the debate on whether it's real or not, you'd better effing well go beyond Gore. Because Gore is not a scientist, he is a politician who made a really good movie that covers the topic. He's as much an authority on climate change for making An Inconvenient Truth as Micheal Moore is on health care for making Sicko - in other words, not at all. An Inconvenient Truth should be your launch pad if you're interested in the topic, from which you then move on to the real arguments, issues and science. It should not be where you stop and plant your flag.

In other words, if you're arguing that climate change is real, and the only exposure you have on the subject is Gore, then you really don't know what you're talking about. And if you're arguing against climate change, and you raise Gore as a talking point, you're a bloody idiot.

(If you want my opinion of the real value of Gore on the climate change issue, it's his points on policy... not the science. Case in point: in An Inconvenient Truth, at one point, he points out the folly of American automobile emissions policies in terms of the economic costs of competing with foreign manufacturers... not in science terms. THAT is, in my mind, one of the most important parts of An Inconvenient Truth - and it is a tactic Gore is now following up on, more so than harping on the science, because Gore is no fool. He knows where his strengths are.)


Here I was hoping for some more tropical weather. Smile
Indi
ocalhoun wrote:
Indi wrote:

That's why the preferred term now is "climate change", not "global warming" - because "warming" is only the short term average trend, and accounts for neither local variation nor long-term effects.

If the warming trend is only a 'short term average trend', what is everybody worried about?

Rising ocean levels creating waves of refugees from low-lying areas, the extinction of massive amounts of species and the corresponding weakening of the ecosystems, shifting weather patterns including extreme storms and droughts, atmospheric and chemical changes making Earth more hostile to human life... do you really need more?

You know, "medium term" in climatological terminology is longer than all of recorded human history. "Short term" is plenty long enough. But the time span of the warm period is irrelevant. The issue is how much damage might be done in the warm period before the cooling begins again. It won't take long for the current rates to do serious damage. In just 50 short years, the sea levels could rise enough to completely swallow the island of Tuvalu; estimated millions would become refugees. ~20% of species are projected to go extinct (that's a low estimate, by the way). Do i need to mention Katrina? What about the first hurricanes ever reported in the southern Atlantic (2004 i think)? And the growth of tropically temperate regions means the spread of tropical diseases into the highly populated temperate regions.

That was 50 years. Now consider 100, 150, 200 years of that and more. Even a warm period of a short century or two would be disastrous. But given the lengthening of human lives, it's a pretty safe bet that you will see, in your lifetime, the complete annihilation of a country due to climate change.
ocalhoun
Indi wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:
Indi wrote:

That's why the preferred term now is "climate change", not "global warming" - because "warming" is only the short term average trend, and accounts for neither local variation nor long-term effects.

If the warming trend is only a 'short term average trend', what is everybody worried about?

You know, "medium term" in climatological terminology is longer than all of recorded human history. "Short term" is plenty long enough. But the time span of the warm period is irrelevant. The issue is how much damage might be done in the warm period before the cooling begins again. It won't take long for the current rates to do serious damage.

Ah, I see, we're using the climatological 'short term'... quite different.

So, 'global warming' might be a problem, but 'climate change', not so much, as eventually climate change should bring temperatures back to what they are today.

As for your description of effects it will have, you don't think that might be even a little bit over-hyped doomsday talk?

Besides that, of course, there's also the positive effects- generally, life on Earth does better during warm periods.

Human-caused or not, it's probably too big to stop now. It would be better to focus efforts on mitigating the negative consequences and taking advantage of the positives.
Indi
ocalhoun wrote:
Ah, I see, we're using the climatological 'short term'... quite different.

It is a climatological discussion.

ocalhoun wrote:
So, 'global warming' might be a problem, but 'climate change', not so much, as eventually climate change should bring temperatures back to what they are today.

i don't follow your logic. That's like saying "well the forest is going to regrow eventually, so a forest fire is no big deal".

ocalhoun wrote:
As for your description of effects it will have, you don't think that might be even a little bit over-hyped doomsday talk?

No, actually, i deliberately picked mid-range estimates (except for the extinction estimates - i picked low values for that). i don't think you understand how serious the problem really is.

