Dealing with climate change

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PJD
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Re: Dealing with climate change

Marcopolo,

As I asked you in an earlier post, do you spend any time in the Unites States?

Me and Mike are explaining the reality her in the USA, where AGW is virtually never mentioned or discussed except amongst ourselves in tiny organizations like 350.org and in obscure fora like this one. These organizations are indeed considered "left" but then, this is in a country where any criticism of large corporations, or advocating the right to organize a union, or arguing for even say, a minimum wage just 50% of your minimum wage down there, makes one a "radical leftist".

A few years ago, one could occasionally hear mention of AGW in the media, but the large corporation-owned media generally gave disproportionate coverage to skeptics like Safe (Specifically "pro-business" organizations like the Heartland Institute). Now, even in the face of unprecedented heat, drought and storm events, the discussion is completely nonexistent. I believe Orwell coined the term "down the memory hole" for this media behavior.

In the Appalachian region where I live, the overwhelmingly popular position is this: "There is a war on coal! The Marxist Obama and his socialist EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) are waging a war coal miners and coal power plants! We can't figure out why; I mean, that dubious left-wing hoax called "global warming" has been thorough discredited, right?"

The EPA has proposed two power plant regulations. One on particulate and other emissions that cross state lines. It was shot down by a "pro-business" US court. another regulation is a proposed. Another is a CO2 regulation that will make new (but not "grandfathered" old existing power plants) difficult to operate. Courts may shoot that regulation down too.

There is also some modest increased on car fuel economy for model year 2025 or something. That is the sum total of what the US (and Harper's Canada following along) is doing about AGW.

safe
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Re: Dealing with climate change

My point is very simple and very clear:

"No matter which direction the climate goes... warmer or colder.... mankinds primary asset is it's ability to adapt, to go to war, to reconfigure his environment based on changing conditions."

The climate is NEVER going to remain constant.

If there is "denial" it's in those who imagine this eternally constant climate state which will not happen.

The "Climate Cycle" is a fact, based on astronomical movements.

CO2 has been as high as 7000 ppmv and as low as now at 400 ppmv. Unless CO2 goes above 7000 ppmv we are not going to see anything the earth hasn't already seen.

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

The "bottom line" is that people hold a FANTASY of a beautiful constant climate earth with peace and love.

The reality is more historical, we have boom times (recent history) followed by death.

Mass extinction is a "normal" process as is our own personal mortality.

This is "life" without the "denial of death".

Wise up.... :)

.

wookey
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Re: Dealing with climate change

PJD. I don't live in the US and I agree you have _serious_ problems over there, but I'm not sure it's quite a bad as you make out. There are parts of the country where there is positive change afoot, if not always for what we'd cal the 'right' reasons. You have a lot of wind installed in Texas (mostly because it's actually relatively cheap now), a lot of coal->gas conversion going on (because it's suddenly cheaper), which isn't a solution of any real sort, and leaving that gas in the ground would have been apile smarter, but it does nearly halve emissions for each replaced station, and it is quick, which is a lot better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.

marcopolo. These are policies which we can point to as being practical, and acceptable and affordable. It's happening now, due to financial drivers, not 'greenness' ones (which is what Mike asked for at the start of this thread). The recession has been a huge boon to emissions control too. By far the most effective thing the world has ever done on this issue.

I quite agree with Mike's characterisation of the right/left argument (and almost everything else he said - he clearly has some clue). So long as 'most people' don't accept there is anything that needs changing, change will be limited.

The impression I get from over here (the UK) on the 'debate' in the US is that despite it mostly not being mentioned, more and more people are noticing that there _is_ a problem. The weather has been a lot more effective in that than any number of papers, postings, and forum arguments. That effect may be short-lived of course, but it's no doubt shaken off some complacency. We shall see.

Safe is of course quite right that things (including climate) have changed a lot over 4 billion years. But the implication that therefore there isn't a problem _now_ is clearly nonsense. It seems futile to try and take that argument further. Mike has put the case coherently, so I shan't attempt to repeat it.

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safe
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Re: Dealing with climate change

It's a little like betting on the stock market.

Does it go up?

Does it go down?

How much volatility?

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

If I were to bet on the "Climate Cycle" vs "CO2" I'd go:

80% probability of a fairly normal "Climate Cycle". (oceans stop flowing, cooling)

20% probability of runaway warming.

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

How about if everyone places their bets?

Once you have your bets placed it kind of ends the debate until real data comes in...

.

safe
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Re: Dealing with climate change

Let me get into why I'm going with a 80% / 20% probability.

In previous "Climate Cycles" there have been large volcanic eruptions that pushed incomprehensible amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere. Many times these large eruptions had only moderate effect... the "Climate Cycle" deviated slightly, but returned to the mean after.

There have been extremely rare large volcanic periods where CO2 became very high (Permian Era) and when things get up above 2000 ppmv you see CO2 dominate and average temps go up.

So the 80% / 20% reflects the fact that by historical volcanic standards we are probably more on the low side at under 500 ppmv.

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When you establish your probability try to back it up with some science... history... something. :)

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And don't be stupid about it... none of this "I'm 100% sure" stuff. Nothing is ever 100% certain, so you have to lay out your probability based on some sense of reality.

And no "this scientist is 100% certain" stuff either. He's capable of being wrong too and "hiding behind" another is not allowed.

This is about YOUR own best bet. No hiding, blaming, or dodging.

MikeB
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Re: Dealing with climate change

safe wrote:

My point is very simple and very clear:

... and very wrong!

