The Physics of Climate Change

alphasigmookiealphasigmookie Senior MemberPosts: 8,587 Senior Member
The climate debate has become quite polarized over the past few years. On one side you have alarmists claiming it's the end of the world and on the other side you have complete deniers claiming it is a made up controversy. As much as possible I'd like to try and see if we can avoid this thread going down the path of the type of unproductive, polarized shouting match that the political debate around the issue has become and focus on the science, especially where it is clear and where there is major uncertainty and the implications.

The underlying physics behind the greenhouse effect is as close to a scientific certainty as exists in science. You can go into a lab and easily test in controlled experiments the relative heat trapping ability of different gases. We know that increases in concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere will increase the total amount of energy from solar radiation that is captured within the earth system. We know that burning fossil fuels releases CO2 into the atmosphere and that atmospheric concentrations of CO2 have been rising steadily since the industrial revolution (we can physically measure this). This is approximately the end of what we know with what I would call certainty.

We can estimate the effect that a change in concentration of CO2 will have on global temperatures using models. These models however are imperfect representations of the actual world. In essence they are highly educated guesses. They are complicated by the fact that the earth system is highly complex. When you introduce energy into a highly complex system it does not manifest itself in simple ways. The energy can evaporate water, melt glaciers, drive storms or winds, increase surface or air temperatures, drive air or ocean currents, etc. Predicting the ultimate manifestation of such an increase in energy input is challenging and highly uncertain. That's not to say trying to do so is worthless. It does give an idea what can happen, but it's not a very good predictor of what will happen.

Furthermore the models also have to take into account other factors that can impact overall energy input into the planet (or radiative forcing). Some of these are well understood, but others aren't as well understood. A favored tactic of climate change deniers is to point to one aspect such as solar activity which also impacts climate and say anthropogenic climate change doesn't exist. The truth is they both have an impact on climate. There is however some uncertainty around exactly how much of an impact each factor has. Climate science is actually pretty up front about this fact if you read the literature and not the media or propaganda (on either side). That being said the uncertainty isn't so great that it can be said that the greenhouse effect is not an important driver of climate.

The biggest uncertainties about climate change then are: exactly how much will the climate change (global average temperature) with a given change in CO2 concentration, what will be the ultimate manifestation of that temperature change, and how much will it cost if we do nothing vs. if we do something. I think these last three are legitimate points of contention and where the debate should focus.

My personal thoughts are that massive decreases in global CO2 emissions probably aren't going to happen anytime soon. Fossil fuels are simply too important to the global economy to be scaled back quickly. However, going after the low hanging fruit when possible and pushing towards lower emissions slowly and over the long term makes some sense. This means that we will probably be hit by some unpredictable consequences of climate change which means we also need to become more adaptable to uncertainty and variability in climate. Building massive infrastructure projects near sea level probably isn't a wise investment among other things. I do not think climate change will be the end of the world, but some areas will get hit and it won't be easy to predict where and how. If I was an investor I'd probably strongly avoid investing in insurance companies. In the end I just think we're too set in our ways and it would be too expensive to do anything differently. This isn't to say I think that's the right path, I'm just convinced that's the one we'll follow, even if we have to lie to ourselves and tell ourselves that climate change doesn't exist.
"Finding out that you have run out of toilet paper is a good example of lack of preparation, buying 10 years worth is silly"
-DoctorWho
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Replies

  • rbsivleyrbsivley Senior Member Posts: 1,055 Senior Member
    I believe the climate change is just nature. The earth is a living thing, moving and changing constantly. We only know of the most obvious changes that we can see. Where does everyone thing the dinosaur bones and the great salt lake came from? Things happen. I've been out in the basin west of the Salt Lake and you can see where the coast line use to be way up around the mountain peaks. We are just to hung up on everything working for us. We're just tenants.
    Randy

    Rank does not concur privileges. It imposes responsibility. Author unknown
  • Make_My_DayMake_My_Day Senior Member Posts: 7,056 Senior Member
    We had severe climate change........millions, hundreds of thousands and tens of thousands of years ago....long before the advent of fossil fuels. A global tax on carbon is a progresso-lib SCAM.
    JOE MCCARTHY WAS RIGHT:
    THE DEMOCRATS ARE THE NEW COMMUNISTS!
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 25,774 Senior Member
    You're not accounting for the massive deforestation going on in the Amazon River Basin and other huge rain forest areas of the planet. It's mostly slash and burn to make room for farms. Had a look at Madagascar lately? Trees breathe in CO2 and exhale O2. Variable solar output is a much greater input, either plus or minus, than anything manmade is doing. How about the Little Ice Age? That was WAY before the industrial revolution. Were all those campfires in medieval times causing a global cooling effect from smoke and CO2 emissions?

