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Author: Subject: Say Goodbye to Global Warming
IrC
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The point I was making was every source of power is dangerous for some reason and I do not think you are taking into account how many nuke plants are out there now and have been for decades. For the sheer GW-hours produced they have had overall in the grand scheme of things one hell of a good track record for safety. Believe it or not. As well and incredibly light footprint in eco harming terms compared to total energy produced.

"Science is the belief in the ignorance of the experts" Richard Feynman
497
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I get that, though I can't claim to know enough about the industry to tell whether you're right or not. Either way, you can't argue that the consequences of a windmill failing can approach the magnitude of a nuclear powerplant failing, can you? How much harm can we really be looking at for alternative energy sources? Not to say that all of them are harmless, but aren't some of them? I guess I'm trying to say that I can totally imagine nuclear has a safe record compared to energy sources of the past, but what about the sources of the future? Can you tell me how something like high altitude wind power is incapable of outperforming nuclear in every important aspect? I am truly curious.

A word to the wise: NEUROFEEDBACK

http://citizenworks.org/corp/dg/s2r1.pdf
http://www.newscientist.com/mobile/article/mg21228354.500-re...

"To expose a 15 Trillion dollar ripoff of the American people by the stockholders of the 1000 largest corporations over the last 100 years will be a tall order of business."
Buckminster Fuller

"No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it."
Albert Einstein
Polverone
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 Quote: Originally posted by 497 I get that, though I can't claim to know enough about the industry to tell whether you're right or not. Either way, you can't argue that the consequences of a windmill failing can approach the magnitude of a nuclear powerplant failing, can you? How much harm can we really be looking at for alternative energy sources? Not to say that all of them are harmless, but aren't some of them? I guess I'm trying to say that I can totally imagine nuclear has a safe record compared to energy sources of the past, but what about the sources of the future? Can you tell me how something like high altitude wind power is incapable of outperforming nuclear in every important aspect? I am truly curious.

I would love to see high-altitude wind and other alternative energy sources continue to develop. For that matter, let's continue to fund research into nuclear fusion. But until or unless there are affordable ways to make renewable energy operate continuously* or to store energy at reasonable cost for when the sun doesn't shine and wind doesn't blow, we need another reliable source of energy. Right now that's fossil fuels or nuclear fission. I'd prefer fission. We should pursue all known non-fossil options in parallel because if projections are even somewhat correct we don't have the luxury of time to keep burning coal until the perfect substitute with no danger, expense, or inconvenience appears.

Fission's wastes last for a very long time, it is true, but they are compact enough that it is practical to sequester them from the environment indefinitely. It's much harder to do this with smokestack emissions due to sheer bulk. It's not like fossil fuels are any less of a long term liability: relying on natural biological and geological carbon cycling alone, a substantial amount of the atmospheric CO2 rise over the last 10 years will persist even 10000 years from now. And in addition fossil fuels contribute much more heavily to short-term human morbidity and mortality. Even if you throw Chernobyl in the mix, even if you assume a Chernobyl-like event every 20 years, nuclear power would still kill and sicken fewer people per unit of energy produced than fossil fuels do as a routine matter.

*Geothermal would count here, but it's geographically limited and of limited useful lifetime. Humans can drain the heat of hot rock considerably faster than conduction from deeper rock can replenish it.

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497
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The answer is coal gasification/liquification and natural gas in the short term and that is a fact whether we like it or not. The world doesn't want any more nuclear power, whether it is practical or not.

Do you realize how long it would take to set up nuclear power to provide even 50% of the world's energy? Do you really think that renewable energy would not be able to expand that rapidly? I'm pretty optimistic renewable energy could, and without most of the pollution, waste, and regulatory nightmare. Just because renewables can't do it economically right this second doesn't mean they won't be able to 10 or 20 years from now, while the nuclear plants are still a decade or three from completion, and are trillions over budget.

I really doubt the world would rather a chernobyl every 20 years than have the fossil fuel pollution, even if it would be technically less "harmful." Especially considering they could be many times larger than chernobyl, or multiple simultaneous failures due to massive earthquakes, etc.

I really don't see how CO2 is a comparable pollutant to radioactive isotopes. CO2 is a natural part of the earth's atmosphere and its levels naturally fluctuate. As to the other fossil fuel pollutants, it will be far easier to extract them from a mixture with syngas than a mixture with flue gas.

[Edited on 3-11-2011 by 497]

A word to the wise: NEUROFEEDBACK

http://citizenworks.org/corp/dg/s2r1.pdf
http://www.newscientist.com/mobile/article/mg21228354.500-re...

"To expose a 15 Trillion dollar ripoff of the American people by the stockholders of the 1000 largest corporations over the last 100 years will be a tall order of business."
Buckminster Fuller

"No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it."
Albert Einstein
Polverone
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If we're talking about foreseeable harm, it makes no difference whether the harm comes from something natural like CO2 or arsenic or something that you only see from human activity, like technetium or mustard gas.