Safe, you seem to have trouble distinguishing between two opposite effects:

A. A natural cooling trend that will reduce temps by 2C over 20,000 years, caused by periodic orbital shifts.
B. A man-made warming trend that will increase temps by 12C over 200 years, caused by greenhouse gasses.

A and B are completely opposite problems, and could not be more different. But you seem to have problems understanding that.
Tell me, is big the same as small? Is fast the same as slow? Is warming the same as cooling?
Really, this is important, are the items I describe as A and B above the same or different?

More importantly, your argument seems to boil down to "everybody will die of old age eventually, so murder is ok." Is that really what you think? You don't mind if I just murder you, then, right? Or maybe if I murder a random guy on the street? He was going to die naturally anyways, right?

We have no moral right to kill people with our pollution. Yet you insist that we continue to do exactly that, and that there's no moral reason to change our behavior.

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safe
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Re: Dealing with climate change

I started a new thead:

http://visforvoltage.org/forum/13291-all-forms-climate-change-add-stress

The "bottom line" is that we will see conflicting forces related to the natural "Climate Cycle" as well as surplus CO2 that has occurred before in other cycles. It takes a very large amount of CO2 to disrupt the natural "Climate Cycle" completely, but it is a possibility.

We bet:

What are the chances the "Climate Cycle" dominates?

What are the chances CO2 dominates?

...anyone who claims 100% certainty is a fraud.

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

The better discussion is HOW we might deal with stress caused by climate changes.

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

Let's hear your bet ?

No hiding, no blaming, no dodging... what percentages do you predict?

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

80% / 20% is my bet.

Science does not deal in certainties on this issue. In complex systems like weather we talk in terms of "probability" based on our data assumptions. The news might say "75% chance of rain" which means it's probably going to rain, but it might not. A "25% chance of rain" means it could rain, but it probably won't. This is how scientists express ideas. (usually not in absolutes like in politics)

marcopolo
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Re: Dealing with climate change

@ MikeB

Let's see if I understand you correctly, your assertion that the waning of support for 'green activism' is due to a campaign by sinister forces, not the fact that the public has grown weary of expensive rhetoric and little constructive action, apart from increasingly hysterical abuse at 'heretic's ?

You accept no responsibility ?

Your proposition is illogical. The general public remains accepting of the science, just not the raucous advocacy and hypocritical political hi-jacking of environmental issues.

Could it be the singer is at fault, not the song ?!

The idea of a Carbon tax, or Emissions exchange scheme, (like most idea's suggested by the left), sounds quite good in theory, but inevitably denigrates in another unworkable,ineffective tax, that fails to accomplish anything practical, and simply adds more complicated layers of bureaucrats to an already bloated civil service.

@ PJD

Yes, I frequently visit the US. My experience is very different from yours. The US has a huge environmental movement (also a small, but very loud, loony right!). US corporations(supported by US Federal and State governments)lead the world in the development of alternate energy technology.

Perhaps you should get out more !

@ Et al

Environmental pollution is a global problem. Solutions need to be on a global scale. So far all international conferences on Climate Action, have collapsed into ineffective talk-fests ! This is because no one trusts or believes that these problems can be solved by impractical ideological solutions.

Germany, tried to replace Nuclear power with wind,solar etc, the result was inevitable, Germany is now buying power from France's nuclear generated power supply. Australia, imposed a Carbon Tax. Pointless and damaging to the Australian national economy, and completely negated by just two of the 850 or so, new coal fired power plants being built in the PRC.(Fired with Australian Coal).(not counting India's new coal fired plants)

No nation will lower it's standard of living, and reduce services to it's populace, for some vague ideological tirade enunciated by contemptuous fanatic's.

OK, so here an idea, a cause on which both left and right, can agree !

The single most toxic source of global pollution, comes from a very small, (but easily defined) source. Th good news is this source can be be easily eliminated with a minimum of disruption.

It doesn't require billions of dollars. Nor does it require lifestyle sacrifices or massive social and political disruption. Even the companies who produce the toxic pollution would be pleased to see it prohibited !

The culprit is Marine Grade No.6 fuel (bunker oil). A single container ship using this highly toxic pollutant produces more environmental pollution annually than 50 million cars! ( there are over 100,000 vessels running on bunker oil, just 20-40 equal the worlds car fleet).

Reports vary, but Bunker Oil pollution kills over 130,000 persons a year in the Northern hemisphere alone. The devastating effect on the oceans and food chain is only starting to be researched. This appalling carcinogen creates 3-4 million cancer victims each year. The damage to the biosphere is incalculable, while damage to the oceans ability to act as a carbon sink places Bunker Oil as the Planet's, environment's, and mankind's, 'Public Enemy No. 1 ' !

The abolition of this evil product is simple, the technology already exists, and the political implementation is easy and effective. It's not even very expensive to the economy.

You won't find any support for this product from the oil companies ! The major research into this devastating pollutant is financed by Shell and Chevron ! Far from concealing it's harm, both companies actively advocate the abolition of Bunker Oil!

In a single action by 5 major Western nations, we could remove the planets biggest environmental harm.

So why isn't more being done?

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marcopolo

MEroller
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Re: Dealing with climate change

marcopolo wrote:

...The single most toxic source of global pollution, comes from a very small, (but easily defined) source. Th good news is this source can be be easily eliminated with a minimum of disruption.
...
The culprit is Marine Grade No.6 fuel (bunker oil). A single container ship using this highly toxic pollutant produces more environmental pollution annually than 50 million cars! ( there are over 100,000 vessels running on bunker oil, just 20-40 equal the worlds car fleet).
...
In a single action by 5 major Western nations, we could remove the planets biggest environmental harm.

