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Climate change

climate change global warming man made energy

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#1
Nom du Clavier

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Climate Progress has an interesting piece looking at a report by the Austalian Climate Commission which concludes this decade is critical if we want to prevent a runaway cycle warming up the atmosphere more and more.

Maybe it's time to look at Geothermal energy among other alternatives.

Thoughts?
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#2
Craven

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I thought about geothermal energy, but from what I hear solar energy gets better and better, but I'm not familiar with exact figures of cost/efficiency of both.
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#3
Nom du Clavier

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Geothermal has the benefit of being available 24/7 as well as being produced close to where the energy will be consumed. I agree that solar has a lot of potential, thermosolar in particular with its ability to store heat for off-peak hours, but like most alternatives a lot hinges on the ability to transport the energy. That ability to transport the stored energy is one of the reasons fossil fuels are so popular.
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#4
mic of orion

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Climate Progress has an interesting piece looking at a report by the Austalian Climate Commission which concludes this decade is critical if we want to prevent a runaway cycle warming up the atmosphere more and more.

Maybe it's time to look at Geothermal energy among other alternatives.

Thoughts?



I fear 2060s on this planet might not be pleasant for much of humanity, when i say 2060s, i mean late 2050s and early 2070s might also be lost to climate hazards caused by our industrial activity today. I fear by the time we hit 2020s (last decade of relatively normal climate) it will be bit too late and too little.

Effects of global warming scientist have warned us about has passed and we are now going to live with consequences, early effects which we can already see hitting northern europe, america, africa and asia too.
It's dangerous to be right, when your government is wrong.
They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.

#5
jjf3

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While I don't want to get into Climate Change debate well maybe i do haha. I don't really think climate change is really that bad. Considering the fact that it is a naturally occurring. Nothing in nature changes as fast as the weather people and the hippies are predicting. I also do not trust the few organizations that put out the Climate Change/Global Warming stuff virally whereas it was found some of their 'evidence' was fraudulent. I just think that we are over reacting to the natural occurrence of climate change. People see rise in temperatures, rise in catastrophes and whatnot and then freak out! But couldn't that be because we are recording things more closely now with advanced measuring equipment. 100 years ago you wouldn't be able to know for a few days if there was an Earthquake in a nearby state. Increasing awareness of our 'dangerous' weather has scared a lot of people when really it's always been like this. The weather always goes through climate changes. The Earth is a naturally dangerous place. The Ice Age comes to mind here and Earth's unstable beginnings. People are putting together all sorts of doomsday scenarios as to what might happen in 2012. Solar Flares rises to the top of many of those lists even though the chances of that happening are remote. People fear Solar Flares because we don't fully understand them. People don't fully understand the weather yet so they are scared when something big happens. And while it may seem that there are more catastrophes happening today, it's only because of mass communication and proper technologies that we know about it and are almost brainwashed by the media to fear it. While we have damaged the environment somewhat and it depends on the area, we can never match the destructive forces of nature. One Volcano Eruption puts as much ash into the atmosphere as the entire human civilization has ever created in its lifetime!
"Did you really expect some utopian fantasy to rise from the ashes?" Thomas Zarek-- Battlestar Galactica.

#6
OrbitalResonance

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I just think that we are over reacting to the natural occurrence of climate change.


We are overreacting even if it was manmade, which is certainly possible. It was 3 degrees warmer 120,000 years ago.

We make our world significant by the courage of our questions and the depth of our answers. - Carl Sagan


#7
Azevo

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I showed this Dr. Seuss Classic "The Lorax" to some students the other day, I think it speaks quite clearly issues with humans impact on the environment, not in-particular climate change. http://video.google....19631867189375#

#8
wjfox

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I don't really think climate change is really that bad.

Well, 97% of scientists do.

http://www.skeptical...al-warming.html

These are people with PhD's, decades of experience and literally mountains of empirical, peer-reviewed evidence.


Considering the fact that it is a naturally occurring.

Oh right. Humans are somehow "separate" from the Earth, are they? We somehow "don't count".

Of course, climate change is naturally occurring. The point is that we're greatly accelerating the process.


Nothing in nature changes as fast as the weather people and the hippies are predicting.

Weather and climate are two completely different things.


I also do not trust the few organizations that put out the Climate Change/Global Warming stuff virally whereas it was found some of their 'evidence' was fraudulent.

