Peak Oil, Climate Change, and the Transition towns movement

186 replies [Last post]

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
MikeB
Offline
Joined: 04/14/2008
Points: 517
Re: Peak Oil, Climate Change, and the Transition towns movement

One more question for safe: are you aware that the greenhouse effect (measured before humans started changing the atmosphere) adds about 33 degrees C to the planet's warmth?

If the Earth was a perfect blackbody, it would be about 33C cooler overall than it is now. However, our atmosphere, heavily laden with water vapor and other gasses, is slowing down the outward radiation of heat. That raises our average temperature significantly. If our atmosphere was perfectly transparent, this planet would be a frozen iceball. We can even see how different atmospheric mixes in the past have altered this value. Massive volcanic eruptions in Siberia, hundreds of millions of years ago, raised CO2 levels to levels near today's, and the temperature rose to follow. (And most of North America was a shallow sea due to sea level rise at the time). We also had a snowball Earth in the more distant past, where glaciers from the poles nearly met at the equator, when the greenhouse effect was weaker than today.

Studying the past clearly indicates that the greenhouse effect is real and vital for our continued civilization. However, we now have the ability to strengthen that greenhouse effect enough to make things uncomfortable. We aren't creating a greenhouse effect from scratch, we're just adding to one that is already there.

Or do you deny this piece of physics as well?

__________________

My electric vehicle: CuMoCo C130 scooter.

robert93
robert93's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/13/2009
Points: 240
Re: Peak Oil, Climate Change, and the Transition towns movement

If only we could harness the energy of forum rebuttals to power our vehicles...... :-)

Dauntless
Offline
Joined: 05/27/2010
Points: 220
Re: Peak Oil, Climate Change, and the Transition towns movement

robert93 wrote:

If only we could harness the energy of forum rebuttals to power our vehicles...... :-)

Oh, fine, then when there's a fender bender all that radioactive material is released in the street. Remember 'Ghostbusters' when the containment field was shut off?

I'm not sure what all this argument has to do with the Transition Towns movement. Especially dissing Spock, whose people believed that they needed to deny their humanity so that their pure spiritual sense could drive them. Or Data, who tried so hard to be human even though he could never be, thus making him the most human of all.

But yes, certainly, weather is guided by a good many cycles, the most basic of which is the 4 seasons. Will this part of the cycle be warmer or colder without us is the real question, NOT whether there's some cycle at all. That's right, mankind is the pedal assist on nature's cycle.

Yhomsd Jefferson created a bible? What about the King James Bible? Bishops' Bible? The Great Bible? These were all produced about the same time and competed with one another. I'm not sure that Transition Towns care more about Jefferson's Bible than these others.

So I remember 1990, I'm working on the production of a TV special (Infomercial?) about the 'Environmental Cliff.' The catchphrase: "We have 10 years to save the Earth." Because what would happen in 10 years was that something was going to go 'Snap' and the problems would accellerate. By 2000, when no such thing happened, the naysayers had a good laugh. Both sides had the opportunity to put their feet in their mouths. And the real effect on climate continued on a convential, linear path.

There's a lot of interesting things you can talk about. The real meaning of arcane language in climate change isn't one of them. So what curiosities can be found in the Transitional Towns? Any Velomobiles?

__________________

WHo dares, WINS!!!!

safe
safe's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/03/2010
Points: 583
Re: Peak Oil, Climate Change, and the Transition towns movement

Uncontrolled Reaction Fear

Before detonating the first nuclear bomb there were many scientists that were CERTAIN that it would ignite the atmosphere and produce an uncontrolled reaction that would burn the entire earth.

They really SINCERELY believed this.

(obviously they were wrong)

In life there are FACTS and THEORIES. In the case of the climate the only fact we can point to is that the Climate Cycle has been repeating on a cycle of about 100,000 years for the last half million years.

A "theory" like the uncontrolled heating reaction caused by CO2 is just that... a "theory".

There is a lot of "junk science" going on in the climate area and also a lot of political interests that are salivating at the idea of getting control over things. The wise person sees the human ambitions involved in those adventures and focuses on following the money and the power.

Again... scientists are often naive when it comes to human intentions and are easily manipulated by other people. You have to be skeptical of a theory that emerges in such a situation because of the context.

People with good instincts will not fall for Global Warming once they know the science and the politics and the polls certainly show that the climate is getting only about 5%-10% of the population into it now.

The "bottom line" is no one cares about the "theory" anymore because the economy is so bad they have more important things to worry about. You might as well just forget about the "theory" and focus on the here and now which is that electric vehicles can give America greater indendence from foreign oil. (which there is a glut of at the moment)

------------------

I see the need for a greater focus on the entertainment value of electric vehicles in things like sports as well as the practical aspects like being able to keep your electric bike in a small apartment. There are plenty of "real world" ways of addressing electric vehicles without getting lost in the theoretical aspects of it. A more "down to earth" approach to sell the electric vehicle concept will sell BETTER than all this ideological crap.

davew
davew's picture
Offline
Joined: 11/20/2006
Points: 88399
Re: Peak Oil, Climate Change, and the Transition towns movement

A "theory" like the uncontrolled heating reaction caused by CO2 is just that... a "theory".

Clearly you still don't understand what science is and the difference between an idea, a hypothesis, and a theory. You also appear unwilling to learn. So I guess were done. The good news is it might not be too late to ask for a refund on your hypothetical BS degrees.

__________________

"we must be the change we wish to see in the world"

7circle
7circle's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/04/2008
Points: 66
Re: Peak Oil, Climate Change, and the Transition towns movement

Please SAFE will you read some of the replies they have posted.

And give your opinion to what they have said.

Its quite sad. I can't understand why you wont consider others efforts when you preach wisdom.

"Transition Town Movement"
I thought that was about moving your community so SAFEr ground.

marcopolo
Offline
Joined: 05/10/2009
Points: 837
Re: Peak Oil, Climate Change, and the Transition towns movement

7circle wrote:

Please SAFE will you read some of the replies they have posted.

And give your opinion to what they have said. Its quite sad. I can't understand why you wont consider others efforts when you preach wisdom.

Well yes, the best and most interesting debates tend to wander off topic and encompass a vast array of viewpoints.

I have been curious as to how long SAFE, (and his eccentric supporter, Dauntless) would remain unchallenged, except by myself.

However, from 30 odd exchanges on this thread, the level of arrogance, venom and hysterical rantings from people claiming the high moral ground of reason, is astonishing. This SAFE's detractors feel they need to resort to such invective, provides some credence to SAFE's sceptical position, if not his scientific knowledge.

One explanation for such conduction maybe the natural frustration of the expert trying to convince the deliberately obtuse, but it most unedifying and could equally be explained as the ranting of fanatics, terrified that any opposition may amount to heresy?

To support the previous statement, I cite the following excerpts from this thread:

Mike B :- "Your post is both misleading and flat out wrong, and looks suspiciously like oil company propaganda."

Mik :- "I have absolutely no doubts that arguing with you is a waste of time, except for busting the nonsense you are spreading so that less well informed people are not fooled by your misinformation." /"Where do you find all this propaganda material? Or are these more comic strips out of your own production"

Mike B :- "Yep, Mik is right, arguing with you is an utter waste of time. You don't understand a damn thing about what you are posting, you are just repeating standard oil company propaganda. I provided you with exactly the explanation that you think is troubling, and you didn't even see it." "You are officially in the crackpot realm, since you no longer live in the same physical universe that we are in."

Mike B :- "Sure, there are always going to be crackpots and contrarians with PhDs. But when the overwhelming majority of experts all come to the same conclusion based on the available evidence, you'd be a fool to bet against them.""Really, I want an answer as to just how far your insanity goes. Exactly which piece of reality has escaped you?"

