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The Climate Change Thread
#1
I've personally seen the glaciers shrinking over the years I've been flying across Alaska. That's enough for me. Thoughts?
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#2
I'm in North Jersey, it's the 25th of November, and I am still wearing shorts.
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#3
Sounds like ironclad proof to me.
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#4
Last year it was 36 degrees here in Chicago on Thanksgiving. Its supposed to be 40 on Thursday.

Although, the highest temperature recorded on Thanksgiving here in Chi-town is 69 degrees set on November 24th, 1966.

I dont know what to believe now.
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#5
The thing is: We know that the global temperature, climate if you will, is changing in some ways. Ice melting etc.
We also know that this has happened in the past to a certain degree, however we dont know whether this one is on us humans, is just cyclical, or a mixture of both.

We also know relatively little about the more complex connections between temperature, climate, winds, the ice caps and a lot of other stuff, so we (as in, those we ask to investigate and research) are taking a best guess.

However, that best guess has turned out to be: "We probably are at least in some way responsible, and whether or not, we think the climate change is not desirable. Maybe we are fully responsible, maybe barely, but sure as hell we would rather have a stable climate."

Now, this led to the talk about measures to slow down, stop or even revert the process. And he it gets messy: Some people are bound to lose money/power over it. Some people dont believe, some do but dont care, some WANT it... basically, everyone has an opinion, and most of them are not just short-sighted, they are entirely egoistical in motivation.

But, the question the people who would rather not give a damn and certainly not invest the holy money into it do not really ask themselves is:

Is it worth the risk?
We will never know for sure, or if we do, there will be enough agenda-driven noise and meddling that anyone who doesnt want to believe in it can hide behind some sort of denial. We will, at some point, have to decide whether we act on it, and assume we are right in guessing, or if we dont act on it, considering it not important enough.

But the answer is really quite obvious if you look at it that way:
If we guessed right, we have a LOT to lose if we dont act. Lives, species, coastal regions and whatnot may be affected, and we frankly cannot really guess what ll happen.

If we guessed wrong, we lost a bit of money, we did some research that could have been saved, and we may have been taxing some companies a bit more than necessary.

How does anyone still considered an intelligent being not see the vast difference here? Even if you are not convinced its actually a man-made issue, and if you also dont believe we could do much about it, is this insignificant effort in the long run worth the risk of climate change actually becoming a reality?

The price is really small in comparison to the cost of doing nothing if it happens to be the wrong choice.
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#6
I'm curious as to what the intent of this thread is, considering it's in the Politics forum -- climate change politics or can we stray into the actual science?

Quote:

Originally Posted by Raspberry Leper
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I'm in North Jersey, it's the 25th of November, and I am still wearing shorts.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Electrichead
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Sounds like ironclad proof to me.

Yikes.
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#7
If decades of research were so off the mark it would have revealed itself by now. Naysayers are few and far between, the same few are always used by organizations with a political, economic, or ideological vested interest in carbon dioxide not being a greenhouse gas. And yet, it is.

The one time a denialist actually did find an error, the correction was welcomed and incorporated into the revised conclusion. This was held up as a victory by many of the same sorts who claim there is a conspiracy amongst thousands of scientists to silence opposition, for some reason. The revised conclusion was pretty much the same as the original, and the hockeystick diagram denialists love to hate stands firm.

I'm not really interested in the science and it's not worth it to me to pick these things apart point-by-point any more. Enough contrarians have turned out to be non-climatologists telling political or economic think tanks what they want to hear that I don't wonder if the next one's the real deal. If it's all a big blunder, we'll all hear about it. National Geographic, Scientific American, Discover, those sorts of magazines will be all over it. We'd see different institutions discussing it on the news (for 10 seconds). It would be a Big Deal.