"A few"? There are hundreds, possibly thousands of organisations studying climate change.

None of their evidence was found to be fraudulent. That's just what Fox News and the right-wing propaganda machine wants you to believe.




I just think that we are over reacting to the natural occurrence of climate change.

That's just your personal "gut feeling". Call me old fashioned, but I'd rather trust the countless empirical, peer-reviewed studies by climate experts - who are in strong agreement that our 30 gigatons of CO2 emissions per year are now having a serious effect on the environment. The CO2 doesn't just magically disappear. Especially when we're cutting down the world's forests at an exponential rate.


While we have damaged the environment somewhat and it depends on the area, we can never match the destructive forces of nature.

"Somewhat"? I think "catastrophically" might be a better term.

The Earth is a Ponzi scheme on the verge of collapse


Posted Image


One Volcano Eruption puts as much ash into the atmosphere as the entire human civilization has ever created in its lifetime!

That's just total, utter crap - blatant right-wing propaganda.

Human activity releases 130 times more CO2 than all of the volcanoes on Earth combined.


Posted Image



Look at the global population if you want more evidence of our impact. The only reason it's expanded so rapidly is because we exploited fossil fuels. There simply shouldn't be this many people on a finite world, it's obvious we're now having an effect, and we're going to pay the price in the form of a rapidly worsening environment -


Posted Image

#9
Shimmy

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With regards to the alternate energy solution, solar energy is definitely the way forward. But in the long run the solar panels will have to be in space and in an orbit such that they are facing the sun constantly. I know there has already been a lot of research into this and many countries have put a lot of money into developing this equipment. The main difficulty in transferring the energy to earth. The current main theory is to send it back via high energy microwaves but there are plenty of other possible solutions, in the worst case scenario even a very long cable dangling down could work to some extent (admittedly this cable would drag all round the world but this is a minor technicality). However I don't consider these solar panels to be a solution for climate change, I consider them to just be a solution for energy reserves and the lack of oil. With regards to climate change itself I understand that people currently feel it's a giant problem but I believe the solution will eventually turn out to be much simpler than we think. When we think of problems we think of solutions in terms of our current tehcnology and with our current technology kind of sucks at solving climate change. But the wonderful thing is climate change is a very slowly changing thing, the world won't suddenly end in 100 years. I believe very strongly that the rate of technological increase vastly dwarfs the speed at which climate change is actually becoming a noticeable problem, hence the longer we leave climate change the easier the relative problem will become to solve. There seem to be some very big contradictions when you look at a prediction of a possible technological singularity, then the next thing you read is climate change is out of control and us pathetic humans can't deal with it. There is no god, the only thing left to worship is human advancement itself. We are the greatest species this planet has ever seen (possibly the universe?). We are the only species to understand and question our own existence. When the ice age started did we claim it was getting too cold and lay down and die? No, we butchered the mammoths, we wore their skins with pride, ate their babies like we had the right (we did have the right!). Climate change is nothing, the sun is nothing, it's a ball of fire. Does the sun understand where it came from? Does the sun have opposable thumbs? The sun is just sitting there waiting for us to tame it, control it and have our way with it. The future is not a place in time, we are the future! Even time cannot contain our potential. Worship me like a god and I will worship you the same, only then can we fulfil our destiny.