So why isn't more being done?

The answer is just as simple: because not just 5 major Western nations, but the whole world will have to agree on that abolition, in the form of the "International Maritime Organization (IMO)". And believe it or not, there is a lot of activity in this respect. The beginning is "SO2 Emission Control Areas (SECA)" that countries or even continents can implement within a certain area in front of their coasts and require usage of lower sulfur content fuels while ships are in that area. But those are only peanuts, as out in the open ocean still just about anything that burns can used as fuel. Not everything, mind you, as the IMO have implemented certain emsission limits worldwide. But those still allow pathetic amounts of sulfur dioxide and particle emissions compared to what land-based or land-locked vehciles must fulfil these days...

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Mik
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Re: Dealing with climate change

marcopolo wrote:

The culprit is Marine Grade No.6 fuel (bunker oil). A single container ship using this highly toxic pollutant produces more environmental pollution annually than 50 million cars! ( there are over 100,000 vessels running on bunker oil, just 20-40 equal the worlds car fleet).

Reports vary, but Bunker Oil pollution kills over 130,000 persons a year in the Northern hemisphere alone. The devastating effect on the oceans and food chain is only starting to be researched. This appalling carcinogen creates 3-4 million cancer victims each year. The damage to the biosphere is incalculable, while damage to the oceans ability to act as a carbon sink places Bunker Oil as the Planet's, environment's, and mankind's, 'Public Enemy No. 1 ' !

The abolition of this evil product is simple, the technology already exists, and the political implementation is easy and effective. It's not even very expensive to the economy.

You won't find any support for this product from the oil companies ! The major research into this devastating pollutant is financed by Shell and Chevron ! Far from concealing it's harm, both companies actively advocate the abolition of Bunker Oil!

In a single action by 5 major Western nations, we could remove the planets biggest environmental harm.

So why isn't more being done?

So what would they do with the bunker oil instead of burning it in ships?

I imagine it is a by-product of distilling other fuels?

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safe
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Re: Dealing with climate change

Grow some balls guys !!!!

Science is all about probabilities.

The "Climate Cycle" is the "standard behavior" of Ice Ages, Global Warming and Melting Ice Caps.

CO2 increase can be normal or as a surplus through volcanic activity or man. If extreme enough it can make the "Climate Cycle" deviate from it's normal data points.

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

Let's see some balls and a BET !!!

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80% "Climate Cycle"

20% CO2

...that is my bet.

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

This is an example of a true scientist who publishes data as a probability:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capital-weather-gang/post/noaa-scientist-80-percent-chance-todays-heat-records-due-to-climat...

NOAA scientist: 80 percent chance recent heat records due to climate change

“It may well be that 90 percent of [a given] heat wave was natural, but that the 10 percent that pushed it to record proportions was due to climate change.”

.

marcopolo
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Re: Dealing with climate change

MEroller wrote:

because not just 5 major Western nations, but the whole world will have to agree on that abolition, in the form of the "International Maritime Organization (IMO)". And believe it or not, there is a lot of activity in this respect. The beginning is "SO2 Emission Control Areas (SECA)" that countries or even continents can implement within a certain area in front of their coasts and require usage of lower sulfur content fuels while ships are in that area.

The IMO regulations are a joke ! Participation by maritime nation are voluntary and as you quite rightly point out, only apply to coastal area's. Of course, wind and the bio-sphere respect national borders!These pathetic regulations are designed to prevent awareness and complaints, not stop pollution.

Abolition of Bunker Oil, does not require "the whole world" to agree. If just five major Western nations refused to allow shipping "rigged" for Bunker Oil usage entry to their ports, the use of bunker oil would become uneconomic for the majority of the world larger vessels.

Although this would not prevent older coastal, naval and resource carriers, the estimated usage would drop by 80%. If this occurred, even recalcitrant nations like Russia and the PRC, may feel sufficient pressure to comply.

@ Mik,

In reply to your question. A) Burning a Toxic, carcinogenic, highly pollutant substance, just because you can't think of how else to dispose of it, is not really a responsible proposition !! B) The good news is that although bunker oil is basically what you get after everything more valuable has been removed, it still can be used for industrial purposes that are relatively harmless.

My contention remains valid. All the passionate, (and quite fanatical) tirades by GW/CC advocates and endless arguments about how to reorganize the environmental monkey's, studiously fall silent when anyone mentions the 1000 lb Gorilla in the corner of the room growing larger every day !

Nissan has so far sold 46,000 Leaf. Over 20,000 outside Japan. Tesla will sell another 20,000 EV over the next two years. Although this is a very good development in some ways, from an environmental aspect, it's a disaster, since the ship bringing Tesla's battery cells, creates more pollution than 10,000 years of Tesla's production.

These are some of the reasons Joe Public has lost interest in 'Green' products, unless they provide immediate benefit. The environmental movement has become derailed by not prioritizing, and now appears to be a largely anti-western development, with a leftist agenda.

Without popular support, nothing really effective will happen. The left will do what it does best, form ever smaller, self-congratulating groups, gloating self-righteously at each other cleverness in deriding the only institutions that could bring about real change.

@ Safe,

It doesn't matter how many times your repeat your position, you just become more and more ridiculous. For what ever reason, human beings can't continue to pollute the atmosphere and deplete the earths resources irresponsibly.

