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Old 05-16-2007, 08:15 AM   #11
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just saw this today:
http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.c..._id=&Issue_id=

worth a read.
i appreciate everyone's comments & keeping this topic 'friendly'

like rvanengen, i guess i am undecided at this point. just trying to gather more infomation and learn more.
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Old 05-16-2007, 08:32 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by rvanengen View Post

5) What is meant by "a reputable scientist"? (this keeps popping up all over the place)
good point. i am a scientist. licensed by the state. i even got the stamp to prove it.... and i know nothing about global warming.
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Old 05-16-2007, 09:46 AM   #13
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I'm glad this post came up. It will get people looking into it and they will form their own opinions. Some maybe surprised at what they find. I tend to look at it this way. Does it really matter if man's to blame or if it's sun spots? If it is just the earth doing its thing can't the things we do locally help globally. If you live in a large metropolitan area it hard to dispute that the air quality and cases of respiratory illness has increased. So if we cut down on pollutants and oil energy use via better emmisions, green energy and recycling. Where's the loss. This is a capitalist society we will adjust.
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Old 05-16-2007, 10:05 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by zpiloto View Post
I'm glad this post came up. It will get people looking into it and they will form their own opinions. Some maybe surprised at what they find. I tend to look at it this way. Does it really matter if man's to blame or if it's sun spots? If it is just the earth doing its thing can't the things we do locally help globally. If you live in a large metropolitan area it hard to dispute that the air quality and cases of respiratory illness has increased. So if we cut down on pollutants and oil energy use via better emmisions, green energy and recycling. Where's the loss. This is a capitalist society we will adjust.
Absolutely! I am a firm supporter of cleaner running cars and plants. It will not be long before I convert my 190e to be a 190ev. :-)

When we go to visit my wife's relatives in Ukraine and Russia, the difference in air quality is startling...they do not run ANY emissions controls, and frequently are still running aging Soviet-era equipment, and the workers have tremendous health problems.

That said, I do NOT yet believe that we have a crisis based on Global Warming. I DO believe we have a pollution crisis! China is starting to feel the effects of their rapid industrialization through a direct loss in usable farm land.

I am trying to keep an open-mind to Global Warming, but it has seemed like a highly political issue, and not a scientific one.
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Old 05-16-2007, 10:14 AM   #15
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Some links from the BBC on China's pollution problems

(I understand that pollution and GHG/GW are different issues...)

Global Impact of Asian Pollution:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/6421303.stm

China's pollution cuts local rain
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/6441503.stm

Yangtze pollution 'irreversible'
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/6559407.stm

China hit by rising air pollution
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/5241844.stm

And for all of this, China has had, and still wants to be allowed to contribute heavily to GHG's:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kyoto_P...ublic_of_China


(shrug) politics...politics...money and more money.
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Old 05-16-2007, 11:55 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by rvanengen View Post
<begin rambling mode>

First, let me say that I am undecided, but skeptical on the issue of human activity induced global warming. However, I do believe that humans are changing the environment rapidly, and without knowing the exact consequences of those changes...especially the developing world.

That said, I do have a few questions to share...not looking for a flame war, but have never gotten what feels like an honest answer when I have asked instructors/academics directly. Heck, when I was a student in Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University I got kicked out of a class for asking the first couple...so much for debate and learning. :-)

1) What is the definition of global warming?

Global warming is the increase in the average temperature of the Earth's near-surface air and oceans in recent decades and its projected continuation.
-http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_warming

2) What is the baseline figure used when measuring the extent of global warming?
-Past global average temperature.

3) What are the natural cycles, and all natural factors and their in influence on global temperatures?
-You can look at the hot/cold charts back over a few thousands years and see that the natural average variation is a few degrees celcius, the last ice age was something like 3-6 c* less than now.

4) What is the margin of error when determining temperatures in the past?
-Not sure, but I think it's fairly accurate, someone could look this up.


5) What is meant by "a reputable scientist"? (this keeps popping up all over the place)
-As my professor mentions often, there are certain people you see in a biblio that gives credit to the paper, if those people aren't there the researcher is missing something big or trying to ignore something (most often). Just as there are great writers, there are certain scientists/studies that most people agree are correct.

6) Who actually decides that a scientist is reputable?
-The community, peer-reviewed journals, fact-checkers.

7) What percentage of scientists that believe that humans are responsible for global warming are considered "reputable" versus the scientists that do not believe that humans are responsible?
-In whatever recent study that was big in the news for a while 90% of scientists at the thing said humans did it to some degree.

8) What happened to scientific debate in this matter? (if someone disagrees, they are immediately labeled and dismissed)
-There isn't much to disagree about often in the numbers of observation. "Carbon in the atmosphere isn't going up" or "carbon increase is natural" just doesn't fly anymore. Even if you don't see it on the news, there is still great debate about the effects, with no one really being sure.

9) Is the link between Green House Gases and Global Warming still a scientific theory, or has it progressed to scientific law?
-Green house gases are what make this planet trap enough heat to be viable for humans, so I don't think anyone doubts they have this property, it's just the correlation between GHGs and temp that is debated.