    And you fail to mention that the increased temperatures are causing cloud cover to increase, and the clouds are closer to the ground than normal. This has a tendency to reflect solar radiation back into space, thus causing a cooling effect.

    Climate changes, and we have a small input, but the sun is much more important overall than anything we can do. If you were reading anything other than government approved sources, you'd know that the scientists studying the sun's cyclic output believe that it is going into a less energetic cycle over the next couple of decades. This will cause output of solar radiation to DECREASE during that time. Best invest in warm woolen undies if that is the case. Winters might be a little cooler than normal.
    Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.


  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 23,898 Senior Member
    A+13:
    I wish you'd post an executive version, some of this stuff of your is just too long.
    :wink:
    A Veteran is someone that served in the Military, it does not matter where they served.
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 6,945 Senior Member
    While I would not necessarily fall into the category of "complete denier", I think that blaming the whole process of climate change (or even the majority of climate change) on human activity is foolish. One major volcanic eruption can barf out quantities of atmospheric yuck to make all the tailpipes of the world look like a couple dozen birthday candles in comparison; there's frozen methane under the ocean floors that could be released at any time; the sun's output is anything but constant; the intensity of the Earth's magnetic field varies in the amount of solar radiation it lets through. Earth has undergone a goodly number of catastrophic events that wiped out over 90% of life existing at the time - humanity had absolutely NOTHING to do with any of them.

    So I really can't say that I see regulation of fossil fuel emissions as really being a solution. Even if every car on Earth magically morphed into a Prius overnight, the fact is that this planet will eventually change to a mode of operation that will either kill us off or force us to adapt. I can possibly see regulating the amount of fuel a vehicle is allowed to consume - simply to make what we have last longer - but the notion of maintaining a human-friendly climate through tailpipe emissions is laughable.

    And even if you ARE looking to blame humans as the leading cause of climate change, is it REALLY tailpipe emissions you need to be fixated on? Deforestation has already been mentioned in this thread - lack of ability to ABSORB CO2 may be the bigger issue. You also have to consider PAVEMENT. Concrete and asphalt absorb and retain a hell of a lot more solar radiation than grass and dirt; one need only compare downtown Phoenix at night to the empty desert an hour's drive away to see the truth in this.

    Here's the thing; it's the "end-of-the-world alarmists" who are pushing for and writing the bulk of the "save the planet" legislation. As best I can make out, they are either well-intentioned, but naive, doe-eyed hippy-types (who can't wrap their brains around the notion that the Earth is only human-friendly for a limited time), or people using the voting power of the well-intentioned, but naive, doe-eyed hippy-types to accomplish some other agenda (hoisting the environmental banner against lead for the advancement of back-door gun control being a prime example). The end result is often CRUSHING, regulation affecting the real world growing out of half-baked, pie-in-the-sky research. If you're going to ask me to accept living under a yoke, you're going to have to do a hell of a lot better at persuading me of the need for, and the effectiveness of said yoke.
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • alphasigmookiealphasigmookie Senior Member Posts: 8,587 Senior Member
    tennmike wrote: »
    You're not accounting for the massive deforestation going on in the Amazon River Basin and other huge rain forest areas of the planet. It's mostly slash and burn to make room for farms. Had a look at Madagascar lately? Trees breathe in CO2 and exhale O2. Variable solar output is a much greater input, either plus or minus, than anything manmade is doing. How about the Little Ice Age? That was WAY before the industrial revolution. Were all those campfires in medieval times causing a global cooling effect from smoke and CO2 emissions?

    And you fail to mention that the increased temperatures are causing cloud cover to increase, and the clouds are closer to the ground than normal. This has a tendency to reflect solar radiation back into space, thus causing a cooling effect.