On the other hand, SAFE makes some pretty outrageous comments of his own. However in general, he tends to debate, rather than personal invective.

As the general public becomes more aware of the economic cost and proposed social disruption to social infrastructure, climate change scientists and political "Green" movements, which have until now seemed morally virtuous, but powerless will come under greater public scrutiny. Until now, these movements attracted a fashionably trendy image, and offered a safe protest vote against mainstream political movements, which in an advanced democracy generally lose philosophic identity and become obsessed with administration.

Suddenly, as a result of the widespread success of the GW/CC/green movements, the spotlight of public scrutiny has focused on aspects of the debate which until now have been widely accepted on trust. Scientists, previously widely respected as apolitical, all seemed to agree on climate change, and in the public mind, scientists should know, because they are such clever experts.

Problem is, the public are beginning to see these 'hero's' (and like all hero's,) may not be the type of hero the public imagined!

This is not to say that the scientist's are wrong, just that it's always disillusioning to admire a brilliant author, only to meet him in bar, and find he is a foulmouthed, embarrassing little alcoholic, with the personal habits of a wolverine.

Unfortunately, much of the environmental movement has been hi-jacked by the old socialist left. This provides ammunition for the climate change sceptic. Scientific information gets lost in the rantings of old dogmas.

SAFE is entitled to his contribution, right or wrong, it's not heresy to hold a different viewpoint.

I respect Mik's opinion and always find his post's interesting and instructive. B Dave W and Mike B's posts are also informative and well researched.

But just to add to the controversy, I do not always agree with every aspect of their conclusions. There are aspects of Climate Change methodology that certainly need review, in fact, the more review the better! This cannot be conducted by just a selective 'peer' process.

DaveW wrote:

I think we are at risk of drowning in generalities. Let's try some specifics. What is it you do or do not accept:

- Human produced CO2 can change the climate
- Human produced methane can change the climate
- Human produced soot can change the climate
- There is a cause and effect relationship between rising CO2 levels and rising water vapor in the atmosphere
- Something that has a natural cycle can be preempted through human activity
- The climate changes over the last 100 years are unprecedented
- The warming periods in the past took tens of thousands of years to occur
- The majority of scientific opinion should be given greater respect than the minority opinion

Firstly, as I have stated before, I am not a scientist, but to me the above issues are far from clear.

Human produced CO2/methane can change the climate; Quite possibly, but before accepting the more extreme scenario's I would have to see better evidence.
Human produced soot can change the climate; More dubious, but regardless of CC, discharging soot into the Biosphere is clearly undesirable.
There is a cause and effect relationship between rising CO2 levels and rising water vapor in the atmosphere; Definitely, but exactly how the dynamics work on a planetary basis is more uncertain.
Something that has a natural cycle can be preempted through human activity;Yes, but in this context, self-serving.
The climate changes over the last 100 years are unprecedented; Debatable!
The warming periods in the past took tens of thousands of years to occur; Depends on the definition of "warming periods".
The majority of scientific opinion should be given greater respect than the minority opinion; not necessarily, if history has taught us anything, it's that the majority often get it wrong! (Especially if funded by governments.) That's not to say that the minority should not be rigorously tested. But once you start silencing minority views, you have Faith, not science!

Climate change scepticism is growing in confidence, and converts. Fuelled by revelations in the media of scientific dishonesty, submission by scientists to peer pressure, and abusive rhetoric from the Church of Global Warming True Believers, is producing an increasing loss of support for climate change acceptance in the general community.

Even in Australia, where only eight months ago the Prime Minister, enjoyed enormous support as a leading Global Warming activist, was suddenly abandoned by his party. In the resulting election, climate change activist government lost it's majority, and by a narrow majority people voted for an opposition led by a leading sceptic. This scenario is being repeated around the world, as "Green' policy begin to affect the general public living standard, and previously supportive media become more critical of climate science.

Since nothing will happen without the support of Joe Public, the scientific community should consider a more conciliatory approach to sceptic's and less arrogant invective.

__________________

marcopolo

davew
davew's picture
Offline
Joined: 11/20/2006
Points: 88399
Re: Peak Oil, Climate Change, and the Transition towns movement

You have some interesting points. This last bit, however, caught my eye.

Climate change scepticism is growing in confidence, and converts.

Are you talking about the general public or the science community? Surely the former doesn't matter when it comes to judging the truth of the debate. If I want to find out if string theory or brane theory best explains gravity I don't walk down the street conducting a pole. The latter I don't believe is true. I think it is important that the scientific community do a much better job of PR because like it or not part of their job is to persuade. The problem is the opposition is not hindered by ethics or facts and has incredibly deep pockets. Why they might even stoop to hacking and espionage.

Fuelled by revelations in the media of scientific dishonesty, submission by scientists to peer pressure

Examples? Be very careful here. I'd want to know specific people, what they were accused of, were these accusations upheld, and what the ramifications were. There have been a number of investigations into scientific misconduct recently a few of which were initiated by the stolen climate emails. In every case I have heard of at most a couple of details in the final reports were changed (most famously the speed at which a glacier in the Himalayas is melting). In the end all the scientists have been exonerated, no papers have been withdrawn, nor have any major conclusions been changed.

__________________

"we must be the change we wish to see in the world"

marcopolo
Offline
Joined: 05/10/2009
Points: 837
Re: Peak Oil, Climate Change, and the Transition towns movement

davew wrote:

Are you talking about the general public or the science community? Surely the former doesn't matter when it comes to judging the truth of the debate. If I want to find out if string theory or brane theory best explains gravity I don't walk down the street conducting a pole. The latter I don't believe is true. I think it is important that the scientific community do a much better job of PR because like it or not part of their job is to persuade. The problem is the opposition is not hindered by ethics or facts and has incredibly deep pockets. Why they might even stoop to hacking and espionage.

I think the above provides an insight into the different approach to the subject between those within a section of the science community who believe that the only a narrow group of scientists are relevant to climate change decisions and those who see that the debate should be widened to include other scientists and even other disciplines.

Both viewpoints are contain a certain validity. I would also debate that the sceptics have more money. Climate science has become vast industry with a huge vested interest, ranging from new technologies to political appointments with vast governmental bureaucracies. On balance, I would say that the GW/CC/green industry is far more entrenched. After all, major resource corporation have enormous alternative energy, environmental budgets, very few green organisations fund sceptic research!

Quote:

Fuelled by revelations in the media of scientific dishonesty, submission by scientists to peer pressure
Examples? Be very careful here. I'd want to know specific people, what they were accused of, were these accusations upheld, and what the ramifications were. There have been a number of investigations into scientific misconduct recently a few of which were initiated by the stolen climate emails. In every case I have heard of at most a couple of details in the final reports were changed (most famously the speed at which a glacier in the Himalayas is melting). In the end all the scientists have been exonerated, no papers have been withdrawn, nor have any major conclusions been changed.

I was referring to media stories, valid or otherwise is not the point. The point is that an increasing perception of climate science inaccuracy is being derived from the media. If the scientists were industry scientists, you would say that they are just closing ranks. Why do you think that climate vested interest is different?

My point is laymen, politicians, reporters, other scientists,etc etc, must be included in the debate or it begins to look like a closed sect. The Club of Rome was once a widely respected think-tank. Criticism of it's predictions wwas considered heresy and venomously disparaged by the intelligentsia of that era. Today, the C of R, is discredited and forgotten.