It seems a thousand people have discovered it to be either a fraud or just mistaken, but none of them can make their case before the people they really need to convince in order to be taken seriously. Not one. You'd think they would jump at the chance, but they don't.
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#8
What I find most depressing about climate change is that the poor, especially women and children, are already suffering and dying as a result of it and people in the US don't seem to give two $#!#s. I also think that if there were not billions of dollars and power at stake (and therefore millions in a war chest to fight the PR war), there wouldn't be a controversy about human industry's role in causing it.
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#9
As has been discussed extensively on realclimate, there's very little utility in debating denialists in a public forum: the audience is unlikely to be able to understand even the basics or appreciate all of the details and nuances, e.g., experimental theory and sampling techniques.

What I find really frustrating is when pundits like Roy Green make a great deal of no climatologists taking up his challenge to debate a denialist on his radio show. The utter absurdity of such an event absolutely depresses me that people would lend it any credence.
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#10
Quote:

More interesting is what is not contained in the emails. There is no evidence of any worldwide conspiracy, no mention of George Soros nefariously funding climate research, no grand plan to ‘get rid of the MWP’, no admission that global warming is a hoax, no evidence of the falsifying of data, and no ‘marching orders’ from our socialist/communist/vegetarian overlords. The truly paranoid will put this down to the hackers also being in on the plot though.

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php.../the-cru-hack/
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#11
Here is my problem with Climate Skeptics:

They think that Al Gore and Green Companies are a bunch of greedy assholes, while the Oil Companies are a bunch of persecuted capitalists

-The same Oil Companies who have made tons of profits through price fixing?
-The same Oil Companies who were successful in stopping global warming from being accepted by the public until Al Gore made a documentary in 2006?
-The same Oil Companies who work with Middle Eastern dictatorships?
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#12
What's even funnier about this whole hacked email nonsense is that the most incriminating thing they could find was one scientist saying to another (as far as my limited knowledge of science speak allows) "Hey, my graphs are coming out all retarded. Know any ways to tighten them up?" And this is held up as conclusive proof that there's some giant scientific conspiracy going on. A conspiracy with the motive of furthering the intellectuals' socialist agenda at the expense of poor Exxon, BP and Shell, I guess.
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#13
To me, this whole 'debate' has degenerated into something approaching religious dogma.

No amount of evidence will shake the faith of one side's devotion to the theory that they 'subscribe' to, be they Climate Change devotees or skeptics.

It has been scientifically proven that the planet periodically goes through these shifts in climate. We're still here. Ten thousand years ago Ohio had three mile thick glaciers grinding down the surface until it was flat. Now we're glacier free.

Here's a question. To satisfy what Gore and his compatriots are suggesting we need to do in order to retard the warming process, how far back to we need to retreat technologically? Stop burning coal and oil, yes?

How many people will die because of this price? I think Chicago will still get cold enough this winter for people to need their furnaces. What are they supposed to do? We can't go nuclear because another branch of the environemtalists will fight their construction. Even wind and solar are being fought by environmentalists as well for migratory bird interference or sound pollution.

What are we supposed to do to keep the seven billion people on the planet alive? Or is there supposed to be some sort of Great Culling to weed out the less fortunate or undesirables?
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#14
No, this has nothing to do with religious dogma, for me at least. If a similarly massive majority of relevant scientists came out in six months an said that actually their models were wrong and that global warming isn't at all man-made, I'd have no problem reversing my opinion on the subject. I'd be relieved actually.

And no one is saying that climate change is completely man-made. A physics professor I asked about this explained it this way to me: Imagine the earth's climate as a huge pendulum oscillating between temperate age and ice age. At both sides of the pendulum and one centimeter away from its maximum swing are pyramids of crystal glasses. The force to completely reverse or stop the pendulum (controlling the climate) is huge, beyond our current abilities by far. But the force required to push the pendulum just one tiny centimeter further thereby bringing the whole crystal glasses pyramid down is just a tiny fraction.
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#15
Quote:

Originally Posted by Khaunshar
View Post
The thing is: We know that the global temperature, climate if you will, is changing in some ways. Ice melting etc.
We also know that this has happened in the past to a certain degree, however we dont know whether this one is on us humans, is just cyclical, or a mixture of both.