For the record, nothing i listed even remotely counts as "doomsday". It's bad, sure, but civilization will hardly be destroyed. A lot of people are going to die, though (and, technically many already have), and we got some hard times coming (more so people in warm and low-lying areas, of course), but of course civilization will survive.

Just because the predictions are bad doesn't make them "doomsday" predictions, and it doesn't make them "over-hyped".

ocalhoun wrote:
Besides that, of course, there's also the positive effects- generally, life on Earth does better during warm periods.

Cancer's pretty sweet, too, because it keeps the population down, right?

You can spin anything positively if you try hard enough. Lot of people are still going to die because of the effects of climate change - deaths that should have been avoidable if we'd acted sooner.

As the warm regions extend, it will kill the ecosystems that rely on cooler temperatures, and result in the spread of tropical diseases into the more populated temperate areas. Sure you'll be able to grow oranges in Alberta, but seriously, is that positive really worth all of the associated negatives?

ocalhoun wrote:
Human-caused or not, it's probably too big to stop now. It would be better to focus efforts on mitigating the negative consequences and taking advantage of the positives.

It's not too big to stop. Certainly, since it's already started, it's impossible to stop it completely, but many of the more disastrous consequences can be prevented if we just act now. Do you really believe that the climate change advocates would be working so hard to get people to act if action would be completely worthless? Come on, seriously.

You're going to have to tell me what these positives are, and why they're worth sacrificing all those people who will die unnecessarily. To me it just makes more sense to concentrate our efforts on halting the progress of the problem. The thing that makes my head hurt about this all is that doing that will benefit us anyway. Even if climate change were not real, the changes we would make would do us good. Take switching away from fossil-fuel powered personal automobiles for example. Switching to just a few of the proposed alternatives that are possible today would mean cleaner air in cities, quieter cities, the complete elimination of traffic problems, vast drops in the costs of running cities (which would mean lower taxes), safer cities (the end of virtually all automobile accidents), and so on. So why not make the changes to accomplish all of this and, incidentally, stop climate change to boot? It makes no sense whatsoever to not make this change. The same is true for virtually all climate change behaviours. All of the opposition based on the economic and job costs are freaking stupid, because the economic and job gains will far outweigh the losses by even the most conservative estimate.

It really is the dumbest "controversy" in our society today, dumber even than the evolution "controversy".
ocalhoun
Indi wrote:

ocalhoun wrote:
So, 'global warming' might be a problem, but 'climate change', not so much, as eventually climate change should bring temperatures back to what they are today.

i don't follow your logic. That's like saying "well the forest is going to regrow eventually, so a forest fire is no big deal".

Some forests need fire occasionally in order to reproduce and function properly... It's natural. ^.^
Quote:

ocalhoun wrote:
As for your description of effects it will have, you don't think that might be even a little bit over-hyped doomsday talk?


Just because the predictions are bad doesn't make them "doomsday" predictions, and it doesn't make them "over-hyped".

Perhaps not, but they are indeed dire claims, and much-hyped, even if it is for the legitimate hyping of people who are convinced and therefore see a real need to convince others.
Quote:

ocalhoun wrote:
Besides that, of course, there's also the positive effects- generally, life on Earth does better during warm periods.

Cancer's pretty sweet, too, because it keeps the population down, right?

You can spin anything positively if you try hard enough. Lot of people are still going to die because of the effects of climate change - deaths that should have been avoidable if we'd acted sooner.

Deaths that can be more easily avoided by directly avoiding them.
We loose a little land mass, and have some bad weather, but gain a larger food supply, and less need to use energy for heating. Not too a bad trade.
Quote:

As the warm regions extend, it will kill the ecosystems that rely on cooler temperatures, and result in the spread of tropical diseases into the more populated temperate areas. Sure you'll be able to grow oranges in Alberta, but seriously, is that positive really worth all of the associated negatives?

It's a slow change, I figure ecosystems will be able to adapt, as they have all throughout the past.
Quote:

ocalhoun wrote:
Human-caused or not, it's probably too big to stop now. It would be better to focus efforts on mitigating the negative consequences and taking advantage of the positives.