The problem with many scientific theories, is when they are adopted by fanatics as fact and dogma. In Australia, The green party has reached it's Zenith. It's leader, Dr Bob Brown, intolerantly announced that "the debate on Global warming is over, all the aspects, are now scientific fact!". "No more questions or delays by sceptic's should be tolerated. these people must be eliminated from public life".

It's this Cromwellian attitude that gives even moderate environmentalist the desire to prove him wrong! (fortunately, Senator Bob Brown is a gentle soul, and very decent man,... but the rhetoric?)

Remember, Dr Edward Jenner was also initially attacked and ridiculed by the majority of the scientific establishment, precisely because he was a simple country doctor, not a specialist scientist.

None of the above should be taken to mean that I place any credence on SAFE's argument. But, I do believe that it's wise to encourage outspoken sceptic's paticipating in open public debate, where they can be persuaded, than have sceptic reduced to a silenced, browbeaten dissident group, forming bitter resistance, as a result of gratuitous ostracism.

At the risk of creating an enormously long post, the following article may be of interest. Unfortunately, I must post in in entirety as it no longer has links.
.
The article relates to attempt by a Climate Change adherent (Clive Hamilton)to censor sceptic activity on the Government owned Australian broadcaster, ABC. (a bit like the US, PBS, or more like the BBC).I include it to illustrate my point about media involvement. I do not altogether, endorse the content.
,

Anthony Cox and Dr Stockwell wrote:

Clive Hamilton thinks that "climate deniers" should not be privy to the ABC's charter of balance because they have no scientific support to argue against anthropogenic global warming [AGW]. Hamilton suggests that the correct ratio of pro-AGW to sceptical comments should be 39:1.

Hamilton's ratio is based on a consensus-proving, peer reviewed paper co-authored by Stephen Schneider. This paper lines up scientists into good and bad or "climate deniers". The first great flaw with this paper and the consensus generally is that it ignores the vastly disproportionate funding of science which is predicated on AGW being real compared with the pittance provided to sceptics. Educational institutions, government departments and official science bodies like the EPA, IPCC and CSIRO have concentrated their research, publications and training on the basis AGW is real. AGW has become the Zeitgeist and the consensus idea is part of the truth creation of that prevailing mood rather than a reflection of scientific validity which is independent of social context.

This has happened before. Lysenko was a Russian agronomist who suborned agricultural science in the 1930's to support the social policy of collectivism. Lysenko had a consensus too. Hamilton's fondness for censorship and suspension of democratic process is a reminder of the methods used in the past to create truth by edict.

The second flaw is that there is no consensus. Schneider's paper is contradicted by a peer-reviewed paper by Mike Hulme, professor of Climate Change at the University of East Anglia. Hulme specifically rejects the well-known consensus declaration of 2,500 scientists agreeing that human activities are having a significant influence on the climate, and notes "That particular consensus judgement, as are many others in the IPCC reports, is reached by only a few dozen experts in the specific field of detection and attribution studies".

For Hamilton the IPCC is the exemplar of scientific process, peer review and the gold standard by which the base metal of sceptic science is excluded. The tautology is complete: only IPCC science is acceptable and counted and therefore there is a consensus because only IPCC science is acceptable. This is one hand clapping in a room full of mirrors.

Unfortunately for Hamilton the mirrors are cracked. Forget Climate-gate and the e-mails which provide a modern updating of the Lord of the Flies as enacted by the premier IPCC climate scientists. What really has revealed the IPCC's flaws is the InterAcademy Council [IAC].

The IAC, previously unknown to civilisation, is, as the IPCC was supposed to be, an independent conglomeration of scientists and other large-brained individuals spread the world over. In other words the IAC is the IPCC's peer; they get off at the same floor as Hamilton's consensus. However the IAC did not come to applaud but to judge on the basis of the same commandments about peer review that Hamilton relies on. Hamilton believes the ABC should not give equal time to "claims about the climate science [which] has no empirical backing, [and] cannot meet the criteria for publication set by professional journals"; that is peer review.

Here is what the IAC concluded about the IPCC's standard of peer review:

"An analysis of the 14,000 references cited in the Third Assessment Report found that peer-reviewed journal articles comprised 84 per cent of references in Working Group I, but only 59 per cent of references in Working Group II and 36 per cent of references in Working Group III (Bjurström and Polk, 2010)."

Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. Nearly half the IPCC's science is not peer reviewed; it is grey literature, from interested parties like the WWF and Greenpeace; referencing them is like Clive Hamilton referencing Clive Hamilton.

But it is just not the peer review failure of the IPCC; it is how the IPCC strays from its own criteria for establishing confidence in its [non] peer reviewed evidence. Confidence in scientific terms means what degree of uncertainty predictions about future climate and causes of that future climate have.

For instance one of the IPCC's criteria, which is noted in the IAC report, is that it should "give greater attention to assessing uncertainties and confidence in [key findings]". It should also "Avoid trivializing statements just to increase their confidence. [and] Determine the areas in your [the IPCC's] chapter where a range of views may need to be described... to form a collective view on uncertainty or confidence."

What this means is that a true consensus requires "a range of views" on "uncertainty and confidence". Only when you truly know the scientific strengths and weaknesses of your evidence can you claim a consensus, bearing in mind a scientific consensus is only as good as the next scientific paper which may contradict it. The IPCC has actively quashed dissent to achieve its "collective view"; a very Lysenko state of affairs and a non-scientific consensus.

Perhaps the most telling of the IPCC's own criteria is this declaration of interpreting uncertainty in value laden terms "A 10% chance of dying is interpreted more negatively than a 90% chance of surviving." [Appendix D, 9].

But this is exactly what the IPCC and commentators like Hamilton have been doing: predicting climate catastrophe on the basis of a percentage of evidence which is as small as an error parameter.

This aspect of the IAC report is devastating and in peer review terms a strong rebuke. But will the IPCC be chastened? Will they admit that AGW, as presented by them, has failed the standards of peer review and proper scientific consensus? That is like asking whether Hamilton would admit he is wrong and that sceptics have a legitimate role. In uncertainty terms, fat chance.

Hamilton has wheeled out the usual clichés about sceptics being like creationists. This is ironic since a premier sceptic, Ian Plimer, is the only Australian to have put his money where his mouth is and sued the creationists. That Plimer is now against the IPCC and the AGW "truthers" indicates who he thinks are like the creationists in this debate.

It is ironic that AGW supporters like Hamilton have denigrated the lack of peer-review science of the sceptics while the IPCC has been relying on a drastic decline in peer references for their increasingly shrill cries of certain and imminent catastrophe from AGW. The irony is magnified when one notes the vast and growing numbers of peer reviewed papers in support of, at worst mild, and not catastrophic effects of increasing CO2. These papers have been written by some of the world's leading climate scientists such as Roy Spencer, Roger Pielke Sr., John Christy, Nir Shaviv, Richard S. Lindzen and Ross McKitrick to name just a few.

It is not just the IPCC which is affected by IAC's findings of a lack of peer review and inappropriate statistical analysis. In Australia the nation's leading scientific organisations, CSIRO and the Bureau of meteorology [BoM], use the same methods and modelling as the IPCC. On the basis of using these similar methods CSIRO and BoM drought modelling claims longer and worse droughts lie ahead. But David Stockwell reported in a recent peer-reviewed study that drought in the last century is modelled so poorly by the IPCC models, that none gave better accuracy than the century average. In other words, the past frequency and severity of droughts is a better guide for the future than all of the models in the IPCC.

Hamilton acknowledges that uncertainties remain and the evidence will evolve. But when the models are so uncertain they are not adequate at all. They simply do not provide support for any of their results. When the evidence contradicts them, they are not just uncertain; they are, to use the vernacular, garbage. To report the results does science a disservice.

