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BBC Panorama - Climate Change


Tim B

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Posted
  • Location: Darwen, BB3
  • Location: Darwen, BB3

Do you agree that we are influencing our climate with our modern, ever increasing energy demanding lifestyles or do you think it is nothing but unnecessary hype and scaremongering?

Panorama investigates both sides of the argument and arrives at a (or perhaps not so) surprising conclusion and is worth a watch whichever theory you subscribe to, be sure to catch it on iplayer before it expires.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00swp0k/Panorama_Whats_Up_With_the_Weather/

I posted this here instead of the climate change area because I suspect a few among us may want to discuss the political aspects raised in the program, so please do as I'd like to hear your opinions on it.

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Posted
  • Location: Mytholmroyd, West Yorks.......
  • Weather Preferences: Hot & Sunny, Cold & Snowy
  • Location: Mytholmroyd, West Yorks.......

Maybe.

But I regard PEAK OIL to be far more relevant and important an issue. It's also much easier to understand.

I'm not so sure P.P.

I know that the run up to peak oil is with us and things will change pretty quickly when fuel prices become restrictive (to both home and industry) but I think that our planet can play some nasty tricks on mega scales. We may have unwittingly 'lit the blue touch paper' to a rapid climatic shift that could well impact global capacity to produce food for a short duration (didn't Pharaoh have 7 years of drought to cope with???) as things settle into the 'new' regime but long enough to threaten a drastic reduction in world population.

I tend to imagine that a fair proportion of the population believe climate change to be 'slow' and 'encroaching' and not something that can have instant (5 to 10yrs) global impacts and consequences.

The loss of the Arctic environment will, i believe, become histories 'start point' for the rapid shifts in climate humanity will now need to endure as our carbon binge upsets the 'natural' carbon cycle across the planet. Our Carbon emissions were just the 'key' to the door that unlocks the planets carbon emissions. Whilst we watch and wonder at the open waters of the Arctic ocean (over the next 10yrs) the thawing lands around it will continue to accelerate the output of their cargoes of methane and CO2, which will dwarf our outputs,and speed up the ability of our planet to warm (over the short term).

We will remind ourselves we were ready to reign in our carbon emmissions......... before Mother N. dumped her load.........

The loss of sea ice ,and the climatic changes it forces, will upset the 'weather patterns' across the globe (eventually) and any reduction in rainfall across globally significant grain producing areas (or 'cold springs/early frosts) will badly impact our ability to feed the world.

Sadly we cannot view either event (Peak Oil or Climate change) without the other so we are doubly blessed........

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Posted
  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.
  • Weather Preferences: Thunder, snow, heat, sunshine...
  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.
Posted
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire
  • Weather Preferences: Sunshine, convective precipitation, snow, thunderstorms, "episodic" months.
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire

I'm not sure whether, objectively speaking, peak oil or AGW is the bigger issue, especially as peak oil has a lot less uncertainty attached to it than AGW. But what I think is true is that more people will take notice if peak oil is advertised as a major issue, in conjunction with the argument that addressing peak oil and addressing AGW go hand-in-hand. You can also add pollution to the list. It sounds a lot more compelling to people when there are two or three reasons for taking a certain kind of action, instead of just one.

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Posted
  • Location: Cheddar Valley, 20mtrs asl
  • Weather Preferences: Snow and lots of it or warm and sunny, no mediocre dross
  • Location: Cheddar Valley, 20mtrs asl

On the subject of peak oil...I find it a tad concerning that the new government has decreed there will be no public subsidy towards building new nuclear energy plants, insisting they will have to be funded privately. I admire the ethics of the policy but question the efficacy - can we afford to wait for business to sort out our future energy supplies?

http://www.energyefficiencynews.com/i/3146/

Relying upon wind and hydro energy seems fraught with supply problems:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/jun/28/drive-switch-green-power-setback

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Posted
  • Location: Huddersfield, 145m ASL
  • Weather Preferences: Lots of snow, lots of hot sun
  • Location: Huddersfield, 145m ASL

On the subject of peak oil...I find it a tad concerning that the new government has decreed there will be no public subsidy towards building new nuclear energy plants, insisting they will have to be funded privately. I admire the ethics of the policy but question the efficacy - can we afford to wait for business to sort out our future energy supplies?

http://www.energyefficiencynews.com/i/3146/

As long as that policy remains it is either fantastic or disastrous depending on your view of nuclear power, because while that stands NO new nuclear power stations will ever be built, because no nuclear power station in the UK, (or anywhere else most likely), has ever got close to running at a profit. In fact, without significant public funding help, a private company who committed to building and running a nuclear power station would in effect be committing to losing millions if not billions of pounds.