Although reductionist philosophies are just as useless as sitting doing nothing, human ingenuity and technology is not useless! It's essential to the health of the planet, and our species ( in fact all species) to prioritize pollution problems, and rapidly develop technology to meet the challenges of the future.

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marcopolo

PJD
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Re: Dealing with climate change

Wookey and marcopolo,

As someone who lives in the US 100% of the time and travels about considerable parts of it, I stand by what I wrote. Few acquaintances of mine here in western Pennsylvania regard AGW and anything but a hoax by people with a "anti-free market" and "anti-jobs" agenda. This includes most members of my family. I don't bring up the topic unless I know the person I'm speaking to is sympathetic. This includes just a couple people at my workplace and a couple people at my local bar. And, I have found this to be the case in most places outside of the "liberal" urban neighborhoods, or university-towns.

Wind energy development is largely driven by favorable tax credit given to wind generation. This credit, along with favorable tax treatment of wind and solar by a number of states is set to end at the end of 2012. With the massive "austerity" measures upcoming, the renewal of this credit is unlikely. US wind and solar development is set to crash in 2013.

The Texas wind development, notably that led by T. Boone Pickens has been canceled and the investment diverted to shale/fracking oil and gas development. The current shift from coal to gas due to the drop in gas prices from is a transient phenomenon. Drilling will be curtailed and the price of natural gas will rise, putting coal in a better market position in a few years, so the modest declines of US GHG emissions will level off and begin to increase again.

The final segments Keystone XL pipeline and other projects to allow full exploitation of Canada enormous oil-sand resources will almost certainly get a go-ahead in the next few months.

I think that safe, Gen III nuclear power needs to be have a strong role in addressing AGW - but there are only a few new reactors going forward in the US.

Public transportation service in my city has been cut in half over the past few years - and this is typical of many US cities. entirely car-dependent suburban sprawl continues.

After brief spike, gasoline is back down to just $3.00/gallon ($0.79 per liter) in many US states and dropping. The size and weight and distances per year of the US car fleet continues to increase and average fuel economy is not increasing any appreciable amount. The fuel economy of European cars remain in the realm of science fiction by US automotive engineering standards.

In Doha this week, the US and Canada will almost certainly take the lead shoot down any second period for the Kyoto Protocol.

marcopolo
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Re: Dealing with climate change

@PJD,

I may surprise you to know that vast numbers of people complain that they feel oppressed by enviro-pests and self righteous true believers in the most extreme aspects of GW/CC ideology. They resent being labelled "deniers" for expressing asceticism over certain claims and assertions.

The arrogant announcement, " The Debate is over. GW/CC scientists have reached a 'Consensus' ", promoted the backlash you are experiencing.

Moderation, tolerance and reason will be casualties as the bitterness of disillusion with the overly optimistic dreams of solar, wind etc become more evident.

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marcopolo

LeftieBiker
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Re: Dealing with climate change

If you take "consensus" to mean "overwhelming majority" instead of the virtually impossible to get "100% agreement" then the global warming question has been answered. I think even a few of the hardcore deniers are having second thoughts after this year's climate events. Sadly, even though what used to be the "extreme" case scenarios are proving to be the correct ones, there will always be people who deny them - not because of any problems with the evidence, but because we are primates, and primates don't base our worldviews on scientific facts or data.

(If you believe instead that God created us, then please ask Jesus to hurry up and Rapture you up. Or us. Whichever he thinks more appropriate.)

PJD, I didn't realize you live one state down from me. Upstate NY is a lot like much of Pennsylvania: what is perceived as a "Blue state" is actually "purple", and I live in the Redneck (we call them "Woodchucks") part. I disagree on nuclear power, because nothing that relies on worst case scenarios never happening is safe.

marcopolo
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Re: Dealing with climate change

@ PJD,

Well there y'go ! 'Leftiebiker' has provided a perfect illustration of why the general public feels increasingly alienated towards the environmental message !

It's not the science (or the song) that alienates Joe Public, but gratuitously offensive 'zealots' like ol' 'leftiebiker'.

This sort of apocalyptic zealot, provides ammunition for skeptic's by displaying an obvious lack of fundamental understanding of climate science, by mistaking localized weather conditions, as evidence of cataclysmic events.

This sort of self-righteous hostility and animosity, makes gathering support for any real environmental action very difficult. As I said in an earlier post, these self-appointed offensive zealot's don't have any reasonable plans to improve or minimize, damage to the environment. Nor do they contribute to any positive activity.

Nothing meaningful will be achieved by such people, (except to hinder those who do make positive contributions).

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PJD
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Re: Dealing with climate change

Marcopolo,

I have no idea what you are trying to say. Like "safe", it is as if my all of my above writing is going in one of your ears and out the other!

The public perception of AGW being a "hoax" is due to powerful, well funded business organizations like the US Chamber of Commerce, the Heartland Institute, the American Petroleum Institute, the Bituminous Coal Operators Association, and the Republican Party. These business interests, though their control of the media via their advertizing account purse-strings or by direct ownership, assure the media never presents any viewpoints of the genuine left - only, occasionally, of the center-right Democratic Party.

Regarding the recent year of severe storms, ever hotter record breaking summers, nonexistent winters and record-summer-heat-in-March, respected scientists do indeed consider these events to be an unmistakable weather-signal of climate change.

