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Environmentalists can't do math


millennia

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Posted
  • Location: Harrogate, N Yorks
  • Location: Harrogate, N Yorks

    OK, here's a different tack from the warm/cold debate.

    Assume the IPCC are completely correct, the trend of temperature will continue to rise in lock step with CO2 emissions and we have to act strongly to avert a natural disaster - what do we do? Many leading campaigners and environmentalists are pushing for an 80% reduction in carbon emissions by 2050, and this is receiving serious support from some decision makers. Just how would that be achieved with 7 - 8 billion people on the planet and China on course to produce more than double the CO2 output of the US within 25 years?

    Even if we were to convice everybody to reduce their per capita output in some way we have to find that way, so get out your calculators, read this:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1209344590...in_commentaries

    and then let us know what your suggestions are for averting a human catastrophe without causing a worse one in the process?

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    Posted
  • Location: Near Newton Abbot or east Dartmoor, Devon
  • Location: Near Newton Abbot or east Dartmoor, Devon
    OK, here's a different tack from the warm/cold debate.

    Assume the IPCC are completely correct, the trend of temperature will continue to rise in lock step with CO2 emissions and we have to act strongly to avert a natural disaster - what do we do? Many leading campaigners and environmentalists are pushing for an 80% reduction in carbon emissions by 2050, and this is receiving serious support from some decision makers. Just how would that be achieved with 7 - 8 billion people on the planet and China on course to produce more than double the CO2 output of the US within 25 years?

    Even if we were to convice everybody to reduce their per capita output in some way we have to find that way, so get out your calculators, read this:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1209344590...in_commentaries

    and then let us know what your suggestions are for averting a human catastrophe without causing a worse one in the process?

    Well, lets agree on his figures (despite the sound of AEI axes being ground). Where does that leave us? On a road of ever increasng consumption for ever? And that on a finite planet? Simple answer: it can't be done. So, he gives us his view why the solution wont work but he gives us no answer to the problem. What is the answer? Is it really carry on and let things take their course as we did in the past with problems - showing we've learnt nothing from our 'less advanced' ancestors? Can't we manage change in an orderly fashion? Why can't we at least try the solutions people offer? Must it be necessarilly bad to consume less, to be more efficient with oil, coal, gas? To not take ten flights a year but five? Am I by defintion some kind of revolutionary for even thinking that? We see Dr Grey moan about his treatment in another thread yet when anyone comes up with solution to the worlds problems they're jumped on from a great height with a shout of 'take that you back to the stone ager!'. I dunno...

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    Posted
  • Location: Harrogate, N Yorks
  • Location: Harrogate, N Yorks
    Well, lets agree on his figures (despite the sound of AEI axes being ground). Where does that leave us? On a road of ever increasng consumption for ever? And that on a finite planet? Simple answer: it can't be done. So, he gives us his view why the solution wont work but he gives us no answer to the problem. What is the answer? Is it really carry on and let things take their course as we did in the past with problems - showing we've learnt nothing from our 'less advanced' ancestors? Can't we manage change in an orderly fashion? Why can't we at least try the solutions people offer? Must it be necessarilly bad to consume less, to be more efficient with oil, coal, gas? To not take ten flights a year but five? Am I by defintion some kind of revolutionary for even thinking that? We see Dr Grey moan about his treatment in another thread yet when anyone comes up with solution to the worlds problems they're jumped on from a great height with a shout of 'take that you back to the stone ager!'. I dunno...

    I think the scary thing is, Dev, that some sort of catastophe might me unavoidable if we end up creating one to avoid another. One day somebody with influence is going to stand up and say the unthinkable - there are too many people on the planet and there has to be less. What sort of horrors that raises for the future of humanity I don't want to think about, but one thing is for certain: if we don't do something about it ourselves then Mother Nature has had lots of practise at doing it for us!

    Get the feeling we'll be looking back to today as the 'Golden Times'?

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    Posted
  • Location: Near Newton Abbot or east Dartmoor, Devon
  • Location: Near Newton Abbot or east Dartmoor, Devon
    I think the scary thing is, Dev, that some sort of catastophe might me unavoidable if we end up creating one to avoid another. One day somebody with influence is going to stand up and say the unthinkable - there are too many people on the planet and there has to be less. What sort of horrors that raises for the future of humanity I don't want to think about, but one thing is for certain: if we don't do something about it ourselves then Mother Nature has had lots of practise at doing it for us!