Natural gas produces less CO2 than coal so it helps some where it replaces or forestalls coal combustion, though it still produces far more CO2 than any nuclear or renewable energy source. Coal liquefaction doesn't help at with all with reducing CO2 though it may partially substitute for declining oil output; it has a worse CO2 footprint than liquid fuels derived from crude oil.

"The world" is not united in its opinion on nuclear energy. I think that nuclear energy, unfortunately IMO, has limited appeal in the medium-term, at least in western Europe and the Anglosphere. It is still growing in South Korea. It is growing rapidly in China. It may grow substantially in India and the Middle East; too soon to tell. It is also too soon to tell if Japan is going to phase out nuclear power, grow it more cautiously, or leave it more or less static.

I think that nuclear energy "could" expand to replace all coal electric plants in the next 20 years, in the sense that it is not forbidden by fundamental laws of nature. It is not something that I can actually foresee happening, though. Many people don't want it no matter how many scientists show them that the status quo is many times deadlier and a greater environmental liability. Similarly, there are no fundamental law-of-nature barriers against scaling renewable energy up to the point where it provides as many joules as coal, but I don't think it will actually happen in the next couple of decades. People are shocked by the cost, or may live in places that are not particularly sunny or windy, or would rather breathe soot than have their scenic view spoiled by turbines.

China is the current world leader both in deploying renewable energy (mostly hydro and wind) and nuclear energy. They currently have aggressive targets of 40 GW nuclear and 100 GW wind by 2015. Their wind and nuclear projects so far have mostly been on time and within-budget, so the estimates are credible (not everywhere does it take a decade for a nuclear plant to go from groundbreaking to full operation). It may look like their wind output is racing ahead of nuclear, but wind has a much lower capacity factor (the ratio of annual average generation to peak nameplate generating capacity). A well-sited onshore wind turbine may achieve a capacity factor of 0.33, while a well-run nuclear plant can be over 0.95. At first blush it looks like China is going to get 2.5 times as much energy from wind as nuclear in 2015, but when you consider capacity factors nuclear can be expected to contribute at least 15% more energy than wind. In absolute terms China is going to burn additional coal faster than it adds nuclear or wind, so there's no happy ending there, but it illustrates that nuclear can be ramped up at least as fast as renewable energy where there is the will to do so.

I have some positive things to say about wind and solar, despite my frustration that nuclear energy is politically hamstrung. There are many more competing manufacturers of wind and solar equipment than of nuclear equipment, both because it is less capital-intensive to start and because it is less regulated. Manufacturers can quickly iterate on designs and deploy improved versions without years of safety review. Buyers, too, have a much easier time entering the renewable energy market because a single wind turbine or solar panel requires so much less capital up front or regulatory approval than even the smallest nuclear reactor. Solar and wind are much more competitive and fast-changing than the nuclear market. Solar especially, though currently the most expensive energy source around (despite impressive decreases over the last decade), has the potential to deploy right at the site of energy consumption and be fully owned by the end-user. That means avoiding building new long-distance transmission capacity and avoiding paying anything over cost for the energy so generated. If the cost of coal energy is eventually $0.06 per kilowatt hour and that of solar is$0.14, it doesn't matter that coal is cheaper (to the utility) if your retail electricity price is \$0.15. The gap between cost and price is where solar may wedge itself in nicely, though it still needs to be substantially cheaper before it undermines the average electric utility.

The biggest weakness of solar/wind, even more so than price, is their lack of energy storage. But until you near ~20% grid penetration of intermittent, non-dispatchable renewable energy, the grid can be stabilized just by adjusting conventional generating sources. Most of the US can continue to add renewable energy for years to come without approaching this threshold, so there is time where I can hope for continued cost reductions in energy storage, increased EV and PHEV deployment to stabilize the grid via dispatchable demand, or for the public to have a change of heart about nuclear power.

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White Yeti
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I think that in the very least, we should increase the amount of nuclear we use, not to "save the Earth", but rather to provide a steady base power supply to businesses, factories and chemical plants that require a continuous and constant supply of electricity. Since electricity that comes from nuclear is as cheap, if not cheaper than coal, businesses profit from this as well and everyone is happy.

Most people don't consider this, but IIRC 20% of the energy we produce is lost because of our inefficient grid and the utter lack of energy storage facilities. Hydroelectric plants are awesome at ramping up their power output quickly, so these plants can contribute to peak power demands.

The smart grid might be the answer to all these problems. Since for the most part, we all work on 24h cycles, a smart grid would optimise energy supply and demand, minimising losses and increasing efficiency.

Of course this would be expensive, but necessary in the long run.

"Ja, Kalzium, das ist alles!" -Otto Loewi
497
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I'm not totally convinced CO2 is deserving of the full share of attention that it has been getting. Just because a power system produces CO2 does not mean it can't be far cleaner than current systems. We will regret wasting so much attention on CO2 when other pollutants catch up with us.

I never meant that is was not technically feasible to expand nuclear energy that fast. Just that it was not realistically feasible. So I don't see the point in worrying about. There are so many other options to be explored anyway..

The expansion rate of traditional large scale government funded renewables such as dams and wind farms is not an indicator of how fast a decentralized private renewable energy could spread when it becomes economically attractive. Consider how long people have been intensively researching modern alternative energy this millennium. It's only been 7 or 8 years after all. Give it another 10-20 years and it'll go farther than you expect.