It is just not about Hamilton advocating ABC censorship; it is about the vast funding of policies based on AGW science. If that AGW science is flawed, as the IAC has found, then that funding is a terrible waste of resources. More than ever a sceptic voice needs to and should be heard.

Anthony Cox is a lawyer and secretary of The Climate Sceptics. Dr Stockwell runs the influential science blog, Niche Modeling.

__________________

marcopolo

Mik
Mik's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/11/2007
Points: 3726
Re: Peak Oil, Climate Change, and the Transition towns movement

Marcopolo, you have a major misunderstanding there, possibly deliberate, but you never cease to amaze me:

The scientists should not make the decisions - but they should provide the information needed to make good decisions.

I don't get too hung up on the whole climate change debate! Why? Because even if there was broad consensus that there is no such thing as human induced climate change/destabilisation or whatever you may call it, it would not fundamentally change the present situation!

Even without climate change we are in the middle of a global catastrophe unfolding. Yes, I know, you still think eating meat does not waste any calories or other resources - and that our ingenuity will come up with solutions to everything and it will all get better and better.....nothing but denial in full flight! You just don't seem to understand exponential growth curves.

In the majority of locations on earth there is a rapidly accelerating depletion of top soils and of usable ground water; mass extinction of species; rapid depletion of fish stocks; deforestation, massive reduction in biodiversity - and accelerating human population growth. At the same time, agriculture has become almost completely dependent upon petrochemical life support and the majority of humans has no idea of how to grow food, not to mention the lack of suitable non-hybrid seeds.

All this spells catastrophe and mass starvation in big fat letters - no CO2 rise needed at all!

__________________

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

There is always a way if there is no other way!

MikeB
Offline
Joined: 04/14/2008
Points: 517
Re: Peak Oil, Climate Change, and the Transition towns movement

marcopolo wrote:

Since nothing will happen without the support of Joe Public, the scientific community should consider a more conciliatory approach to sceptic's and less arrogant invective.

Marco, I'm technically not a member of the scientific community. However, let me point out that the geocentricists are about to have their inaugural "Galileo was Wrong" conference, promoting Geocentrism:
http://news.slashdot.org/story/10/09/12/1855237/Geocentrists-Convene-To-Discuss-How-Galileo-Was-Wrong
Do you really think the astronomers of this world should take a more conciliatory approach to these nutjobs as well? Should we have public debates to revisit the issue, or just point and laugh?

People are welcome to hold any opinion they want, but when their opinion is directly contradicted by reality, then I'm not going to give that opinion any respect.

Safe has been asked some very specific questions about the science of cliamte change, by both myself and davew. He's refused to answer any technical questions, but continues to post diversions and distractions. It has become clear that my initial analysis was spot on, he really doesn't understand the science at all, and is just cutting and pasting objections from idiots like Dr Spencer.

Look at his latest posting. He doesn't even know what the word 'Theory' means in a scientific context. That's a mistake that even a rookie shouldn't be making, not if they want to participate in any sort of technical discussion.

A Scientific Theory has is not a guess or a line of speculation, it's virtually the exact opposite. It has 3 critical elements:
1) a body of evidence that leads to
2) an explanatory framework that is rigorous enough to produce
3) testable predictions.

If you are complaining that all scientists have is a 'theory', then you're essentially complaining that they now have a thorough and complete understanding of the problem. When it comes to climate change, this is in fact the case, since decades of research have produced a strong knowledge base about the forces that affect the climate over time, including the forces that humans are applying.

Let's go back to Newton's First Law of Motion: An object at rest will stay at rest unless acted upon by an external force. Climate is not a singular massive object, but it can, in many ways, be described as having inertia. Climate cycles only exist because there are periodic forces that push the climate to move towards a warmer or cooler state. Safe doesn't appear to have grasped this fact, his writings discuss how these cycles exist but he does not recognize that the forces behind them have been researched, cataloged, and measured. Does he think that these cycles just happen without any cause whatsoever?

When scientists look at the forces that exist today, they are essentially the same forces that existed in the past, but are active at different strengths. For example, as I mentioned earlier, Milankovitch cycles are periodic changes in Earth's orbit, and these changes interact in such a way to produce ice ages. But we're in the middle of a long cooling trend for this cycle. Carbon dioxide levels can be raised by heavy volcanic activity, and there have been times in the past when most of Siberia was erupting. However, things are mostly quiet on the volcano front right now. And the sun itself goes through periodic changes in output, including both an 11 year sunspot cycle and a billion year brightening. But solar output is actually at a century low mark right now, and 2010 is the warmest year in recorded history, in the warmest decade in recorded history.

Climate scientists have examined all the known causes of climate cycles throughout history, and nothing in that entire history has ever forced changes to happen at the rate we are seeing now. But CO2 levels have also never risen as fast as they have now, and the evidence that CO2 acts as a greenhouse gas is irrefutable. We have both a perfectly clear line of causality between elevated CO2 and rising temperatures, and a near total absence of any alternative mechanisms that are active. This is a rock solid case. Marco, speaking to you as a lawyer, you've got both a solid alibi for your defendant, and a video tape of some other guy committing the crime.

But safe appears to think that there's some sort of magic formula behind CO2, look at his phrasing: "uncontrolled heating reaction"
There's no chemical reaction going on here! Does safe even understand that? This is a simple function of physical properties, not chemistry. And there's nothing uncontrolled about it, at least not yet. It's very similar to putting insulation in the attic of your house: the thicker the insulation the slower the heat passes through. Does safe think that insulation in your attic is just a 'theory', and should be subject to public policy debates as well? Sure, the economy is bad, and insulation is expensive, so insulation must not actually work. I can see the logic in that. :(

Look, my goal in this thread is not to change safe's mind. That's likely to be impossible, and I understand that. My goal is to discredit the nonsense he's posting, to make the readers of this thread understand what safe's mistakes are. Sometimes a patient explanation is the best tool for that task, sometimes it really is best to just point and laugh.

__________________

My electric vehicle: CuMoCo C130 scooter.

MikeB
Offline
Joined: 04/14/2008
Points: 517
Re: Peak Oil, Climate Change, and the Transition towns movement

marcopolo wrote:

Both viewpoints are contain a certain validity. I would also debate that the sceptics have more money. Climate science has become vast industry with a huge vested interest, ranging from new technologies to political appointments with vast governmental bureaucracies. On balance, I would say that the GW/CC/green industry is far more entrenched. After all, major resource corporation have enormous alternative energy, environmental budgets, very few green organisations fund sceptic research!

Marco, we've discussed the money side of things before, and the facts don't support your claim. Lobbying spending on the behalf of dirty energy is 13 times higher than all environmental groups combined. The major oil companies spend at least 10 times more money on exploration for new oil fields than they do on researching green energy, and the coal industry barely bothers at all. And you get billionaires like the Koch brothers who can drop millions of dollars into anti-science politicians pockets across the country. The only reason that the scientific position gets heard at all is that nobody has been able to actually publish any research that supports the skeptical position, probably because the data doesn't support the skeptical position. This is not a battle between two scientific camps, but a battle between science and anti-science.

Don't make me do the research on this again.

__________________

My electric vehicle: CuMoCo C130 scooter.

davew
davew's picture
Offline
Joined: 11/20/2006
Points: 88399
Re: Peak Oil, Climate Change, and the Transition towns movement

My point is laymen, politicians, reporters, other scientists,etc etc, must be included in the debate or it begins to look like a closed sect.

I disagree with every part of this statement. Scientists generate the conclusions, reporters report them, and politicians make public policy. I believe the science community has a duty to make sure the press gets the story right and to push politicians to make the best policy, but in no way is the truth of the matter settled by a debate between these groups. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts.