    Get the feeling we'll be looking back to today as the 'Golden Times'?

    I don't need telling this planet is exceeding it's carrying capacity. What I do doubt is that 'mother nature' can strike back - if it can why is it holding back? Indeed, it's taking a fearful bashing - I think it's going to be damaged for a long time. Unless strike back means a 'I can't take any more' kind of loss.

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    Posted
  • Location: Harrogate, N Yorks
  • Location: Harrogate, N Yorks

    On a planetary emergency scale our current situation isn't even a blip. We have a balmy climate that has, in the last 10,000 years allowed us to develop faster than any other species, ever. Even with "six degrees of warming" life will be tough for us but nothing the planet hasn't experienced in the past, and not really a rapid disaster such as, say, a 6km lump of rock and ice hitting us at 20,000km/h! The worst danger for the planet is the death throes of our upstart species - nukes. No other species has been able to replicate the ELE of an asteroid with the push of a button, and there is nothing like starving to death to show us we aren't as advanced as we think we are and return us to more animal like survival instincts.

    We need to mange out the excessive consumption without triggering the conflicts that could lead to that sort of end game, but there is no appetite for that kind of change and to many what may need to be done will be as bad as not doing anything. The "Mutually Assured Destruction" arguement won't work in this scenario as it will be unstable holders of the nuclear trigger that are the danger. In the Cold War, whatever your thoughts about either side, the two major superpowers had self control as all that was at stake was idealism, not life itself.

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    Posted
  • Location: South Yorkshire
  • Location: South Yorkshire
    On a planetary emergency scale our current situation isn't even a blip. We have a balmy climate that has, in the last 10,000 years allowed us to develop faster than any other species, ever......

    Good post,and one that broadly echoes my long-standing train of thought. Of course it's taboo but the bottom line is there's simply too many of us. I couldn't give a monkey's how 'green' an individual is,even if the entire population was a devout 'green' there'd come a point where our survival at such an elevated level would be impossible. Sure the planet isn't in trouble;we are. In the absence of any other factor we are surely headed towards war (presumably nuclear) in the battle to secure oil and food,famine without war will trim billions or disease will decimate us simply because of our numbers and mobility. The way things are going I feel climate will be the least of our worries soon,unless we happen to be in the path of it's natural wanderings of course.

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    Posted
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire
  • Weather Preferences: Sunshine, convective precipitation, snow, thunderstorms, "episodic" months.
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire

    By my reckoning, what we need, over the next several decades, is to phase in sustainable development, rather than the current obsession with maximum consumption, inefficient practices and over-dependence on fossil fuels. I say over the next several decades because history teaches that while change can be achieved without "necessity being the mother of invention", because of various social inertia processes, it rarely happens straightaway, but comes in gradually.

    Here, gradual movement is especially important because to be able to reduce dependency on fossil fuels and improve efficiency without requiring huge costs, we need to phase in alternative technologies and devise ways to prevent a minority of less conservation-minded people from abusing the system. These will take time, they need to be started as soon as possible, and we need them to be there to help the transition away from fossil fuel dependency to be relatively harmless.

    The problem with just continuing as we are and letting "necessity be the mother of invention" is that even if human impacts on climate are grossly exaggerated by the scientists, sooner rather than later, fossil fuels will become economical. Then, if we didn't bother making much effort to phase in alternatives because we preferred to just "wait and see", we will find we have to cut down emissions whether we like it or not- and have no real alternative to our current pollutive ways. Thus, a transition period of huge social and economic downturn would be likely while we frantically fumbled around for alternative energy sources that we should have been phasing in several decades beforehand but didn't.

    That above paragraph merely presents an argument based on sustainability. If AGW turns out to be as bad as most climate scientists think- or worse- then the penalties for the "wait and see" approach will be even worse.

    Overpopulation problems stemming from massive birth rates in developing countries require a different set of solutions, but will again take many decades to address fully.

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    Posted
  • Location: A small planet somewhere in the vicinity of Guildford, Surrey
  • Location: A small planet somewhere in the vicinity of Guildford, Surrey
    By my reckoning, what we need, over the next several decades, is to phase in sustainable development, rather than the current obsession with maximum consumption, inefficient practices and over-dependence on fossil fuels. I say over the next several decades because history teaches that while change can be achieved without "necessity being the mother of invention", because of various social inertia processes, it rarely happens straightaway, but comes in gradually.