High altitude wind, tides, algae = 24 hours a day.

[Edited on 4-11-2011 by 497]

A word to the wise: NEUROFEEDBACK

http://citizenworks.org/corp/dg/s2r1.pdf
http://www.newscientist.com/mobile/article/mg21228354.500-re...

"To expose a 15 Trillion dollar ripoff of the American people by the stockholders of the 1000 largest corporations over the last 100 years will be a tall order of business."
Buckminster Fuller

"No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it."
Albert Einstein
Polverone
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 Quote: Originally posted by 497 I'm not totally convinced CO2 is deserving of the full share of attention that it has been getting. Just because a power system produces CO2 does not mean it can't be far cleaner than current systems. We will regret wasting so much attention on CO2 when other pollutants catch up with us.

The measures taken to directly curtail other power plant pollutants will indirectly curtail CO2 emissions as well, and vice versa. For example, tightening the standards for permissible emissions of sulfur dioxide, particulate matter, or mercury from power plants will improve public health and environmental outcomes directly by compelling better cleanup of smokestack emissions and indirectly by pricing more of the externalities into coal electricity, so that electricity sources that are inherently cleaner are closer in price to coal.

The problem is that the same dynamics that oppose CO2-emission mitigation also generally oppose mitigating emissions of other pollutants too. Electric utilities and coal companies don't want more stringent regulations or higher costs associated with their product. There's little money in being an advocate for cleaner air, so cleanup proponents are usually outspent when it comes to persuading the public. The public will often shrug its shoulders when told that air pollution is costing health and lives, at least if the air isn't visibly hazy and irritating, but get quite cranky if they hear that electric rates will go up due to tighter environmental regulations.

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Endimion17
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 Quote: Originally posted by Sedit No basically your the delusional person who knows nothing about what they speak of yet still feel the need to spout off like you have a clue, thats what im pissed about. People like you are the same ones running planes into buildings, your living through media and hear say, you know nothing of our nation or our people and that is obvious. All it would take is someone to feed you a little different information then the crap you know about our nation and you would be trying to learn to fly a plane in no time.

I'm kindly asking you to refer from replying to my posts ever again. Thank you.

There is a current solution. Fission. But that's hardly going to flourish in USA because it's stuck with old reactor designs. That country is just squeezing the last drops out of their 2nd generation reactors with their crooked steel vessels in the hands of private, greedy men. And when a second American meltdown occurs, that will be the end because the society is too uneducated to think ahead.

Oil should be used for petrochemistry, for making chemicals, and we shouldn't burn it at this rate.
Just look at France with their ~80% fission power. Smart people there have a powerful industry that developed a huge sector filled with interconnected disciplines, and they're making new generation power plants. New reactors with excellent safety and efficiency on so many levels.
In addition to that, they're selling their power and developing the renewables, too.
They're even recycling the fission waste because it's actually valuable and not something meant to be dumped.

Yeah, France has got it own set of problems, but I admire their industry and the mindset of people that are pretty much united in a battle against the kind of morons that are holding USA.

I can't understand how can anyone defend the behaviour of USA in the energy department. It's like a virus, a parasite, sucking the good stuff, not giving a flying fuck what will happen because of that.

Comparing enviromentalist assholes like Greenpeace and other common ecofascists to a general concern over the proven data that shows we're doing something wrong is just mad. It's a mad behaviour.
And it's sad that you don't consider there's a whole spectrum between them and the opposite, represented by virus-like behaviour.

People were considering the whole carbon and warming thing even before WW2, but back then it was a notion few scientists mentioned. It's not a new, elitist thing. This planet has fucking capacities.

What do you think will happen when other countries enter the stage of great industrial age? Every nation has to pass through its coal burning period.
I hope you don't think USA will have the right to stop them?

I'm not advocating an Armageddon or lifting taxes skyhigh, or making tons of photovoltaics, because I know that's just a blind green neoliberal bullshit.
I'm for a gradual change, a reduction of consumption. This way of life is not sustainable.

The biosphere is not going to be destroyed. Far from that. We are going to get fucked by the increasing thermal energy in it.

 Quote: Originally posted by White Yeti I used to be worried about Climate Change, but I think that the sheer inconsistency of environmentalists' arguments shows that they don't know with certainty what will happen to the Earth. To cover this up, they say that weather patterns will become "increasingly unpredictable". I gotta admit that the snow storm we just got is out of the ordinary, but it's not something we've never had before. I think that if they change their opinion from "runaway greenhouse effect" to "global warming" to "climate change" to who knows what next, this means that they don't know what the hell they're talking about. They say that burning fossil fuels is causing numerous other problems such as acidification of oceans, acid rain, sea level rise and all that stuff. I personally think we shouldn't care about CO2 levels in the atmosphere because CO2 is a dynamic molecule that cycles through the environment. We should be more worried about benzene in ground water and many other problems that the press does not talk about, peak phosphorous for one. There are so many other problems in the world, why do we need to get bogged down on this one? There are so many other problems that are unjustly overshadowed by "climate change", deforestation, desertification, ozone depletion, invasive species etc...