We also know relatively little about the more complex connections between temperature, climate, winds, the ice caps and a lot of other stuff, so we (as in, those we ask to investigate and research) are taking a best guess.

However, that best guess has turned out to be: "We probably are at least in some way responsible, and whether or not, we think the climate change is not desirable. Maybe we are fully responsible, maybe barely, but sure as hell we would rather have a stable climate."

Now, this led to the talk about measures to slow down, stop or even revert the process. And he it gets messy: Some people are bound to lose money/power over it. Some people dont believe, some do but dont care, some WANT it... basically, everyone has an opinion, and most of them are not just short-sighted, they are entirely egoistical in motivation.

But, the question the people who would rather not give a damn and certainly not invest the holy money into it do not really ask themselves is:

Is it worth the risk?
We will never know for sure, or if we do, there will be enough agenda-driven noise and meddling that anyone who doesnt want to believe in it can hide behind some sort of denial. We will, at some point, have to decide whether we act on it, and assume we are right in guessing, or if we dont act on it, considering it not important enough.

But the answer is really quite obvious if you look at it that way:
If we guessed right, we have a LOT to lose if we dont act. Lives, species, coastal regions and whatnot may be affected, and we frankly cannot really guess what ll happen.

If we guessed wrong, we lost a bit of money, we did some research that could have been saved, and we may have been taxing some companies a bit more than necessary.

How does anyone still considered an intelligent being not see the vast difference here? Even if you are not convinced its actually a man-made issue, and if you also dont believe we could do much about it, is this insignificant effort in the long run worth the risk of climate change actually becoming a reality?

The price is really small in comparison to the cost of doing nothing if it happens to be the wrong choice.

This pretty much sums up my feelings on the matter. I'm unconvinced that we are having THAT big of an impact on the environment, but the price of being wrong is entirely too high to just let it ride.
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#16
Interesting how California is picking up Cap & Trade while the feds slog their way through it.
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#17
Quote:

Originally Posted by Judas Booth
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I'm unconvinced that we are having THAT big of an impact on the environment, but the price of being wrong is entirely too high to just let it ride.

And what is the price of trying to fix this small bit of human effect upon the global environment going to be? Are we truly being asked to go back to pre-industrial development levels? If this is the case, billions are going to die from starvation and similar causes without the proper resources to keep them all alive through industrial farming and transportation systems.

I'm all for building a massive thermal solar plant in the unused areas of the Southwestern desert for the whole country's power needs in conjunction with a Smart Power Grid, but I'm certain environmentalists will have a cow.

Edit: Here's the article that talks about this admittedly-massive project of a 92 square mile thermal solar plant that could satisfy the US power needs.

http://www.ecogeek.org/content/view/991/83/
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#18
Man made climate change or not, let's make it more relevant: oil and politics. You know the best way to stop depending on those Middle Eastern oil barons AND cut down on our environmental impact (you mean that smoke chugging out of those power plants isn't doing anything at all to our weather patterns?): build some fucking renewable energy shit. Windmills. Solar. Hell, there's some guy who's found a way to make nuclear power viable and disposable in an entirely non-toxic way. It solves so many problems, except of course the most important: money.

God dammit.
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#19
Quote:

Originally Posted by Dr Vivisector
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Are we truly being asked to go back to pre-industrial development levels?

Can you link to any propsed legislation or any serious suggestion made by "Gore and his compatriots" that we have to completely stop burning coal and oil? Also, can you provide any information about how long you believe coal and oil sources can support current and rising demand?
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#20
Quote:

Originally Posted by Doc Happenin
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Man made climate change or not, let's make it more relevant: oil and politics. You know the best way to stop depending on those Middle Eastern oil barons AND cut down on our environmental impact (you mean that smoke chugging out of those power plants isn't doing anything at all to our weather patterns?): build some fucking renewable energy shit. Windmills. Solar. Hell, there's some guy who's found a way to make nuclear power viable and disposable in an entirely non-toxic way. It solves so many problems, except of course the most important: money.