    ...

    That above paragraph merely presents an argument based on sustainability. If AGW turns out to be as bad as most climate scientists think- or worse- then the penalties for the "wait and see" approach will be even worse.

    Hi TWS,

    I agree entirely with that - in fact it is basically the proposal I put forward on these boards a few months back, but rather than using the word "sustainability" I used the phrase "a No Regrets policy". Unfortunately it would seem that the preconception of the "Pro" people is that "No Regrets" means the same as "No Action", which is quite clearly not the case, and nobody listened to the argument, they just attacked the title.

    The beauty of the "No Regrets" policy (or "Sustainable Change", if you prefer) is that we benefit whether AGW is happening or not, and we truly do have No Regrets either way.

    :)

    CB

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    Posted
  • Location: Harrogate, N Yorks
  • Location: Harrogate, N Yorks
    Hi TWS,

    I agree entirely with that - in fact it is basically the proposal I put forward on these boards a few months back, but rather than using the word "sustainability" I used the phrase "a No Regrets policy". Unfortunately it would seem that the preconception of the "Pro" people is that "No Regrets" means the same as "No Action", which is quite clearly not the case, and nobody listened to the argument, they just attacked the title.

    The beauty of the "No Regrets" policy (or "Sustainable Change", if you prefer) is that we benefit whether AGW is happening or not, and we truly do have No Regrets either way.

    :)

    CB

    Quite, just like the logic that if we save fuel we save money - a built in inducement. Although if the Govt get their hands on it the increase in green taxes will offset the saving in fuel leaving the public just as jaded as ever....

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    Posted
  • Location: Near Newton Abbot or east Dartmoor, Devon
  • Location: Near Newton Abbot or east Dartmoor, Devon
    By my reckoning, what we need, over the next several decades, is to phase in sustainable development, rather than the current obsession with maximum consumption, inefficient practices and over-dependence on fossil fuels. I say over the next several decades because history teaches that while change can be achieved without "necessity being the mother of invention", because of various social inertia processes, it rarely happens straightaway, but comes in gradually.

    Here, gradual movement is especially important because to be able to reduce dependency on fossil fuels and improve efficiency without requiring huge costs, we need to phase in alternative technologies and devise ways to prevent a minority of less conservation-minded people from abusing the system. These will take time, they need to be started as soon as possible, and we need them to be there to help the transition away from fossil fuel dependency to be relatively harmless.

    The problem with just continuing as we are and letting "necessity be the mother of invention" is that even if human impacts on climate are grossly exaggerated by the scientists, sooner rather than later, fossil fuels will become economical. Then, if we didn't bother making much effort to phase in alternatives because we preferred to just "wait and see", we will find we have to cut down emissions whether we like it or not- and have no real alternative to our current pollutive ways. Thus, a transition period of huge social and economic downturn would be likely while we frantically fumbled around for alternative energy sources that we should have been phasing in several decades beforehand but didn't.

    That above paragraph merely presents an argument based on sustainability. If AGW turns out to be as bad as most climate scientists think- or worse- then the penalties for the "wait and see" approach will be even worse.

    Overpopulation problems stemming from massive birth rates in developing countries require a different set of solutions, but will again take many decades to address fully.

    I agree, only difference I'd have started in the 80's (and earlier with the population problem).

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    Things are far too advanced now for us to have any significant control of our fate. Maybe if we started a crash program to use resources more sensibly back in the 70's, the fall would be much gentler. We were always destined for a low resource use, poor and simple existence, as that is the only sustainable existence, but if we started the changes decades ago the transition would be much smoother. Now however we have gone too far into overshoot.

    The changes now will be forced upon us quickly and strongly and there is no way we can transition to the end point without severe hardship. Our CO2 emissions, pollution, environmental impact etc is going to be reduced whether we like it or not, simply because there will soon be not enough CO2, pollution to emitt, even if we wanted to. There will also soon be not enough environment left to damage for the rate of damage to keep on increasing.

    We are on a small finite planet with everything we need in a extremely thin layer just a few miles deep. We are just running out of things to exploit.

    There is nothing that can be done. On the plus side, limited resources means that CO2 emissions won't be as high as most AGWers anticipate.