#10
jjf3

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I still don't believe that Climate Change is greatly accelerating due to humanity alone. We know very little about the climate of the ancient past. They didn't record data as closely as we do today. So how can we say that it's accelerating greatly based on what fifty years of research? That's like a second in nature's time. We may be over thinking this, the Earth is probably going through a phase or climatic shift. Not caused by humans! I also do not quite understand why Solar Panels are not yet mass produced and cheaper? If we really are affecting the climate with all this oil and pollution, then wouldn't the government's main concern be to invest in Solar Panels and other forms of the alternative energy that everyone should have? I have known people who have solar panels and they showed me how great of a long term investment it is. I probably will want Solar Panels on my home because it will greatly reduce the price to run the house to mere cents. However, I do not want to take out a loan to do so. (depending on how wealthy I am in the future haha). Why when the technology exists to build 100 MPG cars do the car companies only raise the MPG very rarely? Why has it taken until now to get Electric cars onto the mass produced market? All these technologies are available and we can greatly reduce the pollution that humanity is causing. If this Global Warming thing really is happening than shouldn't these technologies be the number one focus, not Computers and fighting terrorists? There are plans and visions for building a base on the Moon and using its many resources. Why have these plans time and time again been halted? NASA is loosing funding fast because of the private space industry, oh people want to fly in space and their willing to pay for it!!!! I remember reading a book in Middle School that said we could have a Moon Base by 2010. NASA created a plan for a Moon Base by 2024. The Obama Administration scrapped that plan and now NASA is forced to work on Computerized deep space missions with no hint in further human exploration in the near future due to a tight budget. I believe that in the future nanotechnology and 3D printers will combine to create a type of Star Trek Replicator. So once this device comes onto the market it will have a major impact on how we produce things. OK none of their evidence was found to be fraudulent? What about that big story about the Hacked E-Mails from a British University in 2009??? This got wide media coverage not only on the right. The Emails showed collaboration among the scientists to release the data even though they were unsure of their 'predictions' and knew that some of their results were overestimated. And ok, so the death of the dinosaurs doesn't ring a bell here?? Once the asteroid hit or Volcano erupted? Depends on the theory, a blanket of ash blocked out the sun, and killed off the vegetation leaving the dinosaurs dead!!!! At least that's a very small summary of what happened. No humans then and that was a massive climatic change. There have been many extinctions on the Earth all occurring naturally without humans. And a few in human history that nearly wiped us out, these events all happened before the dawn of the industrial age when we started producing pollution. I am definitely not saying that humans are not polluting the Earth and are not doing bad things to the environment, of course we are! I do not want be accused of spreading propaganda, I do not affiliate myself with any type of modern day political party. I have both liberal (tech) and conservative (government) views. I'm just tired of hearing that Global Warming is going to destroy the world. It's all nature's cycle. Humanity may have bumped it up somewhat but the world will not be destroyed in 100 hundred years.
"Did you really expect some utopian fantasy to rise from the ashes?" Thomas Zarek-- Battlestar Galactica.

#11
Kynareth

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As I think about it, there are many views on this subject. Earth climate was changing in the past and both primitive humans and animals survived including polar bears for example. Why now, with all of our technology (which will only get better in time) would we die out? That's ridiculous. So eventhough I believe we influence the global warming and yes, we emit more CO2 than all volcanos now but I doubt the climate change will be so catastrophical. Apart from that most of the CO2 rise was made before 1940 what is puzzling since past 1940 there was a huge increase in number of cars, factories, household electric devices etc. Generally it's all confusing and the graphs and facts and opinions vary. I'm not a climatologist and I don't really know... But in conlusion, IMO we should concentrate on developing new energy sources and improving those which exist now, like solar energy, wind power, geothermal energy or nuclear fission reactors. Fossil fuels are primitive and running out anyway. Electric cars shall take over the market and the reason is not only global warming. We shouldn't panic!

#12
Nom du Clavier

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OK none of their evidence was found to be fraudulent? What about that big story about the Hacked E-Mails from a British University in 2009??? This got wide media coverage not only on the right. The Emails showed collaboration among the scientists to release the data even though they were unsure of their 'predictions' and knew that some of their results were overestimated.


In Open Source software that would be called 'release early, release often'. It would have been nice if they had been more open about their data and results from the get go, sure. As long as the reports that were released had error bars in the right places to show their level of uncertainty, I don't see why this would discredit the entire study. As more and more data comes in and more and more analysis is done, subsequent publications will have narrowed down the uncertainty.

Anthropomorphising a bit, I don't think the Earth cares one way or the other, it'll long be here after our species is gone, cataclysmic climate mass extinction event or no. A sentient Earth might even be understood as having a fever to burn out some nasty pests (us), but again, it'll recover. Not that I subscribe to any theory the Earth is sentient, we're after all neither 7 foot tall nor blue and most of us don't have ponytails.

As for having only studied the past 50 years of weather data, it turns out that's not the case. Take for example the crowd sourced Old Weather project to which I've contributed; it isn't specifically about global warming, but detailed knowledge of past weather does help our understanding.

I agree that correlation is not by definition a sign of causation, but when you add up all signals, it's really hard to escape a conclusion in line with the 97% of scientists Will mentioned above.