God dammit.

+ 1
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#21
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jacob Singer
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Can you link to any propsed legislation or any serious suggestion made by "Gore and his compatriots" that we have to completely stop burning coal and oil? Also, can you provide any information about how long you believe coal and oil sources can support current and rising demand?

google.com

You can find anything there to support your opinions on this subject, on either side of the argument.

I'm looking for the opinions of the CHUD faithful on this. I think we need to look forward and try to find new technologies for power generation. Even if you don't believe in Peak Oil, we cannot sustain the current levels of growth.

So...again...how do we maintain what we have, let alone grow? Or will there be the Great Culling?
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#22
Quote:

Originally Posted by Doc Happenin
View Post
Man made climate change or not, let's make it more relevant: oil and politics. You know the best way to stop depending on those Middle Eastern oil barons AND cut down on our environmental impact (you mean that smoke chugging out of those power plants isn't doing anything at all to our weather patterns?): build some fucking renewable energy shit. Windmills. Solar. Hell, there's some guy who's found a way to make nuclear power viable and disposable in an entirely non-toxic way. It solves so many problems, except of course the most important: money.

God dammit.

+ 2, except that I'm not sold on nuclear power which, to my knowledge, needs large volumes of cold water to function, does not have viable waste solutions and is incredibly expensive to build (isn't it like $60 million per plant or something like that?). But the rest of it is so in the territory of: why the *&^% not?
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#23
Quote:

Originally Posted by Dr Vivisector
View Post
google.com

You can find anything there to support your opinions on this subject, on either side of the argument.

I'm looking for the opinions of the CHUD faithful on this. I think we need to look forward and try to find new technologies for power generation. Even if you don't believe in Peak Oil, we cannot sustain the current levels of growth.

So...again...how do we maintain what we have, let alone grow? Or will there be the Great Culling?

It's so simple that it's a no brainer. If you're genuinely interested, you should watch The 11th Hour (it looks like the whole movie is on google video), the second half of which is devoted to solutions.

The only reason all of this no-brainer technology and related systems haven't been utilized is because of the iron grip of the fossil fuel industry. This is a profit-driven way of life. There is no other reason that we went down the oil and coal route other than the fact that the oil and coal producers got rich enough to control legislators, control the market, and ensure that nothing else moved forward with any real momentum.
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#24
Quote:

Originally Posted by yt
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+ 2, except that I'm not sold on nuclear power which, to my knowledge, needs large volumes of cold water to function, does not have viable waste solutions and is incredibly expensive to build (isn't it like $60 million per plant or something like that?). But the rest of it is so in the territory of: why the *&^% not?

Can't address the building costs, but they are making inroads to the other two:

Read about this guy!
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#25
Quote:

Originally Posted by Doc Happenin
View Post
Can't address the building costs, but they are making inroads to the other two:

Read about this guy!

That's really exciting and could be great. But knowing how the industry works, I hope the nuclear energy establishment doesn't push back at these kinds of innovations. There are still considerations, but if the waste could be dealt with obviously that's major.
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#26
What does France do with its nuclear waste?
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#27
Quote:

Originally Posted by FrankCobretti
View Post
I've personally seen the glaciers shrinking over the years I've been flying across Alaska. That's enough for me. Thoughts?

Snaike/ Maybe the icebergs are hiding from you. Did you think of that?

/Snaike
Quote:

Originally Posted by Raspberry Leper
View Post
I'm in North Jersey, it's the 25th of November, and I am still wearing shorts.

Snaike/ Maybe you just got used to the weather! /Snaike

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Closer
View Post
Last year it was 36 degrees here in Chicago on Thanksgiving. Its supposed to be 40 on Thursday.

Although, the highest temperature recorded on Thanksgiving here in Chi-town is 69 degrees set on November 24th, 1966.

I dont know what to believe now.

