The Carbon Thread

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Patrick Moore is an amusing right-wing mentalist. However that doesn't stop him being right, IMO, about nuclear energy. I think it's our only hope for a worthwhile non-greenhouse-gas-emitting energy source in the near future.
 

vimothy

yurp
it's very alarming how little critical discourse there is around biofuels, such is the desire for a magic bullet that requires no sacrifice or change in habits. suddenly we have great numbers of "environmentalists" arguing in favour of industrial scale, biotechnologized monoculture which will, in fact, do us in just as readily as carbon, given that we'll need as much plant diversity as we can hold onto if we hope to adapt to globally-warmed mutant ecosystems.
Our kid told me that there isn't even enough land on the planet to grow the crops necessary to make bio-fuels a global, sustainable alternative to fossil fuels.
 
Albedo Flips, Feminine Physics, and Imminent Dread

As SF-Capital futurists imagine the moon's estimated - but prohibitively irrecoverable - reserves of Helium-3 as the vital-ingredient, the fusion-powered nuclear saviour of the world's future energy needs, climatologists again enter the frey [as Catastrophy Theory supplants Chaos Theory] ...

Dr Hansen said we have about 10 years to put into effect the draconian measures needed to curb CO2 emissions quickly enough to avert a dangerous rise in global temperature. Otherwise, the extra heat could trigger the rapid melting of polar ice sheets, made far worse by the "albedo flip" - when the sunlight reflected by white ice is suddenly absorbed as ice melts to become the dark surface of open water.

The glaciers and ice sheets of Greenland in the northern hemisphere, and the western Antarctic ice sheet in the south, both show signs of the rapid changes predicted with rising temperatures. "

The albedo flip property of ice/water provides a trigger mechanism. If the trigger mechanism is engaged long enough, multiple dynamical feedbacks will cause ice sheet collapse," the scientists say. "We argue that the required persistence for this trigger mechanism is at most a century, probably less."


The Earth today stands in imminent peril

...and nothing short of a planetary rescue will save it from the environmental cataclysm of dangerous climate change. Those are not the words of eco-warriors but the considered opinion of a group of eminent scientists writing in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.

By Steve Connor, Science Editor

Published: 19 June 2007

Six scientists from some of the leading scientific institutions in the United States have issued what amounts to an unambiguous warning to the world: civilisation itself is threatened by global warming.

They also implicitly criticise the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) for underestimating the scale of sea-level rises this century as a result of melting glaciers and polar ice sheets.

Instead of sea levels rising by about 40 centimetres, as the IPCC predicts in one of its computer forecasts, the true rise might be as great as several metres by 2100. That is why, they say, planet Earth today is in "imminent peril".

In a densely referenced scientific paper published in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, some of the world's leading climate researchers describe in detail why they believe that humanity can no longer afford to ignore the "gravest threat" of climate change.

"Recent greenhouse gas emissions place the Earth perilously close to dramatic climate change that could run out of control, with great dangers for humans and other creatures," the scientists say. Only intense efforts to curb man-made emissions of carbon dioxide emissions and other greenhouse gases can keep the climate within or near the range of the past one million years, they add.

The researchers were led by James Hansen, the director of Nasa's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, who was the first scientist to warn the US Congress about global warming.

The other scientists were Makiko Sato, Pushker Kharecha and Gary Russell, also of the Goddard Institute, David Lea of the University of California, Santa Barbara, and Mark Siddall of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University in New York.

In their 29-page paper, "Climate Change and trace gases", the scientists frequently stray from the non-emotional language of science to emphasise the scale of the problems and dangers posed by climate change.

In an email to The Independent, Dr Hansen said: "In my opinion, among our papers this one probably does the best job of making clear that the Earth is getting perilously close to climate changes that could run out of our control."

The unnatural "forcing" of the climate as a result of man-made emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases threatens to generate a "flip" in the climate that could "spark a cataclysm" in the massive ice sheets of Antarctica and Greenland, the scientists write.

Dramatic flips in the climate have occurred in the past but none has happened since the development of complex human societies and civilisation, which are unlikely to survive the same sort of environmental changes if they occurred now.

