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Thread: Fooling with Mother Nature

  1. #46
    Senior Member Fritz Kobus's Avatar
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    There has been climate change ever since the flood (about 4300 years ago). Our current and quite small warming trend is well within the normal fluctuations that have been going on since then. The sun's activity has a significant effect on our climate. The main greenhouse gas is water vapor. There is no cause for alarm.
    "All of Italian opera can be heard in [Bellini's] "Ah! non creda [mirarti]."
    --Renata Scotto in "Scotto, More Than a DIva."

  2. #47
    Senior Member senza sordino's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tdc View Post
    I remember an article on the cover of Time Magazine in 1977 warning us that scientists are claiming that we are heading into another ice age. Now the story has changed to global warming, meanwhile it has been unseasonably cool around these parts and apparently the ice sheets on Greenland in places have increased by 50 meters.
    Only a small number of scientific papers in the 1970s predicted global cooling, the overwhelming majority of papers predicted global warming. And there haven't been any scientific papers since the late 70s predicting cooling.

    Quote Originally Posted by DrMike View Post
    Like people who still think socialism is a viable system?
    Public education, public health care, unemployment insurance, old age pension, paid family leave and public roads all seem to be working here. Yet I admit, governments do nothing to mitigate global warming, most ideas and innovation come from private industry.

    I worry about the future. I think global warming is our biggest threat. And we can't seem to do anything about it. We can't even do the simple things, such as sort our recycling, eat less meat and take public transit occasionally. I have no optimism for the future. I can see us collectively racing toward 800 ppm of CO2 by the end of the century.

    The human race will survive, but civilization and nature will be unrecognizable once we pass through the bottle neck of ecological crunch.

  3. #48
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    This "wise" one is all for them. They are nearly as phenomenal as vaccines in terms of improving human health, bringing crops to regions where farming was previously unsustainable.

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    Senior Member KenOC's Avatar
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    Al Gore saw our situation coming a quarter century ago with his book Earth in the Balance. He recognized that populations were growing quickly in parts of the world that were relatively poor and consumed little. These new large populations would demand better lives, which would mean more consumption of food and other materials and, especially, more energy.

    The combination of large populations and vastly increased demands on the world’s natural systems would likely push the globe past the tipping point. All this seems much closer and clearer today than it did back in 1992. How can these people be denied by the wealthier countries, whose inhabitants already live the lives that others aspire to?

    As I remember, Gore didn’t have a ready answer except to somehow buy them off. But even God doesn’t have that kind of money.
    Last edited by KenOC; May-09-2019 at 06:22.


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    Senior Member philoctetes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrMike View Post
    This "wise" one is all for them. They are nearly as phenomenal as vaccines in terms of improving human health, bringing crops to regions where farming was previously unsustainable.
    They are controversial in a similar way as vaccines. Both have considerable risk/benefit issues, even more with GMOs, since they don't represent any kind of protection form disease. Perhaps famine, yes, but are the risks to "mother nature" worth it? I have my doubts unless we can just move to another planet like getting another job.

    Dinosaurs are coming to a laboratory somewhere soon. I saw the movie and it wasn't pretty.
    Last edited by philoctetes; May-09-2019 at 01:16.

  6. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by senza sordino View Post
    ...
    Yet I admit, governments do nothing to mitigate global warming, most ideas and innovation come from private industry.
    I believe that so far governments have not done enough, but I wouldn't say they do nothing. Without enormous government funding of battery research and government policies (carbon tax, mandates, cap and trade, etc.), the cost and energy density of batteries (specifically lithium ion) would be nowhere near present values, and thus, commercialization of battery electric vehicles would be impossible. Because of these improvements, many expect battery electric vehicles to dominate sales by the 2030 - 2040 timeframe. The technological innovations come from industry, national labs, and universities.

    Quote Originally Posted by senza sordino View Post
    I worry about the future. I think global warming is our biggest threat. And we can't seem to do anything about it. We can't even do the simple things, such as sort our recycling, eat less meat and take public transit occasionally. I have no optimism for the future. I can see us collectively racing toward 800 ppm of CO2 by the end of the century.
    Let me inject some optimism into the mix here. Shell, the largest oil and gas company in the world, has a business plan of being carbon free by 2050. Essentially all of their revenue will come from production of renewable electricity and hydrogen.

