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Climate change a different take on what to do about it.

#1 User is online   onoway 

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Posted 2010-November-12, 11:54

This video (filmed in Ireland last year) is almost an hour but what he has to say is backed up by some rather compelling long term evidence. http://vimeo.com/8239427 The organisation he founded has won the 2010 Buckminster Fuller Challenge award.
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#2 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2010-November-12, 13:54

Believe it or not, you have stumbled onto the only (non-intuitive) banned topic on the Watercooler...

All Climate Change threads are redirected to dev\null
Alderaan delenda est
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#3 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2010-November-12, 20:21

I am disappointed he did not address the question of fertilizer and why adding carbon to the soil artificially was impossible. I was also disappointed at his introduction (and nearly stopped watching therefore) which misrepresented biodiversity levels as can be seen from this. It was also a little strange that he first linked desertification and biodiversity loss with carbon dioxide levels as a single issue and subsequently separated them again by saying that desertification and biodiversity loss were independent of technology responsible for the current levels.

That said, his ideas about land management deserve to be investigated. It would take alot more evidence to suggest this was a "flat Earth moment" though since it is easy to produce examples to fit your ideas. Bridge players of all people should understand this! In particular I would like to see rainfall charts for the areas he used as examples as this is pretty much a constant factor in all permanent desertification cases as far as I know.
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#4 User is online   PassedOut 

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Posted 2010-November-13, 22:37

My understanding is that no one seriously disputes global warming, just the causes of it. In any case, it is surely important to plan for the disruptions to come from rising sea levels: As Glaciers Melt, Scientists Seek New Data on Rising Seas.

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Scientists long believed that the collapse of the gigantic ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica would take thousands of years, with sea level possibly rising as little as seven inches in this century, about the same amount as in the 20th century.

But researchers have recently been startled to see big changes unfold in both Greenland and Antarctica.

As a result of recent calculations that take the changes into account, many scientists now say that sea level is likely to rise perhaps three feet by 2100 — an increase that, should it come to pass, would pose a threat to coastal regions the world over.

And the calculations suggest that the rise could conceivably exceed six feet, which would put thousands of square miles of the American coastline under water and would probably displace tens of millions of people in Asia.

Note to coastal dwellers: We've got lots of unpopulated woodland in Michigan's Upper Peninsula and plenty of fresh water in Lake Superior...
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#5 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2010-November-14, 09:42

View PostPassedOut, on 2010-November-13, 22:37, said:

My understanding is that no one seriously disputes global warming, just the causes of it. In any case, it is surely important to plan for the disruptions to come from rising sea levels: As Glaciers Melt, Scientists Seek New Data on Rising Seas.

Noone disputes that increasing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere increases warning. What is (strongly) disputed is how much warming that causes. The direct warming from increasing CO2 is small and reduces further as levels rise. The models predict many positive feedbacks to give the range of warming quoted by the IPCC. Some of those, especially clouds, are highly controvercial and there is even reasonable evidence to suggest might be a negative feedback.

Warming itself has clearly happened since the 1950s. The amount of warming is disputed due to the "urban island effect" but I do not know of anyone claiming nothing has changed. Warming since the late 80s is also disputed. And above all from the skeptical side of the argument is the idea that current temperatures are no warmer than during the Mediaeval Warm Period. This is why there is such fierce debate about the "hockey stick graph" from Mann et al. The statistics in this area are murky (to say the least).

Finally, global sea level rise is not only a factor of warming (Antarctic and Greenland ice sheet melting) but more importantly a driver of warming. Note also that the melting of Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets is also in dispute here. There has been some evidence that Greenland ice sheet is reducing in area but increasing in thickness to compensate. There is strong evidence that the Antarctic ice sheet is stable or even increasing in mass. It is melting in the West but increasing in the East making this difficult. What is clear is that the Arctic ice has reduced in size. While this is a positive feedback for GW (albedo) it does not effect sea levsls.

It also demonstrates how the majority of ice melting that we are currently seeing seems to be related to increased water temperatures rather than increased air temperatures. You need to be very careful about extrapolating results such as the one being reported here. For one thing it is known that the edge of the glacier is reducing while the area further inland has been increasing and you need to look at the data as a whole. For the second if you looked at some of the data over recent years you might have been predicting a sea level fall. Noone did. The point is that variations happen, sometimes extremne variations. You have to measure the ice sheets by their max/min extremes in terms of overall mass over many years to get a real picture of what is going on. Newspapers are not fond of waiting and prefer to give headlines of the worst case scenario (followed by accusations of the scientists when the worst case does not happen).
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#6 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2010-November-14, 21:51

I'm sorry but this discussion is much too reasonable and articulate to be included in the water cooler.
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#7 User is online   PassedOut 

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Posted 2010-November-15, 10:41

View PostZelandakh, on 2010-November-14, 09:42, said:

The direct warming from increasing CO2 is small and reduces further as levels rise.