It's not too big to stop. Certainly, since it's already started, it's impossible to stop it completely, but many of the more disastrous consequences can be prevented if we just act now. Do you really believe that the climate change advocates would be working so hard to get people to act if action would be completely worthless? Come on, seriously.

Many people work very hard on completely worthless things. Hard work does not equate to worthwhile work.
Quote:

You're going to have to tell me what these positives are, and why they're worth sacrificing all those people who will die unnecessarily. To me it just makes more sense to concentrate our efforts on halting the progress of the problem. The thing that makes my head hurt about this all is that doing that will benefit us anyway. Even if climate change were not real, the changes we would make would do us good. Take switching away from fossil-fuel powered personal automobiles for example.

So, now we switch from hyping the negatives and ignoring the positives to hyping the positives and ignoring the negatives?
Fossil-fuel powered personal automobiles do have a set of advantages that are unmatched by any other mode of transportation available today. (Unless you count biofuel automobiles, but there isn't enough biofuel to power them all.)
Quote:
Switching to just a few of the proposed alternatives that are possible today would mean cleaner air in cities, quieter cities, the complete elimination of traffic problems, vast drops in the costs of running cities (which would mean lower taxes), safer cities (the end of virtually all automobile accidents), and so on.

...
When's the last time you were outside of a city?
Quote:
So why not make the changes to accomplish all of this and, incidentally, stop climate change to boot? It makes no sense whatsoever to not make this change. The same is true for virtually all climate change behaviours. All of the opposition based on the economic and job costs are freaking stupid, because the economic and job gains will far outweigh the losses by even the most conservative estimate.

If it really has only advantages and no costs (even without considering global warming), why isn't everybody already doing it voluntarily?
fastwizzard
ponda wrote:
Quote:
I could be wrong, but if global warming is happening, then: Where's the evidence that it's all human?
It's hard to believe with all of the volcano, solar, and cosmic activity going on constantly that humans are the sole sourse of global warming. What if it's the planet's natural evolution taking place, or the fact that it's the sun? What if we can do nothing to stop the changing effects of nature?


Well, the idea seems to be that this may be a natural long term fluctuation. It is just that humans seem to be speeding up the process a lot. The earth goes through cycles of cold (usually really long; 100k years or more) and warm (lots shorter, 5 - 50k years) periods. So it seems that maybe long-term slow global warming may just save us from the next ice age!! Humans will just have to adapt to it and change the way we do things.
As someone mentioned in another post here are many science fiction books on this sort of thing.
People also say the environment is in terrible trouble, but I disagree. The environment is just fine, it is just changing. WE are the ones that are in trouble!!
Indi
ocalhoun wrote:
Some forests need fire occasionally in order to reproduce and function properly... It's natural. ^.^

Uh huh? And how does that make it any less problematic for the inhabitants of the forest when it burns to the ground?

Isn't it downright daft for a squirrel living in a forest, especially one that is already dry due to warm weather, to play with napalm? Doesn't it make rational sense for the squirrels of the forest to do everything squirrelly possible to minimize the chances of the forest going up? At least until they're able to move to another forest.

ocalhoun wrote:
Perhaps not, but they are indeed dire claims, and much-hyped, even if it is for the legitimate hyping of people who are convinced and therefore see a real need to convince others.

Actually, that's just your bias talking. If a structural engineer examined a building and then told you "if you blow out that support beam, the building will collapse sideways, smashing against the adjacent building causing irreperable damage, and the force of the impact would cause serious damage to all the surrounding buildings which may require either extensive repair work or demolition." Would you refer to his predictions as "dire", or "hyped"? Probably not. Yet when a climatological scientist studies these domains and gives you their assessment, that's your response.

Like i said, i didn't pick the worst-case predictions. i picked (in most cases) mid-range estimates. You think they're dire? Pah. You should hear the worst-case predictions. Those are dire predictions.

And "hyped"? "Hyping" is what advertisers do, not scientists (or engineers, in the case of the structural guy). Plainly stating a fact is not "hyping" anything. "Hyping" is exaggerating facts. These are not exaggerated claims about climate change; they are mid-range estimates using our best current scientific models.