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

I'm not sure what the coalition government's stance on nuclear power is. Mine has always been that it's not a good form of energy to commit to in the long term but it may be necessary to use it as a "stopgap" measure while we're trying to make renewable alternatives to fossil fuels work- in which case this policy is the worst of both worlds as it means it cannot be used in the short term, only in the long term.

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Posted
  • Location: Cheddar Valley, 20mtrs asl
  • Weather Preferences: Snow and lots of it or warm and sunny, no mediocre dross
  • Location: Cheddar Valley, 20mtrs asl

I'm not sure what the coalition government's stance on nuclear power is. Mine has always been that it's not a good form of energy to commit to in the long term but it may be necessary to use it as a "stopgap" measure while we're trying to make renewable alternatives to fossil fuels work- in which case this policy is the worst of both worlds as it means it cannot be used in the short term, only in the long term.

Tories say yes, Lib Dems say no - the compromise is that the Lib Dems won't block them as long as no public money is spent.

I struggle to see how we can have dependable energy supplies in the short/mid term future without nuclear power. It's not ideal by a long chalk but until new technology comes up with realistic alternatives, I see no option. The current green alternatives just aren't able to generate enough power or be reliable. Who fancies going through another winter like last without dependable energy supplies?

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Posted
  • Location: Aviemore
  • Location: Aviemore

I think their policy is pretty clear cut - it's bloody expensive to create, maintain and eventually remove nuclear power plants and at this point the public finances can't afford it so the govt won't be funding any. They are open to nuclear should a private company want to fund it though, but as PTFD says above, that's not exactly likely!!

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Posted
  • Location: Mytholmroyd, West Yorks.......
  • Weather Preferences: Hot & Sunny, Cold & Snowy
  • Location: Mytholmroyd, West Yorks.......

We are told that we are ever closer to achieving sustainable fusion power and , come the Fusion reactor, our energy woes will be solved pretty quickly!

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Posted
  • Location: Aviemore
  • Location: Aviemore

Prior to that though, there's so much we could do on a more local level but can't/don't.

As an example, here in Pershore two people want to use hydro power off of a weir, they have both gone ahead and spent a lot of money to create the systems to do it, one is planned to power several hundred homes locally, the other for private use. They both had permission to do the work etc, but now when it comes to getting permission from the environment agency to take the water from the weir and use it there's a problem - there's not enough water to sustain both..

It get's worse though, as the precedent has been set before in this sort of situation - where two parties have equal rights to use the water but only one can the environment agency won't rule in favour of one of them, out of fairness all they will do is turn them both down, brilliant..

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Posted
  • Location: Pontypridd, Wales 240m asl
  • Location: Pontypridd, Wales 240m asl
Posted · Hidden by Paul, July 1, 2010 - Off topic post - this isn't the sea ice thread
Hidden by Paul, July 1, 2010 - Off topic post - this isn't the sea ice thread

I'm not so sure P.P.

I know that the run up to peak oil is with us and things will change pretty quickly when fuel prices become restrictive (to both home and industry) but I think that our planet can play some nasty tricks on mega scales. We may have unwittingly 'lit the blue touch paper' to a rapid climatic shift that could well impact global capacity to produce food for a short duration (didn't Pharaoh have 7 years of drought to cope with???) as things settle into the 'new' regime but long enough to threaten a drastic reduction in world population.

I tend to imagine that a fair proportion of the population believe climate change to be 'slow' and 'encroaching' and not something that can have instant (5 to 10yrs) global impacts and consequences.