"Civilisation developed, and constructed extensive infrastructure, during a period of unusual climate stability, the Holocene, now almost 12,000 years in duration. That period is about to end," the scientists warn. Humanity cannot afford to burn the Earth's remaining underground reserves of fossil fuel. "To do so would guarantee dramatic climate change, yielding a different planet from the one on which civilisation developed and for which extensive physical infrastructure has been built," they say.

Dr Hansen said we have about 10 years to put into effect the draconian measures needed to curb CO2 emissions quickly enough to avert a dangerous rise in global temperature. Otherwise, the extra heat could trigger the rapid melting of polar ice sheets, made far worse by the "albedo flip" - when the sunlight reflected by white ice is suddenly absorbed as ice melts to become the dark surface of open water.

The glaciers and ice sheets of Greenland in the northern hemisphere, and the western Antarctic ice sheet in the south, both show signs of the rapid changes predicted with rising temperatures. "

The albedo flip property of ice/water provides a trigger mechanism. If the trigger mechanism is engaged long enough, multiple dynamical feedbacks will cause ice sheet collapse," the scientists say. "We argue that the required persistence for this trigger mechanism is at most a century, probably less."

The latest assessment of the IPCC published earlier this year predicts little or no contribution to 21st century sea level from Greenland or Antarctica, but the six scientists dispute this interpretation. "The IPCC analyses and projections do not well account for the nonlinear physics of wet ice sheet disintegration, ice streams and eroding ice shelves, nor are they consistent with the palaeoclimate evidence we have presented for the absence of discernible lag between ice sheet forcing and sea-level rise," the scientists say.

Their study looked back over more than 400,000 years of climate records from deep ice cores and found evidence to suggest that rapid climate change over a period of centuries, or even decades, have in the past occurred once the world began to heat up and ice sheets started melting. It is not possible to assess the dangerous level of man-made greenhouse gases.

"However, it is much lower than has commonly been assumed. If we have not already passed the dangerous level, the energy infrastructure in place ensures that we will pass it within several decades," the scientists say in their findings.

"We conclude that a feasible strategy for planetary rescue almost surely requires a means of extracting [greenhouse gases] from the air."​

Further evidence emerges from Ted Scambos, a glaciologist at the National Snow and Ice Center in Colorado, who claims that the absence of ice on the Arctic Ocean during summer months would be a major contributor to global warming. Published in the Geophysical Research Letters journal, Scambos and his co-authors drew on satellite data and visual evidence of Arctic ice to reach their conclusions, radically at variance to those that obtained from computer models used by the scientists of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change: The Arctic ice cap is melting much faster than expected and is now about 30 years ahead of predictions made by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a U.S. ice expert said Tuesday. This means the ocean at the top of the world could be free or nearly free of summer ice by 2020, three decades sooner than the global panel's gloomiest forecast of 2050.

The world's refugees: " I feel humiliated": Christian Aid predicts that by 2050 there will be 1 billion people around the world displaced by global warming, dwarfing the number of those now fleeing conflicts and persecution -- nearly 10 million refugees and almost 25 million internally displaced people.
 

dHarry

New member
This is pretty unambiguous:

"Even though there is almost no argument among scientific circles about the role of human activities as the main driver of climate change, a recent poll suggested that the public still believes there is significant scientific uncertainty. Despite the efforts of government and campaigns such as Live Earth to educate the public, the Ipsos Mori poll of over 2,031 people, released this month, found 56% of people thought there was an active scientific debate into the causes of global warming.

A spokesman for the Royal Society, the UK's leading scientific academy, said: "This is an important contribution to the scientific debate on climate change. At present there is a small minority which is seeking to deliberately confuse the public on the causes of climate change. They are often misrepresenting the science, when the reality is that the evidence is getting stronger every day. We have reached a point where a failure to take action to reduce carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions would be irresponsible and dangerous."

Channel 4 and Martin Durkin, producer of The Great Global Warming Swindle, declined to comment."
 
This is pretty unambiguous:

"Even though there is almost no argument among scientific circles about the role of human activities as the main driver of climate change, a recent poll suggested that the public still believes there is significant scientific uncertainty. Despite the efforts of government and campaigns such as Live Earth to educate the public, the Ipsos Mori poll of over 2,031 people, released this month, found 56% of people thought there was an active scientific debate into the causes of global warming.