10) What should be done to reduce global warming?
-Reduce GHG emissions, sequester carbon, some more wacky stuff.

11) What steps have the scientists personally undertaken based on #10?
-Research? What much can they do besides try to figure it out? I don't think many people are doing energy audits on scientists

12) (personal pet peeves) If Kyoto is a good idea, why are developing countries allowed to continue to increase their production of GHG's?
-Because it's not fair to keep people in abject poverty, starving to death, and dying of long-cured diseases so that rich countries can avoid doing most of the work to clean up the mess they (we) made. Developing countries don't have the means to do the things we can, we do, we should.

13) (personal pet peeves) Aren't GHG's that are emitted from "developed" countries just as harmful as GHG's emitted by "developing" countries?
-Yes, but the disposable income in developing countries is not enough to mitigate GHGs without serious economic damage. Most US dwellers could lose a grand a year and not notice, while many millions and billions of people in the world don't even see a grand in a year.

<end rambling mode>
La la la.
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Old 05-16-2007, 01:49 PM   #17
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Quote:
1) What is the definition of global warming?

Global warming is the increase in the average temperature of the Earth's near-surface air and oceans in recent decades and its projected continuation.
-http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_warming

Ok...agreed, and since Global warming is part of Climate Change, is there an "acceptable" variation (positive and negative) that has been agreed upon?

"The term "global warming" is a specific example of the broader term climate change, which can also refer to global cooling. In common usage the term refers to recent warming and implies a human influence.[5] The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) uses the term "climate change" for human-caused change, and "climate variability" for other changes.[6] The term "anthropogenic climate change" is sometimes used when focusing on human-induced changes."
--http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_warming#Terminology


2) What is the baseline figure used when measuring the extent of global warming?
-Past global average temperature.

What time period are you using for the comparison? I believe this is important, since the current debate is focused on the near term temperature changes. The records of past temperatures are not nearly as accurate.

"Longer records exist from proxies: quantities such as tree ring widths, coral growth or isotope variations in ice cores. From these, proxy temperature reconstruction of the last 2000 years have been made for the northern hemisphere. However, coverage of these proxies is sparse: even the best proxy records contain far fewer observations than the worst periods of the observational record. Also, problems exist in connecting the proxies (e.g. tree ring width) to the variable of interest (e.g. temperature)."
--http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temperature_record#Indirect_historical_proxies


3) What are the natural cycles, and all natural factors and their in influence on global temperatures?
-You can look at the hot/cold charts back over a few thousands years and see that the natural average variation is a few degrees celcius, the last ice age was something like 3-6 c* less than now.

(see my reply to #2 above) Do you have a general list of locations that were used to generate the "average" temperature map for the past?


4) What is the margin of error when determining temperatures in the past?
-Not sure, but I think it's fairly accurate, someone could look this up.

(see my reply to #2 above) That is part of the debate...they are not sure what the real variations are because the methods used are not certain when compared to using a thermometer.

5) What is meant by "a reputable scientist"? (this keeps popping up all over the place)
-As my professor mentions often, there are certain people you see in a biblio that gives credit to the paper, if those people aren't there the researcher is missing something big or trying to ignore something (most often). Just as there are great writers, there are certain scientists/studies that most people agree are correct.

Just because someone speaks often, doesn't necessarily make them correct. Since we are speaking about scientists, I think there should be a more scientific method of determining the value and correctness of their statements and opinions, not just a word count.


6) Who actually decides that a scientist is reputable?
-The community, peer-reviewed journals, fact-checkers.

(hmmmmm)

7) What percentage of scientists that believe that humans are responsible for global warming are considered "reputable" versus the scientists that do not believe that humans are responsible?
-In whatever recent study that was big in the news for a while 90% of scientists at the thing said humans did it to some degree.

I think you are speaking about: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

"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."
--http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_opinion_on_climate_change#Intergovernme ntal_Panel_on_Climate_Change_.28IPCC.29

I have not yet seen any figures on the actual numbers of scientists (all disciplines) that agree or disagree, and on what aspects of climate change they are speaking about.



8) What happened to scientific debate in this matter? (if someone disagrees, they are immediately labeled and dismissed)
-There isn't much to disagree about often in the numbers of observation. "Carbon in the atmosphere isn't going up" or "carbon increase is natural" just doesn't fly anymore. Even if you don't see it on the news, there is still great debate about the effects, with no one really being sure.

Actually, there is a lot to disagree about. The first, if the numbers themselves. How atmosphereic CO2 concentrations directly relate to temperature change (up and down). There is not a lot of disagreement that GHG's have an effect on temperature...it is only the weight given to the effects.

The second is what the changing temperatures mean to humans in the short and longer terms.
--http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_warming#Attributed_and_expected_effects


9) Is the link between Green House Gases and Global Warming still a scientific theory, or has it progressed to scientific law?
-Green house gases are what make this planet trap enough heat to be viable for humans, so I don't think anyone doubts they have this property, it's just the correlation between GHGs and temp that is debated.