You should really do some homework on the CO2 cycle. Looks like you forgot about the whole geology and deep marine departments.

"It cycles" - that's an incredibly wrong argument, something a child would say.

Rosco Bodine
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It would require a quarilateral initiative led by China, Russia, India, and then the United States, probably in that order to implement a quadrilateral transitional technology plan that is industrially viable to have any meaningful impact on the global anthropogenic CO2 emissions, and it is uncertain even if CO2 emissions from all fuel burning was reduced to zero according to some future practical target date, that a reversal of global warming would be the result. That uncertainty exists because fossil fuel burning may not be the source of the GW with its accompanying increased CO2 levels. That cause and effect is only the popular theory in which reactionary and alarmist environmentalist interventions are believed, but actually are only theorized, to be justified. Sacrificing the economy of the United States on the altar of a "green energy now" initiative that is infeasible to be implemented and isn't going to accomplish the dubious global result requiring an allied effort by all the industrialized nations, will only sabotage the transition sought to be achieved, making the United States a second nation who was sold a political bill of goods called "green energy" and driven to bankruptcy by irrational pursuit prematurely of an infeasible goal in the same way as has been done by Spain.

Green Energy needs a good business manager to sell the theory it presents. Premature abolitionists of the existing technology will ultimately be assassinated because they are bigger threats to survival than GW.

[Edited on 4-11-2011 by Rosco Bodine]
ScienceSquirrel
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A fairly nonbiased account of the increased level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and the probable effect;

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_dioxide_in_Earth%27s_atm...
Neil
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The whole point of climate change worry is not that the ice will melt, it is that the oceans will become anoxic... wait they already are turning...

(LOOK A REFERENCE! WOW!)

Anoxic conditions allow the formation of hydrogen sulphide

http://geology.geoscienceworld.org/cgi/content/abstract/33/5...

http://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/handle/2027.42/25926

Which they now believe played an important role in past mass extinctions

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/11/031104063957.ht...

Because hydrogen sulphide is a poison

http://www.alken-murray.com/H2SREM9.HTM (okay that was facetious sorry)

You believe in your sun dimming friend because one book says he is real? There are many more books which say global warming is not only real but more importantly going to kill us if we do nothing(keeping in mind that your sun dimming friend already killed 99.999% of humanity once, right?). You would rather sit around grinning while welcoming destruction? Have a little faith in the worlds scientists.

China is moving towards having less of a global Co2/CH4 footprint but those silly people over in china and India want a life style as nice as the life style inherent to the average American. Silly? no. Can't really blame them for wanting equality.

America COULD get its ass in gear and Canada could (let us not forget Canada is worse right now then the USA) and they could profit from the change.

Or we could see just how deep the rabbit-hole goes...

At worst, we could turn the whole planet into a new Easter island http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Easter_Island

Edited for spelling and grammar.

[Edited on 4-11-2011 by Neil]
Rosco Bodine
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The oceans are the joker in the deck which is definitely an identified unknown which could have profound bearing on the carbon cycle models, and there really is no historical ocean data comparable to ice cores for sample analysis which can be dated back millenia. The absence of data for the major player in the carbon cycle, which absolutely is the oceans, immediately makes ice core referenced models an arithmetical model for a reality that is more algebra. And that doesn't even take into account the many other factors which can effect a climate change for the warmer. An obvious problem not explained at all with respect to ice core referenced models is the lower range CO2 levels during ice ages. Is the fluctuation of CO2 levels on a downward trend during ice ages simply a consequence of the increased solubility of CO2 in water at cooler temperatures, or is there a more involved and complex mechanism which explains fluctuations
of CO2 levels which occurred absolutely naturally without any human influence.
Even from a standpoint of absolutely intellectually honest scientific analysis,
it is definitely not simple arithmetic which definitively proves the present CO2 elevation is due to burning fossil fuels. It is not a wildly speculative idea that what is occuring at sea could have more bearing on the problem, and the origin for what is occurring at sea may or may not be human caused. In the wiki article the author makes a correlation between annual variations in CO2 levels with the growing season of the northern hemisphere, but never quite connects the dots involving the photosynthetic biomass of the seas which are earths biggest oxygen producer, and at the same time the biggest sequesterers of carbon. My my aren't we penny wise and pound foolish?

As for my sun dimming friend, if it should turn out you do meet him one day it would be better to meet him as a friend than as a surprised stranger offering scientific theory for excuses. He is also known as the master of the sea.
Polverone
Now celebrating 14 years of madness
4-11-2011 at 12:16
Sedit
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 Quote: Originally posted by Endimion17 I'm kindly asking you to refer from replying to my posts ever again. Thank you.

And I would kindly wish that people with distorted information would stop blaming the USA for all there problems but spoiled little brats...echm... such as myself, have problems not getting what they want. All to often I see arrogance get in the way of intelligences.

All the problems China causes with emissions and still spin doctors manage to put the blame on the USA when China has no desire to even enforce any sort of emissions control. I agree the US sucks but then again so does cocaine and crack, blaming the worlds problems on them is just as absurd as blaming it on a single country.

