The Definitive Global Climate Change (aka Global Warming) Thread -- General Discussion and Questions

2071 posts / 0 new
Last post
Doug's picture
Doug
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 1 2008
Posts: 2718
Gyro

Quote:
What do you consider my view point to be?

I can't answer for Mark, but in post #319 I asked:

Quote:
So, the question I would like you to answer is:  Do you think that global warming is not occurring or are you just being argumentative?

And you never responded.  Do you have an answer yet?

Doug

gyrogearloose's picture
gyrogearloose
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 8 2008
Posts: 479
Unasnswered questions.

Doug

the list of direct questions I have asked you and had no response from you is long.......

So get off your high horse.

But no I am not just been argumentative.

You have previously labeled me a denier, yet despite all I have said you do not understand where I am coming from.

That is the problem with labeling people.

How about you re read my post #323 and in particular think about this paragraph there

"How about you actually deal with this issue I am trying to discuss, namely Is there scientific evidence to back his claim, is his assertion that the law of very large numbers backs his claim valid, is my assertion that the law of very large numbers applies to random events and hence does not apply in this situation valid ??????

So far as I see it there have been expressed beliefs supporting his claim, but no hard science."

rather than putting words in my mouth.

I 'label' you a believer, but only in jest to try and make you think......

Cheers Hamish

Damnthematrix's picture
Damnthematrix
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 10 2008
Posts: 3998
what next.....?

http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/scientists-reject-lnp-school-move-20120713-221or.html

Scientists reject LNP school move

 
July 14, 2012
 

A BODY representing nearly 70,000 Australian scientists has criticised a Queensland Liberal National Party resolution calling for mainstream climate science to be cut from the state's school curriculum.

LNP delegates at the party's state conference passed a motion yesterday calling on Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek to stop the teaching of ''environmental propaganda material, in particular post-normal science about climate change''.

The mover of the motion, Noosa LNP member Richard Pearson, attacked ''false prophets who would poison the minds of our children in our schools''.

''Few people understand that the so-called science of climate change is really what can be defined as post-normal science,'' he said, arguing it went beyond traditional understanding of science. The motion was passed with overwhelming support.

Anna-Maria Arabia, chief executive of Science & Technology Australia, called the resolution ''extremely harmful''. The central principles of climate science - including that man-made greenhouse gases trap heat in the lower atmosphere and have warmed the planet - were backed by all the world's major scientific academies.

''The message this sends is 'we do not treat the science as an issue of testing ideas, we treat it as a belief system','' Ms Arabia said. ''We shouldn't be telling students that testing ideas is propaganda and that there is 'post-normal science', whatever that means.''

Queensland Premier Campbell Newman said MPs had not decided whether to act on the resolution. ''We will always do the right thing by Queenslanders ahead of the LNP,'' he said.

Mark Cochrane's picture
Mark Cochrane
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: May 24 2011
Posts: 459
Erik the Red and the Astrological Effects on Climate Change

Mike,

There are any number of legislative moves to provide political solutions to climate change that obviate any need for lifestyle changes and are the equivalent of putting our collective heads in the sand. I was asked to provide some scientific rebuttal of the earlier version of this bill which was even more incoherent but, alas, this somewhat modified bill passed and esconced Astrology as a science to be reconned with in climate science. Several other states in the US have passed similar bills. Sorry to see Australia following in our misguided footsteps. Now if they can only pass some bills against excessive solar heating and drought so that the US corn and soybean crops can grow well this year I'll begin to believe in legislative science. Maybe they can give us a discount on gravity while they are at it so we don't have to lose so much weight too! For now I continue to await my Scopes Monkey trial equivalent.

http://legis.state.sd.us/sessions/2010/Bill.aspx?File=HCR1009P.htm

State of South Dakota
EIGHTY-FIFTH SESSION
LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY, 2010

363R0643   HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION   NO.  1009

Introduced by:    Representatives Kopp, Bolin, Brunner, Cronin, Curd, Feickert, Gosch, Greenfield, Hamiel, Hoffman, Hunt, Iron Cloud III, Jensen, Juhnke, Kirkeby, Lange, Lederman, Moser, Novstrup (David), Olson (Betty), Olson (Ryan), Pitts, Putnam, Rausch, Russell, Schlekeway, Sly, Steele, Tidemann, Turbiville, Van Gerpen, Verchio, and Wink and Senators Brown, Abdallah, Bradford, Haverly, Maher, and Schmidt
 