A spokesman for the Royal Society, the UK's leading scientific academy, said: "This is an important contribution to the scientific debate on climate change. At present there is a small minority which is seeking to deliberately confuse the public on the causes of climate change. They are often misrepresenting the science, when the reality is that the evidence is getting stronger every day. We have reached a point where a failure to take action to reduce carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions would be irresponsible and dangerous."

Channel 4 and Martin Durkin, producer of The Great Global Warming Swindle, declined to comment."
Yes, it may seem unambiguous, except that The Problem, however, is that there INDEED continues to be an active scientific debate on the subject, and the public indeed quickly learns to disavow what knowledge they may have ostensibly acquired on the subject (and not just on climate change: whatever became of the 10m people who took to the streets in February 2003 opposing the invasion of Iraq? Where are they now? Gone back to sleep? Whatever became of the tens of millions who opposed mass poverty in Africa in the 1980s? Where are they now? Too busy shopping and checking their mortgage repayments?).

Here are two recent contrary reports, which serve to further suggest that much of the West's fatuous 'concern' about climate change will evaporate as quickly as their bubble property prices (and I hear even George Monbiot has just bought himself a gas-guzzling car ...):


Challenge to Scientific Consensus on Global Warming

Analysis Finds Hundreds of Scientists Have Published Evidence Countering Man-Made Global Warming Fears

by Hudson Institute

Global Research, September 13, 2007

Earth Times

Global Research Editor's Note

The following report emanates from the Hudson Insitute, which is supported by big business including the oil companies.

The suppression of this research on Global Warming, however, is nonetheless corroborated. And consequently we felt that it was important to bring this article to the attention of our readers. For further details, see our dossier on Climate Change

Moreover, there is evidence that big business is also supporting the Global Warming Consensus, which serves broad geopolitical interests.


13 September 2007

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

WASHINGTON, Sept. 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --

A new analysis of peer-reviewed literature reveals that more than 500 scientists have published evidence refuting at least one element of current man-made global warming scares. More than 300 of the scientists found evidence that 1) a natural moderate 1,500-year climate cycle has produced more than a dozen global warmings similar to ours since the last Ice Age and/or that 2) our Modern Warming is linked strongly to variations in the sun's irradiance. "This data and the list of scientists make a mockery of recent claims that a scientific consensus blames humans as the primary cause of global temperature increases since 1850," said Hudson Institute Senior Fellow Dennis Avery.

Other researchers found evidence that 3) sea levels are failing to rise importantly; 4) that our storms and droughts are becoming fewer and milder with this warming as they did during previous global warmings; 5) that human deaths will be reduced with warming because cold kills twice as many people as heat; and 6) that corals, trees, birds, mammals, and butterflies are adapting well to the routine reality of changing climate.

Despite being published in such journals such as Science, Nature and Geophysical Review Letters, these scientists have gotten little media attention. "Not all of these researchers would describe themselves as global warming skeptics," said Avery, "but the evidence in their studies is there for all to see."

More ...


And all this quite apart from the fact that all attempts to counter global warming to date have only served to accentuate it ... Oh look! There goes Al Gore in his new JetStream ...


New Peer-Reviewed Scientific Studies Chill Global Warming Fears
By Marc Morano, 8/29/2007 12:12:56 PM

Washington DC – An abundance of new peer-reviewed studies, analysis, and data error discoveries in the last several months has prompted scientists to declare that fear of catastrophic man-made global warming “bites the dust” and the scientific underpinnings for alarm may be “falling apart.” The latest study to cast doubt on climate fears finds that even a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide would not have the previously predicted dire impacts on global temperatures. This new study is not unique, as a host of recent peer-reviewed studies have cast a chill on global warming fears.

“Anthropogenic (man-made) global warming bites the dust,” declared astronomer Dr. Ian Wilson after reviewing the new study which has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Geophysical Research. Another scientist said the peer-reviewed study overturned “in one fell swoop” the climate fears promoted by the UN and former Vice President Al Gore. The study entitled “Heat Capacity, Time Constant, and Sensitivity of Earth’s Climate System,” was authored by Brookhaven National Lab scientist Stephen Schwartz.