[Edited on 4-11-2011 by Sedit]

Knowledge is useless to useless people...

"I see a lot of patterns in our behavior as a nation that parallel a lot of other historical processes. The fall of Rome, the fall of Germany — the fall of the ruling country, the people who think they can do whatever they want without anybody else's consent. I've seen this story before."~Maynard James Keenan
Neil
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In the time periods that are relevant to the articles I posted Antarctica was Tropical, not barren and ice covered, ice core data does not exist for the relevant time period because no ice exists from that time period.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jul/17/antarctica-tropi...

However, we can measure CO2 deposition over the time periods that are relevant by dating carbonate deposits.

Abstract only

The ocean is a CO2 sink that requires oxygen to function favourably. If there is insufficient oxygen the photosynthesising organisms are unable to survive and eventually suffer massive a die-off which further depletes the water of oxygen as they are decomposed by anoxic bacteria. Ironically this yields increased amounts of methane by-product which are worse then the CO2.

http://bulletin.geoscienceworld.org/cgi/content/abstract/101...

Anoxic conditions kill organisms that need oxygen to live, some of these organisms form carbonates which are the main carbon storage medium for the deep ocean.

A lack of oxygen further increases the formation of sulphur/sulphide metabolising bacteria which lead to the scenarios believed to have killed off most of the Earth's life forms in past mass extinctions.

http://www.ruf.rice.edu/~ctlee/ArthurOAE-cretaceous.pdf

You suggest that it would be better for me to be theistic then not, as if I am wrong I will be punished where as, presumably, if I am right it will not have mattered. We are at Pascal's wager.

If we as a species pick at the data and do nothing, instead spend our time arguing over trivialities we may be fine, but if we are wrong we as a species will likely be reduced to the edge of extinction; if not made fully extinct eg. Easter Island.

Again, Pascal's wager. If we were truly given these lands to watch over them, then wouldn't you be as likely to be punished for soaking them in a cloud of H2S as I would be for not being theistic?

As for the master for the sea, I'm down with Poseidon, I've always been fond of sailing.

Not really related to the above but really neat nonetheless,

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v411/n6835/full/411298a...
Neil
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Quote: Originally posted by Sedit
 Quote: Originally posted by Endimion17 I'm kindly asking you to refer from replying to my posts ever again. Thank you.

And I would kindly wish that people with distorted information would stop blaming the USA for all there problems but spoiled little brats...echm... such as myself, have problems not getting what they want. All to often I see arrogance get in the way of intelligences.

All the problems China causes with emissions and still spin doctors manage to put the blame on the USA when China has no desire to even enforce any sort of emissions control. I agree the US sucks but then again so does cocaine and crack, blaming the worlds problems on them is just as absurd as blaming it on a single country.

[Edited on 4-11-2011 by Sedit]

While China refuses to be fettered by international agreements they are slowly working towards cleaning up their image. They instituted their first emissions standards on vehicles back in 2000 according to wiki. They also continue to develop hydro and fission power generation. (trivia what % of the worlds CO2 emissions are from uncontrolled coal mine fires in China?)

I don't get why Canada always gets off on this whole thing. We have a government that refuses to let their scientists speak about climate change and we have a worse water/person usage rate then the USA. http://www.nupge.ca/content/3810/canada-picks-where-it-left-...

Neil
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 Quote: Originally posted by Polverone Fission's wastes last for a very long time, it is true, but they are compact enough that it is practical to sequester them from the environment indefinitely. It's much harder to do this with smokestack emissions due to sheer bulk. It's not like fossil fuels are any less of a long term liability: relying on natural biological and geological carbon cycling alone, a substantial amount of the atmospheric CO2 rise over the last 10 years will persist even 10000 years from now. And in addition fossil fuels contribute much more heavily to short-term human morbidity and mortality. Even if you throw Chernobyl in the mix, even if you assume a Chernobyl-like event every 20 years, nuclear power would still kill and sicken fewer people per unit of energy produced than fossil fuels do as a routine matter.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=coal-ash-is...
DerAlte
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First, remember what David Hume said c. 1750: Causation and correlation should never be confused. And Karl Popper put the dividing line between scienific and metaphysical theories as the verifiability of hypotheses - to be scientific, a theory had to be testable. In that light, let us examine Global Warming (GW)

[Not climate change, note: the climate changes year to year or over whatever period one designates - we had a microclimate change today, the temperature did not exceed 68F here, two degrees below the January average high, fully 24 degrees below the record high and 12F below the average high - a cool front blew through; and October was one of the coolest I can remember - no A/C all month. We never hit 100F all year here in Florida, and not a hint of a hurricane. Texas had July and August highs around 10F above average at 104+]

The numbers above indicate the haystack in which the needle of the data exists that has to be used to estimate GW. Each site has similar variations and they do not correlate with fairly near spatial neighbors. There are relatively few oceanic sites yet 71% of the surface is ocean and its temperature is ill mapped, especially the depth profile. To get the GW one has to do two averages: the ensemble average of sites and the temporal average. The time average is usually something quite different - technically a sample average, over a year.