        A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION, Calling for balanced teaching of global warming in the public schools of South Dakota.
    WHEREAS, the earth has been cooling for the last eight years despite small increases in anthropogenic carbon dioxide; and
    WHEREAS, there is no evidence of atmospheric warming in the troposphere where the majority of warming would be taking place; and
    WHEREAS, historical climatological data shows without question the earth has gone through trends where the climate was much warmer than in our present age. The Climatic Optimum and Little Climatic Optimum are two examples. During the Little Climatic Optimum, Erik the Red settled Greenland where they farmed and raised dairy cattle. Today, ninety percent of Greenland is covered by massive ice sheets, in many places more than two miles thick; and
    WHEREAS, the polar ice cap is subject to shifting warm water currents and the break-up of ice by high wind events. Many oceanographers believe this to be the major cause of melting

polar ice, not atmospheric warming; and

    WHEREAS, carbon dioxide is not a pollutant but rather a highly beneficial ingredient for all plant life on earth. Many scientists refer to carbon dioxide as "the gas of life"; and
    WHEREAS, more than 31,000 American scientists collectively signed a petition to President Obama stating: "There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, or methane, or other greenhouse gasses is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the earth's atmosphere and disruption of the earth's climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide will produce many beneficial effects on the natural plant and animal environments of the earth":
    NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the House of Representatives of the Eighty-fifth Legislature of the State of South Dakota, the Senate concurring therein, that the South Dakota Legislature urges that instruction in the public schools relating to global warming include the following:
            (1)    That global warming is a scientific theory rather than a proven fact;
            (2)    That there are a variety of climatological, meteorological, astrological, thermological, cosmological, and ecological dynamics that can effect world weather phenomena and that the significance and interrelativity of these factors is largely speculative; and
            (3)    That the debate on global warming has subsumed political and philosophical viewpoints which have complicated and prejudiced the scientific investigation of global warming phenomena; and

   BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Legislature urges that all instruction on the theory of global warming be appropriate to the age and academic development of the student and to the prevailing classroom circumstances.

r's picture
r
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 2 2008
Posts: 262
warming and volcanic activity

I read somewhere recently that the warm climate in the middle ages (MWP) was due primarily to a lull in volcanic activity.  Does anyone know anything about this?  What evidence is there?  And have there been any studies on the amount of volcanic activity over time, and compared the activity between the MWP and today?

Thanks!

mainebob's picture
mainebob
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 13 2009
Posts: 97
Global Warming's Terrifying New Math (x-post)

I posted this in it's own thread and Doug recommended that I cross post it here:

Bill McKibben has a new article in Rolling Stone... Very sobering... 

Global Warming's Terrifying New Math
Three simple numbers that add up to global catastrophe - and that make clear who the real enemy is
http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/global-warmings-terrifying-new...

Great insight using big numbers with respect to:

  1. Temperature 2 degrees C.
  2. CO2:    565 Gigatons of CO2 limit to stay under 2C
  3. CO2  2,795 Gigatons of CO2 in known Reserves

Here's a sample from this compelling article:

 Which is exactly why this new number, 2,795 gigatons, is such a big deal. Think of two degrees Celsius as the legal drinking limit – equivalent to the 0.08 blood-alcohol level below which you might get away with driving home. The 565 gigatons is how many drinks you could have and still stay below that limit – the six beers, say, you might consume in an evening. And the 2,795 gigatons? That's the three 12-packs the fossil-fuel industry has on the table, already opened and ready to pour.

We have five times as much oil and coal and gas on the books as climate scientists think is safe to burn. We'd have to keep 80 percent of those reserves locked away underground to avoid that fate. Before we knew those numbers, our fate had been likely. Now, barring some massive intervention, it seems certain.

Yes, this coal and gas and oil is still technically in the soil. But it's already economically aboveground – it's figured into share prices, companies are borrowing money against it, nations are basing their budgets on the presumed returns from their patrimony. It explains why the big fossil-fuel companies have fought so hard to prevent the regulation of carbon dioxide – those reserves are their primary asset, the holding that gives their companies their value. It's why they've worked so hard these past years to figure out how to unlock the oil in Canada's tar sands, or how to drill miles beneath the sea, or how to frack the Appalachians.

Good points made about investing in oil companies....

A "must read"... Normally I'd say "ENJOY"   this time.... "PREPARE"!