“Effectively, this (new study) means that the global economy will spend trillions of dollars trying to avoid a warming of ~ 1.0 K by 2100 A.D.” Dr. Wilson wrote in a note to the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee on Aug. 19, 2007. Wilson, a former operations astronomer at the Hubble Space Telescope Institute in Baltimore MD, was referring to the trillions of dollars that would be spent under such international global warming treaties like the Kyoto Protocol.

“Previously, I have indicated that the widely accepted values for temperature increase associated with a doubling of CO2 were far too high i.e. 2 – 4.5 Kelvin. This new peer-reviewed paper claims a value of 1.1 +/- 0.5 K increase for a doubling of CO2,” he added.

Climate fears reduced to children’s games

Other scientists are echoing Wilson’s analysis. Former Harvard physicist Dr. Lubos Motl said the new study has reduced proponents of man-made climate fears to “playing the children’s game to scare each other.”

More ...
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
And all this quite apart from the fact that all attempts to counter global warming to date have only served to accentuate it ... Oh look! There goes Al Gore in his new JetStream ...
This is such a lame form of criticism: "If anyone trying to raise awareness of environmental issues creates even the tiniest bit of pollution in the process, they are a fraud and a hypocrite and shouldn't be listened to".
Suppose Gore persuaded just a hundred Americans to take domestic as opposed to foreign holidays last year; this would have 'paid for' his carbon emmissions many times over, wouldn't it? Or perhaps he'd have been more successful standing on a street corner handing out leaflets printed on recylced paper, I don't know.
 

vimothy

yurp
Me too actually: millions of ordinary people go without so Al Gore can toss it off on every continent. What a twat.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Perhaps we should take a leaf out of Gek's book and push a crypto-environmentalist agenda by chopping down all the remaining rain forests, burning big piles of coal for no reason, dumping nuclear waste at sea in leaky, rusting barrels and publicly feeding pandas to starving rotweilers?

Actually, I think we should do the panda thing anyway.
 

mixed_biscuits

_________________________
Perhaps we should take a leaf out of Gek's book and push a crypto-environmentalist agenda by chopping down all the remaining rain forests.
I've always thought that the best way to teach primary school children the importance of looking after their surroundings is to trash the classroom and chop down the school orchard. Really brings it home.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Me too actually: millions of ordinary people go without so Al Gore can toss it off on every continent. What a twat.
Go without what? What is he depriving people of, exactly?

Edit: if what you're getting at is that they've gone without perfectly unnecessary, resource-intensive luxuries then I'd call that a good thing. Is that what you mean?
 
Last edited:

vimothy

yurp
Go without what? What is he depriving people of, exactly?

Edit: if what you're getting at is that they've gone without perfectly unnecessary, resource-intensive luxuries then I'd call that a good thing. Is that what you mean?
Well, I thought you meant going without holidays abroad, but obviously it seems as though you've got a wider agenda. What are "perfectly unnecessary resource-intensive luxuries", who decided what they are and don't you think it's a teeny bit hypocritical to expect others to forego the pleasures you enjoy?
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Well, I thought you meant going without holidays abroad, but obviously it seems as though you've got a wider agenda. What are "perfectly unnecessary resource-intensive luxuries", who decided what they are and don't you think it's a teeny bit hypocritical to expect others to forego the pleasures you enjoy?
I think foreign holidays might be a good example of P.U.R.-I.L.s. And I haven't had one in yonks.

My point is that it's ridiculous to have a go at people who are actually trying to do something positive about climate change by criticizing them for travelling by plane, for example, when it would be impossible or prohibitively impractical to travel otherwise. OK, so Al Gore could go and live in the woods in a little hut and live on berries and insects, and he'd certainly be doing his bit for the environment (and producing less CO2 than he is by flying around to promote his film), but it wouldn't really have much impact on anyone else, would it? And yes, Gore is a self-publicist, wannabe-saviour, blah blah blah, but at least he is actually doing something. Unless every person who saw his film just drove home in their gas-guzzling car afterwards and completely forgot about it, which could be the case for all I know.
 