But the data for these averages is often selected - outliers are often rejected, corrections made for 'Heat Islands' etc. The data is often doctored (by PhD's, no less!). The data becomes sparser as it gets older, and less reliable. What we are looking for is the movement of the average, long term, of the averages of a set of averages of somewhat suspect selected or weighted data.

Any simulation is based upon a subset of these data. It cannot be used on the data on which is was based, of course - if it doesn't fit that within some reasonable limit, well, GIGO. I would also be tempted to say that random data is by definition unpredictable but hold that thought.

The process of multiple averaging is to smooth (filter) the data and detect a low frequency component amid very noisy data. The longer (time wise) the set of data averaged the better the smoothing. You are looking at a moving average. What should the period be - a year, 5, a decade? If the period is T, then the average corresponds to a time T/2 ago, not to the latest data point.

The simulation or prediction of future temperatures depends of the so-called 'net forcing'. If this is positive GW will occur, else we have cooling. The major forcer is the sun; current eatimates put the radiative input to the earth (above atmosphere)as 1366.5 w/m2 mean.
The solar sunspot cycle give +-1.3 w/m2 peak variation on this roughly over 11 yrs (see Rosco above), with occasional major secular variations. Unfortunately our best satellite estimates can vary by as much at 4w/m2. http://www.acrim.com/

Old Sol, itself variable over the ~11yr cycle, and variable from cycle to cycle, is filtered by the atmosphere before reaching ground level. The molecular absorption of the SW radiation is well understood. Less well quantified is the particulate absorption (Google James Hansen of NASA (pro GW)on this). Ozone figures in this, clouds absorb and reflect, particulates such as carbon, silica (dust storms). In principle ground level observations of the total solar flux would be more meaningful than the satellite figures but the number of sites required would be high and much processing of averaging and allowing for angle of incidence due to season, time of day etc., would be needed.

Minor forcers are radioactivity, the earth's internal heat and even the fuel combustion by man and nature. These forcers are added at ground level.

The so-called 'feedback' occurs due to LW radiation in the infrared where the CO2 and H2O absorbers, CH4 and other LW absorbers become inportant in the atmospheric trapping of heat. Hansen (qv) gives these due consideration. The complexity of these terms has been noted well above by Rosco, Neil, etc.

I won't belabor the point but there is adequate room for scientific scepticism here. The balance between the forcers and the feedback is narrow and, depending on which 'authority' you believe in, of large variation. The only figure well characterized is the CO2 level which is irrefutably rising fairly rapidly. As Rosco points out, the exact way the ocean affects all this is especially ill understood, yet it is the major sink or source of the sequaestered CO2.

Few seem to appreciate Neil's point that the ultimate danger is O2 depletion. The reduction of forests by third world countries impacts this as well as more careful agriculture in the developed world. Concrete cities certainly do not help. The biggest threat to mankind is mankind itself, as Malthus pointed out over a century ago.

Intro to James Hansen:

http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/GISSTemperature/gi...

A sceptic:

http://www.drroyspencer.com/

http://www.mdpi.com/2072-4292/3/8/1603/pdf - excerpt:

Where Have All the Real Scientists Gone?

The basic issue we research is not that difficult to understand. And unless a few of you physicist-types out there get involved and provide some truly independent analysis of all this, the few of us out here who are revealing why the IPCC climate models being used to predict global warming are nowhere close to having been “validated”, are going to lose this battle.

We simply cannot compete with a good-ole-boy, group think, circle-the-wagons peer review process which has been rewarded with billions of research dollars to support certain policy outcomes.

It is obvious to many people what is going on behind the scenes. The next IPCC report (AR5) is now in preparation, and there is a bust-gut effort going on to make sure that either (1) no scientific papers get published which could get in the way of the IPCC’s politically-motivated goals, or (2) any critical papers that DO get published are discredited with any and all means available.

We are constantly being demanded to meet a higher standard than our critics hold themselves to when it comes to getting research proposals funded, or getting research results published. This war was going on many years before the ClimateGate e-mails were leaked and revealed the central players’ active interference in the peer review process. We seldom complained about this professional bias against us because it ends up sounding like sour grapes.

But when we are actively being accused of what the other side is guilty of, I will not stay silent.

And (BTW) we get no funding from Big Oil or other private energy interests. Another urban legend.

I hate to say it, but we need some sharper tools in our shed than we have right now. And the fresh eyes we need cannot have the threat of a loss of government funding hanging over their heads if what they find happens to disagree with Al Gore, James Hansen, et al.

Says it better than I could. Sensible environmental measures (eg sulphate abatement) will avoid severe degradation of living conditions but all out Green idiocy wil cause a decline back to the stone age. Environmental policy driven by tree and bunny huggers or PC considerations is as bad as a policy driven by unfettered exploitation of fossil fuels. Science should adhere to its priciples of detachment from both economic and political pressure.

Apologies for the length of this post - it has been cooking while I have followed the very cogent thread above.

Regards,

Der Alte, moderate sceptic.

497
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That may be the best post in the thread yet. The length was deserved.