-MaineBob

Mark Cochrane's picture
Mark Cochrane
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: May 24 2011
Posts: 459
Medieval Warm Period a bit of a misnomer

Hello  r,

The Medieval Warm Period (MWP), commonly dated as 950-1250 A.D., has been attributed to both the lull in volcanic activity that you mention and a relatively high period of solar radiation, modulated somewhat by changed ocean currents. Note, however, that despite its name, the MWP was primarily a northern hemisphere phenomenon and was spotty even there, based on numerous temperature proxy data fromt he period.

When you compare this with the current spatial patterns of warming, it is clear that something different and global is occurring.

Note, precious little cooling is occurring and most of that, in the Antarctic, is largely due to melting ice. When summed up as 'global' temperature change, the rate of change in current global temperatures compared to the last few thousand years also illustrates how different current warming is.

For more detailed descriptions and sources see link.

Mark

Mark Cochrane's picture
Mark Cochrane
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: May 24 2011
Posts: 459
Real journalism on climate change

Mainebob,

Thanks for the post. I was actually one of the people contacted by a media group, together with several other scientists, to put the western wildfires in the climate change context. I've been amazed over the last few years that Rollingstone seems to provide some of the most serious remaining journalism on numerous topics, including climate change. I concur that this should be a must read for anyone who needs some perspective on just where we stand with climate change. I saw nothing that was factually inaccurate and a lot that helps provide an understanding of the challenges we are facing. For me, the take home message for anyone who doubts whether climate change is occurring is:

June broke or tied 3,215 high-temperature records across the United States. That followed the warmest May on record for the Northern Hemisphere – the 327th consecutive month in which the temperature of the entire globe exceeded the 20th-century average, the odds of which occurring by simple chance were 3.7 x 10-99, a number considerably larger than the number of stars in the universe.

Are you feeling lucky? What this ridiculous number means is that someone's chance of being right that global warming is not occurring is only slightly less than the chance of winning one of those Megabucks lotteries 14 times in a row!
 
We are already in a fundamentally different climate, the only question is how fast it will change and how different it is going to become. What we are seeing now is only the beginning. The last decade has been relatively mild (even though it has been the warmest on record!) as we have gone through the longest and deepest solar minimum in about 100 years. The planet should have been cooling. We are now transitioning to the next solar maximum. It's going to get warmer faster for the next several years.
 
Mark
Doug's picture
Doug
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 1 2008
Posts: 2718
Lessons

Mark,

Your foresight in putting this thread into the CT dungeon ironically allows us to speak more freely than we might in other parts of the site.

I know all the rationalizations offered for Chris's failure to take a position on climate change. In light of McKibben's article and the rapidly changing markers of climate change, I think Chris is going to be more marginalized as the climate threat becomes more obvious.  We have been following his writings for years and I, at least, keep waiting for some kind of denouement, a crash or significant deterioration in our lives or lifestyles.  It's happening slower than I thought possible in the beginning and it is possible that these changes will continue to be more of a gradual decline than a drop from a cliff edge.  I appreciate the opportunity to prepare for a more resilient lifestyle, but at some point we need to take a look at our priorities and decide whether the economic-energy Es are more important/immediate than the environment E or vice versa.  If McKibben's article is close to accurate, that balance is changing rapidly.
 
I will note parenthetically, that at the Age of Limits weekend I attended Memorial Day weekend... (discussed here beginning at post #34):  
 
 
...climate change was discussed openly and without the kind of rancor of which Chris is apparently afraid.  The presenters at the weekend are some of the more advanced thinkers and leaders on the three Es.  If the subject is freely discussed in that kind of forum, why can't we discuss it openly here with Chris's participation?  It's a subject that is tailor made for the clear data based approach that Chris takes to other subjects.  He has the opportunity to take a leadership role wrt climate change as he has with the other two Es.  All three Es are inextricably linked and to leave one of them out of the discussion is to present only a partial story.  A full discussion would be a much richer experience that would greatly enhance the status of the Peak Prosperity forum.
 
