We are in trouble

Discussion in 'Fred's House of Pancakes' started by swfoster2, Nov 10, 2007.

  1. kingofgix

    kingofgix New Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(hycamguy07 @ Nov 13 2007, 01:28 PM) [snapback]538942[/snapback]</div>
    So, have you stopped to thoughtfully consider who those "sides" are? I have posted this before, but I'll try it again.

    There are thousands of scientists involved in GW research, and they overwhelmingly believe it is human caused and cause for concern. Following are some "position statements" by reputable scientific organizations that represent the general viewpoint of literally thousands of scientists. I cannot find ANY similarly reputable scientific organizations that have taken a counter postion. IMO, to disagree with these consensus scientific positions is unjustifiable unless you are actively engaged in global climate research, and not likely even then.

    So read these and tell me you could care less.

    American Association for the Advancement of Science
    "The scientific evidence is clear: global climate change caused by human activities is occurring now, and it is a growing threat to society."
    Joint science academies’ statement 2007
    "It is unequivocal that the climate is changing, and it is very likely that this is predominantly caused by the increasing human interference with the atmosphere. These changes will transform the environmental conditions on Earth unless counter-measures are taken. "
    National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
    "Far from being some future fear, global warming is happening now, and scientists have evidence that humans are to blame."
    National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration (NOAA)
    "The greenhouse effect is unquestionably real and helps to regulate the temperature of our planet."
    "Human activity has been increasing the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere (mostly carbon dioxide from combustion of coal, oil, and gas; plus a few other trace gases). There is no scientific debate on this point."
    Is the climate warming? "Yes."
    American Chemical Society
    "There is now general agreement among scientific experts that the recent warming trend is real (and particularly strong within the past 20 years), that most of the observed warming is likely due to increased atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations, and that climate change could have serious adverse effects by the end of this century."
    Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2007
    In February 2007, the IPCC released a summary of the forthcoming Fourth Assessment Report. According to this summary, the Fourth Assessment Report finds that human actions are "very likely" the cause of global warming, meaning a 90% or greater probability.
    American Meteorological Society
    "There is now clear evidence that the mean annual temperature at the Earth's surface, averaged over the entire globe, has been increasing in the past 200 years. There is also clear evidence that the abundance of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has increased over the same period. ... Human activities have become a major source of environmental change. Of great urgency are the climate consequences of the increasing atmospheric abundance of greenhouse gases... Because greenhouse gases continue to increase, we are, in effect, conducting a global climate experiment, neither planned nor controlled, the results of which may present unprecedented challenges to our wisdom and foresight as well as have significant impacts on our natural and societal systems."
    American Geophysical Union
    "Scientific evidence strongly indicates that natural influences cannot explain the rapid increase in global near-surface temperatures observed during the second half of the 20th century. "
    "A particular concern is that atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide may be rising faster than at any time in Earth's history, except possibly following rare events like impacts from large extraterrestrial objects."
    American Institute of Physics
    The Governing Board of the American Institute of Physics endorsed the above AGU statement on human-induced climate change
    American Astronomical Society
    "In endorsing the "Human Impacts on Climate" statement, the AAS recognizes the collective expertise of the AGU in scientific subfields central to assessing and understanding global change, and acknowledges the strength of agreement among our AGU colleagues that the global climate is changing and human activities are contributing to that change."
    Federal Climate Change Science Program, 2006
    "Studies ... show clear evidence of human influences on the climate system (due to changes in greenhouse gases, aerosols, and stratospheric ozone). ... The observed patterns of change over the past 50 years cannot be explained by natural processes alone, nor by the effects of short-lived atmospheric constituents (such as aerosols and tropospheric ozone) alone."
    Stratigraphy Commission of the Geological Society of London
    "We find that the evidence for human-induced climate change is now persuasive, and the need for direct action compelling."

    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(hycamguy07 @ Nov 14 2007, 01:03 PM) [snapback]539486[/snapback]</div>
    Related to the above, I suppose you think I'm a "Sheeple" because I choose to believe the science. I don't really know anything about global climate change and neither do you. However, I'm smart enough to listen to those who do know something about it, and open minded enough to recognize when they are in general agreement. Are you, or do you let your party affiliation or personal belief system blind you to the science?
     
  2. Darwood

    Darwood Senior Member

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    "Hell I should be dead by the time it may or may not affect the planet....... Soooooo I guess who cares.."
    - Hycamguy

    And THERE'S the problem.
    I think our children just MIGHT care.

    "However, the more pressing issue in terms of a threat is the limited amount of natural resources we do have and our dependance on Middle East oil. That is a much greater threat to global economic stability and national security for nearly every nation on the planet. "
    - Washington1788

    Totally Agree.

    dwindling fossil resources will take care of the carbon problem on its own. In fact, try as we might, I don't think it's possible to reduce consumption of these resources. Black markets, competing countries (IE: China) will use them up just as fast without competition from us to do so. That's NOT to say we shouldn't start developing the new post oil infrastructure. In fact if we don't we are in for serious problems. The point is, if we don't use a given resource, it will still get used. We need to use them wisely to make ourselves less dependant on needing those resources.