As to the IAP, this may be of some interest:

IAP statement on ocean acidification, 2009. Signed by 70 members. The academies state that ocean water acidity has risen due to increased carbon dioxide caused by human activities, and that it probably will rise further with severe effects on marine life, if the emission of CO2 does not decrease considerably. They demanded that this should be included among the problems addressed by the United Nations Climate Change Conference 2009 in Copenhagen.

And this is the punchline:

Even with stabilisation of atmospheric CO2 at 450 ppm, ocean acidification will have profound impacts on many marine
systems. Large and rapid reductions of global CO2 emissions are needed globally by at least 50% by 2050.

This sounds like an intelligent bunch of folks who have some concerns with the IPPC (that I confess I have not explored in depth) who nevertheless reach exactly the same solution as the IPCC.

__________________

"we must be the change we wish to see in the world"

safe
safe's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/03/2010
Points: 583
Re: Peak Oil, Climate Change, and the Transition towns movement

MikeB wrote:

Climate scientists have examined all the known causes of climate cycles throughout history, and nothing in that entire history has ever forced changes to happen at the rate we are seeing now.

This is completely false.

There is no data so far that deviates significantly from the Climate Cycle.

The only "fact" is we know a cycle is taking place. No one disagrees that history shows this. The debate focuses on a "theory" that some outcome that is different than the past cycles will occur this time through. We have no data that suggests anything is that different than before.

------------------------

The "actual" result might be a sort of combination of the Climate Cycle and an extra "kick" of CO2. Maybe the trigger got pulled for the polar ice to melt a hundred years earlier than it would have, but the outcome is still the same. There is no way to keep the polar climate warm once the ocean gets less salty and the circulation slows. (most of what keeps Europe warm is the ocean currents)

The oceans dominate the earths climate. You have to figure that the oceans are the main thing to consider when you look at a long climate cycle like this because it holds the most "inertia".

Those that believe in the simple theory of CO2 being the primary mechanism are probably just not factoring in the other variables correctly.

It's like if you create a computer program and enter just the varaiables you want to put into it, then you will sometimes get outcomes that are completely bizarre.

safe
safe's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/03/2010
Points: 583
Re: Peak Oil, Climate Change, and the Transition towns movement

The Really, Really, Really, Distant Past...

I've always found this chart educational. This is the CO2 verses the temperature going way back. We have to remember that due to plate tectonics that the continents were in different places in these distant times, so the ocean circulation could have been totally different.

The current "Climate Cycle" has been predictable with the continents in their present location for about half a million years. (which on this chart is not even visible because it's such a short time period)

Today CO2 is at about 300-400 ppm which is about normal for the end cycle of a 100,000 year cycle. Look way back and CO2 was as high as 7000 ppm, so it was once much, much higher.

If CO2 got to about 1000 ppm then I might begin to think that CO2 was significant, but as of today the numbers just don't show that kind of spike. As long as CO2 stays in the band of about 300-400 ppm I would say that's "normal" for this point in the cycle.

marcopolo
Offline
Joined: 05/10/2009
Points: 837
Re: Peak Oil, Climate Change, and the Transition towns movement

Mik wrote:

Marcopolo, you have a major misunderstanding there, possibly deliberate, but you never cease to amaze me: The scientists should not make the decisions - but they should provide the information needed to make good decisions.

Speaking of misunderstandings, my observation was not intended to exclude scientists. Simply to broaden the availability of information by including contributions from all scientists, and other relevent sources, rather than rely upon a very narrow segment of information. I would rather have too much information, than too little.

I have often observed highly accredited expert witnesses express erroneous conclusions, simply because they overlooked small practical details. Often experts will see what they expect, rather than explore an original concept.

As to the rest of your doomsday scenario, should we all purchase sack cloth and ashs? Is there no hope? Or are we all doomed, doomed and damned?

Well, I hope you will forgive me if I don't share your gloomy apocalyptic vision. But, you may be right, in that case you maybe interested in investing in my latest fast food chain?

Sweeney Todd's Four Horsemen Inns and Restaurants.(delicious Gourmet Soylent Green(54 flavours)).

Be quick, franchise opportunities are filling fast.

MikeB

I am not debating the scientific merits of SAFE's position.

However, what value is your venomous attack? The gratuitous derision and arrogant delight of a Grand Inquisitor, putting a heretic to the stake, only serves to distract readers appreciation of the undoubted validity of your information.

My concern is that by employing such terminology, you risk alienating an audience, who otherwise must be impressed by the cogency of your argument.

('Galileo was Wrong', is clearly a wind-up! 18% of Americans, 16% of Germans, and 19% of Britons? Although, come to think of it.., Americans..Hmmmm.)

mikeb wrote:

Marco, we've discussed the money side of things before, and the facts don't support your claim. Lobbying spending on the behalf of dirty energy is 13 times higher than all environmental groups combined. The major oil companies spend at least 10 times more money on exploration for new oil fields than they do on researching green energy, and the coal industry barely bothers at all. And you get billionaires like the Koch brothers who can drop millions of dollars into anti-science politicians pockets across the country. The only reason that the scientific position gets heard at all is that nobody has been able to actually publish any research that supports the sceptical position, probably because the data doesn't support the sceptical position. This is not a battle between two scientific camps, but a battle between science and anti-science.

Don't make me do the research on this again.

Now then, let's not get carried away! Firstly, I would suspect that neither of us has the time or resource to adequately research a comparison. Secondly, to even establish the validity of your assertions, you would have to establish a better criteria to measure the resources available to both camps than vague emotive claims.

Nor do I accept your version of scientific as opposed to anti-scientific. Even among ardent GW/CC/green supporters there is wide variations as to the degrees of effects, outcomes and possible solutions.

Before you dismiss my observation, it may be well to define what it is that you are dismissing. Most western governments have created two or even three ministers with vast bureaucracies, just to satisfy the political contingencies of GW/CC policies. The sums spent of these ministries run into billions. The vast amount of money spent on the Copenhagen bun-fest, has no sceptic equivalent.

This is not to say that this expenditure is wrong, it may be very valid, but such expenditure constitutes a vested interest. So to conduct any such research we would need to define 'vested interest'.

Davew wrote:

I disagree with every part of this statement. Scientists generate the conclusions, reporters report them, and politicians make public policy. I believe the science community has a duty to make sure the press gets the story right and to push politicians to make the best policy, but in no way is the truth of the matter settled by a debate between these groups. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts.

Perhaps I did not make myself clear, if so I apologise. My statement was referring to a wider debate than simply causal. But even causal research should be scrutinised and examined by the widest range of contributors possible. The danger of having a narrow base of highly specialised scientific contributors, especially in a very new field, is that conjecture rapidly becomes accepted as fact. Later research relies upon the earlier erroneous data, and slowly an entire edifice is created. After a while there is too much vested interest to revisit the original error. Too many reputations at stake. This is especially difficult when dealing with a scientific discipline that has a highly emotive, politicised lay support group.

None of this will alter the actual causal truth. In that sense we both agree, the Truth will remain the Truth, no matter who wins the debate!

Hmmmmm.. unless "human perception can actually alter reality"...(Dr Timothy Leary)

__________________

marcopolo

safe
safe's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/03/2010
Points: 583
Re: Peak Oil, Climate Change, and the Transition towns movement

Green Al Qaeda

What have we learned about the Third World recently?