Doug
 
John Lemieux's picture
John Lemieux
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 2 2012
Posts: 221
Bill Mckibben's artical

I haven't been following this thread but I have done a fair bit of reading on this topic. Therefore I am familiar with what Bill Mckibben is saying and doing and I have a great deal of respect for him. And I believe what he is telling us. But I can't see a way out of the mess were in. I mean I just don't think that there is any chance that we will reduce our use of fossil fuels to any significant degree in time to make a difference. That is no matter what "good" people like him are saying. I live in Alberta Canada and when I look around and try to envision the changes that would be required to transition away from fossil fuels I am completely overwhelmed. That is for us to transition away from the way things are done here. I now believe that doing something like injecting sulpher into the atmosphere will be the only way we will slow this down in the near future. That is to prevent runaway global warming, and to prevent the ice caps and permafrost from melting. I see it as the only way to give us time to develop new non fossil fuel burning methods of producing energy and other technolgies such as cabon capture systems. I believe that nuclear power is likely our best choice as a primary source of energy considering the alternatives. That is combined with conservation and such things as renewables and geo thermal. Not cheap or easy but once again consider the alternatives. I am aware of the ocean acidification problem and many of the other issues involved including moral and political ones. But I continue to read and learn and this thread does appear to be very different from others that I have come across as it is extremly well presented. And people appear to be having a useful discussion here. It appears to be educational rather than just confrontational like many others I've tried to participate in.

JAG's picture
JAG
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 26 2008
Posts: 2489
Dr. Cochrane

Dr. Cochrane,

I just wanted to extend my thanks to you for your contribution to this thread. I have found value in the information that you have provided here. 

Though I typically avoid climate change discussions like the plague, because I abhor politics, I must admit that this issue dominates all others in the amount of attention I give it. 

Rather than wasting time and energy on taking and defending a "side" on this issue, I have focused my effort on ways to mitigate the potential ramifications of climate change to my personal environment. My main concern is maintaining personal food production under extreme weather conditions.

I live on the Texas Gulf Coast and last year's drought was a real eye-opener for me. This year, I was ready for the heat-wave and drought only to lose many of my crops in the three weeks of rain we got recently. Thus, I find myself needing to rethink my approach to mazimize my ability to adapt to "bi-polar" weather events.

Can you help me understand what type of weather events I should expect and prepare for in my region, and help me prioritze them? I figure a little advanced planning is always beneficial no matter what the future brings.

Thanks for your time,

Jeff

Damnthematrix's picture
Damnthematrix
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 10 2008
Posts: 3998
what the future brings

G'day Jeff....

I'm no expert, but my gut feeling is the future will bring more extreme weather.  More of the same that we BOTH got!  My garden is producing poorly this winter (in Australia remember) because of excessive rainfall. In June, we got THREE TIMES the normal amount of rain... July, when it often doesn't rain AT ALL for the whole month - dry seaon, is probably heading the same way...... which of course also means far less sunlight. The result is NO TOMATOES, for instance.  My artichokes are all curling their toes, hopefully the remaining 50% I have left will make a recovery now the sun is back.  Everything else is waiting for some solar energy to grow.  Even the battery bank attached to my solar array is taking a pounding, hopefully recovering now the sun's out again for a week at least, fingers crossed...

The big problem with torrential rain in winter is that it's too cold for all that water to evaporate.  Mud everywhere...  It's not as much of a problem in summer when it's 30 degrees C for much of the day, and the days are a lot longer allowing more solar energy to reach the leaves..

My advice?  MOVE.  That's what I'm planning to do, ASAP.  I'm moving from the sub tropics to a temperate climate.  Fortunately, Australia is a large enough place that I can do this without leaving the country...!  We're heading to Tasmania, where climate scientists like Mark are predicting smaller changes than we are likely to face if we stay here.  I guess for you it would equate (guessing) moving from Texas to Oregon.

http://damnthematrix.wordpress.com/2012/04/02/tassie-beckons/

But I wouldn't stay in the US myself.....  too many people, too many guns!

Good luck mate,

Mike.

Arthur Robey's picture
Arthur Robey
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 4 2010
Posts: 2082
Genetic Modification

Someone ring my bell? So we stop teaching climate science? I was going to buy the book Willful Blindness. But now I have enough facts to write it myself.

We are going to have to mandate the genetic modification of Humans. H.Sap is not going to make it.

Mark Cochrane's picture
Mark Cochrane
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: May 24 2011
Posts: 459
To dungeon or not to dungeon

Hello Doug,

Yes, being in the dungeon has a llowed us to cut our teeth and form an interested community. I have to say that I am encouraged by just how much activity that we have a had. As I previously mentioned, I was offered the chance to have the thread upstairs so Chris and the moderators have not exiled us. Recently, several people have expressed the idea that we move upstairs and I have been swayed to give it a try. I have send the moderators asking for guidance but got no response yet. Summer vacations may be delaying communications. I find it noteworthy, however. that the daily digest is having many more climate related articles these days.