What is your basis for asserting that the warming effect of CO2 is reduced as levels rise?
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#8 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2010-November-15, 11:44

View PostPassedOut, on 2010-November-15, 10:41, said:

What is your basis for asserting that the warming effect of CO2 is reduced as levels rise?

It is well established that the direct greenhuse effect (radiative forcing) from CO2 is logarithmic. That means that if you start from a low base and add a certain amount of CO2 it causes a certain amount of direct warming; if you add the same amount again the additional warming is much less. Note that this is the direct greenhouse effect - there are additional feedbacks that alter the amount of warming caused in practise. Both sides accept as a fact that the radiative forcing from CO2 (and other greenhouse gases for that matter) is logarithmic except at very low concentrations. What is disputed are the feedbacks and thus the overall (direct + indirect) warming effect caused by increasing CO2.
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#9 User is online   PassedOut 

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Posted 2010-November-15, 11:53

View PostZelandakh, on 2010-November-15, 11:44, said:

It is well established that the direct greenhuse effect (radiative forcing) from CO2 is logarithmic. That means that if you start from a low base and add a certain amount of CO2 it causes a certain amount of direct warming; if you add the same amount again the additional warming is much less. Note that this is the direct greenhouse effect - there are additional feedbacks that alter the amount of warming caused in practise. Both sides accept as a fact that the radiative forcing from CO2 (and other greenhouse gases for that matter) is logarithmic except at very low concentrations. What is disputed are the feedbacks and thus the overall (direct + indirect) warming effect caused by increasing CO2.

Thanks for the explanation.
The growth of wisdom may be gauged exactly by the diminution of ill temper. — Friedrich Nietzsche
The infliction of cruelty with a good conscience is a delight to moralists — that is why they invented hell. — Bertrand Russell
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#10 User is offline   hotShot 

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Posted 2010-November-15, 13:31

View PostZelandakh, on 2010-November-15, 11:44, said:

It is well established that the direct greenhuse effect (radiative forcing) from CO2 is logarithmic. That means that if you start from a low base and add a certain amount of CO2 it causes a certain amount of direct warming; if you add the same amount again the additional warming is much less.


But it is still additional, so more CO2 leads to more warming!
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#11 User is offline   Gerben42 

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Posted 2010-November-15, 15:02

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But it is still additional, so more CO2 leads to more warming!


Not always, once you reach 100% cloud cover I'm sure it'll level off. After all, Venus seems to have reached an equilibrium. Okay, it's not a pleasant one, but you didn't ask :)
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#12 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2010-November-15, 20:26

There is a saturation point but we are not close to it at present.

Cloud cover is an incredibly interesting topic. 100% cloud cover can be a massive negative feedback (if low 'fluffy' cloud) or a massive positive feedback (if high 'wispy' cloud). The reason is that the former is excellent at blocking sunlight wereas the latter blocks very little sunlight but is good at trapping IR wavelengths. Cloud cover, particularly from low clouds, is the least understood major variable in the current models (according to the modellers). Currently all IPCC models predict cloud cover to be a positive feedback. Many AGW skeptics, most notably and vociferously Dr Roy Spencer, believe the scientific evidence points towards cloud cover being a negative feedback. The question is important because it takes only a tiny percentage change here to make a large change to the predictions.
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#13 User is offline   inquiry 

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Posted 2010-November-15, 22:45

View Posthrothgar, on 2010-November-12, 13:54, said:

Believe it or not, you have stumbled onto the only (non-intuitive) banned topic on the Watercooler...

All Climate Change threads are redirected to dev\null


I think this is what Richard is talking about...

View Postuday, on 2010-February-28, 19:32, said:

Closed a long thread in watercooler, was originally about climate or some such, but veered off track into something else


The quote from Uday was taken directly from the "notice of thread moderation" forum. It doens't seem that global warming per se was why the other thread was removed, but rather related to the fact that it "veered off track into something else."

Unless I am misreading that, there isn't a ban on global warming discussion, but it seems that the topic sometimes becomes something else (maybe overheated). It this is a taboo subject, I suspect Uday or someone will point it out soon enough.
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#14 User is offline   luke warm 

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Posted 2010-November-16, 04:57

i don't think the subject is taboo, i think the fact that the last one degenerated into personal attacks is what caused its closing
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#15 User is online   PassedOut 

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Posted 2010-November-16, 11:26

An oddity: Climate Skeptic Seeks Energy Committee Chairmanship.

Quote

Most notably, at a 2009 hearing on climate change by the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s energy and environment subcommittee, Mr. Shimkus turned to the Bible to refute the idea that humanity could cause catastrophic climate change. Many scientists fear that unmitigated warming will eventually lead to a meltdown of the polar ice caps, causing massive sea-level rise.