A word to the wise: NEUROFEEDBACK

http://citizenworks.org/corp/dg/s2r1.pdf
http://www.newscientist.com/mobile/article/mg21228354.500-re...

"To expose a 15 Trillion dollar ripoff of the American people by the stockholders of the 1000 largest corporations over the last 100 years will be a tall order of business."
Buckminster Fuller

"No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it."
Albert Einstein
White Yeti
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Immediate solution to GW:

Reduce consumption. Before trying to generate electricity from any energy source what so ever, we need to stop using so many resources. The famous cliché is that "if everyone on Earth lived like an energy guzzling American, we would need 3.5 Earths".

I don't understand why some Americans heat their houses to 80F during the winter, it makes no sense. Living in the US I can say (first hand) that the amount of energy a typical suburban family uses is phenomenal. Raising the price of electricity would solve a whole bunch of problems, it would pose some other problems as well, but hey, you don't get something for nothing.

Most claims about American energy use are quite frankly -and sadly- true.

"Ja, Kalzium, das ist alles!" -Otto Loewi
Mr. Wizard
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 Quote: Originally posted by White Yeti Immediate solution to GW: Reduce consumption. Before trying to generate electricity from any energy source what so ever, we need to stop using so many resources. The famous cliché is that "if everyone on Earth lived like an energy guzzling American, we would need 3.5 Earths". I don't understand why some Americans heat their houses to 80F during the winter, it makes no sense. Living in the US I can say (first hand) that the amount of energy a typical suburban family uses is phenomenal. Raising the price of electricity would solve a whole bunch of problems, it would pose some other problems as well, but hey, you don't get something for nothing. Most claims about American energy use are quite frankly -and sadly- true.

You would have been right at home in the Soviet Union with an attitude of 'I know what they need". Let me cut the slice of pie up a little smaller for you. Making generalizations about all of America because you live here is no more valid than me doing the same as I live here too. Yes, raising prices would cut usage, and lower our standard of living. What other effects it would have, and why don't we cut food production too. We could turn off all our TV and computers when the sun goes down and crawl under a quilt woven from Malamute hair and pigeon feathers.

Frankly, people who want to dictate lifestyle changes to other people so they can feel good about the world are the cause of many of the world's problems. It's amazing how many people try to straighten up the world when they have so much work to do at home. We don't need a solution to GW.

Polverone
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Quote: Originally posted by Mr. Wizard
 Quote: Originally posted by White Yeti Immediate solution to GW: Reduce consumption. Before trying to generate electricity from any energy source what so ever, we need to stop using so many resources. The famous cliché is that "if everyone on Earth lived like an energy guzzling American, we would need 3.5 Earths". I don't understand why some Americans heat their houses to 80F during the winter, it makes no sense. Living in the US I can say (first hand) that the amount of energy a typical suburban family uses is phenomenal. Raising the price of electricity would solve a whole bunch of problems, it would pose some other problems as well, but hey, you don't get something for nothing. Most claims about American energy use are quite frankly -and sadly- true.

You would have been right at home in the Soviet Union with an attitude of 'I know what they need". Let me cut the slice of pie up a little smaller for you. Making generalizations about all of America because you live here is no more valid than me doing the same as I live here too. Yes, raising prices would cut usage, and lower our standard of living. What other effects it would have, and why don't we cut food production too. We could turn off all our TV and computers when the sun goes down and crawl under a quilt woven from Malamute hair and pigeon feathers.

Frankly, people who want to dictate lifestyle changes to other people so they can feel good about the world are the cause of many of the world's problems. It's amazing how many people try to straighten up the world when they have so much work to do at home. We don't need a solution to GW.

Defending things as they are is also dictating lifestyle to other people. It's telling your neighbors that they have to accept dirty air or acidic rain because you don't want to pay for more efficient energy use or for cleaner energy production. A warmer planet will force residents of low-lying coastal areas to abandon home as seas rise; don't tell me that's not also a lifestyle change dictated to them.

There's considerable improvement possible from efficiency measures that don't require any sort of deprivation or suffering. Heating and cooling of homes and buildings uses a lot of energy unnecessarily because of poor insulation, draftiness, and building patterns that ignore the orientation of the landscape and the sun. This isn't rocket science. My great-grandfather built a home of adobe recessed partly into the side of a hill. He wasn't even a builder by training, just a farmer. It was cool in the summer without air conditioning and in the winter you could get by just wearing a sweater even if there was no fire in the wood stove. This was built 50 years before anyone heard of the environmental movement. I look where I live now and I see new houses (much bigger) on the sides of hills also -- but completely exposed, no cover from foliage, many of them even without basements, as if the builders were in a contest to maximize temperature swings. I bet their insulation is the minimum required by code, too. "Why pay a little more today instead of a lot more later?" We should get that stamped on our coinage.

PGP Key and corresponding e-mail
bahamuth
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Scepticism is healthy thing, wouldn't go a day without it.

But if I saw a giant beast with large fangs surely large enough if it bit me to cause certain death, and something that looked like a friendly smile I would be sceptic about its intent.