As events roll on, more and more people realize that something different is happening with the climate. The questions increasingly center on what we can do about them. If we can accept our predicament, perhaps we can park some of the ideological rancor and concentrate on actions that can make a difference.

Cheers,

Mark

Mark Cochrane's picture
Mark Cochrane
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: May 24 2011
Posts: 459
Glad to be of service

Hello John,

While I would like to see Lester Brown's initiatives come to pass, I too find it hard to concieve that we will cut emissions by 80% before 2020. Therefore, barring a miracle we will exceed the 2 C target that has been set of minimizing global warming. I try to keep my cynicism in check, however.  Although I do not think that we can avoid climate change, we can still mitigate its effects. Big changes are coming but they will most likely be the death of a thousand cuts (flooding, drought, wind), not a cataclysmic change. Being informed is the first step. Being active is the next. The message fits with what Chris teaches iin terms of preparedness. Try to live a more robust lifestyle. Just add intot he mix some plans for dealing with weather volatility. Where I live we've gone from teh wettest year on record to one of the driest. On average over the two years we have been find but we do not live or grow crops on the average years.

I'd love to hear from people what they are doing to climate changes.

Cheers,

Mark

Mark Cochrane's picture
Mark Cochrane
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: May 24 2011
Posts: 459
Diversify your crop profile and insure if possible

Hello Jeff,

Thanks for the note. It sounds like you are already moving into action. In the United States, the gist of the most recent 30 years has been a decrease in the number of seasons which would be considered 'normal' and an increase in the number that would be considered rarer events. This doesn't mean the weather will be weird everywhere and every year but in many places we are seeing what would be expected to be '1000' year events becoming much more frequent, sometime 10x more frequent so as to be 100 year events. So instead of a once in a millennia flood we could see such floods every century. Similarly, 50 year floods might become every 10 years now. This is critically important for both agriculture and infrastructure.  Where do you build homes? How often do you need to reconstruct bridges?

In general, we need to move away from trying to maximize annual production harvests under the assumption of 'normal' weather to one of hedging bets with multiple cultivars that yield for wet or dry, hot or cold, conditions. There will be less garden supply on good years but less reduction on bad years. I've just got some climate materials being worked up for the US so I will try get the observed (not modeled) climate changes over the last 100 years for your region and others where people have interest posted.

Cheers,

Mark

Damnthematrix's picture
Damnthematrix
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 10 2008
Posts: 3998
More Than 150,000 Methane Seeps Appear

More Than 150,000 Methane Seeps Appear as Arctic Ice Retreats

Scientists continue to discover more and more of the powerful greenhouse gas escaping from the thawing Arctic

METHANE ESCAPE: The continuing meltdown of Arctic sea ice and permafrost is allowing more and more of the potent greenhouse gas methane to seep into the atmosphere, spurring global warming. Image: NASA Earth Observatory

Scientists have found more than 150,000 sites in the Arctic where methane is seeping into the atmosphere, according to a report published Sunday in the journal Nature Geoscience.

Aerial and ground surveys in Alaska and Greenland revealed that many of the methane seeps are located in areas where glaciers are receding or permafrost is thawing as the climate warms, removing ice that has trapped the potent greenhouse gas in the ground.

Researchers at the University of Alaska and Florida State University say the amount of methane being released from the seeps now is relatively small but could grow in coming decades as climate change intensifies, shrinking the ice that has prevented ancient deposits of the heat-trapping gas from reaching the atmosphere.

"As permafrost thaws and glaciers retreat, it is going to let something out that has had a lid on it," said lead author Katey Walter Anthony of the University of Alaska.

Scientists have long known of the existence of methane seeps in the Arctic, but the new study is one of the first to map them over large areas.

Walter Anthony and her colleagues used airplanes to fly over 6,700 lakes in Alaska during the winters of 2008, 2009 and 2010.

The survey revealed 77 previously unknown seep sites, which the scientists narrowed down to 50 lakes they visited on foot.

They documented the seeps they found, using carbon-dating to determine the age of methane released at the sites. The scientists performed the same analysis at 25 lakes in western Greenland.

Seep sites in Alaska tended to occur where permafrost is thawing or at the edges of receding glaciers. In Greenland, the scientists found seeps in places where glaciers have retreated over the past 150 years, since the end of the Little Ice Age.