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    Posted
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire
  • Weather Preferences: Sunshine, convective precipitation, snow, thunderstorms, "episodic" months.
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire
    I agree, only difference I'd have started in the 80's (and earlier with the population problem).

    I agree there- I was working from the premise that unfortunately we can't do what we already haven't done over the last two decades...

    I've seen Magpie's argument before, I will say that while we won't be able to make the transition without hardship, it's certainly worth trying to reduce the extent to which the transition has to be sudden, and thus the amount of hardship we have to endure. When a problem has already passed the point of no return, it is usually still well worth trying some element of damage limitation.

    "Can't be avoided" and "can't be helped" are two different things.

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    Posted
  • Location: A small planet somewhere in the vicinity of Guildford, Surrey
  • Location: A small planet somewhere in the vicinity of Guildford, Surrey

    Since we are never going to be able to build a time machine to take us back to the 70s or 80s (of this I am pretty certain) it seems, as TWS says, that we should make the best of what we have. It is by no means certain that we are "past the point of no return" or that we have "no significant control over our fate", so why not proceed the most sensible way we can rather than a. rushing in blindly or b. doing nothing.

    I think there are two significant sources of regret, scientifically-speaking:

    1) the cancellation of the Apollo Programme (and later the Challenger disaster) which, had it not happened, could well have meant that we had started colonising the Moon by now, and

    2) stupid, avoidable, accidents like Chernobyl and Three Mile Island which, had they not happened, would mean that now our main source of fuel would quite probably have been nuclear rather than fossil.

    CB

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    Posted
  • Location: Cambridge (term time) and Bonn, Germany 170m (holidays)
  • Location: Cambridge (term time) and Bonn, Germany 170m (holidays)

    Well all I can say is that America could do a fat lot more because it and its citizens are doing absolutely nothing at the moment. There are lots of Americans in Harrogate due to the much-hated Menwith Hill spy-base ruining the landscape (it in itself burns so many lights at night it's like the middle of the day). I see Americans who drive 20m up the street to see a neighbour. The house opposite us is American and has at least 8 visible lights burning all of the time even when there is nobody in the house - they also have one of those white pipes sticking out of their brickwork that is broken and constantly leaks a stream of water 24/7, and we had complained to the water board about it they were told off - but they didn't do anything. Apparently they would rather waste water.

    Environmentally America is a disgrace - they are so far behind other industrialised nations in terms of conservation and as that article suggests, the government thinks that it would be better to keep things as they are than to change them and try to rectify an obvious wrong. "Environmentalists can't do math..." actually I don't think that the writer of that article can do "math" as it is being called - if you have 10 cakes and keep eating them, eventually you will run out, something that the article seems to ignore. "We'll never be able to stop eating cakes so let's just eat them anyway" is a type of argument which I despise - it's foundation is pure laziness.

    Since we are never going to be able to build a time machine to take us back to the 70s or 80s (of this I am pretty certain) it seems, as TWS says, that we should make the best of what we have. It is by no means certain that we are "past the point of no return" or that we have "no significant control over our fate", so why not proceed the most sensible way we can rather than a. rushing in blindly or b. doing nothing.

    I think there are two significant sources of regret, scientifically-speaking:

    1) the cancellation of the Apollo Programme (and later the Challenger disaster) which, had it not happened, could well have meant that we had started colonising the Moon by now, and

    2) stupid, avoidable, accidents like Chernobyl and Three Mile Island which, had they not happened, would mean that now our main source of fuel would quite probably have been nuclear rather than fossil.

    CB

    Chernobyl etc was a great shame, I agree there.

    However, I think colonising the moon was always a total lemon - we have evolved to live on this planet, with its green valleys, forests, mountains and oceans and we should be able to continue to live on this planet, not forced by our own actions onto a lump of rock with no atmosphere in the middle of space.

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    Posted
  • Location: A small planet somewhere in the vicinity of Guildford, Surrey
  • Location: A small planet somewhere in the vicinity of Guildford, Surrey
    Chernobyl etc was a great shame, I agree there.

    However, I think colonising the moon was always a total lemon - we have evolved to live on this planet, with its green valleys, forests, mountains and oceans and we should be able to continue to live on this planet, not forced by our own actions onto a lump of rock with no atmosphere in the middle of space.