    "My problem with the dialog is Bush mentions "growing" our economies. I do not like that word growth when he uses it. "
    - F8L
    Me neither. "Sustainable Growth" is an oxymoron. The world has finite resources, and hence CANNOT grow without limits. The true aim for an economy should be to sustain the economy, not grow it till it pops.

    "I wonder what is going to happen when everyone wakes up and realizes that our consumption rates put a permanent cap on the level of comfort and security the rest of the world can accomplish. IE, those in developing countries will never live as we do because we are using THEIR resources to support our lifestyles. Add more people via exponential population growth and you only exacerbate the problem."
    - F8L

    This is where I take issue with your POV. You're not wrong in principle, but utopia doesn't exist. Like it or not, human societies will always compete for resources. And we're finally at a point in human history where resources can't keep up with the worldwide demand for them. Yes, we should conserve and reduce consumption, but to ensure the survival of OUR country. Peak oil is going to drastically reduce the carrying capacity of the earth and as unpleasant as it is, you can't prevent some parts of the world from starving, esp. populations of humans living where food production is impossible. The current model is to take oil from the third world, and send them our excess food. If we don't take their oil, they'll have no food. There land won't grow it! So actually, I think we are artificially increasing the caps on their populations, and when when they run out of oil, those caps will fall as their will be NO excess food to send them.

    ALL populations in nature will consume EVERYTHING they get their hands on until they reach a limit. They then die off via violence or starvation (or disease). There is NOTHING you can do about this. Undeveloped countries have been this way for thousands and thousands of years of evolution and will continue to be this way long after petrohominids die off, as these societies are not built on oil. Industrialized societies like ours are the ones at risk. They are built on a resource that is going away. We need to make our industrialized societies more efficient and remove the reliance on fossil fuels, which will take a LOT of fossil fuels and other resources to accomplish. And if we don't do it, we'll revert back to an "undeveloped country". You cannot raise the world's poor to our level, you can only lower our country to their level. Sad but true.
     
  3. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Darwood @ Nov 14 2007, 11:36 AM) [snapback]539574[/snapback]</div>
    I don't think we truely disagree on the subject. I believe there are subtleties that we are glossing over in the interest of clarifty and brevity and that is where it may appear we disagree. There is a lot of evidence that shows an increase in some progress in developing countries helps to work against high population growth and towards population stability. Some of these being family planning, empwerment of women, education etc. This is a very touchy subject and the logic involved in predicting outscomes is daunting but my simplistic view on the subject has changed drastically with all th new information I've seen. Development up to a certain point can be helpful for these nations but like you stated, if all of these countries increase their development then the affluent nations would need to reuce their consumption rates to balance out I realize this is a simplistic view and that it is a well documented act that we are already over the planet's carrying capacity with our current populations consumption rates but you understand my point. I completely agree that reaching level of utopia is highly improbable and could be considered a pipe dream to some, yet I do believe that in attempting to reach those "goals" there will be many individuals who's level of suffering as been reduced. The corresponding lifestyle reduction to the "affluent" citizens of the world would be disproportionate to the increase in comfort to those developing countries. eg. Some 2 billion people have access to clean drinking water and U.S. citizens get to see one less box office movie per year. Small reductions for us mean large gains for them. I always respect your opinions Darwood and I would like to talk about this more if you are interested. Have you read much on the UN Millenium Development Goals and the Millenium Ecosystem Assessment reports? I compare these views with literature from The World Watch Institute's "State of the World" publications and they all seem to agree on many subjects. I'd love to here your thoughts. :)

    I also attended a conference at CSU Chico a few weeks ago and one of the subjects was on population growth in developing nations and age demographics and how this effects the ability of a town/village/city etc. to produce for itself. This included landscapes that can produce food like Romania and the Congo as opposed to the typical view of a stripped location that desertification has occured.
     
  4. hycamguy07

    hycamguy07 New Member

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    Wow thats the best answer yet!!!!!! B)
     
  5. Darwood

    Darwood Senior Member

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    "Family planning, empowerment of women, education etc." are good and I support them, but they can only help limit the problem, they can't solve anything. In fact all education will do is explain to them why they are screwed. You know your biology....Every organism will expand in numbers/size to fill all of it's niche that it can until it hits a limit of some sort, and then die back until an equilibrium is reached. Humans, having no predators, have only 3 limiting factors. Food/water, disease, and war. Although, you copuld argue that disease and war and indirectly related to food/water anyways. Take a look at the worlwide population curve over the last 500 years and compare it to the worlwide fossil fuel production over the same period. The main limit is food, and production of it is artificaially high due to the inputs of oil.