    Climate changes, and we have a small input, but the sun is much more important overall than anything we can do. If you were reading anything other than government approved sources, you'd know that the scientists studying the sun's cyclic output believe that it is going into a less energetic cycle over the next couple of decades. This will cause output of solar radiation to DECREASE during that time. Best invest in warm woolen undies if that is the case. Winters might be a little cooler than normal.

    Quick comments on some of your points:

    Deforestation is a big issue and it is a major portion of the human induced disruption of the carbon cycle that's been going on even before the industrial revolution. Deforestation both eliminates a major natural carbon sink and usually results in releasing a large amount of carbon by either decay or burning of the biomass. Anyone talking seriously about climate change is considering the impact of deforestation.

    Cloud cover is just one of the many feedbacks that exist in the climate system. H20 in the atmosphere can have multiple effects. Clouds reflect solar radiation, but gaseous H2O is a GHG so increased evaporation can have both a positive and negative effect depending on if H2O is in the condensed or vapor phase (see how things can get complicated?). One that works the other way is loss of glacier cover that has a strong reflective effect. Many different feedbacks like this are included in most climate models. It doesn't mean we understand them perfectly.

    I discussed the fact that there are plenty other factors that impact climate, however it's not a sufficient argument to reject the impact that increased atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases also have on climate. Solar cycles for example exhibit variability around a mean. Increased GHG emissions however result in a change over time in that mean.
    "Finding out that you have run out of toilet paper is a good example of lack of preparation, buying 10 years worth is silly"
    -DoctorWho
  • alphasigmookiealphasigmookie Senior Member Posts: 8,587 Senior Member
    NN wrote: »
    A+13:
    I wish you'd post an executive version, some of this stuff of your is just too long.
    :wink:

    Here's the cliff notes version:

    Climate change debate is polarized and politicized = bad thing

    Simple physics proves more CO2 = more heat trapped on earth

    System is complex, models are imperfect, figuring out what exactly happens to the extra heat is difficult and uncertain.

    There are also other factors other than CO2 that impact climate, but doesn't mean CO2 doesn't matter.

    Fixing the carbon cycle is hard and expensive and the consequences of inaction are uncertain (but mostly negative) so we aren't going to do much to fix it.

    Rather than admitting greenhouse gas emissions are a problem and being honest that we just aren't willing to spend what it would cost to change our ways, many people insist on coming up with excuses not to act.
    "Finding out that you have run out of toilet paper is a good example of lack of preparation, buying 10 years worth is silly"
    -DoctorWho
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,261 Senior Member
    There's about the same amount of consideration given to record-keeping errors as there is to the fact that government-funded researchers only keep getting their grants renewed if they find the information they're told to. That recent discovery of the emails between several researchers on the subject of how to skew their results was only one of a pattern of fact-fudging that's become pretty characteristic of the junk science involved in the whole pack of lies.
    Jerry
    Hide and wail in terror, Eloi- - - -We Morlocks are on the hunt!
    ASK-HOLE Someone who asks for advice and always does something opposite
  • alphasigmookiealphasigmookie Senior Member Posts: 8,587 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    Is there any allowance for the accuracy (or lack thereof) between temperature measuring devices now, VS temperature measuring devices back 150 years ago?(or whenever they started keeping track)

    The mercury thermometer has been pretty darn accurate and was invented in the early 1700's. I think there has been some debate about the statistical methods used to calculate a "global mean temperature" with the data, but not enough to change the results significantly or rule out the longer term upward trend. The underlying physics though that higher CO2 = greater amount of heat trapped (all else being equal) is completely independent of the historical temperature record.
    "Finding out that you have run out of toilet paper is a good example of lack of preparation, buying 10 years worth is silly"
    -DoctorWho
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 6,945 Senior Member
    Rather than admitting greenhouse gas emissions are a problem and being honest that we just aren't willing to spend what it would cost to change our ways, many people insist on coming up with excuses not to act.

    I've already stated my disagreement with this basic premise of humans being the root cause in my first post, but for sake of argument, let's assume for the moment it is correct.

    Let's say that the environmental extremists get their way in the major industrialized nations, and everybody in the U.S. and other "enlightened" countries is forced to travel in public transport vehicles powered by rainbows and unicorn poop. People trying to feed their families in the Amazon are STILL going to keep on increasing our CO2 count with slash and burn farming, because, for them, THAT'S WHAT IT TAKES.

