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ClarksonClimate change is not science fiction

clarkson climate change

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#31    skookum

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 09:30 PM

The only idiots are people who take Clarkson seriously.  He is a petrol head, a motoring journalist.  Most motoring mags are heavily sponsored by the German luxury car industry.  Pick up anyone in a news agent and have a flick through, BMW, VW, Mercedes, Audi and Porsche adverts.

Most the cars they review are German, they pay the bills.  Green taxes are bad for the car industry, especially the luxury/sports.

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#32    Karlis

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 08:10 AM

View PostDoug1o29, on 12 July 2012 - 06:42 PM, said:

~~~ ...



...

... Another thought:  conservation SAVES money. ...


  ... Personally, I am converting as fast as the economics allow.
Doug
And that makes good common sense Doug. :tu:

That said, for the sake of the argument, let's make a hypothetical assumption that everyone in the world would do just that, and more.

The jackpot question: considering that the whole of mankind *now* contributes in the vicinity of 3% of the total world output of CO2 -- what would be the reduction of CO2 output if everyone followed your example?

My layman's wild guess is that the reduction of CO2 output would be less than 0.003%. My other guess is that even if Mankind went back to a pre-industrial life-style, Mankind's output of CO2 would be so minimal that it would make virtually zero difference to the world's climate.

What are your guesses, Doug?
Karlis


#33    Doug1o29

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 04:21 PM

View PostKarlis, on 13 July 2012 - 08:10 AM, said:

And that makes good common sense Doug. :tu:

That said, for the sake of the argument, let's make a hypothetical assumption that everyone in the world would do just that, and more.

The jackpot question: considering that the whole of mankind *now* contributes in the vicinity of 3% of the total world output of CO2 -- what would be the reduction of CO2 output if everyone followed your example?

My layman's wild guess is that the reduction of CO2 output would be less than 0.003%. My other guess is that even if Mankind went back to a pre-industrial life-style, Mankind's output of CO2 would be so minimal that it would make virtually zero difference to the world's climate.

What are your guesses, Doug?
Karlis
I don't have those numbers off the top of my head, but:

Carbon's residence time in the atmosphere is at least a century, possibly two centuries.  That means that conservation alone will not be enough.  In four or five decades it will make little difference whether we put extra CO2 into the atmosphere now, or ten years from now. The best approach is to avoid putting carbon into the air at all.  And some types of conservation can help with that:  things like better insulation in buildings, weather stripping around doors and windows, fiber glass blankets for the water heater, enclosing window walls and doors with plastic sheeting during the winter, turning down the thermostat during the winter and turning it up during the summer.

I have two passive solar heaters built into my south-side windows.  They're made from 1/4-inch plywood on a 2X2 wood frame.  The outside has a 6-mil plastic cover (polyethylene) and the internal heating structure is aluminum soda cans painted black.  It has a sliding door to close the system at night when the "heater" turns into a "cooler."  Cheap to build, but the heat output is amazing.

So my guess is that we might get a 1% reduction in atmospheric CO2 levels by applying all this.  Compare that with the estimated 0.07% reduction had ALL the Kyoto provisions been implemented, and you can see it's no small amount.

The climate exists in a precarious balance.  Anything that happens pushes it one way or the other.  A 43% increase in atmospheric CO2 over pre-industrial levels is a major change (We just passed that point.).

While burning of fossil fuels gets most of the press, there are also things like farming methods and deforestation that are having significant impacts.  California is in the process of turning the Imperial Valley into a desert through selenium poisoning.  That is drastically reducing the soil's capacity to sequester carbon.  So not only does the soil no longer absorb carbon, it releases what it was storing into the air.  Similar processes are happening all over the world.

The reason that small changes have big impacts is feedback loops.  A little more ice melts off this year than last, so the albedo is reduced, resulting in warming of sea water, which melts more ice, which reduces albedo more, which warms the ocean....   And around we go.  And there are hundreds of these feedback loops at work.


Though I would prefer to wait just a little longer before declaring our "wild weather" to be evidnce of global warming, there seems to be a growing consenses that this is the case.  The US just had the worst drought in its history (Last year's drought here in Oklahoma was worse, but in a more-restricted area.).  We are all going to be paying higher food prices because of that (The three-year food reserve the US had back in the 1960s is gone, and with it, our safety net.).  Huricane Katrina was the trigger for our current dismal global economy:  first, the banks built a house of cards with subprime lending; then, Katrina damaged some drilling platforms in the Gulf and the oil companies used the incident as an excuse to inflate prices; consumers panicked and quit buying things, especially fuel; that sent the economy into a tailspin, etc. etc.  It's all tied together.

In order to blame the "recession" in global warming, you would have to blame Katrina on global warming and I don't know if that's possible.  But there will be less-questionable storms in the next few years.

Just a thought:  the drought-year-normal-year-drought-year-normal-year-drought-year pattern recurs over and over in the central US.  1976-1978-1980 were such drought years; 1932-1934-1936 were, too.  In the 1890s there was a "wet" year in the middle to break up the pattern:  that time it was 1894-1896-1899-1901.  The Civil War Drought (1859-1861-1863) followed the pattern, too.  We should be entering the same pattern again, right now.  And 2011 was a drought year - but 2012 is not exactly a "normal" year.  At any rate, it looks like we're going to be in for several more years of drought, with 2013 and 2015 being prime candidates.  What I think I'm seeing is a "normal" ("cyclical") pattern with the effects of warming superimposed on it.  After this drought period is over, we will go into a ten-year wet period before going into a variable length "normal" period.  Expect the next drought cycle to recur in the 2040s or early 2050s.  These droughts have been getting worse over time and have had definite human-caused components, mainly as a result of land clearing that changed heat flows (Think "Dust Bowl.").  I think the next one will be something my grandchildren will tell their grandchildren about.

Everything I'm seeing is pointing at climate/weather disasters in the 2040s with lesser disasters between now and then.  I may or may not be around to see that, but my kids will.  And that's why I am concerned.
Doug

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#34    Karlis

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 06:38 PM

View PostDoug1o29, on 13 July 2012 - 04:21 PM, said:

~~~ ...


Carbon's residence time in the atmosphere is at least a century, possibly two centuries.  That means that conservation alone will not be enough.  In four or five decades it will make little difference whether we put extra CO2 into the atmosphere now, or ten years from now.
>>>{Karlis answer} =  Doug, If I read your answer correctly, you agree that humans can not change climate..






The best approach is to avoid putting carbon into the air at all. ...
>>>{Karlis answer} = That is an impossibility Doug. So -- ?







~~~ ...

Doug



#35    questionmark

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 07:02 PM

View PostKarlis, on 13 July 2012 - 06:38 PM, said:


If I may chime in: At least we should try to not put the extra carbon in the atmosphere that nature sequestered a few million years ago giving a relatively stable climate that enabled civilization to surge.

But I guess we are too late now, time to face the music and no Messiah on the horizon to save our asses.

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#36    Doug1o29

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 07:20 PM

View PostKarlis, on 13 July 2012 - 06:38 PM, said:

We have already changed climate and are continuing to do so.

Can we change it back to pre-industrial levels?  We don't actually have to.  If we can hold the line with temperatures as they were in 1995, we won't need to go back to 1900 or earlier.  The ecosystems can operate with 1995 temps.  To get there, we need to reduce atmospheric CO2 to about 350 ppm (We're at 400 ppm right now.).  How do we do it?  Wind and solar are two.  Passive systems beat active ones (I know a guy, a college chemistry prof, who heats his house with passive solar.  He uses only sunshine and natural convection - not even an electric motor.

And, BTW:  that home solar-electric system we talked about some time back:  I'm now getting ads for home solar systems saying "Cut yourself off from the grid."  I haven't checked them out, so I'm not going out on another limb, but I fully expect full-powered systems to be available within a few years.  AND, the one I bought is still chugging along; though, it doesn't put out enough power to free me from the grid.

Geothermal is another.  You don't have to produce high-pressure steam.  Just using natural hot water (Temperatures two miles down run between 150 and 200 degrees F.) will heat your home (or your city).  Of course, it costs a fortune to drill a well deep enough, but about one oil/gas well in six is a dry hole - those can produce geothermal energy, whether they produce oil and gas or not and it's better than just writing them off (My daughter just closed down a well that took a thirty-person crew seven weeks to drill; it was a dry hole; I don't know how much it cost, but the company is just writing it off.)   There is a hot-water well in Pagosa Springs, Colorado whose output is used to heat local stores, the count courthouse and city hall.

Nuclear is another.  Fast breeder reactors extract about 100 times as much energy from a gram of fuel as do fission reactors.  They can use recycled nuclear waste from fission reactors and from nuclear weapons and their waste products have half-lives of 200-300 years, rather than 5000 years, cutting down on the storage problem.  And Uncle Sam has enough stockpiled to supply the US' energy needs for a thousand years without having to mine any more - about $50 BILLION dollars' worth.

Again, we don't have to eliminate all carbon pollution, just enough to get temps under control.  And that IS possible.
Doug

If I have seen farther than other men, it is because I stood on the shoulders of giants. --Bernard de Chartres
The beginning of knowledge is the realization that one doesn't and cannot know everything.
Science is the father of knowledge, but opinion breeds ignorance. --Hippocrates
Ignorance is not an opinion. --Adam Scott

#37    Michelle

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 07:41 PM

View Postquestionmark, on 13 July 2012 - 07:02 PM, said:

If I may chime in: At least we should try to not put the extra carbon in the atmosphere that nature sequestered a few million years ago giving a relatively stable climate that enabled civilization to surge.

But I guess we are too late now, time to face the music and no Messiah on the horizon to save our asses.

I guess we are going to have stop breathing and put corks into every ********  of any animal that farts...including us! :w00t:

Seriously, some of the claims, that are put out there by the media and the governments, are becoming so ridiculous you cannot help but laugh. How can you take it seriously? I hate that they trivialize it to the average person, so much so that it becomes a mockery. Everyone Is thinking that it is so far beyond their control then why even try? And all of the carbon taxes on industries...people know how big of a farce that is. A lot of people may be uninformed but they aren't stupid.


#38    questionmark

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 07:56 PM

View PostMichelle, on 13 July 2012 - 07:41 PM, said:

I guess we are going to have stop breathing and put corks into every ********  of any animal that farts...including us! :w00t:

Seriously, some of the claims, that are put out there by the media and the governments, are becoming so ridiculous you cannot help but laugh. How can you take it seriously? I hate that they trivialize it to the average person, so much so that it becomes a mockery. Everyone Is thinking that it is so far beyond their control then why even try? And all of the carbon taxes on industries...people know how big of a farce that is. A lot of people may be uninformed but they aren't stupid.

The problem is that appealing to the common sense of people does not work, hence taxes. But those taxes should be per pound of carbon dioxide... not as are that heavy polluting industries hardly pay and little consumers pay for them.

And I agree that it is far out of control, 10 years ago we had a fair chance.

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#39    Doug1o29

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 08:31 PM

View PostMichelle, on 13 July 2012 - 07:41 PM, said:

I guess we are going to have stop breathing and put corks into every ********  of any animal that farts...including us! :w00t:

Seriously, some of the claims, that are put out there by the media and the governments, are becoming so ridiculous you cannot help but laugh. How can you take it seriously? I hate that they trivialize it to the average person, so much so that it becomes a mockery. Everyone Is thinking that it is so far beyond their control then why even try? And all of the carbon taxes on industries...people know how big of a farce that is. A lot of people may be uninformed but they aren't stupid.
The media and governments are made up of people, many (most?) of whom have no idea what they are talking about.  And, yes, a lot of what gets put out there is laughable.  What the average person doesn't realize is that it is average people who are putting out this stuff.

Is it out of our control?  Maybe.  But it's the only game in town and we are going to play it whether we want to or not.  It doesn't matter what you think about global warming, you still have to eat and live somewhere and get to work.  And all that is going to cost more if we just do nothing.  Remember those Colorado fires?  The weather conditions that facilitated them are most-likely a function of warmer temperatures.  And what do you think is going to happen to house insurance premiums in Colorado next year?  And who do you think will pay for that?

I used to live on the south shore of Lake Erie.  Every time the water level came up a little, another house or two fell into the lake.  I know what rising sea levels will be like because I've seen it happening.  And who do you think pays for those lost houses?  Insurance policy owners!

The only "carbon tax" that might actually work hasn't been tried yet.  All the stuff that's been implemented so far is full of loop holes for the Congressman's buddies and favors for special interests.  What will work is a carbon tax paid at the source, the mine mouth, the well-head or the port-of-entry.  All funds from this tax go into a special account that is then paid out to every citizen EQUALLY.  No money is diverted for government and only a small amount, capped by law at 5%, is used for administration.  Rates are initially set low so as not to impose a significant burden on the economy, then gradually raised, allowing people time to adapt to the increasing rates by substituting cheaper products.  This way, the free market helps implement the policy, rather than being an impediment to progress.

All the rest of those "carbon taxes" should be repealed by the law that implements this program.
Doug

If I have seen farther than other men, it is because I stood on the shoulders of giants. --Bernard de Chartres
The beginning of knowledge is the realization that one doesn't and cannot know everything.
Science is the father of knowledge, but opinion breeds ignorance. --Hippocrates
Ignorance is not an opinion. --Adam Scott

#40    itsnotoutthere

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 10:16 PM