The researchers calculate that methane seeps in Alaska alone are releasing 250,000 metric tons of methane into the atmosphere each year, 50 to 70 percent more than previously estimated.

Reprinted from Climatewire with permission from Environment & Energy Publishing, LLC. www.eenews.net, 202-628-6500

Damnthematrix's picture
Damnthematrix
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 10 2008
Posts: 3998
hedging bets with multiple cultivars

Hi Mark

If only it was that simple.....  We live in the sub tropics.  What that really means is that we live between two climates...!  In summer, it's tropical, and in winter it's temperate.  Add more frequent extremes of flooding rain and searing droughts, and believe me, when it comes to growing food, it sends you into a tailspin.......

We are now looking at FOUR climates...:  wet winters, dry winters, wet summers, dry summers.  Each one will grow something, but you can't be prepared for everything.  Like in a dry summer, we would almost certainly run out of water.  In a wet winter (like now) everything's rotting (just found rotting cauliflower on the plant this morning).

We have tropical Tahitian Spinach here, as a green we can grow through summer, when it rains.  But if it's dry and hot, the gigantic leaves allow for so much evaporation that the plants just fry...

That's why I want to move.  If we move to one single climate, then I only have to deal with two variables instead of four!  And besides, permanent water is far more possible somewhere that doesn't get hot.  And hotter...

Mike

jturbo68's picture
jturbo68
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 4 2009
Posts: 191
Thanks for this forum.

I just recently discovered this thread as I am not often in the ct threads.  For a long time now I have understood climate change to  be another example of the Exponential growth curves.

Cliamte change is a unintended consequence of exponential growth in pollution output.  Seen in those terms, it has felt ironic to me that we on PP  understand and accept the destructive nature of so many trends in exponential growth, but cannot accept climate change as a secondary wave of exponential grown occurring as a result of all the other exponential growth curves that we are pursuing.

I can understand the rest of the world not understanding.... They dont understand the destructiveness of first order exponential growth paradigm.    At pp we accept so much but are missing so much based in not coming to the same level of understanding on the exponential nature of carbon pollution.

Here is an item that I have been pondering for a while now.  I feel like the reluctance to embrace climate stems at least in part from the likely logical consequences of deciding to believe that it is correct.

in other words, if we decided to believe in the seriousness of climate change and do whatever is needed to face that issue, what sacred cows would we need to give up on?

Perhaps the biggest one that I can conceive of would be our sense of national  independence.  CC is a probem ow worldwide proportions.  Without a worldwide coordinated response, anything left on the table by o country could be used by another country. This speaks of a one world government and is anathema to eveyones view of the future.

Doug's picture
Doug
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 1 2008
Posts: 2718
sacred cows - jturbo

Quote:
what sacred cows would we need to give up on?

I think that's an easy one, at least in the US.  Automobiles and the highway infrastructure that supports them.  People keep talking about how we can continue using cars, just more efficient ones.  I think our entire transportation system needs to be rethought.

A serious effort to change the transportation system will require far less use of cars and trucks, increased use of rail and greatly expanded use of small vehicles like bicycles, motorbikes or even horses in areas that are already adapted to their use (Amish country).  This transition will inevitably require what this site advocates anyway, localization of services, jobs and agriculture, and mass transporation.  But, make no mistake, it won't be easy.  It will require a lot more personal effort and less convenience.  A radical change in life style.

Doug

Damnthematrix's picture
Damnthematrix
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 10 2008
Posts: 3998
Sacred Cows

Hi Doug.....

Transport is only about 25% of all emissions.  Whilst sustantial, it's by no means the main culprit.

http://www.mlit.go.jp/kokusai/MEET/data_en.html

Mike

http://www.mlit.go.jp/kokusai/MEET/images/2006WorldSectoralCO2_en.png

jturbo68's picture
jturbo68
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 4 2009
Posts: 191
Sacred Cows

Doug wrote:

Quote:
what sacred cows would we need to give up on?

I think that's an easy one, at least in the US.  Automobiles and the highway infrastructure that supports them.  People keep talking about how we can continue using cars, just more efficient ones.  I think our entire transportation system needs to be rethought.

A serious effort to change the transportation system will require far less use of cars and trucks, increased use of rail and greatly expanded use of small vehicles like bicycles, motorbikes or even horses in areas that are already adapted to their use (Amish country).  This transition will inevitably require what this site advocates anyway, localization of services, jobs and agriculture, and mass transporation.  But, make no mistake, it won't be easy.  It will require a lot more personal effort and less convenience.  A radical change in life style.