In the case of the Muslim world of the middle east we have seen a rapid increase in the population in the last decades. As a result of the population overflow we got Al Qaeda which is basically saying to the West:

"Hell no, we will NOT just sit here and let you guys enjoy the world. We have surplus people that we can throw at you and hopefully (praise allah) be able to weaken you so that our peoples can be stronger and multiply yet more and make the world even more over populated."

...not a direct quote, but you get the point. The Third World is not going to rein in it's population voluntarily like the West has done recently. Most of the Western nations have been very responsible in the overpopulation area.

--------------------------

One of the facts that adds to this is that the effects of Climate Change will tend to BENEFIT some and HURT others. No matter what the cause of these changes the EFFECT will be human. Human emotions propel politics.

Actual straight line warming is supposed to benefit:

America
Canada
Russia

...that same warming would hurt:

Middle East
China
Africa
India

...so from a political standpoint the assigning of "blame" to CO2 producers will have significant military considerations down the road. (China and India are both big producers of CO2 and also those that will be potentially hurt by it)

------------------------

The bottom line is that 911 proved that the Third World is not likely to deal with climate change in a rational way. We need to recognize that war is a big factor in how this will play out.

Alarming rhetoric can translate into actual attacks.

-----------------------

http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2010/01/29/osama-global-warming.html

Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden has slammed the United States and other industrialized nations for global warming, in an audiotape recording claimed to be of his voice.

"This is a message to the whole world about those responsible for climate change and its repercussions — whether intentionally or unintentionally — and about the action we must take... Speaking about climate change is not a matter of intellectual luxury — the phenomenon is an actual fact," bin Laden said, according to the Al-Jazeera website.

----------------------

This gets me back to the question of what to focus on politically. If we dwell on the idea of CO2 in order to get America off of oil then we invite repercussions from the military standpoint. If instead we focus our energy on the idea of independence from foreign influence then that's strengthening our position relative to the Third World. If America (and others) can get to a point where oil is not an issue, then when the Third World starts to cause troubles we are more able to pull back and become more defensive. As it is now we are extremely vulnerable on several levels.

marcopolo
Offline
Joined: 05/10/2009
Points: 837
Re: Peak Oil, Climate Change, and the Transition towns movement

safe wrote:

Green Al Qaeda...not a direct quote, but you get the point.

Actually. no! I, for one, don't get your point. You seem to roam from erroneous science to erroneous politics.

The developed world doesn't 'responsibly restrict its population by policy'. It's a by product, created as a consequence of the development of equitable wealth, social security and a host of other dynamics.

The only nation with a government regulated population control, is the PRC. Until very recently the PRC was a developing nation.

Relax, the bad Muslims are not going to overrun your local Burger King and force you to eat kebabs. Oil has very little to do with terrorism. Terrorist organisations have been very much a part of 20th century politics, none inspired by oil!

Either you agree with GW/CC or you don't! You can't have it both ways. In fact, you seem to have invented your own tailor-made version of GW/CC, adaptable for any situation!

Scepticism is fine! In fact, I would argue that a certain amount of informed scepticism is very healthy. But you can't just invent your own reality to suit what ever whimsy take your fancy this week.

Resource security is always a strategic issue when any nation considers it's security in a military context, but the large power blocks that are emerging to challenge the US, are equally venerable to terrorism. If Mik, is right the real problems facing any nation are bio-spheric and all terrorist activity is insignificant.

However, assuming a more optimistic veiw point. The issue of Oil still has nothing to do with any terrorist organisation, if the US doesn't buy oil from the middle east, the PRC will. (or Europe or Russia, etc..) .

The only influence the US has over oil suppliers is trade. Stop trading, result? No influence, radical governments, supported by powers seeking to take advantage of US weakness.

None of that matters anywhere near as much as the environmental issues facing the planet itself.

__________________

marcopolo

safe
safe's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/03/2010
Points: 583
Re: Peak Oil, Climate Change, and the Transition towns movement

marcopolo wrote:

The developed world doesn't 'responsibly restrict its population by policy'. It's a by product, created as a consequence of the development of equitable wealth, social security and a host of other dynamics.

You've missed the point.

We CAN'T intrude on Third World nations and expect to alter their philosophies without expecting a reaction from them. Much of what causes the radical muslim rage is CULTURAL. They are reacting against all the very liberalization concepts which lead to the lowered population growth and weakened economies.

---------------------------

There's a phrase:

"Feeding into a narrative"

...that describes the naive approach being pushed for the issue of climate change. You have to be more "military minded" and recognize human nature for all it's badness to get to see where these things really go. Time and time again you see people hoping for good behavior only to be faced with bad behavior and then wondering what to do about it.

--------------------------

Cain and Abel

America is Abel. We have been the "good son" that built the wealth through hard work. The Third World sees what the hard work has brought the West and wants to murder us because of it. It's the oldest story that man has to offer. (literally)

If Climate Change does in fact hurt the Third World more than it does the West then it simply amplifies the tensions and makes the Third World all more likely to want to do something about it.

We have to remember that the Third World is populating itself wildly right now while the West is mostly level. There's a point where the sheer number of the Third World hoard will make for war.

WWIII using nuclear weapons on a large scale will end the creation of CO2 really fast. So getting back to that theme of "the earth cycles itself" the forces leading us towards conflict are just as real as the other forces like the oceans, etc.

----------------------

Whatever happens (warming, cooling) things find their way to balance. We might extinquish half of humanity to get there, but we will.

The electric vehicle has the potential of being the thing that survives after WWIII because international trade will be destroyed and it's easier to power an electric vehicle with something local like solar panels or a windmill.

"Going Green" and post-WWIII survival have common goals.

In my opinion anyone that thinks we can go through this population explosion and not have it lead to war is very, very naive about human nature.

safe
safe's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/03/2010
Points: 583
Re: Peak Oil, Climate Change, and the Transition towns movement

With annual labour force growth of 1.6 per cent adding more than 45 million job seekers per year to the global labour force, the challenges exacerbated by the crisis are unlikely to diminish. In the next ten years, more than 440 million new jobs will be needed to absorb new entrants into the labour force, and still more to reverse the unemployment caused by the crisis. In addition, developing countries need to grow rapidly to absorb their expanding labour force and to meet the demand for jobs from migrants leaving rural areas.

IMF Report:

http://www.economist.com/blogs/freeexchange/2010/09/employment

----------------------

My comments:

"Green Jobs" should not be advocated unless there is actual benefit from them. If the governments are forced to deficit spend in order to create a Green job and that job also is less economically viable than it's existing counterpart, then you are in a financial "Lose-Lose" situation.

I'm a big fan of electric bicycles and can see how with the right "soft touch" approach of letting the Free Market entice people into the technology that it could be successful.

The problem is that basically the "real world" sucks right now and if you are pushing an agenda that is too lofty and idealistic you run the risk of complete failure on all levels. Humans are nasty animals... they are vain, selfish, cruel and violent and in the worse of circumstances they behave very badly.

marcopolo
Offline
Joined: 05/10/2009
Points: 837
Re: Peak Oil, Climate Change, and the Transition towns movement

safe wrote:

The problem is that basically the "real world" sucks right now and if you are pushing an agenda that is too lofty and idealistic you run the risk of complete failure on all levels. Humans are nasty animals... they are vain, selfish, cruel and violent and in the worse of circumstances they behave very badly.

Well, the above quote explains a great deal!

Would you like to share with us, to which species you belong?

World War 3, Overpopulation causing global warming, climate change science is not true, oil the historic basis for terrorism, forget green jobs etc etc...

When do you get time to think of all these ill-conceived concepts?

I am not wishing to be impolite, but have you considered focusing on just one subject, with diligent and careful research, you could become able to contribute to a debate with guys like Mik, MikeB, DaveW, etc.. on equal terms. I know it takes hard work, but it better than looking foolish. In addition you may find a readership outside of the conspiracy theorists.