    I'm of the opinion, that worldwide food production is tied directly to worlwide oil production. And both peaked in 2005. If food production drops, populations must too. We've always shipped our excess grain to poor countries (as we ship back the resources we really want). But when those countries have no more oil to trade, will we continue to expend the huge amount of money (and oil) to grow food for them (using oil), harvest it (using oil), and ship it to them (using oil)?

    Most people (even educated people from the industrialized world) can't understand the concepts of ecological carrying capacity, let alone handle the idea that we are facing a century where we have no choice but to watch helplessly as worlwide populations decline. Yet, the more we try to help the countries in the most dire need, the more we put our own existance at risk, and possibly make the problem worse in those countries we are trying to help (by continuing to keep their carrying capacity artificailly higher).

    Your point of reducing consumption here is valid, but I think that will only help us to acclimate to the new reality here and won't be enough to help maintain poor nations without food production.

    Try to imagine farming and food transportation with NO tractors, NO fertilizer, NO combines, NO semi-trucks, NO barges. It's kind of scary actually. I'm a big advocate for small farms with diversity, but they simply can't pump out the amazing quantities of life sustaining calories that today's oil driven mono-culture farms pump out. Transportation, cultivation, and harvest can be worked around, but fertilization cannot.
    If we took all the organic fertilizers, manures, bat guano, etc we can get, it would only make a small dent in the amount of fossil based fertlizers we use.

    And this is why I hate people who care only about the present.
    "Hell I should be dead by the time it may or may not affect the planet....... Soooooo I guess who cares.."
    - Hycamguy

    I have kids. I don't want to hand them a dying world and say "gee...sorry, but I really liked my hummer, and that's why you have no food".
     
  6. hyo silver

    hyo silver Awaaaaay

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Darwood @ 2007 11 14 14:48) [snapback]539693[/snapback]</div>
    Yes, that is a frightening scenario. But there is much that can still be done to avoid such a nightmare. Food transportation needs can be reduced by having smaller farms closer to home, literally in our own backyards. If we have to give up water flown in from France on the Concorde, I think we'll cope. The time and expense people now lavish on their lawns and flower beds could be used for growing food, and will be when things get that bad. The need for fertiliser can be reduced by crop rotation and composting. We throw out vast quantities of fibre that could and should be used to enhance the soil instead of the dump. Tractors, combines, and trucks could be mostly battery powered, with the electricity generated from natural, renewable sources.

    No, the future isn't what it used to be, but neither is it to be feared. We'll think of something. :)
     
  7. madler

    madler Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Darwood @ Nov 14 2007, 01:36 PM) [snapback]539574[/snapback]</div>
    Sure, about 300 years from now, and another several hundred ppm of CO2 from now. There is a lot of coal.

    In fact all of these problems, including human overpopulation will take care of themselves. The Earth and most of its biosystems will heal on their own in a few thousand years (though many individual species will be lost). People talk about "saving the Earth", but really we're the ones that are $%*ed. The Earth will shake us off like a bad case of fleas.

    Despite all evidence to the contrary, I am still optimistic that humans are smarter than that. We can take concerted action to avoid the wars, famine, wild weather systems and the downfall of agriculture, disease, etc. We can avoid letting all these problems take care of themselves on their own, and instead take care of them intelligently before that happens. We can manage our own fate.
     
  8. Darwood

    Darwood Senior Member

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    "we're the ones that are $%*ed. The Earth will shake us off like a bad case of fleas."
    Straight from George Carlin....and true of course.

    "Tractors, combines, and trucks could be mostly battery powered, with the electricity generated from natural, renewable sources"
    Yeah right! Do you have any idea how big the battery would need to be and how many tractors and combines are out there? I stated, we can work around those issues anyways (an an enormous cost), but fertlizer is the big one. You can't plug in the soil to fertilize it. Crop rotation helps but does not actually add much nutrients to the soil. You still have to add something to it to replace what your annual crops remove.

    "The time and expense people now lavish on their lawns and flower beds could be used for growing food"
    Agree....But, the yields are seasonal and only make a small dent in a families annual consumption. I have a LARGE garden, and am amazed at how little it actually provides. And it only does so for a short period. It also means a return to living off canned foods, which is lifestyle 99% of us will endure only if forced to do so. (99% of people don't even know how to can/pickle/preserve food).

    "If we have to give up water flown in from France on the Concorde, I think we'll cope"
    Ya think? That's a minor, minor excess. What about golf courses...What about the complete uselessness of jewelry and the high cost we spend on it (including environmental and political costs). What about Vegas (A town that could disapear overnight without cheap travel). The list of wasteful behaviors are endless, and it gives me hope that there is a LOT of room for conservation. But none of it will happen until the need is pushed on us by an outside force.

    Problem is, waiting for the change to be forced on us, leaves us completely unprepared. We should be looking ahead and preparing, but petrohominds don't look ahead, they only care about today's bottom line.
     
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