The loss of the Arctic environment will, i believe, become histories 'start point' for the rapid shifts in climate humanity will now need to endure as our carbon binge upsets the 'natural' carbon cycle across the planet. Our Carbon emissions were just the 'key' to the door that unlocks the planets carbon emissions. Whilst we watch and wonder at the open waters of the Arctic ocean (over the next 10yrs) the thawing lands around it will continue to accelerate the output of their cargoes of methane and CO2, which will dwarf our outputs,and speed up the ability of our planet to warm (over the short term).

We will remind ourselves we were ready to reign in our carbon emmissions......... before Mother N. dumped her load.........

The loss of sea ice ,and the climatic changes it forces, will upset the 'weather patterns' across the globe (eventually) and any reduction in rainfall across globally significant grain producing areas (or 'cold springs/early frosts) will badly impact our ability to feed the world.

Sadly we cannot view either event (Peak Oil or Climate change) without the other so we are doubly blessed........

Sea ice is not due to go down in the forseeable future - next 20 - 30 years - in fact it will stabalize - the sun controls our climate much more than any CO2 control - and solar activity is due to drop in this coming period lowering global temps - not increasing them

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Posted
  • Location: Mytholmroyd, West Yorks.......
  • Weather Preferences: Hot & Sunny, Cold & Snowy
  • Location: Mytholmroyd, West Yorks.......
Posted · Hidden by Paul, July 1, 2010 - Also off topic - please try to stay on topic.
Hidden by Paul, July 1, 2010 - Also off topic - please try to stay on topic.

Sea ice is not due to go down in the forseeable future - next 20 - 30 years - in fact it will stabalize -

I think you'll find yourself well out of touch then. Cryosat2 is 1/2 way through the process of calibration and is already giving better results than were hoped for so you will see just how much ice we are loosing each year from here on in.

Though we saw the low 'extent' figure of 07' the 'volume' of ice in the Arctic Basin has grown less each year since then and this year is no different.

Will you still post the above once we have indisputable proof of the current move to a seasonal Arctic ice pack?

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Posted
  • Location: Cheddar Valley, 20mtrs asl
  • Weather Preferences: Snow and lots of it or warm and sunny, no mediocre dross
  • Location: Cheddar Valley, 20mtrs asl

Can you all please stay on topic - Polar ice has a dedicated thread, it doesn't need to spill over into others too.

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Posted
  • Location: Cheddington, Buckinghamshire
  • Weather Preferences: Winter: Cold & Snowy, Summer: Just not hot
  • Location: Cheddington, Buckinghamshire

I am very much a "fence sitter" to be honest, it is obvious that the Earth has warmed but whether it is wholly man made or not is the issue I'm unconvinced on. However, I do think we should be doing everything we can just in case.

I am personally strongly in favour of nuclear power and I feel it should be used more. Nuclear fusion is still very much in the experimental stage and I would be surprised if the first fusion reactor came online in this century if I'm honest.

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Posted
  • Location: Ramsgate, Kent
  • Location: Ramsgate, Kent

Good eve,

I'm very concerned with the nuclear option, there is still many sites that are not clear of radiation many years after accidents. This is something i posted in the polar ice thread as i feel it is a cause to many of our climate issues.

Radio Active waste.

http://www.ausetute....u/nuclesum.html

Above is a link to show the half life of various radioisotopes, as you can see they range from a few minutes to billions of years. This is the amount of time for half the atoms to undergo radioactive or nuclear decay.

So we've had a number of incidents since the inception of this technology.

http://en.wikipedia....st_of_accidents

Now I'm not a scientist but my understanding is these particles which have been released into our atmosphere over the last 60 or so years are still decaying and emitting heat. These particles have landed all over the globe and have got into the water and food chain, evidence of this would be the huge increase in cancers over the last 60 years.

So with these particles landing on ice and emitting heat as they breakdown, i would say has a large effect on the speed at which the ice is being attacked. I have never seen this discussed in the field of government paid science which leads me to believe in the theory more!

Man made global warming may well be true, what type of pollution caused it is not openly being discussed in my eyes.

Just my two cents

Bless

Meso

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