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 So is the earth warming or not?
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Trish
SFN Addict

USA
2102 Posts

Posted - 07/02/2001 :  23:13:32  Show Profile Send Trish a Private Message
I'm going to move the debate over global warming down here. Since it occupies two separate locations.

It seems we have two different debates going under this title as well....

One: Global climatic change (Earth warming v cooling)

Two: Atmospheric Polutants (Greenhouse gasses and particulates)

I look forward to reading both sides with good data since I don't know enough about this to make a decision on which side of the fence I stand. Tho, I have stated I prefer a more cautious approach than seems apparent.



He's YOUR god, they're YOUR rules, YOU burn in hell!

Lisa
SFN Regular

USA
1223 Posts

Posted - 07/02/2001 :  23:57:08   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Lisa a Private Message
quote:

I look forward to reading both sides with good data since I don't know enough about this to make a decision on which side of the fence I stand. Tho, I have stated I prefer a more cautious approach than seems apparent.


Agreed. The noise from the two extreme sides tends to drown out rational debate. Side (1): We're all gonna die.
Side (2): Nothin' to worry about, business as usual.
Guess I'm a fence-sitter. I think they're both wrong. I believe there's environmental problems that need to be addressed. Maybe we won't feel the effects, but out great great grandchildren won't look back on us with fondness.
On the other hand, getting hysterical and overstating a problem isn't going to win anyone any points. Does the squeaky wheel really get the grease? Or does the wheel get replaced.
Lisa

Chaos...Confusion...Destruction...My Work Here Is Done
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Rift
Skeptic Friend

USA
333 Posts

Posted - 07/03/2001 :  00:08:42   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Rift a Private Message
Okay, who stuck this in PsuedoScience??? :P

If you ask me, politics would be a better place for it, because neither side of this debate is involved in pseudoscience. There is good science done on both sides. The earth is a very complex thing and we are just now starting to figure things out, of course there is conflicting data...

Besides, go look at that "Sossel" folder and see how much politics is involved in this issue :)

(I for one am going to try to stay out of this mess, it's outside my field of knowledge and I trust the scientists (on both sides) to figure it out and solve the problem)

'Psuedoscience' is Hoagland and SIBs and crap :)

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Lisa
SFN Regular

USA
1223 Posts

Posted - 07/03/2001 :  00:40:02   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Lisa a Private Message
Look, everybody's gotta be somewhere. And besides, those on the far ends of the argument both see the other side as practicing "junk science". Heck, there's folks who believe that god will make everything okay. Maybe this should be under religion. Or that the media is taking sides. Or the health problems all this causes.
I'm just glad Trish did this to get it all into one place. (Although if someone starts a thread about bumper stickers, or bitching about Piper, or claims space aliens built the pyramids here, I might just scream)
Lisa

Chaos...Confusion...Destruction...My Work Here Is Done
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Rift
Skeptic Friend

USA
333 Posts

Posted - 07/03/2001 :  01:19:27   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Rift a Private Message
Okay Okay, sheesh :P

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@tomic
Administrator

USA
4607 Posts

Posted - 07/03/2001 :  03:38:21   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit @tomic's Homepage Send @tomic a Private Message
Yesterday it was 80F, today it was 85F!! How much more do you need???

@tomic

Gravity, not just a good idea...it's the law!
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bestonnet_00
Skeptic Friend

Australia
358 Posts

Posted - 07/03/2001 :  03:52:45   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send bestonnet_00 an ICQ Message  Send bestonnet_00 a Yahoo! Message
Climate Models aren't perfect, but their not GIGO either.

As for Global Warming it is quite serious when one takes into account the oceans.

The oceans of the earth have a very high specific heat capacity and as such can hold a lot of heat.

To the point at which it would take far longer then it would without the oceans for the temperature to increase, and once its done that even if we wait long enough for the CO2 to leave the atmosphere (75 year lifetime) the heat in the oceans would still mean it will be much longer before the temperature returns to normal, possibly over 1000 years.