For the past 365 days over the 50 US states 33,272 record daily high temperatures were set, yet only 6,592 record daily low temperatures were set. As far as all-time temperature extremes, there were 357 occurrences of all-time high temperatures, but only 4 occurrences of all-time low temperatures. This extreme statistical lopsidedness has been increasing year by year. I will allow you to calculate the statistical probability of such skew in millions of observations over thousands of stations spread across a continent are by due to random fluctuations.

http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/extremes/records/

Leftiebiker,

At least you don't have any fracking going on up there yet. Nor do you have a governor and State DEP Secretary who's has made every policy decision for the benefit of the frackers. Corbett is dismantling public education, public transit, and public assistance, and letting university costs go through the roof - all to keep Pennsylvania the only state that allows oil and gas extraction completely tax-free. For a few years, the water supply from the Non. river was undrinkable due to direct well-brine dumping, driving TDS and bromides through the roof - yet the media practically ignored the issue.

PJD
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Re: Dealing with climate change

...

LeftieBiker
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Re: Dealing with climate change

Would it help any if I said that your state's sacrifice may save others? Didn't think so... Anyway, our Governor is thought to be pro-fracking, but also canny enough to get it under authorizations that would be hard to challenge in court and win. He will probably use portions of the state not directly above large aquifers as 'sacrifice zones', while banning it in areas with large concentrations of voters. Especially voters who tend to vote for Democrats.

marcopolo
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Re: Dealing with climate change

@ PJD

I'm sure you're hearts in the right place, but you seemed have turned science, into a new religion. Your posts are full of conspiracies, heretics, and imaginary enemies. You have suspended inquiry and rational logic for the hyperbole of dogma, and zealous evangelizing.

No-one could do a better job of dissuading people of the merits of environmental action than your dissertations !

It always astonishes me to observe the antics of small zealous groups who band together and reject the real world. What good does all this ranting do ? Even if your extremist observations had any validity, what are you doing about it?

Protesting the expansion of the US natural gas industry, is not only pointless, but environmentally counter-productive ! Like many 'activists', your idea of activism is little more than a pleasant hobby! When you live in a complex society, there will always be those who feel rejected or forgotten by mainstream society. Joining extremist groups and believing in apocalyptic causes is one way of feeling a little less inadequate ! (everyone else are fools, only, your little band of fellow travelers are the smart ones).

Had you lived on the North East coast of the US in 1888, you would be forgiven for thinking the end of the world had arrived with the great white hurricane! If you lived in Australia between 1999 and 2010, you could easily mistake the decade long drought as evidence of GW/CC ! In fact over a hundred eminent climate scientists confidently endorsed the prediction that the great plains of Queensland would never recover, and become semi-permanent deserts ! Immediately following this sage prediction, 2011-12 experienced massive flooding ! Greater than any time in 'recorded' history.

The Centre-left-Green Government of Queensland, who had been persuaded by climate experts to abandon flood precautions, also experienced a deluge when angry voters took electoral revenge, and the previously popular governing party suffered a landslide of historic proportions, so devastating it virtually ceased to exist as a political party !

This is the result of alarmist, unfocused, climate change propaganda !

The environment will only benefit from positive action, that can gather popular support. Demanding people radically change their lifestyles, in favour of solutions which have dubious and unquantifiable, outcomes is pointless.

Better to invest your time and energy in supporting a worthwhile cause, with a real chance of making a positive contribution. It may be less exciting to work with mainstream support, but it's the only way to make things happen.

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marcopolo

wookey
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Re: Dealing with climate change

Morcopolo,

Whilst asserting that the people posting here about just how serious the problem is are not helping get things fixed, you seem to avoid stating whether you yourself accept that there is a climate change problem to be addressed. Do you accept that, or not?

You blame the 10-yr drought followed by epic floods on "alarmist, unfocused, climate change propaganda". Seems to me it is more correctly blamed on climate change. More extreme weather is what you get from steadily putting more and more energy into the weather/climate system. Certainly 'propoganda', unfocused or otherwise, had just about no effect at all on that weather.

You do, not unreasonably, challenge people to produce constructive suggestions for change, rather than just ranting and bemouning the state of the world. This is fair enough. Your own suggestion is 'clean up emissions from shipping', which is certainly useful. I am a litle skeptical of your numbers on the relative importance of this, and how easily it will be achieved, but it's certainly a good thing. (e.g. "the ship bringing Tesla's battery cells, creates more pollution than 10,000 years of Tesla's production" - Really?, I'd like to see some numbers on that)

You say that telling people the truth about climate change (as MikeB has been doing above) is counter-productive. You are right that information needs to be presented in the right way otherwise people just turn off and don't listen, but that doesn't make MikeB wrong. There is a useful video on youtube about how to talk to 'deniers' in a way that might get through to them. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qp-nJKBwQR4 I'm an engineer - I'm no good at that sort of thing, but the fellow is quite right about that sort of approach being effective if you can pull it off.

But you seem to be deflecting and minimising the issue itself by saying that it has to be presented in the right way. In a way it's just like safe's 'the climate has always changed - this is normal' excuse for ignoring the problem. By saying that talking about it all in realistic terms is 'extremist' you come very close to saying that actually you don't think there is a problem, or at least that you don't think anything much should be done about it.

As to what I'd do, I have several suggestions: Insulate homes, tax greenhouse gas emissions (at their fossil-fuel extraction source), and provide a level subsidy regime for fossil and low-carbon fuel sources. Then it won't take long for the markets to find efficient ways of improving matters.

There is a problem with this in that markets are very short-termist so it's hard to get people to invest in, for examaple, untested tidal turbines when they can invest in well-tested wind turbines instead, even though the tidal turbines would (in the UK) open up a more reliable and predictable energy source that could supply some 15% of our energy. Equally people don't want to invest in Nuclear power when they can invest in much more distibuted wind instead, because it's so much lower risk and so much more predictable (ironically). The fact that The UK and Europe generally is broke doesn't help get any of this done.