    The "excuse not to act" is simply that you've got to convince the entire world to go along with the notion of starving themselves and their children (literally or figuratively - take your pick) for the sake of their grandchildren or great grandchildren, and that is simply NEVER going to happen. People will put up with hardship for their immediate circle of friends and loved ones - extremely few will do so for a "maybe" they will never live to see the benefit of. As much as I'd like to see it, we'll probably never amount to much as planetary colonists for much the same reason - "If I can't warp there in my lifetime, I don't wanna be bothered with the expense"

    Never mind excessive CO2, we can't even stop producing PEOPLE, which, in your estimation, anyway, are the primary cause. One kid per couple for a few generations would be a lot more effective at reducing greenhouse gasses than any automotive nonsense. What's the carbon footprint of a condom factory?
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 18,668 Senior Member
    is the climate changing? yes

    is it doing anything now that it hasn't done before humans came along? nope

    look up the carboniferous period that ended ~300 million years ago.

    Had higher temps and higher c02 than we have now. AAMOF, that's when most of the hydrocarbons we're using now were laid down
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • EliEli Senior Member Posts: 3,074 Senior Member
    Note, I'm about to add absolutely nothing of value to this conversation.

    **********************************************************************************************************


    I don't care.

    There are some things that simply don't matter, climate change is one of them.

    This isn't a situation where "If you work hard, you can make a difference.", that's bull. Even if I managed to "Mad Scientist" my way into every frigging warhead on the planet and set them off all at the same time, it still wouldn't make a difference in the global climate. Sure, it would piss my neighbors off something fierce, but it wouldn't change the global climate a single degree one way or the other. People are just too insignificant.

    I'll go one further, people are too indifferent, I know I sure as hell am. If tomorrow morning I awakened to find some magical character or my particular religious deity sitting by my bed and they said, "Alright Eli, I'm gonna make a deal with you. If you stop buying your practice ammo at Wal-Mart, after you die, the planet will be enveloped in word peace, there will be no more hunger or wars, the climate will stay people friendly, and everyone will have enough money to live comfortable, successful lives. What do you say, ya wanna start spending just a LITTLE more money on your practice ammo by buying it at an LGS instead of a discount big box store."

    Ya know what, Wal-Mart is close to my house, with two convenient locations, and cheap prices, screw those future folks. I don't give a damn about them, why should I? Any possible benefit, wouldn't be for me, and wouldn't come around until after I've kicked the bucket, therefore I'm not interested in inconveniencing myself.
  • QuinianQuinian Senior Member Posts: 707 Senior Member
    Eli wrote: »
    Note, I'm about to add absolutely nothing of value to this conversation.

    **********************************************************************************************************


    I don't care.

    There are some things that simply don't matter, climate change is one of them.

    This isn't a situation where "If you work hard, you can make a difference.", that's bull. Even if I managed to "Mad Scientist" my way into every frigging warhead on the planet and set them off all at the same time, it still wouldn't make a difference in the global climate. Sure, it would piss my neighbors off something fierce, but it wouldn't change the global climate a single degree one way or the other. People are just too insignificant.

    I'll go one further, people are too indifferent, I know I sure as hell am. If tomorrow morning I awakened to find some magical character or my particular religious deity sitting by my bed and they said, "Alright Eli, I'm gonna make a deal with you. If you stop buying your practice ammo at Wal-Mart, after you die, the planet will be enveloped in word peace, there will be no more hunger or wars, the climate will stay people friendly, and everyone will have enough money to live comfortable, successful lives. What do you say, ya wanna start spending just a LITTLE more money on your practice ammo by buying it at an LGS instead of a discount big box store."

    Ya know what, Wal-Mart is close to my house, with two convenient locations, and cheap prices, screw those future folks. I don't give a damn about them, why should I? Any possible benefit, wouldn't be for me, and wouldn't come around until after I've kicked the bucket, therefore I'm not interested in inconveniencing myself.

    :that:

    I"m all for better gas milage and the waste nothing attitude even if it does take me a little extra time doing stuff but that's only because it saves me money. I've looked into the whole climate mess and I've always been a huge fan of medieval history. It seems to me humans don't matter, the planets gonna do what ever it wants. It also seems to go through what you could consider 4 seasons it's just it takes the planet a few hundred years per season.
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,552 Senior Member
    I think that in another thousand years or so, we will have enough data to build a computer model that will only have about a 50% margin of error. Also, maybe the political winds will change, and scientists will stop using political consensus to come up with scientific consensus.