The Book of Matthew declares that the end of the world is to be proclaimed with a trumpet call from the angels, Mr. Shimkus noted. “The earth will end only when God declares it’s time to be over. Man will not destroy this earth,” he said. “This earth will not be destroyed by a flood.”

“I believe that’s the infallible word of God, and that’s the way it’s going to be for his creation,” he said.

My prediction is that Mr. Shimkus will not be getting that gavel.
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The infliction of cruelty with a good conscience is a delight to moralists — that is why they invented hell. — Bertrand Russell
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#16 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2010-November-18, 21:12

View PostPassedOut, on 2010-November-16, 11:26, said:

An oddity: Climate Skeptic Seeks Energy Committee Chairmanship.


My prediction is that Mr. Shimkus will not be getting that gavel.


(“I believe that’s the infallible word of God, and that’s the way it’s going to be for his creation,” he said.)

As an "infallible word of God", it seems odd that the oldest and best copies of the book of Matthew exclude the first two chapters that describe a virgin birth of Jesus - seems that scribes making later copies added a couple of "infallible" chapters to the "word". Likewise, in the oldest and best copies of Mark, the text ends at Chapter 16, verse 8. The newer additions after 16:8 are another example of "infallible" add-ons.

The fact that this guy is helping form policy is spooky enough, much less give him a gavel.
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#17 User is online   PassedOut 

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Posted 2010-November-18, 23:40

View PostWinstonm, on 2010-November-18, 21:12, said:

The fact that this guy is helping form policy is spooky enough, much less give him a gavel.

Texas drooler Joe Barton also wants that gavel

Quote

WASHINGTON -- Joe Barton's much-ridiculed campaign to win the chairmanship of the Energy and Commerce Committee entered the realm of respectability on Wednesday, when the Texas Republican released a letter signed by a strong list of committee supporters that included a rival for the position, Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.).

Shimkus and Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) had been jockeying for the energy-panel gavel. Barton is the highest-ranking Republican, but his famous apology to BP during the oil spill, combined with his longstanding differences with incoming Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, made his candidacy extremely unlikely.

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#18 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2010-November-20, 10:44

"I am in favor of totally ignoring climate change until it becomes a world crisis that threatens the existence of all human life on the planet - or sending in the troops now - either solution is acceptable as long as Obama isn't re-elected." - unnamed ex-Governor of Alaska
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#19 User is online   onoway 

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Posted 2010-November-21, 11:38

View PostZelandakh, on 2010-November-12, 20:21, said:

I am disappointed he did not address the question of fertilizer and why adding carbon to the soil artificially was impossible. I was also disappointed at his introduction (and nearly stopped watching therefore) which misrepresented biodiversity levels as can be seen from this. It was also a little strange that he first linked desertification and biodiversity loss with carbon dioxide levels as a single issue and subsequently separated them again by saying that desertification and biodiversity loss were independent of technology responsible for the current levels.

That said, his ideas about land management deserve to be investigated. It would take alot more evidence to suggest this was a "flat Earth moment" though since it is easy to produce examples to fit your ideas. Bridge players of all people should understand this! In particular I would like to see rainfall charts for the areas he used as examples as this is pretty much a constant factor in all permanent desertification cases as far as I know.


Well I think the discussion veers off a bit into what is happening with the soils..if you watched the other video I posted some time ago with Smits' work in Borneo he has some data on how the rainfall in his area was affected by the return of fertility and biodiversity to what was basically almost a sterile area, extremely limited in its ability to support plant life.

I will try to find a link to a study I read yesterday about healthy soils being able to capture carbon much more completely than heavilly fertilized or chemically treated soils..don't remember exactly where it was as I was following various links around the internet. It isn't just chemicals, even too much manure can temporarilly at least, choke plant life. Chemicals tend to be worse as they don't break down in the soil as humus as manure will eventually do, but get carried away by water if not used by plants, and so we get problems with chemicals leaching into lakes rivers and oceans...
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#20 User is online   onoway 

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Posted 2010-November-21, 12:17

Some chemical companies (did someone say Monsanto?) claim all sorts of things about their chemicals being harmless when used as directed. They used to say (not sure if they still do) that RoundUp for example, was totally safe, and became inert (implying harmless) when it hit the soil. This appears to be patently untrue, judging from two studies..I couldn't find the one done by a British team in Ontario area, but this one from France came to the same conclusions. http://www.environme...ert-ingredients For anyone not wanting to read the study or that rather long discussion about it, here is one quote from it.

This work clearly confirms that the adjuvants in Roundup formulations are not inert. Moreover, the proprietary mixtures available on the market could cause cell damage and even death around residual levels to be expected, especially in food and feed derived from R formulation-treated crops.

Note they are talking about "residual levels to be expected"!! Since (in my understanding) virtually all GM crops are designed to be used WITH RoundUp or its equivilent, this is scary to think about. It's this sort of thing that makes many people regard chemical solutions to problems with a somewhat jaundiced eye.
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