On a smaller scale, building insulation also needs at least a 10yr horizon to get anything more than the easiest stuff done, and people are bad at thinking that far ahead. But anyone with children really ought to be thinking about a lot more than the next 10 years.

You are very sure of your position, and correspondingly condescending: To PJD: "Your posts are full of conspiracies, heretics, and imaginary enemies" (The Heartland Institute is certainly not imaginary and I'm happy to classify it as an enemy - it's a thoroughly unethical institution). To PJD: "Even if your extremist observations had any validity". PJD may be a little prone to a somewhat conspiracy-laden view of the world, but most of what he says has plenty of validity. The US _is_ hopelessly blinkered on this topic, places like Pensylvania _are_ mad-keen to ruin the world by digging out as much coal as they possibly can, and sections of socity _are_ still fighting, very successfully, to do nothing at all about climate change whilst they can make embarassing amounts of money from fossil-fuel extraction. That's almost certainly really short sighted unless you are already over 60.

I assume you are smart enough to agree that doing nothing about it (i.e Business as usual) is not very clever? And I hope you'd also agree that just cleaning up shipping emissions is by no means enough.

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Wookey
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Mik
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Points: 3739
Re: Dealing with climate change
__________________

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

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

safe
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Points: 789
Re: Dealing with climate change

Science is all about probabilities.

The "Climate Cycle" is the "standard behavior" of Ice Ages, Global Warming and Melting Ice Caps. CO2 increase can be normal or as a surplus through volcanic activity or man. If extreme enough it can make the "Climate Cycle" deviate from it's normal data points.

-------------Let's see some balls and a BET !!! ------------------

80% "Climate Cycle"
20% CO2 ... that is my bet.

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

This is an example of a true scientist who publishes data as a probability:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capital-weather-gang/post/noaa-scientist-80-percent-chance-todays-heat-records-due-to-climat...

NOAA scientist: 80 percent chance recent heat records due to climate change “It may well be that 90 percent of [a given] heat wave was natural, but that the 10 percent that pushed it to record proportions was due to climate change.” .

Anyone?

Socrates would say:

"The wise man knows that he does not know". ;)

.

marcopolo
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Joined: 05/10/2009
Points: 837
Re: Dealing with climate change

@ Wookey,

Thank you for your reply.

In answer to your questions: I believe the scientific evidence regarding the harmful effects of excessive atmospheric pollution,( both natural and man-made), is overwhelming. The actual effects on human existence, is open to some margin of interpretation and debate. Likewise, some of the methodology used to conclude findings is also open to debate and challenge. But overall, even given the most optimistic of interpretations, the evidence of disruptive climatic and environmental change is compelling.

Even if GW/CC science is discounted, the profound social and economic effects of oil (fossil fuel)depletion, remains a huge challenge for the future. Oil depletion is inevitable. Only the rate of extraction technology development has prevented shortages. But this situation can't continue. The twentieth-century was created by Oil,just as the 19th century was created by Coal. Oil products, and the vast economic surpluses created by fossil fuels, are so interwoven into the world's economies, that disengagement will be painful and complex.

There are no simple solutions.

The Australian 10 year drought, was caused by natural weather conditions. Droughts of that magnitude have previously occurred during Australia's long history. Nor are the floods unprecedented. What was unprecedented, was the "alarmist, unfocused, climate change propaganda from highly respected and prominent climate activists", and the acceptance by so many, that persuaded the Queensland Government to prudent neglect flood precautions, with terrible consequences.

I mean no disrespect, nor am I anti-American, but Americans do tend to view the USA as the entire world !

The problem I have with extremist climate change activists, is that they are unfocused. Any practical suggestions are always buried beneath an irrelevant mountain of ideology.

The economics of environmental problems are very complex. This may sound condescending, but it's the simple truth. To achieve positive results, the entire resources of the world must be harnessed with popular support. Popular support can't be achieved by calling people enemies, morons, deniers, heretics etc.

You place far too much importance on the effect of climate change skeptic's, like the Heartland institute. These organizations gain support due to the antics of sanctimonious extremist enviro-pests. (Leftiebiker, is a good example.By confusing his eco-outpourings with a tirade of other prejudices, even those who have sympathy with some of the enviro-message, become offended by his prejudices, and want him proven wrong.

As I say, no matter how valid the song, but if the singer is detested, the message is lost.

The only way to achieve real progress is by focusing on real achievements that are feasible. By all means support Alternate Technologies. But any solution must be practical, and economically feasible. The Nuclear power industry, can provide clean, safe and renewable energy for many nations. More modern Nuclear technology has far less risk, and doesn't allow for production of weapons grade enrichment. The prejudices against the industry, are largely emotional and lack any real logic.

Wind Power, like ethanol, and solar are all potentially hopeful technologies, but so far have failed to live up to any real economic advantage. (Germany is a good example). You failed to mention the most promising technology, Geo-thermal. Geo-thermal power languished form many years until Chevron Oil poured billions into rescuing the industry, and thanks to inventions like Graphene, Geo-thermal power is becoming a very viable industry.

You also fail to mention the benefits of Natural Gas, which if produced correctly, can economically replace both coal and Oil, with far less environmental harm. The dangers of 'Fracking' are largely nonsense.

India, PRC, in fact the whole developing world is desperate for energy. Insulating homes, saving energy etc. It's all great, and should encouraged, but the effects are miniscule.