It's just my opinion, but I am quite impressed with the Human Species, for all our faults, we exhibit many noble and idealistic traits, not bad for a species who must constantly struggle to survive.

Quote:

We CAN'T intrude on Third World nations and expect to alter their philosophies without expecting a reaction from them. Much of what causes the radical Muslim rage is CULTURAL. They are reacting against all the very liberalisation concepts which lead to the lowered population growth and weakened economies.

..that describes the naive approach being pushed for the issue of climate change. You have to be more "military minded" and recognize human nature for all it's badness to get to see where these things really go. Time and time again you see people hoping for good behavior only to be faced with bad behavior and then wondering what to do about it. Cain and Abel

America is Abel. We have been the "good son" that built the wealth through hard work. The Third World sees what the hard work has brought the West and wants to murder us because of it. It's the oldest story that man has to offer. (literally)

If Climate Change does in fact hurt the Third World more than it does the West then it simply amplifies the tensions and makes the Third World all more likely to want to do something about it.

We have to remember that the Third World is populating itself wildly right now while the West is mostly level. There's a point where the sheer number of the Third World hoard will make for war.

WWIII using nuclear weapons on a large scale will end the creation of CO2 really fast. So getting back to that theme of "the earth cycles itself" the forces leading us towards conflict are just as real as the other forces like the oceans, etc.Whatever happens (warming, cooling) things find their way to balance. We might extinquish half of humanity to get there, but we will.

The electric vehicle has the potential of being the thing that survives after WWIII because international trade will be destroyed and it's easier to power an electric vehicle with something local like solar panels or a windmill."Going Green" and post-WWIII survival have common goals.

In the words of Ronald Reagan, 'There y'go again!'.

I understand that a certain sector of the American people are terrified of the "Muslim Hordes", "Third World Hordes" and all kinds of hordes, but in the lyrics of Buffalo Springfield, "Paranoia runs deep, into your life it will creep,. . . ." you may find some cautionary wisdom.

Able and Cain? USA is Virtuous and Hardworking? The third world is lazy and worthless, not fit to exist? Muslim hatred is cultural? The Paranoia runs deep; into your life it will creep. . . ." So went the lyrics to the old Buffalo Springfield USA always been a shining example of virtue? Hard work? Good grief, ever asked the Afro-American if he got his fair share of his hard work?

Like I say, read some history, then think hard before you write such embarrassing nonsense.

__________________

marcopolo

Mik
Mik's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/11/2007
Points: 3726
Re: Peak Oil, Climate Change, and the Transition towns movement

marcopolo wrote:

...
...
Like I say, read some history, then think hard before you write such embarrassing nonsense.

See?

I usually do my homework before blasting someone. Safe has a bit of a track record building!

__________________

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

There is always a way if there is no other way!

marcopolo
Offline
Joined: 05/10/2009
Points: 837
Re: Peak Oil, Climate Change, and the Transition towns movement

Mik wrote:

See?I usually do my homework before blasting someone. Safe has a bit of a track record building!

Point taken! Even when I don't agree with your conclusions there is no question of the thought and impressive research behind your reasoning.

The depletion of fish stocks and super phosphate deposits are of considerable concern. Likewise soil depletion and deforestation are equally troubling.

As a rural landowner in Australia, I have been very affected by the recent flooding. The devastating effects of natural disasters on farmland is very difficult for urbanites to understand. to watch years of hard work and investment swept away is really heartbreaking. But mostly, farms can be rebuilt.

Fish stocks are a very different story. I agree, Marine conservation is a very important, but underfunded, area of environmental study.

__________________

marcopolo

safe
safe's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/03/2010
Points: 583
Re: Peak Oil, Climate Change, and the Transition towns movement

Interesting that the polling against climate alarmism is more like the "Hockey Stick" than the "Climate Cycle" at this point anyway.

Maybe in the future people will reverse their minds again.

For now fewer and fewer people see the climate as something to get too worried about and I would have to agree. My list of bad things to worry about would go:

Unemployment
Government Growth / Socialism
Deficits
Overpopulation
WWIII

...not sure what I would place first.

The Climate Cycle (and/or) straight line warming isn't even on my list of significant things to worry about because it's not a near term issue and we aren't even certain of which way it's going to go. Some seem to have an almost religious faith that things will warm forever and that's "okay" for them, but it doesn't effect me all that much.

Just as there should be religious tolerance, there should also be climate theory tolerance. After all, it doesn't become a "fact" until it actually is after the "fact" and for now it's all "theory". We won't know if the cycle repeats or not until things begin to get way off course. Until things diverge (like 1000 ppm of CO2) it's not going to pursuade me to worry about it.

WWIII will end CO2 production in an hour... so if WWIII happens it pretty much crosses Global Warming off the list.

safe
safe's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/03/2010
Points: 583
Re: Peak Oil, Climate Change, and the Transition towns movement

http://www.jayweidner.com/TheCulling1.html

He had carefully written a new set of Ten Commandments that were to be etched into the face of the granite on the monument. The message to the people of the future was written in eight different languages.

Moving clockwise around the structure from due north, these languages are: English, Spanish, Swahili, Hindi, Hebrew, Arabic, Ancient Chinese, and Russian. The message in English reads:

* Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature*

* Guide reproduction wisely - improving fitness and diversity.

* Unite humanity with a living new language.

* Rule passion - faith - tradition - and all things with tempered reason.

* Protect people and nations with fair laws and just courts.

* Let all nations rule internally resolving external disputes in a one world court

* Avoid petty laws and useless officials.

* Balance personal rights with social duties.

* Prize truth - beauty - love - seeking harmony with the infinite.

* Be not a cancer on the earth - Leave room for nature - Leave room for nature.

----------------------

500 million is a lot fewer people than todays billions. The quick way to achieve a sustainable planet is to have a world war that destroys all the machinery and forces the limited number of survivors back to simpler means of survival.

In this post war scenario the threat of climate change in the warming direction is eliminated, but the cooling from the Climate Cycle remains. So the survivors need to be able to adapt to a coming Ice Age, but they have 80,000 years to adapt, so that's easy.

The survivors would likely revert back to oil based systems if they didn't at least have the technical knowledge that other means were possible. So the work we might do today towards electric vehicles "could" survive and become the seed for a future world.

I'm pretty fatalistic about WWIII happening. (as you can tell) We're probably still okay for a few more years, but as things continue to get worse the pressures will mount. The fact of the matter is that human civilization's "Golden Age" probably ended with 911. It's just never going to feel as optimistic as it seemed back before that time. The 1980's and 1990's were probably the best of times when viewed in hindsight. They were great. :)

marcopolo
Offline
Joined: 05/10/2009
Points: 837
Re: Peak Oil, Climate Change, and the Transition towns movement

safe wrote:

http://www.jayweidner.com/TheCulling1.html

He had carefully written a new set of Ten Commandments that were to be etched into the face of the granite on the monument. The message to the people of the future was written in eight different languages.
Moving clockwise around the structure from due north, these languages are: English, Spanish, Swahili, Hindi, Hebrew, Arabic, Ancient Chinese, and Russian. The message in English reads:
* Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature*
* Guide reproduction wisely - improving fitness and diversity.
* Unite humanity with a living new language.
* Rule passion - faith - tradition - and all things with tempered reason.
* Protect people and nations with fair laws and just courts.
* Let all nations rule internally resolving external disputes in a one world court
* Avoid petty laws and useless officials.
* Balance personal rights with social duties.
* Prize truth - beauty - love - seeking harmony with the infinite.
* Be not a cancer on the earth - Leave room for nature - Leave room for nature.