No, it's plainly a bias on your part - one that i frankly don't understand. From my point of view, i'm seeing you looking at the structural engineer's report described above... and responding like this: "Well, it's perfectly natural for buildings to fall down eventually. That makes rooms for newer and better buildings. Can't be avoided. Oh, ya, and I realize that some people are storing explosives right by that crucial support beam... but hey, the explosives are already there, so, what can you do, right? Too late to move them now. Best thing to do is just let it all come crashing down, and see what we can salvage later. Anything else is just too much effort."

ocalhoun wrote:
Deaths that can be more easily avoided by directly avoiding them.
We loose a little land mass, and have some bad weather, but gain a larger food supply, and less need to use energy for heating. Not too a bad trade.

Wow. ^_^; Who came up with this model?

Jeez, it's hard to know where to even begin. Alright, let's start with the "losing a little land mass" thing.

Here's the problem. That "little" bit of land mass we lose? It's all on the coastlines. Guess where the most concentrated clumps of humanity are? So now we have to shuffle around vast numbers of humanity (no problems there, right?) into smaller areas, but that's only a minor hassle, right?

Aaaand, then there's the weather. Minor inconvenience, right? Let's see, in the last couple of years, we had massive blizzards in China and Afghanistan - the one in Afghanistan killed almost a thousand people, no problems, right? There were those bush fires down under (almost 200 dead). Hurricanes in Myanmar (150,000 dead) and, of course, Katrina (2000 dead). And that's not counting the deaths due to drought in areas dried up by the heat, or the deaths caused by spreading tropical diseases (because diseases flourish in warmth). But eh, 200,000 dead (as a very low estimate) is not too bad a trade for gaining a larger food supply, right? And a lower heating bill, of course.

The thing is, the ones who are going to suffer the most - by far - are the people who are already the worst off. Maybe you don't care about them as much as having more and cheaper food and warmth, but they make up the lion's share of the world's population. In other words, your assessment of the cost of climate change is way off... because while it's true that you probably won't suffer much, your experiences will not match the bulk of humanity's. They're going to be dying by the tens of thousands. Not too bad a trade?

Of course, the reality of the situation is that they're already dying because of climate change. And it's already going to get a lot worse; even if we went totally and perfectly green today, it's unavoidable that there will be many more deaths because of the damage already done. But if we don't take steps to stop the rate of climate change, there will be many, many more than even that. Even if you were so heartless and uncaring about humanity that you just didn't care about those extra deaths - or thought it would do the world a favour to have the population thinned a bit, or, hey, maybe you value having more food and heat more than their lives - it would still be monumentally stupid not to do anything to slow the pace of climate change, because eventually it would start affecting you personally.

ocalhoun wrote:
It's a slow change, I figure ecosystems will be able to adapt, as they have all throughout the past.

Did you forget what started this conversation already? The "short-term" thing? When something happens over a short period of time, it's not a slow change, it's a fast change.

Now, it may be a slow change by human standards, but by ecological standards it's an extremely fast change, and many ecosystems are not adapting; they're dying. Right now, we're already losing corals and the arctic ecosystems, and if the rate of change continues more and more will follow.

i would recommend that rather than trying to "figure" on your own, you consult actual scientific data.

ocalhoun wrote:
Fossil-fuel powered personal automobiles do have a set of advantages that are unmatched by any other mode of transportation available today. (Unless you count biofuel automobiles, but there isn't enough biofuel to power them all.)

No, they don't. For the vast bulk of what fossil-fuel vehicles are used for, they are most certainly not the best technology available. In fact, they haven't been the best technology available for over three decades. They are the cheapest technology, sure, but that's only true if you don't take into account the long-term costs, or the political costs (most of the fossil fuels come from places we really shouldn't be doing business with), and if you factor in the fact that the infrastructure is already there. If the infrastructure existed for charge stations or hydrogen fuelling stations (more so for charge stations), then it would swing the other way, and fossil-fuel vehicles would be more expensive than electric or fuel-cell vehicles.