    I'm not necessarily talking about colonising the moon for the purpose of "escaping the ravaged planet Earth", but simply in terms of exploration. If, by some miracle, we are able to survive as a species for the next few billion years (an unlikely prospect, but possible nonetheless) then we would have to vacate the premises before it goes up in smoke (unless they find a way to stop the Sun from going kablooey in the meantime.

    Perhaps even before that point it might be nice to not have to worry about an expanding population by transporting people to, for example, a terraformed Mars.

    Or perhaps it would just be nice to explore - that old frontier spirit that is sadly lacking these days. Say what you will about the Americans, but they're the last frontiersmen.

    CB

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    Posted
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire
  • Weather Preferences: Sunshine, convective precipitation, snow, thunderstorms, "episodic" months.
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire

    So the argument, by the looks of it, is "let's burn all the fossil fuels as quickly as we can so that we have to deal with it and not some future generation".

    If we burn them slowly we have extra time which can be used to develop and phase in alternatives, greater efficiency, more sustainable practices, so if we do keep using up the fossil fuels until they run out we have something to revert to.

    If we burn all fossil fuels as quickly as possible we don't have that time, so therefore, there is more certainty that disasters will occur at the transition once they run out.

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    Posted
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire
  • Weather Preferences: Sunshine, convective precipitation, snow, thunderstorms, "episodic" months.
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire

    Just picking a few points in that biased article:

    1. It argues that we warmed at 0.6C/century over the 20th century. But where does it explain the fact that a large proportion of that warming happened after 1975? Global temperatures are currently running at about 0.4-0.5C above the 1961-90 average. It was not a slow warming over the century. I say "fact" because the warming can easily be quantified- uncertainty over global temperatures in the instrumental era is very low, it increases for earlier in the century, but not for the last 30 years.

    2. The calculation, if I'm reading it right, is assuming that the IPCC attributes the 0.6C of 20th century warming to 31,000 tonnes of CO2 that have been emitted. No, the general consensus is that the increase in CO2 concentrations has an effect over many decades- i.e. it will probably be several more decades before the full effects of the extra CO2 on temperature are noted- hence their predictions of 1-3C rise even if concentrations are stabilised. Not 0.6C.

    Before anyone comes back at me with "if the consensus says it, it doesn't mean it's right", that is moving the goalposts somewhat. I am merely showing that the article features some of the worst misrepresentations of the consensus that I've ever seen.

    These articles that Laserguy, Millennia etc. keep posting predominantly have the theme:

    A. Addressing AGW will require changes to the way the US economic system works and potentially damage the economy.

    B. Therefore, we should do nothing about it.

    C. Therefore, either AGW is a myth, or it exists but it can't be helped.

    D. A is true because I said so, while B is true because C is true because B is true because C is true because B is true.

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    Posted
  • Location: Harrogate, N Yorks
  • Location: Harrogate, N Yorks
    These articles that Laserguy, Millennia etc. keep posting predominantly have the theme:

    A. Addressing AGW will require changes to the way the US economic system works and potentially damage the economy.

    B. Therefore, we should do nothing about it.

    C. Therefore, either AGW is a myth, or it exists but it can't be helped.

    D. A is true because I said so, while B is true because C is true because B is true because C is true because B is true.

    You say that like I sanction every point made in articles I post, to which I object. In order to make points that I am not alone in believing I have to post articles which unfortunately contain dubious facts within the framework of the points they are trying to make. This occurs on both sides of the arguement and things are emphasised because the author believes that the raw truth isn't compelling enough to convince people who don't share their views. This is a shame but I don't see it ever changing, which is what makes the whole discussion really frustrating. Or are you saying pro-AGW articles are never biased?

    I've posted threads that just ask questions based on data I have been able to get hold of, but these days it is getting harder and harder to determine the accuracy of that data once it has gone through one agency or another - I don't know what I'm supposed to do about that.

    The real problem with this whole thing is that so much is not known and new research is continually coming forward but "policy makers" have already made up their mind based on early theories and are now hell bent on their path regardless of any future research to the contrary - usually because it benefits them financially like Gordon's "green" taxes.

    We've just had Polar Bears listed as an endangered species based on future ice projections despite their population being 5 TIMES what it was 60 years ago. On the other hand without the benefit of satellites in the 1940s we don't know anywhere near as accurately the extent of ice loss caused during that warm period - which could well have combined with a +ve AMO/PDO to push warmer water into the Arctic:

    post-7195-1210844761_thumb.jpg

    So maybe Polar Bear populations will drop back to 1940 levels again after all - we don't KNOW, it's speculation based on extrapolation.