500 million is a lot fewer people than todays billions. The quick way to achieve a sustainable planet is to have a world war that destroys all the machinery and forces the limited number of survivors back to simpler means of survival.
In this post war scenario the threat of climate change in the warming direction is eliminated, but the cooling from the Climate Cycle remains. So the survivors need to be able to adapt to a coming Ice Age, but they have 80,000 years to adapt, so that's easy.
The survivors would likely revert back to oil based systems if they didn't at least have the technical knowledge that other means were possible. So the work we might do today towards electric vehicles "could" survive and become the seed for a future world.
I'm pretty fatalistic about WWIII happening. (as you can tell) We're probably still okay for a few more years, but as things continue to get worse the pressures will mount. The fact of the matter is that human civilization's "Golden Age" probably ended with 911. It's just never going to feel as optimistic as it seemed back before that time. The 1980's and 1990's were probably the best of times when viewed in hindsight. They were great:)

Buy lots of Guns. Keep stocked up on them pork and beans and other survivalist equipment. Buy lots of guns. Buy an air raid shelter. Buy lots of guns. Set up your camp far away on some remote mountain, far, far away for those nasty brutish despicable humans. ('specially the Muslims and third world).

Take lots of sci-fi games. (y'know the ones where a person suspiciously like you) is a post-apocalyptic hero and you will probably end up just as crazy as Mel Gibson!

In the meantime, how about leaving science to the real scientists?

__________________

marcopolo

safe
safe's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/03/2010
Points: 583
Re: Peak Oil, Climate Change, and the Transition towns movement

My point is a solid one...

Overpopulation TRUMPS Climate Change

...whether we are talking about a Climate Cycle or something straight line the fact is that as time progresses we know that the climate is never constant. Climate Change always occurs with or without mankind. When Climate Changes occur it increases stresses on whatver population exists and the bigger the population the greater the stress. Stresses lead to wars over resources and control.

Debating the science of the Climate Cycle / Hockey Stick is a little like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic... it won't change the outcome much in the coming decade or two.

Rapid population growth plus cultures that reject Western liberalism (which does an incredible job of weakening economies and destroying families) will mean that the stronger cultures will attempt to dominate the earth in time. Since the nuclear weapons are in the hands of the culture that is now becoming weaker it sets up a situation where all that the West has left to defend itself is it's military.

Left wing socialists hoped for universal socialism where you could have top down control of everything. But that political situation does not look to be winning anywhere. In America the socialist uprising is being battled and it looks like they will be defeated. (or at least slowed) The rest of the world is mostly nationalistic and will not bow to some central socialist system.

marcopolo
Offline
Joined: 05/10/2009
Points: 837
Re: Peak Oil, Climate Change, and the Transition towns movement

safe wrote:

My point is a solid one...In America the socialist uprising is being battled and it looks like they will be defeated. (or at least slowed) The rest of the world is mostly nationalistic and will not bow to some central socialist system.

Curiouser and Curiouser, cried Alice....

Exactly what parallel universe are you living in?

First, ill-conceived science, then battles with 'socialist' uprisings, what next?. (incidentally most socialist states are fiercely nationalistic).

Yep, y'bet Billy Bob, you just wait and see, that commie loving Obama he sure as hell gunna help his Arab Muslim Commies comrades to rule a world government! Save your families! (and ole glory), Y'all better get y'self up here to.. (insert mountain of choice) with a mess of guns, and abide with some true US patriots until the space ship/Armageddon/rapture arrives.

Hey, wait a minute.......are you just putting us all on? Maybe you are just spruiking a revival of old Randy Newman Songs, 'Lets drop the big one now' etc.....? ('cept he was being ironic!)

Or maybe you just have a thing for Sarah Palin?

Stop this silliness! Or we'll send Ted Glick round to protest (ineffectually) outside your Tea Party!

__________________

marcopolo

Mik
Mik's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/11/2007
Points: 3726
Re: Peak Oil, Climate Change, and the Transition towns movement

marcopolo wrote:

...
...

The depletion of fish stocks and super phosphate deposits are of considerable concern. Likewise soil depletion and deforestation are equally troubling.

I forgot to mention that large parts of the usable land surface area are now reportedly riddled with landmines...but I'll leave that part of the drama alone. What we (as a species) do is under our control - at least to a degree - and therefore unpredictable. The human genius may shine sooner or later to solve the problems - but it may not shine until it really needs to!
Marcopolo, I may sound gloomy at times, but in principle I share your optimism. "There is always a way if there is no other way."

Necessity is the mother of invention.... that is why I sometimes still debate with people who are not "getting it". Because it is not really necessity that makes us invent solutions, but rather the realisation of that necessity, a very important difference!
We must realise that action is needed - in order to liberate that creative genius that is the "mother of invention". We have every chance to turn things around, although it is probably not going to be easy (or pretty by most accounts). But we could limit our impact upon our planet so that it can sustain us for long enough to allow us to have "a moment" (geologically speaking!) to think about what we might want to do, away from the pressures of impending death and extinction. But if we refuse to accept the realities of living as a dominant species on a planet with finite resources, then we will just die out like any other insufficiently aware species on a petri dish. The fact that the Petri dish is spherical and that fossil fuels are the principal food source makes no difference at all to this fundamental conundrum. We will die out if we do not begin to understand. Unless we understand, we will consume all available resources until there is very little left.

Quote:

As a rural landowner in Australia, I have been very affected by the recent flooding. The devastating effects of natural disasters on farmland is very difficult for urbanites to understand. to watch years of hard work and investment swept away is really heartbreaking. But mostly, farms can be rebuilt.

Fish stocks are a very different story. I agree, Marine conservation is a very important, but underfunded, area of environmental study.

Owning some land in Australia (and eating the food grown there) you will undoubtedly find the debate about locusts most stimulating: http://www.savethelocust.com/articles/article4.aspx#link4

I had a look at it and the linked sites, like the one about the extinction of the Rocky Mountain Locust at http://www.hcn.org/issues/243/13695

It's all very interesting - and at the end of the Rocky Mountain Locust extinction page, even Safe will get a little thrill!

__________________

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

There is always a way if there is no other way!

safe
safe's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/03/2010
Points: 583
Re: Peak Oil, Climate Change, and the Transition towns movement

Let's Review

In the earth's ancient past the CO2 was as high as 7000 ppm.

Over the last half million years or so the Climate Cycle has been cycling with a peak CO2 "trigger" of roughly 300-400 ppm.

We are presently at the CO2 "trigger" stage of 300-400 ppm.

The polar ice is beginning to melt.

The polar ice has not yet COMPLETELY melted.

We do not yet know the complete counterbalancing force effect of oceans that have become less salty and halted current circulation, so we do not yet know how strong the counter force will be.

-----------------------

The "unknown" is whether the Climate Cycle will become the dominate force in the future as was in the past or whether (after the poles melt and oceans stop circulating) the forces point to continued warming in a Hockey Stick pattern.

Science cannot predict accurately the influence of oceans that have halted their circulation because we have no data for that yet. We only have data from the last cycles and we didn't have sensors in the oceans to monitor currents 100,000 years ago to check that. (but we do know that temperatures dropped radically while CO2 remained high)

The oceans are still circulating... so the "trigger" is pulled (ice melt) but the "bullet" hasn't left the gun yet.

--------------------------

These are the "facts" without any theory. The "unknowns" are presented along with the "facts" which is the way good science is supposed to be done.

I'd hope we could just say:

"End of Story"

...but I'm sure it won't be. :)

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Customize This