Besides, replacing the engines of the vehicles is only a tiny change - pretty much the least you can do to improve matters (all the traffic problems would still exist, as well as all the safety hazards and accident costs). Apparently you only noticed the first couple of words of what i wrote. i said "fossil-fuel powered personal automobiles". You think the only change to be made there is to the "fossil-fuel" part? That's rather unimaginative. There are much more powerful changes you could make that would result in massive improvements.

ocalhoun wrote:
If it really has only advantages and no costs (even without considering global warming), why isn't everybody already doing it voluntarily?

Beats me. Maybe they're the kind of people who, when you tell them of a possible change you could make to conventional transportation that will save tons of cash, tons of lives, make cities nicer places to live, and even - as a bonus - help slow down the pace of climate change, the only comment they can think to make is to ask "When's the last time you were outside of a city?". Some people just can't see the bigger picture, i guess.

fastwizzard wrote:
The environment is just fine, it is just changing. WE are the ones that are in trouble!!

That's actually a clever way to put it, and it hammers home the problem in a way that i honestly wouldn't have thought necessary, but apparently is. i saw some pundit on TV just a short while ago dismissing climate change as an issue because - and i quote - "climate always changes", and therefore there is no concern. Even in the post right above yours, while analogizing climate change to a forest fire, the response is: "Some forests need fire occasionally in order to reproduce and function properly... It's natural.". Amazing, hm?
TerryMoke
Global Warming is caused by many things. The causes are split up into two groups, man-made or anthropogenic causes, and natural causes but man made causes are the biggest.
kemal44
lim from starting to shed a lot of water will end global warming: D
webhile
azoundria wrote:
Heaven forbid Al Gore might want to use his movie for self promotion...

up
albiemer
ocalhoun wrote:
ponda wrote:
Ok I'm a little lost on the whole issue. From what everyone's saying that in 50 years the earth will fry. But there are alot of conflicting reports about the temperture, then the climate gate scandal....I don't know. I really dont believe that Global warming's happening like how Fr.Vice president Gore or the UN claims. If the scientific community is at conflict on the subject, then I dont think the debate is over.

It looks like the temperature will probably rise a few degrees in the next few centuries. This may -- or may not -- be caused or contributed to by human actions, and it may or may not be stoppable.

As for Gore, I wouldn't listen to his opinions about it at all, any more than I would listen to Rush Limbaugh's opinion about it. Even if global warming is true, and is human caused, Gore's exaggerations are still only self-serving scare tactics.


People tend to focus on the here and now. The problem is that, once global warming is something that most people can feel in the course of their daily lives, it will be too late to prevent much larger, potentially catastrophic changes.
albiemer
albiemer wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:
ponda wrote:
Ok I'm a little lost on the whole issue. From what everyone's saying that in 50 years the earth will fry. But there are alot of conflicting reports about the temperture, then the climate gate scandal....I don't know. I really dont believe that Global warming's happening like how Fr.Vice president Gore or the UN claims. If the scientific community is at conflict on the subject, then I dont think the debate is over.

It looks like the temperature will probably rise a few degrees in the next few centuries. This may -- or may not -- be caused or contributed to by human actions, and it may or may not be stoppable.

As for Gore, I wouldn't listen to his opinions about it at all, any more than I would listen to Rush Limbaugh's opinion about it. Even if global warming is true, and is human caused, Gore's exaggerations are still only self-serving scare tactics.


People tend to focus on the here and now. The problem is that, once global warming is something that most people can feel in the course of their daily lives, it will be too late to prevent much larger, potentially catastrophic changes.


I don't mean to imply that we are in imminent danger of being wiped off the face of the earth - at least, not on account of global warming. But climate change does confront us with profound new realities. We face these new realities as a nation, as members of the world community, as consumers, as producers, and as investors. And unless we do a better job of adjusting to these new realities, we will pay a heavy price. We may not suffer the fate of the dinosaurs. But there will be a toll on our environment and on our economy, and the toll will rise higher with each new generation.
albiemer
albiemer wrote:
albiemer wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:
ponda wrote:
Ok I'm a little lost on the whole issue. From what everyone's saying that in 50 years the earth will fry. But there are alot of conflicting reports about the temperture, then the climate gate scandal....I don't know. I really dont believe that Global warming's happening like how Fr.Vice president Gore or the UN claims. If the scientific community is at conflict on the subject, then I dont think the debate is over.