Doug

Transportation is certainly a sacred cow here in the US.  I think it is only a small part of the cow in overall terms. 

What I was trying to convey in my prior post, was that to embrace climate change and really work to mitigate it would probably require rethinking consumption, capitalism, corporte Structure as well as the size and role of government to take on a truely massive problem.  These are strong belief systems being challenged.

Climate puts into question the possibility for regional nation states to legislate and combat the problem.   It may be that a massive new layer of global government and regulation is needed to force a solution.  That is change at a level I can hardly see the world getting behind.  When accelerating into the problem with exponential growth speed, there will be no time to revover even when it is understood that drastic changes are needed to correct the overshoot.  Also, I cant imagine where the energy would come from to support that level of additional hierarchy.  Also the unintended consequences of that level of power consolidation are gigantic.

I wonder if there are any models to affect global change ( Taking away incentives to act in a short term manner) without enormous increases in complexity and unintended consequences.  If there was a method to do this at a local level that then grows to become a a worldwide Meme.  That seems to me the only way for the boat to be turned. 

Acting locally with permaculture and self resillience is one possible model, if it is shared and adopted by neighbors.  The learning curve for these items is quite step.  When people are so strapped and busy, it is hard to see that taking root quickly.

John

John Lemieux's picture
John Lemieux
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 2 2012
Posts: 221
reluctance to embrace the science of AGW

I would like to recommend a web site I discovered a couple years ago called The Limits to Growth. It is the site of Paul Chefurska, an ecologist from Ottawa Ontario Canada. Like this thread his site is a labour of love. He does not charge anything to access or share the wealth of information on his site. Personally I have yet to come across any other source of information on environmental, energy and other such issues that has opened my eyes to the crises the way this site does. I am in no way suggesting that his site is a  superior source of information to PP. Only that Paul Chefurska's site is not like PP as he does not speculate on currency/economic crises, world events or anything specific about making preparations for possible future crises.

But there are articals on things like the neuropychology of climate change. For example he explains how our brain's limic system works against us in respect to abstract threats like global warming. Also how humans have an unfortunate built in discount function when it comes to these kinds of threats. He provides many valuable links as well. But I should warn anyone who chooses to explore this site that he does get into some "spiritual" Buddhist kind of stuff. But he has a sense of humour I think and he is not at all preachy. He breaks down the stuff he deals with under a separate headingsas well. I have found that his jouney in comeing to understand something of the "mess" we are in is not too unlike someone like Bill Mackibbon and certain others that I respect.

A. M.'s picture
A. M.
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 22 2008
Posts: 2286
Transportation

If you're looking to curb the impacts of fuel consumption, the highways should be lower on the priority chain. Your average jet is going to spend ~ the same amount of fuel in 3 hours than you SUV will over the course of its life. 

Cheers,

Aaron

John Lemieux's picture
John Lemieux
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 2 2012
Posts: 221
Actions that can make a difference

I am convinced of the reality of the issue of AGW. But I am cynical about much that is being said by environmental groups and such about how we can make small lifstyle changes that will prevent problematic warming. Things like non idiling by laws and changing our indandesant light bulbs for example. Although small changes made by everyone can make a difference to a certain degree, I think that much of what is being said in terms of what will prevent serious climate change is ridiculous now that I better understand the gravity of the crises . 

Not everyone has the same choices availible to them I understand. But these are some of the most significant lifstyle choices that I have made.   

First of all I found it easy to give up eating meat. And the other benifits to this personal lifstyle choice is that I now pay more attention to eating a well balanced diet. I was not comfortable eating factory farmed meat anyway for ethical and health reasons. It may also be less expensive to eat a non meat diet.

I choose not to have children. Like global warming, the issue of excessive population is another elephant in the room. 

I cycle a lot. Once again it is affordable and it provides health benifts if you can find reasonably safe places to ride/commute.

I choose to rent a room and to share living quarters with another family. I am on my own of course, and so this arrangement works well for me. It's cheap as we share all utilities plus internet and phone. And it's simple. If I discover that I would be better off living in another region for whatever reason it's not complicated to move.

I try to share what I have learned about AGW with anyone who cares to listen. I suggest books and websites that I have found to better undestand this issue.  

