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stan adams's Avatar Picture stan adams – January 02, 2008 12:14PM Reply Quote
I thought about resurrecting "climate change" when I thought it might be more useful to have a more generic thread for generally interesting / controversial topics.

stan adams – January 02, 2008 12:31PM Reply Quote
I really like this article:

Before anybody gets all crazy that he is a "denier" , you have to understand that though Tierney's beat is "science" he often writes about science and the media coverage and what shapes ANY news story: http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/t/john_tierney/index.html?inline=nyt-per

There are some fascinating things he covers.

In the most recent article he hits on the central problem that I think will mark 2007 as the high point of the "fad" aspect of climate change" -- EVERYTHING weather related has been blamed on man-made contributions to global warming and there will be a backlash because of that 'totality'. That really is shame, because I fear it can easily lead to a a futile "there is NOTHING we can do" counter reaction, when I think it ought to be non-controversial that things like reduced CO2 emissions and improved energy efficiency are worth goals, while complete elimination of carbon fuel is essentially non-achievable...

morganti – January 02, 2008 02:51PM Reply Quote
Huh... So for the last 15 years or so, every "denier" has said "wow, look, this year is actually COLDER than last year, where's your global warming now beyotches?!?" Now the "wow look this year is actually HOTTER than last year, here's your global warming now beyotches!!!" is going to incite a backlash?

Huh, I think its more of a "dude, my grandfather smoked for 50 years and NEVER got cancer, there's nothing wrong with smoking" before, and "smoking leads to cancer emphyzema, heart disease, strokes, and all sorts of other stuff".

I'd really like to track down ONE SINGLE PERSON ANYWHERE WITH A SHRED OF CREDIBILITY that has asked for the "complete elimination of carbon fuel". Im not talking about some dude in a shack in Idaho writing about the zionists and the Oil Companies and how the "water powered engine was killed by the auto industry". Im talking about an actual credible scientific or policy making person that actually said that. I got a tin of Spam that says I dont see one.

Why? Because a credible scientific or policy making person knows that its IMPOSSIBLE to do. Carbon fuel is such an integral part of our lives everywhere in the world. Carbon fuel is SO MUCH MORE ENERGY EFFICIENT than anything else we have currently (except for Nuclear, though there are still tradeoffs in other directions there).

The "there is nothing we can do" counter reaction has been the MO of the energy and oil industries for the past 5 or so years. Before that it was the "it doesnt exist" counter reaction. There's no stopping people from believing both those things. Have we heard of the Montreal Protocol as an example of "there are THINGS we could do".

I think a Carbon Tax would be an excellent way to stimulate progress in this area. Don't drop it in all at once, but say a couple percent per year, so we have a good 5 or 10 years before it becomes "really felt" but more importantly so there's a headstart on "alternatives" for industry to jump to when the pain finally becomes strong enough.

Morg "There's so many good non-global warming reasons to greatly reduce "carbon fuel" reliance...*sigh*" anti

tliet – January 02, 2008 05:28PM Reply Quote
Excellent points Stan. I read the article earlier today.

Could it be possible that we live in a world today where the time between action and reaction (and vice versa) is shorter than at any point in history, thus robbing us from the luxurious position to analyse stuff to death before making a (wise) decision?

Ron Burns – January 02, 2008 05:36PM Reply Quote
"We look to Scotland for all our ideas of civilisation." Voltaire

John Willoughby – January 02, 2008 06:02PM Reply Quote
Cyberdyne Systems Customer Support
Yeah, a Russian scientist was talking about something similar. Bound to be criticized because we can't anticipate results completely, and can't contain those results within one country. If the crops start to fail, though, somebody will do it.

peter – January 03, 2008 01:30PM Reply Quote
Thanks to both Stan and Ron for pointers to two instances of really interesting thinking about climate change which challenge the conventional wisdom. The phrase conventional wisdom was coined by John Kenneth Galbraith, who said, very profoundly: "The enemy of the conventional wisdom is not ideas but the march of events". The TED presenter did not challenge the warming hypothesis and notably warned that Geo-engineering may worsen the long term problem because it will foster complacency about it. The Times writer did not challenge the global warming hypothesis, but only attempted to describe the psychology underlying the conventional presentation of it. What both had in common was that they laid out how human psychology makes the climate change problem even more difficult to solve than it would be if it were just a technical issue. I admit to being a pessimist, but I don't think I'm misreading the sources on this one.

El Jeffe – January 03, 2008 01:52PM Reply Quote
What a journey.
Galbraith? Reminds me - Therbligs - from motion studies/industrial engineering classes.

What a journey.

Dr. Strangelove – January 03, 2008 02:18PM Reply Quote
I agree with Peter, the real problem here isn't nature, it's human nature.