    Of course, we will probably get vaporized by a giant asteroid, or Yellowstone will blow its top before then. :deadhorse:
  • Make_My_DayMake_My_Day Senior Member Posts: 7,056 Senior Member
    About a 100 years from now, progresso-libs will no longer have an excuse to blame ourselves for the "climate change." So even if we were to start today to reduce greenhouse emissions, it would take about 100 years to make any significant changes. It kind of makes way for the argument to not do anything, because one way or another, we won't have greenhouse emissions after that anyway.

    I'm pretty much hoping for a reduction of progresso-libs, rather than a reduction of greenhouse gasses. Less fuming-sputtering progresso-libs = less greenhouse gas-bags.
    JOE MCCARTHY WAS RIGHT:
    THE DEMOCRATS ARE THE NEW COMMUNISTS!
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 25,774 Senior Member
    I still believe that the sun's variable output is a much larger input to global warming and cooling than it is being given credit for in the global warming thing. Put it to you this way, Alpha. If we suddenly stopped all CO2 emissions tomorrow, and the sun's output increased 10% or decreased 10% on the same day, which input to global climate would be the greater of the two?

    And contrary to popular belief, the Earth's orbit isn't a perfect circle; it's elliptical. And the Earth's tilt and wobble on it's axis hasn't always been what it is now. And the Magnetic Poles are measurably shifting; a magnetic pole reversal would fry us all with cosmic radiation. Magnetic pole reversal has happened before in the Earth's history, and nothing prevents it from doing so in the future.

    Not saying that doing some CO2 emissions reduction is a bad thing. Just doesn't add up that you want emissions reductions via electric vehicles and such, and are so ADAMANTLY OPPOSED to nuclear generating stations that have practically NO EMISSIONS of greenhouse gases whatsoever. It's like cod liver oil, it's good for you, but you refuse to take the dose.
    Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.


  • VarmintmistVarmintmist Senior Member Posts: 6,461 Senior Member
    The global warming scam is based on the HYPOTHISIS (or perhaps "useful prediction) of man made climate change. A hypothisis is a guess based on observation that seems rational. You can make the leap that CO2 is causing the planet to warm, seems semi rational. However, when put to the test, it fails. The hypothisis cannot be duplicated even in computer models EVERY TIME, and it cannot be verified. If ANYONE ever brings contrary data to a theory, it is no longer a valid theory, and the models which this is based on fail. The "hockey stick" graph that this whole mess was started with... well here.. read P4 ie "findings" http://www.uoguelph.ca/~rmckitri/research/WegmanReport.pdf And read the persons who authored it. Not exactly Bubba listining to talk radio.

    It becomes a theory only AFTER observation and expermentation. Not computer models that cannot produce existing events when past known data is inputed. It has been warmer, and colder, at times long before the industrial revolution. The event (time of test) as compared to the whole (time of existance) is so small that it isnt valid. Go another 200 years, and then we might have a set of data to work with. Even that is a tiny sample.

    The "evidence" for overall warming is falling apart. EX. The ice caps are growing, except in the antartic where there are volcanoes under the ice. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/21/world/21volcano.html?_r=1

    Most prevalent greenhouse gas is water vapor, why are we not trying to quell that scouurge?

    Here is the deal:
    1. there might be global warming.
    2. Man might be partly to blame.
    3. There is more real evidence of Santa Claus
    It's boring, and your lack of creativity knows no bounds.
  • alphasigmookiealphasigmookie Senior Member Posts: 8,587 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    Fair enough. Now, how long have records been kept? Actual records, not some "well,if we examine this tree limb that was excavated from below an outhouse in Boliva that dates back three bazillion years ago it shows it was three degrees cooler" bullcrap, but actual temp readings. Because three hundred years in the scale of the age of the earth tis but a drop in the bucket.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temperature_record

    Pretty good directly measured records exist since 1850. The other "bullcrap" methods also exist that go back quite a while. While they aren't useful for detecting minor short term variations in climate, they're pretty good at picking out the major, longer term cycles and trends.
    "Finding out that you have run out of toilet paper is a good example of lack of preparation, buying 10 years worth is silly"
    -DoctorWho
  • alphasigmookiealphasigmookie Senior Member Posts: 8,587 Senior Member
    Bigslug wrote: »
    I've already stated my disagreement with this basic premise of humans being the root cause in my first post, but for sake of argument, let's assume for the moment it is correct.