As for sulphate particles which result in global cooling, they also cause acid rain and are not very good to inhale, as such emission of Sulphates and Sulphites is reducing and low sulphur fuels are becoming very popular.

Old saying: "Better safe then sorry".




Abondon Drugs, say no to Religion
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Lars_H
SFN Regular

Germany
630 Posts

Posted - 07/03/2001 :  05:51:17   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Lars_H a Private Message
So people start realizing that all those waterworld scenarios were probably a bit overly pessimistic. Even if they made for better Media-material than some of the more realistic prognoses.
Now people are claiming that Global warming is either not happening at all or if it is then it is a completely natural thing, that needn't brother us since everything that is natural is automatically good.

Even if you buy into those theories it is quiet a jump to the conclusion, that all the stuff we are pumping into the atmosphere are completely harmless and that we can continue to do as we have done indefinitely.

It seems to me that one of the main effects of the global warming debate is to draw attention away from other matters environment-problems.

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Garrette
SFN Regular

USA
562 Posts

Posted - 07/03/2001 :  06:50:01   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Garrette a Yahoo! Message Send Garrette a Private Message
Thanks, Trish; we needed this.

But let me suggest a more specific title:

"So is the earth warming or not and if it is then how much is it warming and exactly what's the cause and whose fault is it and what will the impact be and what's the best way to fix it and can we do it without causing too big of a problem in other areas and is the United States really the great satan?"

Ah, well. Can't have it all, I suppose.

quote:
I look forward to reading both sides with good data since I don't know enough about this to make a decision on which side of the fence I stand.


Good data? We have to use good data? Where's the fun in that?


Lars: Where in Germany are you?

quote:
Now people are claiming that Global warming is either not happening at all or if it is then it is a completely natural thing, that needn't brother us since everything that is natural is automatically good.



I haven't heard this this take on it. I have heard the idea that if it's natural then there's not much we CAN do about it, particularly if it's related to solar activity. Are you suggesting that natural causes can be counteracted?

I've also heard that it's natural and that the warming will not be nearly so great as predicted and could be ultimately beneficial as the Medieval Warming Period was.

quote:
Even if you buy into those theories it is quiet a jump to the conclusion, that all the stuff we are pumping into the atmosphere are completely harmless and that we can continue to do as we have done indefinitely.


I don't think anyone on this board is claiming this. The opposite position espoused by many on the environmental fringe (I'm speaking about the fringe here, not everybody who disagrees with me, so please don't take offense) is that humans must find a way to live without impacting the environment at all (they usually imply this rather than saying it outright) which is ludicrous. We didn't invent ourselves, and we're part of the environment, too; we cannot exist without some effect on the planet. The question is one of balance. On this warming issue, I'm looking for better info that we're tipping the balance.

quote:
Climate Models aren't perfect, but their not GIGO either.



Nonsense. Everything is GIGO.

quote:
The oceans of the earth have a very high specific heat capacity and as such can hold a lot of heat.


Yes. So where's the info that the oceans are heating up and that humans are causing it?

quote:
To the point at which it would take far longer then it would without the oceans for the temperature to increase, and once its done that even if we wait long enough for the CO2 to leave the atmosphere (75 year lifetime) the heat in the oceans would still mean it will be much longer before the temperature returns to normal, possibly over 1000 years.


Um, do you really want the CO2 to leave the atmosphere? All of it?

quote:
But before that you said something about the US being entitled to any amount of energy. The US is only entitled to whatever energy it can produce on its own or purchase from outside. Another Arab Oil Embargo would be far more devastating now than it was in 1973.


I went back to find where I said this and found how it might seem like I did. What I meant to say, though, was that there are those who believe the U.S. is NOT entitled to use 25% of the world's energy. Fine difference, I know, and probably immaterial. And to carry this further, the U.S. is using the energy it produces itself or purchases.

At risk of bringing the wrath of The Board upon me: an embargo doesn't have to be devastating; we have lots of oil to use if we were allowed to do so. WAIT! DON'T SHOOT ME! I'm not really for the total and complete destruction of the Alaskan Wilderness...

Trish: Here are some links regarding CO2 sinks.