Last edited:

IdleRich

IdleRich
Not sure I get this bit:

"Here are two recent contrary reports, which serve to further suggest that much of the West's fatuous 'concern' about climate change will evaporate as quickly as their bubble property prices"
Some articles that purport to show that there is some debate on climate change do not mean that concern about it is fatuous do they? Or are you saying that the way in which people worry is fatuous? Quite possibly true of some of them I guess but surely not all.

"And all this quite apart from the fact that all attempts to counter global warming to date have only served to accentuate it ... Oh look! There goes Al Gore in his new JetStream..."
Surely he was trying to accentuate it? The whole purpose of making a film and giving speeches is to identify and raise awareness of global warming.

"don't you think it's a teeny bit hypocritical to expect others to forego the pleasures you enjoy?"
nb Forego to go before, Forgo to go without.
 

vimothy

yurp
I think foreign holidays might be a good example of P.U.R.-I.L.s. And I haven't had one in yonks.
Congrats - how big is your carbon footprint?

My point is that it's ridiculous to have a go at people who are actually trying to do something positive about climate change by criticizing them for travelling by plane, for example, when it would be impossible or prohibitively impractical to travel otherwise.
Well, that's very interesting, I think. Mr Gore (like you) can recognise the benefits of (among other carbon emission heavy activities) air travel, so he shouldn't be suprised that others do the same.

OK, so Al Gore could go and live in the woods in a little hut and live on berries and insects, and he'd certainly be doing his bit for the environment (and producing less CO2 than he is , but it wouldn't really have much impact on anyone else, would it? And yes, Gore is a self-publicist, wannabe-saviour, blah blah blah, but at least he is actually doing something. Unless every person who saw his film just drove home in their gas-guzzling car afterwards and completely forgot about it, which could be the case for all I know.
I would like to know:

How much impact is Gore actually having? Can it be measured?

And, disregarding his extensive use of cheap flights, which you think is off-set by the good his message does, how "green" is Mr Gore in the rest of his life?

Probably you think these are marginal issues, particularly my second point, but it seems to me that Gore is just jumping on a band-wagon ideology (with an accompanying subset of prescribed behaviours) he neither believes nor properly observes in his own life. Fine, if you're already convinced by the message he's sellling. Personally, I think it highlights some notable absurdities.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
I would like to know:

How much impact is Gore actually having? Can it be measured?
I couldn't say for sure. Except to say that it's obviously negligible compared to the entire output of the USA, or even the 'excess' amount produced by things people could easily cut down on, e.g. owning low-mileage vehicles or jetting around on holiday.
And, disregarding his extensive use of cheap flights, which you think is off-set by the good his message does, how "green" is Mr Gore in the rest of his life?
Oh, I don't know. Probably not very. Obviously it's not going to help people take him seriously if they think he's a hypocrite - c.f. 'green' Arnie and his fleet of hummers.
Probably you think these are marginal issues, particularly my second point, but it seems to me that Gore is just jumping on a band-wagon ideology (with an accompanying subset of prescribed behaviours) he neither believes nor properly observes in his own life. Fine, if you're already convinced by the message he's sellling. Personally, I think it highlights some notable absurdities.
I think he is jumping on the bandwagon, but for whatever reasons he personally has for pushing the environmental agenda (and I'm sure many of them are as selfish as the reasons any politician has for doing anything) that doesn't mean it's not an extremely crucial agenda.
 

Gavin

booty bass intellectual
The Gore thing is egregious because his own fucking film tells people all these ways they can save the earth through more thoughtful consumer choices. It's stupid, yes, since buying a hybrid has nothing on all factories in China -- it's basically the consumerist incorporation of radical environmental ideology. But GORE HIMSELF advocates it and doesn't follow through.

Also, the "debate" is one totally manufactured, which is HMLT's point (I think). It's a disinformation campaign to call into question what everyone already knew: that carbon emissions are having massive adverse effects on the environment. Look at how ludicrous some of the apologist claims are: that a warmer earth will allow us to grow more crops (and probably better tans) for instance! Sucks for Bangladesh though! What this allows is a disavowal -- we don't need to do anything, they haven't even figured out if it IS a problem yet, let's let the experts hash it out while we focus on important things like whether I'm getting enough Omega-3 or whatever.
 
Top