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BrucePrime

'07 Hurricane Season Least Active in 30 Years

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Guardsman Bass
Sounds to me like you really don't know and just rolling the dice.

bull - that's exactly what it is.

In response to Bathory, while one abnormal year might not set off some alarms, having 8 of the 10 hottest years on record in one decade usually does (the 1990s).

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AROCES
bull - that's exactly what it is.

In response to Bathory, while one abnormal year might not set off some alarms, having 8 of the 10 hottest years on record in one decade usually does (the 1990s).

Oh yeah, when was the last global warming then that you know excatly how it goes? Like I said, you are guessing.

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Raptor Witness
Sounds to me like you really don't know and just rolling the dice.

Speaking of "dice," since you're going to throw me a pass, I rolled ["the dice"] with Dean and Humberto, and I won. ;)

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Edited by Raptor Witness

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Dusty Digital
So how do you explain past falls in the CO2 levels in the atmosphere if it just stays in the atmosphere and builds up ?

If you do believe man-made CO2 is the major component surely as green field sites India and China should have learnt from our 'mistakes', whoever drives the need for production isn't important. Whats the point of us in the UK worrying about a small percent of a small percent when that is completely wiped out by these countries daily increase ? Why should I pay extra green taxes for my plane ticket whilst China builds 200 new airports and the chinese pay an average of a 10th of the price for a similar journey ? Because we industrialised first ? Tough...you snooze you lose IMO. It is like saying italians cannot have marble tops in their kitchens because the romans used their share.

CO2 doesn't stay in the atmosphere forever, but its halflife is long. As I've understood there have been times in the earth's past when the CO2 levels have risen due to natural causes. As the "cycles" have changed those CO2 levels have gradually fallen. According to a recent seminar on climate change I attended they continue to remain in the atmosphere and affect climate for hundreds of years, unlike most other greenhouse gases which have shorter-term effects. Human actions aren't part of those natural cycles however, so the extra we add disrupts that equilibrium. At least thats my layman's take on the subject.

On the second point its obvious we disagree. For example, I think its rather important to take into account who drives the need for production. If western consumers (and therefore western companies) were pickier about what to buy, I believe the development of environmentally friendly policies would take off in countries like China and India.

And I also disagree with your "you snooze you looze" attitude of western industrialization. Developed countries don't have a problem with us industrializing first and therefore gaining and advantage, the problem is that we industrialized at a time when environmental protection wasn't an issue. We are demanding of developing countries restrictions that we never heeded when we were industrializing. I do understand though, that that was the zeitgeist of the time, and there's no point in pointing fingers. I merely think it's irresponsible of us to downplay our effect on the climate and point towards developing countries to take the ball.

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Moon Monkey
CO2 doesn't stay in the atmosphere forever, but its halflife is long. As I've understood there have been times in the earth's past when the CO2 levels have risen due to natural causes. As the "cycles" have changed those CO2 levels have gradually fallen. According to a recent seminar on climate change I attended they continue to remain in the atmosphere and affect climate for hundreds of years, unlike most other greenhouse gases which have shorter-term effects. Human actions aren't part of those natural cycles however, so the extra we add disrupts that equilibrium. At least thats my layman's take on the subject.

On the second point its obvious we disagree. For example, I think its rather important to take into account who drives the need for production. If western consumers (and therefore western companies) were pickier about what to buy, I believe the development of environmentally friendly policies would take off in countries like China and India.

And I also disagree with your "you snooze you looze" attitude of western industrialization. Developed countries don't have a problem with us industrializing first and therefore gaining and advantage, the problem is that we industrialized at a time when environmental protection wasn't an issue. We are demanding of developing countries restrictions that we never heeded when we were industrializing. I do understand though, that that was the zeitgeist of the time, and there's no point in pointing fingers. I merely think it's irresponsible of us to downplay our effect on the climate and point towards developing countries to take the ball.

If we agree for a moment that man-made emmissions are the problem, what I am asking is what is the point us (UK) worrying about a fraction of a fraction of a small percent of a small percent when the slack is more than taken up by the drive of places like China and India. Everyone agrees that these will be the biggest consumer markets in the future, they are simply building on the back of our current demand in preparation for their own. They are industrialisng at at time when environment issues are at the fore so they could be considered more guilty as they know the effects of what they are doing whereas we didn't. Why should we shoot ourselves in the foot to enable them to catch up ?

As for the CO2 levels, who is to say that we are not in the middle of a natural cycle ? Maybe it is simply the rise in populations in the aforementioned countries that is causing the current rise, as you said humans are not part of that natural cycle and if you look at a graph of population explosion over the last 150 years and CO2 levels you will see they correlate nicely. Maybe these countries should be penalised for having such large populations.

Edited by Moon Monkey

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Dusty Digital
If we agree for a moment that man-made emmissions are the problem, what I am asking is what is the point us (UK) worrying about a fraction of a fraction of a small percent of a small percent when the slack is more than taken up by the drive of places like China and India. Everyone agrees that these will be the biggest consumer markets in the future, they are simply building on the back of our current demand in preparation for their own. They are industrialisng at at time when environment issues are at the fore so they could be considered more guilty as they know the effects of what they are doing whereas we didn't. Why should we shoot ourselves in the foot to enable them to catch up ?