This first one doesn't address sinks much, but does a nifty discussion of energy use compared to emissions, particularly as a comparison between the U.S. and China. And lest you think I only look for favorable reports regarding the U.S., this does not let the U.S. off lightly.

http://www.pnl.gov/aisu/pubs/climactione.pdf

This one is very very long, but has lots of good numbers on emissions and the progression of efforts to reduce them. Sorry, but I can't find exactly where in there it talks about CO2 sinks, but it's there.

http://www.gcrio.org/OnLnDoc/pdf/usnc2.pdf

Also long, but interesting:

http://www.weathervane.rff.org/refdocs/wh_analysis.pdf

Look in the Land Use section for a quick note about the U.S. being a CO2 sink here.

http://www.eia.doe.gov/pub/oiaf/1605/cdrom/pdf/ggrpt/057399.pdf

This is the most direct statement of it. It's a whole book, so you may have to search it.

http://books.nap.edu/nap-cgi/chaphits.cgi?term=CO2 sink&isbn=0309056411

My kids still love me.
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Greg
Skeptic Friend

USA
281 Posts

Posted - 07/03/2001 :  07:49:16   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Greg an AOL message Send Greg a Private Message
http://books.nap.edu/books/0309075742/html/R11.html#pagetop

This is the National Academy of sciences report for anyone interested.

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Tokyodreamer
SFN Regular

USA
1447 Posts

Posted - 07/03/2001 :  08:26:53   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Tokyodreamer a Private Message
I'm going to repost here a couple of replies that I made a few months ago on this topic in another thread, as it pretty much sums up my position.

[under "The Bad Science of Religious Fanatics"]
------------

Gambatte kudasai!

Edited by - tokyodreamer on 07/03/2001 08:28:48
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Tokyodreamer
SFN Regular

USA
1447 Posts

Posted - 07/03/2001 :  08:27:07   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Tokyodreamer a Private Message
quote:
The effects on the economy would in fact be far smaller then you claim, there would be no economic melt-down, no depressions, in fact not even a recession.


Are you responding to me? Because I read back over this thread, and I've not claimed melt-down, depressions, or recessions. Skyrocketing gas prices, yes. This is an obvious result. Economic melt-downs, no.

[Changed position; still in the original post if you are interested] But from a purely academic standpoint, I'll continue to argue that the evidence is not strong enough to go around claiming the things you do are facts.

quote:
Also CO2 levels have gone up 25% since the start of the industrial age, stop saying it is mostly from natural processes, it is more unlikely that nature is changing that quickly at the same time we are on this planet, then us causing the change.


Granted, it's almost certain that the increase in this century is caused by humans (I've not said the increase was due to natural processes, just that the total atomospheric CO2 was mostly natural). But is this harmful? I've read many reports (mostly from leftist environmental groups whose motives are anti-capitalist) that say it will cause calamity. I've read many reports (mostly from right-leaning economic policy groups who are pro-capitalists) that say it's not harmful at all, but actually beneficial to plant life. Which is true? Guess people who don't interpret the evidence the way you do are bought and paid for by the oil companies, huh?

Try this link, they seem to be non-biased and purely scientific: http://www.oism.org/pproject/s33p36.htm

I'll be the first to (gladly) admit that you are right, if I found sufficient evidence for the idea that 'most of our cities will be underwater in a hundred years'. Would anything convince you otherwise, or is this just ammo in your hatred against 'evil big business', that if proven wrong, you'll just stubbornly move on to something else to rail against corporations with?

quote:
The Jury isn't really still out, the ice melting is already proven, in fact you only need 1/10 of antartica to raise sea levels a signifcant amount.


I've not said anything until now, but you're getting a bit out of hand with your reading miscomprehention. Nowhere did I deny that the ice caps were melting. Nowhere have I denied that the earth appears to be warming. Nowhere have I denied that the atmospheric CO2 levels are increasing. What I've been saying is that we don't know for sure if humans are the cause, and more importantly, if there's anything we can do to stop it!!! Got it now?

cont.


------------

Gambatte kudasai!