You are correct. As I said in #9, There is not a lot of disagreement that GHG's have an effect on temperature...it is only the weight given to the effects.

"National and international science academies and professional societies have assessed the current scientific opinion on climate change, in particular recent global warming. These assessments have largely followed or endorsed the IPCC postition that "An increasing body of observations gives a collective picture of a warming world and other changes in the climate system... There is new and stronger evidence that most of the warming observed over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities"."
--http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_opinion_on_climate_change


10) What should be done to reduce global warming?
-Reduce GHG emissions, sequester carbon, some more wacky stuff.

Exactly. The problem I have is who is supposed to do it, how and when.

11) What steps have the scientists personally undertaken based on #10?
-Research? What much can they do besides try to figure it out? I don't think many people are doing energy audits on scientists

The reason I ask this goes to my feeling of a lack of credibility. If this is a SERIOUS problem that we all should be concerned about, shouldn't the ones that are documenting/researching it be even more concerned? This is just a personal feeling, nothing really important. :-)

12) (personal pet peeves) If Kyoto is a good idea, why are developing countries allowed to continue to increase their production of GHG's?
-Because it's not fair to keep people in abject poverty, starving to death, and dying of long-cured diseases so that rich countries can avoid doing most of the work to clean up the mess they (we) made. Developing countries don't have the means to do the things we can, we do, we should.

If the activity that may cause even more death, disease and poverty is happening there, shouldn't it be stopped there as well?


13) (personal pet peeves) Aren't GHG's that are emitted from "developed" countries just as harmful as GHG's emitted by "developing" countries?
-Yes, but the disposable income in developing countries is not enough to mitigate GHGs without serious economic damage. Most US dwellers could lose a grand a year and not notice, while many millions and billions of people in the world don't even see a grand in a year.

If you are going to do a dollar to dollar comparison, you have to also compare the cost of living as well. (Think "market basket"...) :-)
This sounds more like a taxation/income redistribution argument, not a climate change discussion. On a side note, my family would quite easily notice a lack of $1000...as would most of the people that I know. This is not a tit-for-tat discussion. If we encourage developing nations to become more urbanized, we encourage the same behaviour that got the climate discussion where it is today. If it is ok for those nations to follow the same early 20th century industrialization scheme, we are doomed. Also, consider that the currently developing countries are building with a MUCH larger population than the US and Europe did in the 19th and 20th centuries. I think a program that encourages a more rural existance with better health care might be more sucessful. Just my opinion.
(shrug)
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Old 05-16-2007, 02:12 PM   #18
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1. Most reports I have looked at will quote 1-5.9 c* increase over the next hundred years, with the mean being something around 2.X (I'm sorry I'm so lazy to look things up, but I've prolly ready 100+ global warming journal articles in the last month and don't know which one I would want to look for, )

2. Generally the last 2k years, though there are some that extend even further.

3. Most samples I believe are taken from ice cores in icy places, so it's certainly susceptible to local variety, but I think it's reliable enough for a guide, at least. Though there is a lot of controversy about past samples.

4. The real variations are probably quite severe.

5. Speaking often doesn't have anything to do with it, but doing critical, peer-reviewed analysis does. Rush Limbaugh speaks a lot, but I don't listen to him, mainly because the things he says are silly,

6. Hmm.

7. I couldn't remember if it was the IPCC or the UNFCCC, thanks.

8. As I said "there is still great debate about the effects..."

10. This is where it turns into a political debate and not an environmental one.

11. If it gives you any solace, walking through the environmental studies offices and study labs here you will see many bumper stickers such as "don't treat our soil like dirt" and many many professors/researchers primarily commute by bike/eat vegan.

12. It should be stopped there, but by people who have the means to stop it. Just like it is our responsibility to spend the money to share vaccines with the developing world, it is ours to help curb GHG emissions and give developing countries the technology to be clean in an affordable way (even if that means subsidizing it for them). This idea of helping developing countries develope sustainably is covered by CDM and JI in the KP.

13. PPP included, the difference is still to great to say that people who can't afford electricity should suffer economically to reduce GHG emissions. I would notice missing 1k too, but I wouldn't die if it were gone, that's the big difference.

I support a system where the KP is phased in in accordance with GDP in PPP PC growth in developing countries, but I think it would be unethical to give too much of the burden to people who can't handle it right now. Those who can carry the weight shouldn't hand it off to those who can't just because they are lazy. Every nation should act in accordance with its ability. At least in my opinion.

Anyway, I've seen reports saying GHG cuts will be the cheapest in the long run if the developed nations take on the brunt of the load.
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Old 05-16-2007, 05:14 PM   #19
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UNFCCC page on climate change: http://unfccc.int/essential_backgrou...items/2904.php

I think they're a good source because there are so many scientists behind it and its very international (though not to utmost). Just a source...
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Old 05-16-2007, 08:14 PM   #20
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uh, I kinda got lost on thatimagesite, what were you sayin'? Is it getting warm in here?
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