    So I counter the assumption made about my views when I've tried very hard to press the point that we need more research before knee jerking into another disaster - like biofuels - and to be really careful AGW doesn't end up on a list like this in 30 years time:

    http://www.townhall.com/columnists/WalterE...ild_predictions

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    Posted
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire
  • Weather Preferences: Sunshine, convective precipitation, snow, thunderstorms, "episodic" months.
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire

    Of course some pro-AGW articles are heavily biased- I'm just as strongly against the environmental extremists as the anti-AGW extremists.

    My main problem with scepticism isn't when it's being used to challenge conventional environmental views, whether on policymaking or science or whatever (I actually consider that to be a very good thing). It's when it's used to fulfil agendas of inaction, a desire to maintain the status quo (which seems particularly common among the George W Bush sort of camp). Laserguy's latest article is as classic an example as I've ever seen.

    My other main annoyance is when people argue that since current policies on reducing waste, developing renewable alternatives etc. tend to be tokenistic and short-termist, it supposedly shows that reducing waste and developing renewables etc. doesn't work. Instead, it shows that doing so in a haphazard manner, dominated by political agendas of electioneering and revenue maximisation, doesn't work.

    I often point to many current transport policies as a good example of such tokenism- measures that marginalise the motorist, but conveniently at a level below the threshold that would cause people to give up driving. They can fulfil the agenda of raising revenue, and get away with dealing with reckless driving by punishing the many because of the few, by arguing to the general public that the real agenda is reducing pollution.

    I'm not sure that lack of research is the main reason why we should be wary of knee-jerk reactions like the current tokenism on biofuels, we should be wary of them in any case because there's a real risk of them causing bigger problems than they might solve.

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    The Inuit shoot Polar Bears in Canada and if you have $25k they will show you how and let you shoot it. There are plenty of Polar Bears and the ice is now increasing. It is worrisome when you see the science that is used to backup the claims of reducing Polar Bear numbers and looming extinction has absolutely no basis in fact. Junk science at it's best and becoming so typical in the scientific community which has become more political propoganda than science.

    For the last 10 years China, etc., have hugely increased greenhouse gas emmissions and the world has seen a large increase in greenhouse gas emmissions, yet the temps have remained stable or slightly reduced. There is no possibility of reducing greenhouse gas emmissions and it would likely have no effect even if possible.

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    Posted
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire
  • Weather Preferences: Sunshine, convective precipitation, snow, thunderstorms, "episodic" months.
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire

    I can't offer a view either way on the polar bears as I don't know enough about the ins and outs- but declining polar bear populations is certainly something the media like to use to promote scare stories, whether founded or not.

    For the last 10 years China, etc., have hugely increased greenhouse gas emmissions and the world has seen a large increase in greenhouse gas emmissions, yet the temps have remained stable or slightly reduced.

    Which does not prove that increased greenhouse gases doesn't cause increased global temperature as implied, because the decade started with the exceptional El Nino of 1998 (if you took 1999 as your starting point, you'd end up with a reduced, but still discernible, warming trend) and we don't have enough data to determine whether it's a long-term trend or a blip.

    There is no possibility of reducing greenhouse gas emmissions and it would likely have no effect even if possible.

    Evidence? Sounds like the "either AGW is a myth, or it exists and can't be helped" status quo encourager again. In particular, once fossil fuel reserves become scarce, it's difficult to see how we could avoid reducing greenhouse gas emissions, let alone be unable to reduce them.

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    Posted
  • Location: South Yorkshire
  • Location: South Yorkshire
    You say that like I sanction every point made in articles I post, to which I object.......

    Me too! Of course there is a bias,on both 'sides' of the fence. Mine is borne of a combination of knowing that I'm right and the lunatic policies which are meant to reduce carbon dioxide emissions supposedly to influence climate (ha ha ha),when the real reasons are those of energy supply security,world politics and control. End of. Sure the enviro types have different motives perhaps,but there you go. However,because I post a particular article does not by any means indicate that I swallow it hook,line and sinker;I clearly stated if the author has his facts and figures straight... just my bias showing and the fact that he is probably barking up the right tree. Now if I really wanted to read bona fide nonsense I'll just Google IPCC,Al Gore etc.