Soon, (within this decade) the US will face a real problem when the totally Oil dependent nation of Mexico runs out of oil !

It's about priorities. For the last 16 years I have been involved in the production and operation of specialist EV fleets. But I can recognize that it will take many years, decades, before EV's make any real impression.

When you talk about subsidizing alternate energy, the 'subsidy' must come from somewhere. Government give tax breaks to industries which are profitable, because those industries pay vast sums of revenue to the government. In the US, the oil industry is the largest single taxpayer. Not only that, Oil industry profits fund almost the entire retirement, superannuation, industry for the US ( and most western nations). The extended oil industry constitutes over 23% of the US economy.

Can you understand why no-one wants to upset the only Goose still laying? (especially since the Oil industry is slowly dying).

Which is why I believe in prioritizing. Bunker Oil creates the planets greatest single demonstrable toxic pollution,has substantial evidence of killing human life, (including cancer in children), etc.

The abolition of the product is politically feasible with the cooperation of a small number of democratic governments. Bunker Oil has no powerful friends, with wide reaching economic support. The major oil companies support it's abolition ! Best of all, it's technically feasible to replace with less harmful fuels.

The only counter argument to the abolition of Bunker Oil, is that the price of international cargo rates may increase. This wouldn't adversely effect the West, in fact, it would aid US industry and employment !.

IMHO, it's better to achieve a major environmental victory that's feasible, than vague, but grand, gestures which achieve very little.

Soooo....the question is, in the world of Bob Dylan,..will you lend a hand ?

__________________

marcopolo

PJD
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Joined: 11/22/2006
Points: 1409
Re: Dealing with climate change

wookey,

Have you spent much time in the US? Did you regularly view US TV and read US newspapers? We have nothing like the BBC here, you know.

If you did, you would see nothing "conspiratorial" about my assertions. The extreme pro-corporate bias of the US media naturally follows from the fact that they are profit-driven corporation whose customers are advertisers (increasingly media owners too). The public - specifically an uncritical public who will buy their goods - is the product. Edward Bernays in the 1920's was is the father of the psychological advertizing and PR methods to do this. He called it "manufacturing consent". I refer you to the work of scholars like Edward Bernays and Walter Lippman who believed that the manufacture of correct public opinions, and the maintenance of an elite consensus was needed to prevent democracies from becoming unmanageably democratic. On the other side are critical pro-democracy scholars like Noam Chomsky, Edward Herman, Robert McChesney, and alternate-media journalists like Amy Goodman and John Pilger.

I am all for natural gas fracking development if:

1. it can be done without damage to ground and surface water quality, air quality, and with offsets provided for its GHG emissions - notably the large amounts of methane that is released or flared from the wells during development and maintenance, and from leaks.

2. The people of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania get a share of the huge natural resource wealth being depleted from under their feet - something even the extreme right-wing states of Alaska and Texas do.

The frackers constantly assert that the numerous stories of groundwater contamination and ruined homes and farms from their wells, and even the contamination of rivers from their direct dumping (via municipal wastewater plants), are nonsense. Yet they do nothing to actually substantiate their statements by simply paying for the independent installation of groundwater monitoring wells, sampling and testing around and down-gradient of their drill sites, and also by divulging the content of the chemical products they use in the fracking fluids. We do know that the frackers are discreetly providing trucked-in drinking water to the affected homes with ruined water wells - but only if the homeowner agrees to never mention the problem with their well water to anyone, especially the media.

I worked in oil drilling field and I'm a licensed geotechnical engineer with a strong geology background, so I can see all sorts of ways that groundwater contamination might happen.

As far as solutions to AGW, I listed them earlier. I'll repeat them. Start a crash program, through proper carbon tax incentives and government policy, and direct government funding too, for the development of renewable and new-nuclear power - and greatly accelerated research on fusion energy development. It need to be on the scale of past war efforts. The major part of all remaining fossil fuel resources absolutely must stay in the ground.

Funding can come from the carbon taxes and from a return to the 70% to 90% top marginal income tax rates of the 1950's and 1960's. Remember that we have lots of other priorities over here too, like developing a program that assures everybody has access to healthcare ("obamacare" does not do this) and living assistance when a person can't work - things you Brits and Ozzies take for granted.

Do I still sound like I'm a nut wearing a tin-foil hat? If I were a Honduran or Congolese you would find nothing surprising about the corruption I have described. Well guess what; much of the USA is becoming very much a corrupt, undemocratic "third world" country too.

PJD
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Joined: 11/22/2006
Points: 1409
Re: Dealing with climate change

Quote:

These organizations gain support due to the antics of sanctimonious extremist enviro-pests.

Is Al Gore a "sanctimonious extremist enviro-pests?"

Is Barak Obama "sanctimonious extremist enviro-pest?" He is also called an "extremist-socialist" by 50% of the US congress.

Is the US EPA a "sanctimonious extremist enviro-pest?"

Is the UN a "sanctimonious extremist enviro-pest?"

Are Dr. Mann, Dr. Hansen, Dr. Pachauri, and other scientists "sanctimonious extremist enviro-pests?"

Because these are the organizations and individuals that are being attacked by the right wing extremist organizations and politicians, not any actual environmental activists.

Now, I assume that by "sanctimonious extremist enviro-pest" you mean the small handfuls of anarchist youth who sit in the path of the Keystone XL pipeline or at the West Virginia mountaintop-removal mines in their utterly ineffective actions, or the more mainstream Bill Mckibben and "350.org" Do you have any idea how few USAns even know such people exist? I only know about them from obscure alternate media like "Democracy Now", Free Speech Radio News" and obscure news blogs. The general public knows nothing about them, becasue the US media absolutely ignores the "enviro pests".

