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Thread: Environmental Collapse: when and how bad?

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by nomadologist View Post
    ummm look up all the conditions that precede an ice age. look up when the last one happened. compare now to then. we're at 11,000 years since the last ice age. they usually come every 10,000.

    "global warming" is such a highly politicized bunch of crap most scientists have been VERY wary of just endorsing it as if it's indisputibly true. there could be even bigger problems than co2 emissions.

    and i'm not saying we shouldn't radically change the way we consume resources. i'm just saying the science is not all there yet and these things have all happened before. it's happening again right on cue.
    I'd have to disagree with that almost entirely. Firstly, I don't think ice ages happen like clockwork - they're to do with a whole host of factors, including variations in the Earth's orbit, which are non-linear and therefore erratic. The Wiki article says "Many glacial periods have occurred during the last few million years, initially at 40,000-year frequency but more recently at 100,000-year frequencies", so it seems rash to say we're 'overdue' one.

    Furthermore, ice ages happen over the course of thousands to tens of thousands of years, whereas the recent warming has been observed over the course of just a few decades. It's not so much the size of the change that's worrying (yet), it's the incredible rapidity of the onset.

    Finally, it's well known that global climate is linked to the composition of the atmosphere (which is how we reconstruct the Earth's ancient climate, after all), so isn't at least reasonable, verging on almost certain, to suppose that the enormous level of industiral development that's happened over the past century, not to mention the accompanying deforestation, is going to have a huge impact on climate?

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by nomadologist View Post
    exactly, Digital--entirely possible But I think the token left is really off the mark here over-emphasizing a theory that is needless--we need to radically change how we live regardless of whether doom is around the corner for our own generation. there is no point in continuing to use fossil fuels, no matter what's going on climatologically right now. it obfuscates a very simple issue to add dubious science to your energy politics.
    'Token left', eh? Are those pesky Commies in the Pentagon scaring everyone again?

  3. #18
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    if the pentagon says it, it must be true.

    i looked at that "leaked report." our scientists ack letters to donors are more confidential-looking than that pdf was...

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Tea View Post
    I

    Finally, it's well known that global climate is linked to the composition of the atmosphere (which is how we reconstruct the Earth's ancient climate, after all), so isn't at least reasonable, verging on almost certain, to suppose that the enormous level of industiral development that's happened over the past century, not to mention the accompanying deforestation, is going to have a huge impact on climate?
    unfortunately, science isn't about "safe assumptions", it's about observable facts and reproducible lab results

  5. #20
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    oh yeah, and "warming" before an ice age could very well happen rapidly. who says it didn't? i'd have to look it up, but i'm sure that's probably how it was thought to have happened

  6. #21
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    From Wikipedia on "Ice Age":

    In between ice ages, there are multi-million year periods of more temperate, almost tropical, climate, but also within the ice ages (or at least within the last one), temperate and severe periods occur. The colder periods are called 'glacial periods', the warmer periods 'interglacials', such as the Eemian interglacial era.

    The Earth is in an interglacial period now, the last retreat ending about 10,000 years ago. There appears to be a conventional wisdom that "the typical interglacial period lasts ~12,000 years" but this is hard to substantiate from the evidence of ice core records. For example, an article in Nature[3] argues that the current interglacial might be most analogous to a previous interglacial that lasted 28,000 years.

    Based on predicted changes in orbital forcing, in the absence of human influence, the current interglacial may be expected to last 50,000 years: see Milankovitch cycles. There is no evidence that anthropogenic forcing from increased "greenhouse gases" outweighs orbital forcing, and the prediction for the next few hundred years is for temperature rises: see global warming regardless of man's activities.

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by nomadologist View Post
    unfortunately, science isn't about "safe assumptions", it's about observable facts and reproducible lab results
    You want to reproduce the effects of global warming in a 'lab'? Do you happen to have a spare Earth-sized planet handy?

    I don't think you appreciate that climate science is an extremely complicated business in which almost no *absolutely certain* causal relations can be established. This is because everything affects everything else. What *is* undeniable is that the global climate is changing, and changing rapidly. If you look at the graph on the Wiki page I posted, it looks like the fasted period of warming was no more than a few degrees over the course of several thousand years. We're talking about a rise of close to a degree in the past century, with the posibility of a rise of 5 degrees in the next century.

    I mentioned the Pentagon because the conservative American politicians and thinkers have tended to downplay global warming in the past, due to their concerns in industry, so if they're finally admitting there's something to worry about, surely that adds a lot of weight to what many other people have been saying for a long time? Lastly, my point about human activity influencing the climate was at least in part an appeal to "erring on the side of caution" - I mean, the stakes could hardly be higher, could they?

    Edit: your quote from Wiki is someone's opinion. I linked to it to show how ice ages have happened in the past, which is verified science.
    Last edited by Mr. Tea; 31-01-2007 at 08:09 PM.

  8. #23
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    yes, I do appreciate that climate science is an extremely complicated business. that's why pseudo-science is best left out of it.

    if the conservatives are jumping on the global warming lobby, what do you think that means? maybe that they're trying to manipulate people through fear, as usual.

  9. #24
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    If they 'manipulate' industry and consumers into making attempts to reduce carbon emmissions and deforestation, that's fine by me.

  10. #25
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    i think we should all be doing it anyway. it stands to reason, regardless of current climatology hypotheses, that we should move to cleaner energy sources since we HAVE THE (FINANCIAL) RESOURCES TO DO SO

  11. #26
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    you know what happens when the right starts using "global warming"? they start mitigating the fear they propogate by implementing severely half-assed crap initiatives that are nowhere near comprehensive enough. then people will sigh in relief thinking "at least they're doing something", which of course won't be enough.

  12. #27
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    Why? If you're right and global warming is nothing to do with human activity, surely the only reason to burn less fuel is that the fuels are going to run out one day? I mean, if the actual emmissions are nothing to worry about, it makes no odds as to what's 'clean' and what's not. You seem to be hedging your bets...

  13. #28
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    No. Conservatives, as usual, are being brilliant strategists. Unite the country on global warming so THEY can keep control of the government's "fixes" for it--of course, the conservatives would spend TONS less the the democratic party would on this. It's a desperate bid to align themselves with the center to put a good PR shine on the party just in time for the next election.

  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Tea View Post
    Why? If you're right and global warming is nothing to do with human activity,
    i never said "nothing", did i?

  15. #30
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    Politicians in 'cynicism' shocker!

    Making the right noises is better than making no noises at all. In any case, I don't think too many voters are going to be suddenly convinced that the Republicans have suddenly seen the light over the plight of Mother Earth, blah blah blah. In any case, this report came from the Pentagon, not the Reps per se..

    Although it's interesting to note that the American politician most often in the news for taking a green stance is the Governator.

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