Snaike/ Did you actually check the temperature? Maybe you're just wearing an extra sweater and it just seems like it's warmer! /Snaike
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#28
Quote:

Originally Posted by FrankCobretti
View Post
I've personally seen the glaciers shrinking over the years I've been flying across Alaska. That's enough for me. Thoughts?

I am not sure what you are looking to have happen in this thread. Are we talking about constructive ways to combat the problem, innovative ideas or suggestions, or are you seriously wanting people to discuss if they feel that global warming is a hoax? I had hoped we had moved beyond actively doubting science or treating science as "just an opinion" on climate change?? Maybe not?? And I am in no way trying to slam you for starting this thread, I just hope you started it because of the first reasons I mentioned and not the last.
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#29
Quote:

Originally Posted by nekkerbee
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What does France do with its nuclear waste?

Not sure, but I do know that France recently had to shut down two nuclear power plants due to its waters getting warmer.
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#30
Quote:

Originally Posted by FrankCobretti
View Post
I've personally seen the glaciers shrinking over the years I've been flying across Alaska. That's enough for me. Thoughts?

First thought: anecdotes are not data.

Second thought: the data support your personal impression.
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#31
Quote:

Originally Posted by Cylon Baby
View Post
Snaike/ Maybe the icebergs are hiding from you. Did you think of that?

/Snaike


Snaike/ Maybe you just got used to the weather! /Snaike



Snaike/ Did you actually check the temperature? Maybe you're just wearing an extra sweater and it just seems like it's warmer! /Snaike

Sure, tell me what the global temperature was yesterday and how it compared to last year, in scientific terms.

Also.. you need to understand the difference between "Correlation" and "Causation"
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#32
Quote:

Originally Posted by nekkerbee
View Post
What does France do with its nuclear waste?

Like many other countries, France goes for the Deep geological repository solution. Though this is essentially a "bury and forget for generations to come" approach that does leave many serious questions unasnwered.

And on the issue at hand I do agree with what many before have said in this thread. I am neither a scientist nor very literate when it comes to science. But for me the overwhelming evidence does support the conclusion that mankind does have an impact on the climate.

But I don´t see it as "religous" camps nor do I understand the fundamentalism on both side that runs through the discussion as an undercurrent. The funny thing for me is that this discussion would not change in a big ay if one would exclude the discussion about man made or not. Climate change as such is a fact no one argues against. But given our industries need for energy in all sectors, just from an economic perspective, we do need way more efficient energies to meet the demand. And efficiency does inherently tend to reduce harm to mother nature. So even from the point of mere profit it is a viable goal.

Same has been said before about the geo strategical point. Why energy independence has not been made goal number one instead of carpet bombing the shit out of foreign countries to foster the home energy market instead of throwing even more money at shadey allies after 9/11 is beyond me. On a pure strategical level that is.

Finally, "green" or "blue" or whatever is the color de jour technology is a market with enormous potential. While the dinosaurs like Exxon will keep on pressing the orange until all wells run dry the classical energy market is rather on its way out. Especially in our times of recession this new ecological industry does have the potential for another industrial revolution. Why scepticisms don´t jump on this train, not for the enviroment, but to strenghten good ol´home industry and position itself as a leading nation in the future market number one, and ultimately big profits is something I don´t get. You can achieve many things that the enviromental lobby demands, without ever doing it for the sake of being "green" but because it is an economical chance and necessity.

Fuck mother Earth! Make money! Be a patriot! works as well and serves the same goal. And even Gore would not complain.
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#33
Yep. Green tech isn't being sold correctly in the US. It may sound crass but I really think a slogan like: "Go green or continue to pay through the nose to suck Arab dick" would get the point across to the part of the population still skeptical about this.
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#34
My intention for this thread was to move the climate change discussion out of the "Republican Party Going Forward" thread. Judging by the activity, there's enough interest in the topic to merit a thread of its own.
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#35
Frank, you ignorant slut.




(nah, seriously, I'm glad it got its own topic, especially considering the CRU thing is going to bring this to the forefront of political discussions for a while regardless of which side you land on when it comes to GW)
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