    We work closely with many oil and gas companies as well as auto and truck manufacturers. All of these companies clearly believe that zero-emission vehicles are the future, and all are working toward that end developing battery electric and fuel cell vehicles, installing hydrogen fueling stations, and decarbonizing energy pathways. The real questions are how fast must we move toward a zero or near zero carbon target, and what are the best paths to that target? There are a large number of people within governments, universities, national labs, non-profits, and industry working hard to understand these paths over the next 10 to 30 year timeframes.

    I used to be rather pessimistic, but I'm slowly becoming more optimistic as I see the movement from this array of actors. I'm not sure we will completely mitigate climate change, but I think we have a reasonable chance of significantly reducing projected negative effects.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DrMike View Post
    This "wise" one is all for them. They are nearly as phenomenal as vaccines in terms of improving human health, bringing crops to regions where farming was previously unsustainable.
    It took me awhile to discover what "them" referred to. I agree. One of the most amazing studies I've seen involved over 100 billion animals. The meta-analysis looked at animals fed both before and after the introduction of GE feed. They concluded:

    These field data sets, representing over 100 billion animals following the introduction of GE crops, did not reveal unfavorable or perturbed trends in livestock health and productivity.

  8. #53
    Senior Member Luchesi's Avatar
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    It's still quaint to hear folks who don't know what the planetary circulations are doing (and couldn't read a chart to find out for themselves) saying they haven't detected anything to worry about.
    Tradition is not the worship of ashes - but the preservation of fire!
    Gustav Mahler

  9. #54
    Senior Member Luchesi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fritz Kobus View Post
    There has been climate change ever since the flood (about 4300 years ago). Our current and quite small warming trend is well within the normal fluctuations that have been going on since then. The sun's activity has a significant effect on our climate. The main greenhouse gas is water vapor. There is no cause for alarm.
    I think the Sun being closest to Earth in January has 10 times greater warming effect than the most intense solar activity has ever had.

    Water vapor is in hydrostatic equilibrium. Greenhouse gas emissions go up.
    Tradition is not the worship of ashes - but the preservation of fire!
    Gustav Mahler

  10. #55
    Senior Member Strange Magic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrMike View Post
    The children of the WWI generation figured out how to solve the problems left behind by their parents.
    The result? World War II

    The children and grandchildren of the WWII generation finally figured out how to end the Cold War left to them.
    The result of World War II was the Cold War; after that was fixed, the result was Vladimir Putin and Jihadist Islam.

    The point is that every generation ends up, to some extent, cleaning up the problems of previous ones, in addition to dealing with their own. Humans always leave behind problems they couldn't solve or didn't get around to.
    The problem left behind now, unprecedented in either human or planetary history, is a monster global population, now of almost 8 billions, crowding out almost all other species and filling almost all of Earth's environments, while threatening to double in size.

    It will always be that way, because, more often than not, we simply don't have the tools available to accomplish what we wish to accomplish. The technology may not yet exist, and what tools we have are inadequate to the task.
    We do actually have the tools because we have the necessary knowledge of the problem. But employing the tools presents such challenges to people's everyday thinking and to powerful ideologies that block rational thought, that, as we witness here in this thread, we have denial and paralysis.

    But there are not a lot of problems that ultimately last for multiple generations.
    But this is one of them and it's a biggie!

    Some do, to be sure. Some may always be with us. But thus far, no dystopian stories ever written have come to fruition. Some have come close.
    Actually, many dystopian stories have come to fruition (the Irish potato famine; the great Bengali and Ukrainian famines; the recurring famines in Africa). True, these have been "local", only involving millions, and could have been either prevented or mitigated. But they weren't--that's the point. What we are witnessing today is "the dance of the dream-led masses down the dark mountain". Look for an uptick in dystopian stories, even if we finally begin to act on a massive scale to reverse the assault on the biosphere.