Regardless of any human contribution or lack thereof, it's untenable to claim climate isn't changing. That it will become very uncomfortable (at the very least) for human beings for a while should also be clear. Even if the human contribution is small, it might very well be the straw that broke the camel's back, or a catalyst that accelerates the underlying pattern of climate change; that we do have an impact is clear, so even if we can't agree on just how much of an impact, it would still behoove us all to mitigate our footprint as much as we can.

We can do this because we think oil prices are getting out of hand or we'd like to leave our grandchildren some forests to camp in or really any number of selfish reasons. Personally I'd rather my grandchildren looked back at this age and be able to say, 'Meh, a lot of fuss about nothing as it turns out, but I'm glad they cleaned up their act because the world's a much better smelling place than it would have been' and have been wrong in my assumptions than to have grandchildren whose drive for survival requires them to commit what would otherwise be considered immoral acts, and have been right. (not that I'm saying it's a matter of exactly 2 generations, but as an illustration).

Even if we're overreacting in calling this human made or are overestimating the extent, we're better off acting and be damn quick about it. The future will thank us, and personally I'm 'young' enough that I'll thank myself in my golden years.

Anyway, I leave you all to ponder this article, wondering honestly if someone can come away reading it still skeptical.

edit; fix typo
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#13
OrbitalResonance

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NASA is loosing funding fast because of the private space industry,


huh?


oh people want to fly in space and their willing to pay for it!!!!


*starts to hyperventilate

This is a BAD thing?

We make our world significant by the courage of our questions and the depth of our answers. - Carl Sagan


#14
Nom du Clavier

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NASA is loosing funding fast because of the private space industry,


huh?


oh people want to fly in space and their willing to pay for it!!!!


*starts to hyperventilate

This is a BAD thing?


While not wanting to play moderator, and not saying the bit you quoted was indeed entirely clear, do you mind if the future either not making replies like this or saying something more substantial instead? I'm no moderator or administrator, but I think I share their wish in seeing constructive debate whereas this feels more like an off-the-cuff throwaway remark. Please take this not as personal criticism but a constructive one.

Thanks.
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#15
Caiman

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I don't think the Earth cares one way or the other, it'll long be here after our species is gone, cataclysmic climate mass extinction event or no.

This is an important point and one I definitely agree with, though I do not think it should be used as an excuse by some to ignore climate change. We, as well as our descendents as you pointed out, still need to live on this planet and the preference would be for it to be in good condition [for our inhabitation] for as long as possible. To dismiss climate change because it's always happened over long periods is short-sighted, really. If we're in a position where we can do something about it, we should.

~Jon


#16
Andy

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OK none of their evidence was found to be fraudulent? What about that big story about the Hacked E-Mails from a British University in 2009??? This got wide media coverage not only on the right. The Emails showed collaboration among the scientists to release the data even though they were unsure of their 'predictions' and knew that some of their results were overestimated


No.

What the press implied from the emails was that the evidence was fraudulent.

They discussed these emails and their research data on an episode of Horizon, late last year I think. The data itself was fine, matching the trends of other climate data, but they needed to present the data to somebody internally. They drew up several graphs and after much discussion decided to use the simplified chart, as the other charts had lots of unnecessary data that would confuse their presentation. They aggregated their data using a "trick" in the data splicing, presumably to keep the data representative of the overall trends while averaging (I can't remember, it was a while ago when I watched the episode).

But the email itself was out of context, and when climate skeptics/the press picked up on it, all they could understand was that someone was "lied" to and it must have been a bad thing.

The vast majority of scientists, as has been mentioned, agree that climate change is a problem, and they agree that mankind is having an effect. What they disagree on is how much of an effect mankind is really having, which causes problems with regards to finding a solution: if you can't be sure of the cause, you can't devise an effective solution. It's outside of the scientific community, in the press and public discussion, that it becomes an argument of whether global warming/climate change is actually happening or not - to the point where the two terms may or may not be used interchangeably depending on the point someone is trying to put across. A vague example? I think its republican lobbyists (? don't know American politics well) that will claim global warming isn't happening, but climate change is.

Try not to confuse popular opinion with expert opinion.

NASA is loosing funding fast because of the private space industry, oh people want to fly in space and their willing to pay for it!!

NASA is losing funding because the american government can't justify the expenditure with the expensive methods they use for minimal gain, and the space shuttle program is one of the biggest costs they should never have had (Air Force involvement made the whole project more costly than necessary). The ESA and Russian space agency have methods for ISS equipment and personnel movement, and satellite launching, that are far cheaper and more developed that current NASA alternatives (namely, the space shuttle), and I'm sure NASA will make use of these (they're already becoming involved in an ESA joint project, after all).