Same analog as I see in the whole climate debate, stupid people willing to gamble on something as big as the survival of the human race, for what, cheap gasoline and a 5% increase in living comforts... What we really should do is to invest in a reversal of the greenhouse gasses emissions, and all the other pollutants we have put out there.

At the same time I feel it necessary to point out I'm not denying that it may be natural, but the stakes are really to high to let it play out just to "see what happens" like alot of people seem to support.

As another angle on the whole problem I would like to see those of the "sceptics" who would do a russian roulette with 99 empty and one loaded chamber, which is how the scientific community is divided on the matter, where 99% supports human caused climate change. I suspect that then we would see how short-minded we are.

This thread is the most heated one on SM atleast for my part, so I'm sorry if I'm stepping on someones toes here, but my resolve stands. NO ONE is gambling with my future when there is so many incentives to improve what we have, environmentally & technologically. Not doing so is "mindless" in my opinion....

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
IrC
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I would think calling a less than one degree change in a hundred years "a giant beast with large fangs" is taking a hysterical view especially if your solution is to stop all energy production and destroy the quality of life globally. If you regulate and tax all industry, farming, and energy production out of existence the result will be starvation, death, anarchy and war unlike anything ever before seen by mankind. To say a billion or more could in the end die from the over reaction to events going on at quite a slow pace is not in my opinion 'hysterical science' but rather a quite realistic view of what will result if the green forces have their way. You base your opinion on the concept of self preservation but fail to think things through.

Just exactly what do you think would be required to alter things on a global scale? I imagine it would take construction of machines as yet unseen in scale like say an atmospheric processing plant actually able to reduce CO2 on a global scale. If out of fear you destroy industry today how will these machines be constructed in the future. It takes energy to build anything just as it takes energy to produce enough food to merely sustain the current world population. If we assume the earth will still be here even if it is a burned out cinder, one must assume all thoughts of 'saving the planet' must by definition equate to 'saving the people' to have any worthwhile meaning.

If we all die what difference does it make what condition the planet is in? If real scientific logical thought is given to the outcome of implementing the green agenda as fast as they require the only logical conclusion is they want to 'save the planet' by exterminating all humans on it. Or in general their goal is to reduce global population to a couple thousand chosen survivors living in the stone age. Except of course for their 'chosen elite'. No nobody will be allowed beasts of burden we all know how much carbon they output. After all Al Gore once stated his carbon footprint (equatable to that of a hundred thousand peons) is justified because he is working on 'saving the planet'. Yes folks I heard him say that, I added the 100K peons myself by actually looking into his carbon footprint.

If we wish to be realistic we must conclude energy is as important to our survival as is food water and air. I believe the best thing we can do now is build more nuclear plants to eliminate all the coal burning currently used to produce power. In order to run the industry needed to build new energy technologies which could actually begin to turn things around as well as possibly building plants capable of reducing harmful substances in the air currently, we must have industry and therefore energy.

For a moment assume the story of Noah to be true. If the 'greeners' had taken away his woodworking tools and barred him from chopping down trees then I guess all would have drowned. This by analogy is how I see the hysterical green earth people today. You simply cannot shut everything down if you have a realistic expectation of having the motive ability to do anything on a global scale capable of actually improving conditions. This is especially true if the higher percentage of climate change is actually natural phenomena in addition to a smaller amount human caused. Let us say the sun is the major cause of temperature increase. How without energy and industry would mere mortal man be able to actually do something to stave off his extinction from something driven by events on a scale as massive as say a star increasing in energy output.

Say for example Ben Affleck is going up to put a giant aluminized plastic reflector in orbit after science proves 99% of GW is being caused by the sun. However after decades of current green earth solutions being implemented there was no aluminum production, no petrochemical industry, and no space program. So we all have a nice time watching the movie about how we could have saved ourselves if only we had taken a more moderate approach to solutions. I think you can see what I am driving at is quite simply if you want to save life you cannot do so by killing industry first.

"As another angle on the whole problem I would like to see those of the "sceptics" who would do a russian roulette with 99 empty and one loaded chamber, which is how the scientific community is divided on the matter, where 99% supports human caused climate change. I suspect that then we would see how short-minded we are."

I think this is yet another example of thought by taking extremes in concept. Also I find your numbers highly dubious. Merely because 99 percent believe a thing does not mean they are correct. If life is the goal I find the consensus of Lemmings to be counterproductive while they are all jumping off cliffs. Nor do I believe the number 99 for your example of the percentage of scientists of like mind on the subject.

As far as I know the Amazon is the greatest producer of breathable air on earth and a very large reducer of CO2. Yet it is being bulldozed and burned on a monumental scale. I hear very little in the news today about this problem. When I hear the 'save the planet' faction raise as much hell about this as they do about me driving my car then maybe I will give a little more credence to what they have to say. Especially if they let up on their anti nuclear power stance, a realistic power source we now have available which could actually help in reducing whatever part of 'climate change' and atmospheric pollution we humans are actually responsible for.

[Edited on 11-12-2011 by IrC]

"Science is the belief in the ignorance of the experts" Richard Feynman
turd
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Superb - I will have to remember this one for the next time I hear voices:
"I'm not paranoid, I'm just skeptic!"
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