For me, though, the most worrying aspect of political correctness was over the story that recurred with increasing frequency during my last ten years at the BBC — global warming (or ‘climate change’, as it became known when temperatures appeared to level off or fall slightly after 1998).

From the beginning I was unhappy at how one-sided the BBC’s coverage of the issue was, and how much more complicated the climate system was than the over-simplified two-minute reports that were the stock-in-trade of the BBC’s environment correspondents.

My interest in climate change grew out of my concern for the failings of BBC journalism in reporting it. In my early and formative days at ITN, I learned that we have an obligation to report both sides of a story. It is not journalism if you don’t. It is close to propaganda.

The BBC’s editorial policy on climate change, however, was spelled out in a report by the BBC Trust — whose job is to oversee the workings of the BBC in the interests of the public — in 2007. This disclosed that the BBC had held ‘a high-level seminar with some of the best scientific experts and has come to the view that the weight of evidence no longer justifies equal space being given to the opponents of the consensus’.

In reality, the ‘appropriate space’ given to minority views on climate change was practically zero.
Moreover, we were allowed to know practically nothing about that top-level seminar mentioned by the BBC Trust at which such momentous conclusions were reached. Despite a Freedom of Information request, they wouldn’t even make the guest list public.


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#41    OverSword

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 10:32 PM

View PostCharlie Prime, on 12 July 2012 - 05:07 PM, said:

Do you expect us to believe that money can influence what government employees say about Climate Change?

Nice conspiracy theory, but no cigar.

Are you serious??????

Nice conspiracy, no theory.


#42    Doug1o29

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Posted 20 July 2012 - 02:16 PM

View Postitsnotoutthere, on 19 July 2012 - 10:16 PM, said:

My interest in climate change grew out of my concern for the failings of BBC journalism in reporting it. In my early and formative days at ITN, I learned that we have an obligation to report both sides of a story. It is not journalism if you don’t. It is close to propaganda.
I lost my faith in news media back in 1969 at Kent State when I saw a WEWS Channel 5 "news" crew stage a "riot" for the camera.  WEWS and the Akron Beacon Journal were the only media sources for events at Kent State.  Is it any wonder that the public never got the story?

The problem with presenting a large, on-going story like global warming through a mass-media outlet is that the writers don't have time or space to thoroughly investigate a topic, there is no peer review, and the publishers have to be placated, not to mention the advertisers.  Writers know what they can and can't say without being fired, so they present the publishers view-point as if it were fact.  There really is no such thing as a "free press."

Up until Kent State I was a Goldwater conservative - white shirt, red tie, blue jacket and pants and all - the whole uniform.  Then a girl I dated was killed by the National Guard.  She was on her way to class; she had every right to be where she was.  I heard the entire red-neck population denigrating people I knew personally.  People I knew were villainized in the press and prosecuted for such things as being the elected resident of the student body.  Charles Brill, a prof I had for a class stood between the students and the guards, trying to keep the situation under control while risking being shot in the back.  Were it not for him, many more people, both students and guardsmen would have died that day, yet he was demonized in the press and placed under a court-ordered gag order, which, I am proud to say, he defied.

The coverage of Kent State was as one-sided as a Fox News broadcast.

Now I'll get off my soapbox.  Suffice it to say that you will never get an accurate account from the mass media; though, the BBC is better than many.
Doug

P.S.:  A liberal is a former conservative whose friends were murdered by the National Guard.
Doug

Edited by Doug1o29, 20 July 2012 - 02:25 PM.

If I have seen farther than other men, it is because I stood on the shoulders of giants. --Bernard de Chartres
The beginning of knowledge is the realization that one doesn't and cannot know everything.
Science is the father of knowledge, but opinion breeds ignorance. --Hippocrates
Ignorance is not an opinion. --Adam Scott





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