The private space industry is gaining traction because they're finding more cost effective methods of getting out of our atmosphere, cost effective methods that NASA can use (see: SpaceX kerosene engines). Most of the money is in resource and personnel transport for large projects like the ISS, and soon the Orion project (although I've heard suggestions that Orion is a "make-work" project to keep people employed until it either happens, or they can't sustain it any longer, but it's got a good change of happening). Space tourism, if that's what you're referring to in your comment (I can't be sure) has a minimal market right now. The number of people that have gone up that can be classified as tourists is ~10, since the beginning of the century. Maybe when Virgin Galactic gets going that number will rise a bit faster, but for now it's not much of a market.

And to clarify the point, should have not been obvious first time around, NASA has never been the only organisation capable of putting things in space. Their cuts in funding don't change the bigger picture all that much.

But I'm not sure what NASA has to do with climate change so, err, yeah. I mean Virgin Galactic might get held back if their engine emissions are too high, and kerosene engines might be slightly cleaner, but the space industry doesn't really have much it can do about it right now seeing as its traffic is quite low. Though canning the shuttle program maybe helps a little.
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#17
Nom du Clavier

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I don't think the Earth cares one way or the other, it'll long be here after our species is gone, cataclysmic climate mass extinction event or no.

This is an important point and one I definitely agree with, though I do not think it should be used as an excuse by some to ignore climate change. We, as well as our descendents as you pointed out, still need to live on this planet and the preference would be for it to be in good condition [for our inhabitation] for as long as possible. To dismiss climate change because it's always happened over long periods is short-sighted, really. If we're in a position where we can do something about it, we should.


Oh, indeed. I hardly meant that simile as license to do what we want because "what's the point, we're dooooooomed! let's party, and if we're still here tomorrow, let's party some more!".

As another simile: While I'm a great proponent of parties, it would be short-sighted indeed not to think about the long-term impact. If you need a selfish motivation, just think that with a modicum of care you'll get to party more and party longer, so long as you clean up after yourself. Instead if leaving things as they are you'll soon find there's no place to dance without wading through garbage, and making out is troublesome when you have to wear a re-breather so as not to choke.
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#18
jjf3

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OK none of their evidence was found to be fraudulent? What about that big story about the Hacked E-Mails from a British University in 2009??? This got wide media coverage not only on the right. The Emails showed collaboration among the scientists to release the data even though they were unsure of their 'predictions' and knew that some of their results were overestimated



But I'm not sure what NASA has to do with climate change so, err, yeah.


Prehaps you didn't read the paragraph where I explained NASA's planned missions for a Moon Base to help mine for resources? That will help the Environment here on Earth wouldn't it? We wouldn't be using as much of our oil/resources/fossil fuels if we already had a base and a mining plan in place like they planned. I don't think any other space industry is working on this, they are more concerned with classified science experiments and tourism.
"Did you really expect some utopian fantasy to rise from the ashes?" Thomas Zarek-- Battlestar Galactica.

#19
jjf3

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NASA is loosing funding fast because of the private space industry,


huh?


oh people want to fly in space and their willing to pay for it!!!!


*starts to hyperventilate

This is a BAD thing?


While not wanting to play moderator, and not saying the bit you quoted was indeed entirely clear, do you mind if the future either not making replies like this or saying something more substantial instead? I'm no moderator or administrator, but I think I share their wish in seeing constructive debate whereas this feels more like an off-the-cuff throwaway remark. Please take this not as personal criticism but a constructive one.

Thanks.


Good points Nom du Clavier.

You are taking my quotes out of context and/or are not doing enough research to even try and make a point or claim or anything constructive really. I don't think you hyperventilating and questioning current well known news helps in the debate...
"Did you really expect some utopian fantasy to rise from the ashes?" Thomas Zarek-- Battlestar Galactica.

#20
OrbitalResonance

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Okay, bad post. I am sorry. I don't see NASA loosing funding, only programs being cut and that funding being applied elsewhere. In any case, i would rater see funding applied to unmanned ships like Titan explorers. Regardless of current funding private space will bring costs down dramatically during this decade allowing the space agencies to do more with the same budget.

We make our world significant by the courage of our questions and the depth of our answers. - Carl Sagan






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