It looks like the temperature will probably rise a few degrees in the next few centuries. This may -- or may not -- be caused or contributed to by human actions, and it may or may not be stoppable.

As for Gore, I wouldn't listen to his opinions about it at all, any more than I would listen to Rush Limbaugh's opinion about it. Even if global warming is true, and is human caused, Gore's exaggerations are still only self-serving scare tactics.


People tend to focus on the here and now. The problem is that, once global warming is something that most people can feel in the course of their daily lives, it will be too late to prevent much larger, potentially catastrophic changes.


I don't mean to imply that we are in imminent danger of being wiped off the face of the earth - at least, not on account of global warming. But climate change does confront us with profound new realities. We face these new realities as a nation, as members of the world community, as consumers, as producers, and as investors. And unless we do a better job of adjusting to these new realities, we will pay a heavy price. We may not suffer the fate of the dinosaurs. But there will be a toll on our environment and on our economy, and the toll will rise higher with each new generation.


Yes, there is still much about global warming we have to learn and research should continue. But the longer we delay, the more CO2 will build up in the atmosphere. It stays there a long time. If we wait too long before acting, we will pass a point of no return and lock ourselves into centuries of global warming. We could pass one of those dangerous tipping points that could make life very difficult. It's a risk we shouldn't take.
Afaceinthematrix
ocalhoun wrote:
If it really has only advantages and no costs (even without considering global warming), why isn't everybody already doing it voluntarily?


I cannot figure this one out. I do not own a house and I won't be in a position to purchase instead of rent for a while and so I do not have the choice on this matter, but as soon as I can purchase my house I am going solar. With all of the government incentives these days and the abundant sun in Southern California, there is absolutely no reason to - yet hardly anyone does!

With government incentives, tax breaks, rebates, etc. they really do not cost that much! I have seen people with them and have talked to them about their solar panels and they really do not cost much. Plus, I am handy with tools and so I am just going to buy the panels (which are cheap anyways) and install them myself (most of the cost is labor). Plus, you can get loans for solar panels at interest rates barely above the level of inflation.

I don't understand why more people don't go solar because solar panels for your house are one of those few investments where you can actually calculate how much you'll earn. If you invest in the stock market or almost anywhere else there will be some risk and so you never know what your return will be. With solar panels, you just need to look at how many kwh your panels will produce each month and then multiply by the cost per kwh and there you have it! You know exactly how much money you will save each month and furthermore, you know how long it will take you to pay off your investment and then how much money you will, essentially, make each year.

When you have an investment opportunity with guaranteed payoffs and you can even calculate how much money you'll make yet you don't do it then I am just shocked...



As for the transportation issue, there are so many better alternatives than the personal automobile. Once people get used to it they'll probably enjoy the alternatives more. Underground transportation is so much better because it's fast (cars have speed limits), there's no traffic, the subway can go direct (whereas most cities are on a grid), there's no stop lights, etc. And for inter-city travel, trains are so much nicer for essentially the same reason. Trains can travel 100+ MPH, aren't affected by traffic, and most countries with train systems can predict them down to the minute. In most places that I have been to with good public transportation, you can set your watch by the trains and subways because they are never off by more than a second. You know exactly what time you'll get there and "Sorry, I had traffic" is never an excuse.

The other great thing about public transportation is that you don't have to maintain a car. You don't have to make repairs, change your oil, pay for car insurance and registration, etc. You don't have to pay for parking once you get somewhere...

Even better than trains and subways are my personal favorite mode of transportation: bicycle. I love riding my bicycle for transportation because the energy costs for that transportation is the food that I eat anyways, I get exercise, it's fun, and it's extremely cheap. Of course you cannot ride too far but right now I am working in my city and I shop in my city and so I am driving maybe 100 miles a month...
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