Edited by - tokyodreamer on 07/03/2001 08:30:25

Edited by - tokyodreamer on 07/03/2001 10:13:07
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Tokyodreamer
SFN Regular

USA
1447 Posts

Posted - 07/03/2001 :  08:27:27   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Tokyodreamer a Private Message
quote:
The denialists are in the minority, and despite having most of the fossil fuel industry behind them they are still a minority, pretty good proof they are bullshitting.


*sigh* No one here is talking about the stupid denialists except you! Stop lumping us in with the denialists! We're not denying that the earth is warming. We are skeptical of the reasons!

And just because a majority of scientists hold a certain view that is contradicted by a minority of scientists, doesn't necessarily mean the majority is automatically right. It certainly helps your case, but it doesn't clinch it. (i.e. plate tectonics, and [I was about to post my previous mention of how scientists supposedly were predicting a coming ice age around 30 years ago. On looking into it, I've found that while a few made mention of it, most of the 'hysteria' was generated by the media and public. So I'm not going to. See how easy it is for me to admit when I'm wrong? ]

quote:
You haven't even proven that government is the largest pollutor, and it wouldn't matter whether you did or didn't because that is unimportant and would just mean we have to make government clean up as well as industry.


How can we do that, when the government has exempted itself from it's own regulations?

You're right though, I don't think any proof in the world will convince you. I might as well be talking to a creationist.


[edited for format cleanup]
------------

Gambatte kudasai!

Edited by - tokyodreamer on 07/03/2001 08:31:16
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Tokyodreamer
SFN Regular

USA
1447 Posts

Posted - 07/03/2001 :  08:28:02   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Tokyodreamer a Private Message
Yet another interesting link.

http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/ice_ages.html

------------

Gambatte kudasai!
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Rift
Skeptic Friend

USA
333 Posts

Posted - 07/03/2001 :  08:51:16   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Rift a Private Message
quote:
The opposite position espoused by many on the environmental fringe (I'm speaking about the fringe here, not
everybody who disagrees with me, so please don't take offense) is that humans must find a way to live without impacting the environment at all (they usually
imply this rather than saying it outright) which is ludicrous. We didn't invent ourselves, and we're part of the environment, too; we cannot exist without some
effect on the planet.


This is ludicrous, and I agree. Like or not we do have an effect on the planet and, unless we pack up and leave, we will always have an effect on the planet.

To explain one reason this is a somewhat emotional issue for me and why I would rather err on the precationary side is that one of my best friends in college was from the Marshall Islands in the south pacific.

The highest point on her island is like 40 feet. Here are a people who already have a minimal effect on the environment and live in harmony with it, much as they have for centuries, but will be among the first casualties if global warming and rising sea levels are a problem.

Officials are sometimes elected in the Marshall Islands SOLELY upon their stand on global warming.

What I'm trying to say is that this is much bigger then the United States, and even the Indusrialized World. A lot is at stake and we better damn well get it right before it is too late (I'm not saying anybody on this board doesn't agree with that, Just as there is a environmental fringe, there is an anti-environmental fringe as well...)

The problem with "if it aint broke don't fix it" (a philosophy I whole heartly believe in) is, of course, knowing if it is broke or not... The jury seems to still be out concerning global warming on this one.

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Garrette
SFN Regular

USA
562 Posts

Posted - 07/03/2001 :  10:00:42   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Garrette a Yahoo! Message Send Garrette a Private Message
quote:
What I'm trying to say is that this is much bigger then the United States, and even the Indusrialized World. A lot is at stake and we better damn well get it right before it is too late (I'm not saying anybody on this board doesn't agree with that, Just as there is a environmental fringe, there is an anti-environmental fringe as well...)


Absolutely.

quote:
The problem with "if it aint broke don't fix it" (a philosophy I whole heartly believe in) is, of course, knowing if it is broke or not... The jury seems to still be out concerning global warming on this one.



That's the first half of my point. The second half is that a rush to action CAN be extremely detrimental also, and there's no reason not to pursue the question further with more legitimate science before far-reaching political decisions are made.

My kids still love me.
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