    Let's say that the environmental extremists get their way in the major industrialized nations, and everybody in the U.S. and other "enlightened" countries is forced to travel in public transport vehicles powered by rainbows and unicorn poop. People trying to feed their families in the Amazon are STILL going to keep on increasing our CO2 count with slash and burn farming, because, for them, THAT'S WHAT IT TAKES.

    The "excuse not to act" is simply that you've got to convince the entire world to go along with the notion of starving themselves and their children (literally or figuratively - take your pick) for the sake of their grandchildren or great grandchildren, and that is simply NEVER going to happen. People will put up with hardship for their immediate circle of friends and loved ones - extremely few will do so for a "maybe" they will never live to see the benefit of. As much as I'd like to see it, we'll probably never amount to much as planetary colonists for much the same reason - "If I can't warp there in my lifetime, I don't wanna be bothered with the expense"

    Never mind excessive CO2, we can't even stop producing PEOPLE, which, in your estimation, anyway, are the primary cause. One kid per couple for a few generations would be a lot more effective at reducing greenhouse gasses than any automotive nonsense. What's the carbon footprint of a condom factory?

    I pretty much agree with your general assessment of why we aren't going to do anything about it. We can barely convince most people to save for their own retirement let alone accept a lower standard of living today on the chance that it will reduce the risks to future people we don't know and don't care about. Most major companies barely look beyond the next financial quarter, let alone the next century. We live in a short term, instant gratification culture that is incompatible with even accepting something like climate change as a real risk, let alone being willing to make the sacrifices that would be necessary to do something about it. Then again we're also on track to burn through 300 Million years of fossil fuels in around 300 years as well, so it's not just carbon we're near sighted about.
    "Finding out that you have run out of toilet paper is a good example of lack of preparation, buying 10 years worth is silly"
    -DoctorWho
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 25,774 Senior Member
    Yes. Climate changes. Study the CO2 and temperature graphs in these two pieces and tell us why the temperature swings and greenhouse gases varied so widely when we humans weren't even in the equation.

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2005/11/650000-years-of-greenhouse-gas-concentrations/

    http://epa.gov/climatechange/kids/basics/past.html
    Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.


  • alphasigmookiealphasigmookie Senior Member Posts: 8,587 Senior Member
    Eli wrote: »
    screw those future folks. I don't give a damn about them, why should I? Any possible benefit, wouldn't be for me, and wouldn't come around until after I've kicked the bucket, therefore I'm not interested in inconveniencing myself.

    That's not an uncommon position unfortunately.
    "Finding out that you have run out of toilet paper is a good example of lack of preparation, buying 10 years worth is silly"
    -DoctorWho
  • alphasigmookiealphasigmookie Senior Member Posts: 8,587 Senior Member
    About a 100 years from now, progresso-libs will no longer have an excuse to blame ourselves for the "climate change." So even if we were to start today to reduce greenhouse emissions, it would take about 100 years to make any significant changes. It kind of makes way for the argument to not do anything, because one way or another, we won't have greenhouse emissions after that anyway.

    If you're making the argument that withing 100 years we're going to have burned through the vast majority of the dinojuice in the ground and there's not going to be much carbon based fuels to emit then I agree with you. One of the major weaknesses of the IPCC reports is that many of the alarmist scenarios fail to consider resource constraints and assume continuously increasing fossil fuel combustion. Not going to happen. Coal is the only resource with enough left to drive major long term growth in CO2 concentrations.
    "Finding out that you have run out of toilet paper is a good example of lack of preparation, buying 10 years worth is silly"
    -DoctorWho
  • ghostsniper1ghostsniper1 Banned Posts: 2,645 Senior Member
    According to this.... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun
    We are about 4.5 billion years away from the sun being at its hottest.
  • EliEli Senior Member Posts: 3,074 Senior Member
    That's not an uncommon position unfortunately.


    Is what it is, brother, but I will let you shoot some of my ammo next time we meet up. :tooth:
  • alphasigmookiealphasigmookie Senior Member Posts: 8,587 Senior Member
    tennmike wrote: »
    Not saying that doing some CO2 emissions reduction is a bad thing. Just doesn't add up that you want emissions reductions via electric vehicles and such, and are so ADAMANTLY OPPOSED to nuclear generating stations that have practically NO EMISSIONS of greenhouse gases whatsoever. It's like cod liver oil, it's good for you, but you refuse to take the dose.