So, you assertion that environmental activism is the cause of lack of environmental progress is utterly risible nonsense! Enough already with it.

If you have criticism to direct to me or leftiebiker, I suggest that you direct them to us, not a third party like "wookey". Specifically, address what I have written in my past half-dozen posts point-by point, or shut up.

And finally, I think that it is time to explain that I'm getting quite tired of your contemptible condescension. Forgive me if I'm wrong, but you are rich, aren't you? Because, your behavior here is oh-so-typical of every rich person I've ever met. They all seem to develop this belief that their money and power makes them some kind of Übermenschen who are entitled to treat the lower classes like shit - just like Ayn Rand's "heroes" in her novels, if you are familiar with them.

marcopolo
Offline
Joined: 05/10/2009
Points: 837
Re: Dealing with climate change

@ PJD,

I don't know how to answer your class warfare type problems. They have nothing to do with the environment.

Over the years, I have traveled all over the US, attended conferences and sat in Auditoriums with thousands of other environmentalists, (millions if you count the TV audience). The majority are well-meaning intelligent rational people from all walks of life. They argue, debate, exchange ideas, but share a common goal to inspire solutions for a better world.

50% of the US congress do not refer to President Obama as an 'Extreme Socialist'. That's exactly the sort of wildly exaggerated, comment that loses respect from the mainstream.

There is no doubt that the environmental movement is steadily losing ground all over the world. Your answer that this is not a result of exaggerated claims, wild alarmist rantings, and the deliberate fusion of non-environmental economic or social policies, with environmental policies, but due to the activities of 'sinister forces', is delusional.

Accept some responsibility ! Belligerent behavior will condemn any influence that may be achieved in supporting environmental progress, to endless bellyaching about how bad everyone is. People resent being abused.

Now, if you are open minded enough to pause and consider, there might just be a better way ! Some time ago a group of like minded environmentalists, (and farmers), met to discus one of the greatest sources of green house emissions.

From that first meeting, companies like Genus inc, Nestle, etc were enlisted and funds were raised to provide research grants to study breeding 'fartless Cows!" . Every year, Bovines may contribute as much greenhouse gas to the atmosphere as all the motor vehicles in the world.

The answer is not to moralize about how evil of McDonalds and Burger King and call for their abolition,( or indulge in self-flagellation at the wickedness of Homo-sapiens omnivorous nature), but to breed bovines that don't emit methane.

Like all science, nothing is achieved quickly, or cheaply, but the goal is in sight, within 5 years the first methane free Bovines will be happily (they will actually be healthier) grazing contentedly. Within 20 years 80% of all bovines will be gas free.

Now that's real progress !

__________________

marcopolo

marcopolo
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Re: Dealing with climate change

PJD wrote:

Funding can come from the carbon taxes and from a return to the 70% to 90% top marginal income tax rates of the 1950's and 1960's. Remember that we have lots of other priorities over here too, like developing a program that assures everybody has access to healthcare ("obamacare" does not do this) and living assistance when a person can't work - things you Brits and Ozzies take for granted.

I don't think that in Litigious-crazy nation like the US conspiracies are possible. The US is a country where a popular President can't keep an,..er ..dalliance secret ! Nor even the boss of the CIA ! Any corruption like you suggest would have a 'planeload of Class Action Lawyers all over it, before the first truckload of freshwater arrived !

Fusion is a really, really long shot science. I'm not sure how long the world can sit and wait to be rescued by such a difficult scientific breakthrough.

As for returning to the tax rates of the sixties and fifties, I'm not an American, so I don't really care but I would imagine that it would raise very little new Tax revenue and simply create a flight of US capital abroad. Taxing the rich, might have been possible in the world of the 1950's, but would be ineffective today.

Raising taxes on the pump price of Gasoline would be far more effective.

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marcopolo

MEroller
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Points: 841
Re: Dealing with climate change

marcopolo wrote:

The Nuclear power industry, can provide clean, safe and renewable energy for many nations. More modern Nuclear technology has far less risk, and doesn't allow for production of weapons grade enrichment. The prejudices against the industry, are largely emotional and lack any real logic.

marcopolo, would you care to elaborate on what could be renewable about nuclear power?

And would you care to likewise elaborate on what to do with all the nuclear waste that has been already produced and will be hideously dangerous for centuries to come?
What is unlogical about finding the inabilty of the nuclear industry to find viable answers to that question worrying, to say the least?

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wookey
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Joined: 04/08/2009
Points: 90
Re: Dealing with climate change

I agree, nothing renewable about nuclear, but it is quite low carbon.

The best best for getting rid of nuclear waste is to burn it in a liquid salt thorium reactor. The standard uranium fuel cycle mean you only burn about 4% of the fuel before it gets too contaminated. That is wy nuclear fuel reprocessing makes some sense. But its a lot easier to just use it as feedstock for a thorium reactor which should burn more like 60-80% of the fuel. The stuff that's left over is supposed to not contain much stuff that has those annoying not too short, not too long, half lives that produce significant radiation after 100,000 years.

I'm not a huge fan of nuclear but I think it's a lot better than coal gas and oil burning (much lower carbon, better safety record than coal at least), and the thorium stuff is really interesting, but of course if largely undeveloped at this stage. The Indians (who have lots of thorium) and Chinese are likely to produce a working reactor first.

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Wookey
Sakura s50 (Efun A)

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