  11. #56
    Senior Member Fritz Kobus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luchesi View Post
    I think the Sun being closest to Earth in January has 10 times greater warming effect than the most intense solar activity has ever had.

    Water vapor is in hydrostatic equilibrium. Greenhouse gas emissions go up.
    Unlike solar flares, the earth's distance from the sun averages out over the course of a year.

    Yes, but water vapor is a huge component of greenhouse gas. CO2 is fractional to that. And we are talking fractional increase of this fractional greenhouse gas, or a negligible increase relative to all greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere.
    Last edited by Fritz Kobus; May-09-2019 at 04:33.
    "All of Italian opera can be heard in [Bellini's] "Ah! non creda [mirarti]."
    --Renata Scotto in "Scotto, More Than a DIva."

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    Global poverty is the lowest it's ever been in spite of the current population. Less people are starving, in spite of the population growth. But by all means, let's continue to foster this zealous, unshakeable faith in Malthus, Ehrlich, and Hardin in spite of all data to the contrary.

    And I think to myself, what a wonderful world.
    Last edited by DrMike; May-09-2019 at 05:43.

  13. #58
    Senior Member Luchesi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fritz Kobus View Post
    Unlike solar flares, the earth's distance from the sun averages out over the course of a year.

    Yes, but water vapor is a huge component of greenhouse gas. CO2 is fractional to that. And we are talking fractional increase of this fractional greenhouse gas, or a negligible increase relative to all greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere.
    Every sentence above is correct, and it's why change has been slight in terms of temperature. But the heating effect of the most intense solar activity we have records for is only about a tenth of the Sun's heating increase from apogee to perigee. I was surprised at this. It's counterintuitive.

    Regional climates are changing, barely perceptibly, weather systems are getting slightly stronger, there have been consistent seasonal delays depending upon the sequences of the planetary waves at those times of the year. Some hurricanes are blown apart before they can form now, but when they do form they're slightly stronger.
    Last edited by Luchesi; May-09-2019 at 06:17.
    Tradition is not the worship of ashes - but the preservation of fire!
    Gustav Mahler

  14. #59
    Senior Member Strange Magic's Avatar
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    Default Some Resources on the Problem

    Garrett Hardin, in his profound essay The Tragedy of the Commons, where he lays out for even the dullest mind the remorseless working of the Malthusian race between population growth and the Earth's ability to feed that cancerously growing population, quotes the philosopher Alfred North Whitehead on tragedy: "The essence of dramatic tragedy is not unhappiness. It resides in the solemnity of the remorseless working of things.” We are witnessing in miniature here in this thread that sort of tragedy: the refusal to acknowledge what now several generations of scientists have been warning us about--that our irreplaceable planet is in danger of a mass extinction event, human-caused, that may equal the great extinctions of past geological eras. "Whom the gods would destroy, they first make blind."

    Garrett Hardin's crucial essay:
    http://www.garretthardinsociety.org/...he_commons.pdf

    Some others were not blind: In 1959, Edward Teller warned the oil industry about Global Warming...
    https://www.theguardian.com/environm...global-warming

    The National Academy of Sciences and Britain's Royal Society have opened their eyes (the evidence is too compelling to ignore):
    http://dels.nas.edu/resources/static...hange-full.pdf

    NASA is awake, aware, and warning...
    https://climate.nasa.gov/scientific-consensus/

    The National Institutes of Health sees the problem...
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1280423/

    ......The remorseless working of things. We can fix this. But minimizing the situation, or worse, ignoring it or repudiating it, will ensure that remorseless working.

  15. #60
    Senior Member Jacck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fritz Kobus View Post
    There has been climate change ever since the flood (about 4300 years ago). Our current and quite small warming trend is well within the normal fluctuations that have been going on since then. The sun's activity has a significant effect on our climate. The main greenhouse gas is water vapor. There is no cause for alarm.
    the flood was 12 000 years ago, when a comet impact caused a mini ice age. The subsequent ice melting could have cause a flood, that became the basis of some summerian myths, and the jews borrowed these myths from mesopotamia
    https://www.sciencealert.com/ancient...sation-forever

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