I will continue to learn and to try to better understand this issue. But I will always keep an open mind and to be flexible in my outlook as the future is by definition unknowable.

Damnthematrix's picture
Damnthematrix
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 10 2008
Posts: 3998
Transportation

Aaron Moyer wrote:

If you're looking to curb the impacts of fuel consumption, the highways should be lower on the priority chain. Your average jet is going to spend ~ the same amount of fuel in 3 hours than you SUV will over the course of its life. 

Cheers,

Aaron

Atually Aaron, if you look at the pie chart I posted earlier, ALL TRANSPORT (including flying which is how I interpret it) is "only" 23% of all emissions...

Mike

Arthur Robey's picture
Arthur Robey
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 4 2010
Posts: 2082
eCat Car, Sex and Science Fiction.

I have to mention the eCat car

My Science Fiction story is finished. (Sorry, no obligatory car chase, but lots of sex.) Ruby put it here.

Doug's picture
Doug
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 1 2008
Posts: 2718
DTM

I suspect there are significant externalities that aren't included in your chart.

http://climate.dot.gov/about/transportations-role/overview.html

Percentage of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions, 2006 (all gases, in Teragram [Tg] CO2equivalent)

chart

These numbers are similar to your chart.  The differences may be because these are US numbers and yours may be global or perhaps differences in time frames.  Nonetheless, an important consideration is that the transportation sectors in both do not include other related sources of GHGs.

Quote:
Estimates of GHG emissions do not include additional "lifecycle" emissions related to transportation, such as the extraction and refining of fuel and the manufacture of vehicles, which are also a significant source of domestic and international GHG emissions.

I imagine they also do not include oil and other hydrocarbons used in road construction and maintenance, such as manufacture of blacktop and cement.  I would be interested to see those numbers, but have not been able to find them in my meager search attempts.

Doug

Mark Cochrane's picture
Mark Cochrane
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: May 24 2011
Posts: 459
Definitely food for thought

Mike,

I had not considered the issues for those regions straddling climatic zones. You may truly be in for even more climate volatility than that being experienced in more solidly tropical, temperate or boreal areas. This variability is one of the bigger problems we will have in global agriculture because no matter what Monsanto and others patent or engineer, the global level of productivity will only decrease as more locations have frequent weather extremes.

I feel for your tomatoes. Last year we had no sun and no end of rain (200% of 'normal') so they wouldn't ripen until the end of September, very short season until frost. This year we are dry as a bone and hotter than blazes. Corn and soybean suffering greatly.

I am both interested and horrified by the changes in weather distributions. Across the US we are seeing 'extreme events' increasing in frequency by more than 10-fold in many (but not all) regions. By extreme I mean 1 in 1000 year expected seasonal moisture or temperature events becoming once in a century. In other words, floods of near biblical proportions (like you experienced last year!) are becoming more like once in a lifetime events - and we have still hardly begun the climate experience we have gifted to future generations.

Mark

Mark Cochrane's picture
Mark Cochrane
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: May 24 2011
Posts: 459
Making a difference

Hello John,

I agree with your cynicism that small lifestyle changes would somehow prevent problematic warming. The fact of the matter is that we already have problematic warming and it has just begun. If we could turn everything off tomorrow we have already programmed in at least another 0.8C of warming (basically doubling what we've already done). Realistically, even if we all agree and pull out the stops, we might stand a snowball in hell's chance of only increasing by 2 C by 2100. Based on our collective actions (or inactions?) we are currently on a trajectory for >4 C of warming; potentially 6 C, a whole different planet. If anyone wants some interesting climatic change reading material, check out Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet. It is a readable accounting of what scientific papers (circa 2007) indicated would be likely to happen if we warmed by 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6 degrees celsius. Sort of a road map of where we are possibly headed. As I recall, there is also a documentary video version of this but I think the book is better material upon which to ponder.

The point of the tangent here being that although all those small lifestyle changes (not sure which groups or actions you are referring to) may not make much of a difference to the climate that you or I will experience, they could be critically important to determing just how high we are pushing the temperature for future generations.

That said, the actions and lifestyle changes that you, DTM and others have already undertaken humble me. I am long on knowledge and short on action. I've been working at getting my career, family, living arrangements, etc turned onto a more sustainable path for a few years now but I've got a long way to go yet before I can claim to be walking my talk, so to speak. Thanks to all of the posters here for continued inspiration!

Mark

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Login or Register to post comments