The other thing, with the geo-engineering solutions, because the lifetime of particulate matter in the atmosphere is so short, you have to repeatedly inject stuff into the atmosphere. Plus, unless you also control CO2 emissions, you have to inject more and more of it each year. (There are some interesting articles on realclimate about this.) And if you have to control CO2 emissions anyway, why bother with the geo-engineering?

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/03/2008 02:18PM by Dr. Strangelove.

stan adams – January 03, 2008 02:59PM Reply Quote
You know, Dr. Strangelove, there is a bias amongst certain types of people towards "doing" vs. undoing. I can see how "climate - engineering" would be VERY appealing to those who wish to "rule za verld" / "make nature bow before us". While emissions of greenhouse would be much more concerned with getting PEOPLE to comply with regulations -- a far more "world governance" type proposal.

I think that real objections toward the climate engineering proposals come from a variety of quarters -- those that object to "active" manipulation, especially on a scale that would certainly cross national boundaries, those that believe such manipulation would eventually become ineffective/uncontrollable, those that understand the limits of current modeling precision vs. the need to get the manipulation very precise.

Personally I think too many people would just be creeped out by it AND it would be so easy to paint a negative picture THAT MIGHT BE WRONG I cannot imagine any Western country moving forward with this. Remember the predictions of Sadam torching Kuwait's oil fields being a "nuclear winter" scenario? The TV networks were all over that AND the non-occurrence of same. Maybe in some place with a more state-controlled media there would not be such a frenzy... It would be VERY interesting if the Chinese did such a thing and claimed they did it because of their concern for their people AND the inability of the West to act. Even if it didn't work/worked too well China would be immune from much/any repercussions -- they'd still build their dozens of coal fired electrical generators every DAY and we'd still buy the cargo ships full of cheap crap.

stan adams – January 08, 2008 05:56PM Reply Quote
WOW -- crazy stuff in this article:

$4M for the crazy old guy who lives in a turkey coop, $300M for the ex-lover he picked up hitchhiking, the power of "green thinking"...

El Jeffe – January 08, 2008 06:52PM Reply Quote
What a journey.
That sort of crap ($$$ amounts) boggles the mind.

What a journey.

bahamut – January 08, 2008 07:54PM Reply Quote
I met the turkey coop guy when his company was just getting off the ground. Whoa, he was scary. He'd seen a LOT. Most of it, I thought, he'd seen through the magic of little tabs of paper... Maybe the knife can return to shed some light on Mr. Bees.

Steve Cordova – January 08, 2008 10:10PM Reply Quote
History passes the first time as tragedy, the second time as farts. - Roy Edroso
I still use Dr. Bronners Tea Tree soap even though i see Burt's Bees soap all over. I also use Pear's soap.

Cloudscout – January 08, 2008 10:24PM Reply Quote
Det finnes ikke dårlig vær, bare dårlige klær!
Say, you know, this fella does a heap of huntin' and fishin' and chores and all. And he gets his clothes powerful dirty, but that don't fret me one bit! Cause here in my kitchen I use Granny's homemade lye soap!

rino – January 09, 2008 10:12AM Reply Quote
In America, the only respectable form of socialism is socialism for the rich.
I use Dr. Bronner's peppermint soap, you know, the kind that makes the genitals tingle. (old friend said that btw)

“The magic of living life for me is, and always has been, the magic of living on the land, not in the magic of money.”

He's a kook but I like his style.

She's a maniac for sure. Lot's of controversy around her here but I haven't kept up enough to have an opinion.

Cloudscout – January 09, 2008 10:48AM Reply Quote
Det finnes ikke dårlig vær, bare dårlige klær!
I use Dr. Bronner's peppermint soap, you know, the kind that makes the genitals tingle. (old friend said that btw)

So you refer to it as Old Friend, eh?

morganti – January 09, 2008 11:11AM Reply Quote
I think he refers to it as My Preciousssssssss.........

Morg "Duck" anti

Dr. Strangelove – February 11, 2008 04:12PM Reply Quote
Interesting: Almost all biofuels used today cause more greenhouse gas emissions than conventional fuels if the full emissions costs of producing these “green” fuels are taken into account, two studies being published Thursday have concluded.


stan adams – February 11, 2008 05:24PM Reply Quote
Seems that most, in not all, of the harm comes from [no surprise at all...] ethanol derived from "forage" especially CORN.

I would wager that if the raw material was NOT food grade there'd be almost no downside -- for things like pro-consumption "fry oil" going to biodiesel and reclaiming methane from landfills this is close to free if not a net "plus" -- literally takes something would directly be pollutant and reprocesses it for further use -- of course it is still combusted and thus ends up as CO2, but I see serious hurdles on any movement toward sequestering carbon dioxide. Biggest shot at that in the US would have been in Il and it got shelved: http://climate.weather.com/articles/coal013108.html

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