    Just some clarifications. My stance on EVs is based on my belief that global oil production is at or near peak production and will begin an inexorable decline sometime within the next decade or two. Transportation being vital to a modern economy and oil powering 95%+ of all transportation I believe we need to build alternatives as soon as possible to prevent major economic hardship if not collapse resulting from lack of/high price of fuel.

    I also have no problem with nuclear, and am certainly not "adamantly opposed" (while there certainly are people who are). My arguments against nukes were only pointing out the facts that it is highly subsidized by the government (well over 50% of DOE's budget is related to nukes, including the dreaded "loan guarantees") and the economics really aren't that great for new plants. Thus the economics and subsidies considered it's not all that much different than other highly subsidized alternative energy technologies.
    "Finding out that you have run out of toilet paper is a good example of lack of preparation, buying 10 years worth is silly"
    -DoctorWho
  • alphasigmookiealphasigmookie Senior Member Posts: 8,587 Senior Member
    tennmike wrote: »
    Yes. Climate changes. Study the CO2 and temperature graphs in these two pieces and tell us why the temperature swings and greenhouse gases varied so widely when we humans weren't even in the equation.

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2005/11/650000-years-of-greenhouse-gas-concentrations/

    http://epa.gov/climatechange/kids/basics/past.html

    Mike, how many times in this thread have I talked about other factors also impacting climate? The argument you're trying to make here is equivalent to arguing that people died of cancer before cigarettes were invented so smoking can't possibly cause cancer. It's not a valid argument.

    If you want to argue that you're going to die anyway so no sense stopping smoking that's fine. If you want to argue that the risk of getting cancer from smoking is smaller than the risk of getting hit by a car that's ok. If you want to argue that you really like smoking and it doesn't matter if it kills you that's also an ok argument. You could even argue that you're already being exposed to 2nd hand smoke all the time and there's no chance of convincing everyone else to stop so you might as well join them. Just make a valid argument for advocating doing nothing.
    "Finding out that you have run out of toilet paper is a good example of lack of preparation, buying 10 years worth is silly"
    -DoctorWho
  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    Hunters accomplish more to save the environment by helping to preserve wetlands for hunting, the hand-wringers accomplish nothing, except oral flatulence.
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 25,774 Senior Member
    Well, Alpha, you should be careful what you wish for. Your darling, the EPA, is issuing new rules that effectively ban any new coal fired plants in the U.S., and may cause many now in operation to be forced to shut down. Way to go, Liberals! Best be getting some of that surplus income into some industrial strength solar cell panels, and solar cells for producing your own electricity and heating your bath water.

    http://www.denverpost.com/nationworld/ci_20261724/new-epa-rule-may-effectively-ban-most-new

    http://cnsnews.com/news/article/epa-reduce-new-power-plants-carbon-pollution

    And you have adamantly opposed nuclear plants for a long time here. And you have repeatedly refused to acknowledge that the EPA and NRC have been the driving force that makes the plants so expensive. You don't know squat about why it costs so much to build one, but support the regulations, many of which are unnecessary, that balloon the costs. I have personally been involved in the construction and running of three nuclear units, and know FIRST HAND why they cost so much.

    Any new plants will necessarily be natural gas plants. That's good because they are cleaner than coal. That's bad, because it will drive consumer cost to use natural gas through the roof due to huge demand vs. supply.

    Another news flash. Since we will no longer be able to use coal for power production, it will go to places like China and India, and they'll burn the stuff in way dirtier power plants than ours. Way to clean up the atmosphere, liberals!

    In this case, stupidity will be painful; a much, much larger chunk of EVERYONE'S income will have to go towards electricity costs. Odumba's prophecy of 'necessarily skyrocketing' electric costs is realized.
    Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.


  • beartrackerbeartracker Senior Member Posts: 3,116 Senior Member
    So well put Mike, just know it will also fall on hardened ears, yet, I sure like how you put it, and what you said is so true.
  • beartrackerbeartracker Senior Member Posts: 3,116 Senior Member
    Only you cpj, but I like how you put it also!!!!!!!!:up:
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