As for the CO2 levels, who is to say that we are not in the middle of a natural cycle ? Maybe it is simply the rise in populations in the aforementioned countries that is causing the current rise, as you said humans are not part of that natural cycle and if you look at a graph of population explosion over the last 150 years and CO2 levels you will see they correlate nicely. Maybe these countries should be penalised for having such large populations.

You make an interesting point with the time of industrialization. I think it carries some weight, but I'm also a bit more forgiving of developing countries, since they remain far less developed than the west. While its true that the added world awareness of China and India should cause them to become more restrictive with their policies, I also understand that they are developing countries who compare themselves to the developed well-off west. I certainly agree with you, that China and India need to reduce emissions, and my qualm isn't really with the UK. I've understood that it's been one of the best countries in the EU when it comes to being stringent with emissions permits. My problem is more with the United States, which still has the largest carbon emissions in the world (even though much of its production has been shifted elsewhere (read = China)).

Countries by carbon emissions

China comes in as a close second.

Here's a link to the carbon emissions per capita. You can see that the carbon emissions per capita are far smaller in developing countries that in developed ones.

Per capita carbon emissions

China emits a bit more than one tenth of U.S per capita emissions, and India less than that.

I find you population rise/carbon level rise point plausible in the sense that more people means more traffic and more production, but as long as the per capita levels of emissions are so skewed towards developed countries, I think its rather more understandable to make reductions there. I understand that in the future it seems very likely that China and India are going to be the main markets, and production may come to be more towards the home market (Maybe at that point production will once again be moved elsewhere, perhaps Africa, and we will all (China and India included) blame Africa for global warming), but I hope that at that point chinese and indian consumers will also become more "enlightened", meaning wealthy. I tend to believe that environmental consciousness is a priviledge of those who can afford it. Hopefully with the example of the west sustainable business thinking will become the norm in China and India as well.

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Moon Monkey

Good post. I just think that even if we err on the safe side and reduce man made emmissions either we all do it or no-one, it just seems stupid to spend the time, cash and inconvinience reducing in e.g. the UK and then allow other developing countries to pump out the difference. How does that help the planet ?

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ships-cat

Those per-capita figures are interesting.... but possibly misleading. China and India are still - predominately - agrarian. Their populations are HUGE. (each over a Billion), hence the per-capita figures WILL look small. The concern is : what happens as they begin to shift their economies from Agricultural to Industrial ? Their per-capita figures will increase towards western levels, but their actuall NATIONAL output would be enormous.

Meow Purr.

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Essan
Good post. I just think that even if we err on the safe side and reduce man made emmissions either we all do it or no-one, it just seems stupid to spend the time, cash and inconvinience reducing in e.g. the UK and then allow other developing countries to pump out the difference. How does that help the planet ?

Reducing emisions saves you money and improves your health ;) And besides, if everyone else drops litter in the street does that mean you'd do the same?

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Unlimited
? Their per-capita figures will increase towards western levels, but their actuall NATIONAL output would be enormous.

Meow Purr.

the cats right in 20 years as china and india industrialize ..emissions are going to go off the charts...

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Dusty Digital
Good post. I just think that even if we err on the safe side and reduce man made emmissions either we all do it or no-one, it just seems stupid to spend the time, cash and inconvinience reducing in e.g. the UK and then allow other developing countries to pump out the difference. How does that help the planet ?

I agree that that's a big problem. It remains to be seen how well western example would even be followed in developing countries. I think it's going to be some time before developing countries have reached a level of income where environmental issues are even going to be first priority (it seems we haven't even reached that level yet). As I mentioned earlier however, I hope that western consumers can in part influence that by their own choices. One of the biggest problems with environmental policy is that no country seems to want to be the first to restrict it's emissions, and therefore impair its competitiveness. For western countries its even more difficult, because we're already feeling the effects of low cost production in developing countries, and to restrict our industries further would probably mean more loss of competitiveness. (Although now there are some arguments that environmentally friendly business can be a competitive asset as well, as long as everyone is not dong it)

Those per-capita figures are interesting.... but possibly misleading. China and India are still - predominately - agrarian. Their populations are HUGE. (each over a Billion), hence the per-capita figures WILL look small. The concern is : what happens as they begin to shift their economies from Agricultural to Industrial ? Their per-capita figures will increase towards western levels, but their actuall NATIONAL output would be enormous.

Meow Purr.

Yup thats true. In the other link you can also see the total emissions, with China already coming in as a close second to the U.S.. And it certainly looks like those numbers are going to keep growing. If I remember correctly the biggest producers of carbon emissions are energy production, industrial production, and traffic (and transport). Those are all sure to increase with the welfare rise China and India are likely to experience. The only answer to that problem is the development of technologies to reduce emissions. Even then it remains unclear how to go about developing those technologies. In my opinion the simplest way is probably to limit western companies' carbon emissions, and let the competitive market work out the solutions. This way private enterprises are forced to take into account their productions' extrernality effects. Hopefully with the increased welfare and interest in China and India, their companies and governments will follow suit, and of course benefit from technological spillovers of the innovations the west has made.

This strategy has the risk of further driving production to places where enforcement is lax, which is why it also requires an economic understanding of the costs and benefits of a)reducing emissions and staying put vs b)moving production to where there are no restrictions. Governments need to use both sticks and carrots to prompt companies to develop alternate technologies and operations.

Sorry bout the rant, I've recently been especially interested in the economics of the issue.

Edited by Dusty Digital

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