    Bluecon is right,the only way for CO2 emissions to go is ever upwards and onwards,regardless of what you,me and Uncle Sam does. Until the brick wall of fossil fuel depletion and/or inability to sate world demand is hit. All the efforts to develop alternatives now are preparations for the time when we have none,of course we're urged to reduce our emissions (and therefore consumption ) in an attempt to eke the stuff out for as long as possible.Then it all comes crashing down and everyone's happy,la la la. Wonder how many folk will be wandering around scratching their heads then,wondering why the climate is exhibiting 'changes' when 'we' no longer have the means of making it do so?

    BTW,TWS, I do fully agree with you wrt conservation,waste reduction and generally being 'green'. A point I've frequently laboured but seemingly to no avail. I just don't want to see the reasons for such noble pursuits being a desire to 'tackle' a climate in flux by the bandying about of future fantasy scenarios if we don't do this or if we do that.

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    Posted
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire
  • Weather Preferences: Sunshine, convective precipitation, snow, thunderstorms, "episodic" months.
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire

    I think it's a bit hypocritical to point out the vast uncertainty in climate science, yet then claim with certainty, "I'm right, end of", particularly when it concerns basing arguments on the premise that human activity has a negligible or no effect on climate.

    The defeatist "we can't reduce CO2 emissions" is assuming that the world will always consume the maximum possible. Maximum consumption is not a physical neccessity, it is a social construct, based on particular theories of economics (note, not all economists do believe in maximum consumption). To say that's unavoidable would be like someone in 1900 saying "society is based on racist and sexist values, and it can't be helped because that's just the way it is".

    The idea of 'no regrets' policies, phasing in more sustainable living, etc, would be to phase in the changes gradually over a period of time. Society can be changed, but unless we resort to draconianism, it usually takes a number of decades to phase in the change. So by phasing it in gradually we would give society and economies the chance to adapt, and become more prepared for when fossil fuels run out- and possibly slow the rate of any man-made climate change, making it easier to adapt to climate change itself. 'Sticks' can be used when the less conservation minded abuse the system, aimed squarely at preventing such abuse.

    Climate change adaptation and mitigation is all about risk assessment. It would be foolish to enforce a 60% cut in CO2 emissions by 2010 in view of the huge economic and humanitarian downturn that would ensue. On the other hand, surely, wouldn't it be even more foolish to keep consuming to the maximum, finding in 2028 that petrol has shot up to £130 per gallon, and having to cut CO2 emissions by 60% for 2030 because we only have 60% of the 2028 capacity left? This is why I reckon a middle ground between the two would be desirable- certainly not risk free by any means, but less risky than doing too much or doing nothing.

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    I can't offer a view either way on the polar bears as I don't know enough about the ins and outs- but declining polar bear populations is certainly something the media like to use to promote scare stories, whether founded or not.

    Polar bear numbers are at a record high worldwide. They have increased in the range of 500% in the last 60 years. This was 'science' or what is passed off as science used to determine that the Polar bears were endangered.

    Which does not prove that increased greenhouse gases doesn't cause increased global temperature as implied, because the decade started with the exceptional El Nino of 1998 (if you took 1999 as your starting point, you'd end up with a reduced, but still discernible, warming trend) and we don't have enough data to determine whether it's a long-term trend or a blip.

    The story was that a slight rise in CO2 would overide all the natural factors and the Earth would continue to warm until we all fried. Now the story is that the Earth would be undergoing unprecedented warming except the natural factors are preventing it.

    Evidence? Sounds like the "either AGW is a myth, or it exists and can't be helped" status quo encourager again. In particular, once fossil fuel reserves become scarce, it's difficult to see how we could avoid reducing greenhouse gas emissions, let alone be unable to reduce them.

    It will be a long time before fossil fuels become scarce. The Brazilians made three finds this year, one believed to be the third largest ever, the Americans just made a huge new find of reserves in the west, there is a huge known reserves in Alaska and offshore the USA, the Canadian oil sands contain immense reserves and if countries like Russia and Venezuela could properly run there oil extraction there is a great amount more oil. Technology has improved where much more of the oil underground can be recovered adding immensely to the worlds reserves. The claims we will run out of oil go back decades yet today we have more oil than ever.

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