We were unable to load Disqus. If you are a moderator please see our troubleshooting guide.
The usual suspects - Republicans who would rather have their extra few dollars now and screw the next generation. Also see recent tax cut, trillion dollar deficit.
Based on the "slash and burn" going on with the EPA and finance regulations, it's both corporations and fossil fuel Barons who want to run wild while they can. Repairing their damage may not finish in my lifetime. If I was filthy rich, I'd find a toxic waste area and erect some shacks. These creeps would live out their (now short and miserable) lives in a place so bad it made the Love Canal look like paradise.
Nathanial Rich is correct. By the 1970s it was quite clear toward which direction climate was headed. The basics of global warming were worked out in the 19th century by Joseph Fourier, Eunice Foote, John Tyndall, Svante Arrhenius, and others. All the recent work in climate modeling has done is to improve the specific forecasts of what will happen and where. Blame the fossil fuel industry, a lazy Congress, and a public that is largely scientifically illiterate.
"...and a public that is largely scientifically illiterate."
I confess I am part of that public that is scientifically illiterate. I do not think that is a factor so much as choosing to be willfully ignorant when the facts are presented. It isn't a question of 'knowing' science, it is more a question of being willing to 'understand' what is explained.
You won't find a tougher touchable subject than climate change. It jumps from a 25-words-or-less Greenhouse Effect to graduate stats, chemistry, physics, geology, and engineering. It's also well worth the struggle.
Even the scientifically illiterate need more than manipulated data and computer models.
That is a real laugh given that you have amply demonstrated to one and all that you are scientifically illiterate.
How about that global temperatures just spiked around the world...
Right. But you will not see that discussed around here.
Actually, it wasn't until the early 80's that the general shape of the challenge had emerged. The 70s had the Energy Crisis, and a lot of 'cold' worries (the Ice Age around the corner). There was also a debate about whether the key drivers was carbon black (albedo effect) or CO2 (Greenhouse Effect).The big kick wasn't final settlement of those issues. The big kick started in 1973 with the Rowland and Molina research, that confirmed James Lovelock's assertion that virtually all the CFCs produced were still in the atmosphere, and that it was degrading the upper atmosphere. That was what led to scientists focusing more attention on the possible short-term effect of rising levels of carbon in the atmosphere.
Actually, Svante Arrhenius published a paper in the 1890s on the effects of doubling the CO2 content of the atmosphere. His prediction of a 6 C temperature rise is remarkably close to what the climate models are predicting. And by the early 70s it was quite clear from the Mauna Kea data where CO2 levels were heading.
Yes, but the issue was about the growing scientific consensus quote in the article.
Losing Earth is about right. We've left a lot for those after us to deal with and we haven't equipped them with the tools to deal with the challenge (and that's a euphemistic wording for "incredibly alarming mess"). We did, however, provide them with plenty of distractions.
Have we become the true "Masters of Spin"???
In 1980 it was still possible to think about a sustainable level of human population. That ship has sailed, and all we can really discuss is ways of postponing the inevitable.
In the Fifties, the ZPG (Zero Population Growth) movement made populist noise as WWII refugees swarmed into the US. But when pithier issues, like the Berlin Wall and the Cuban Missile Crisis, arose, ZPG was relegated to the esoteric realms of academia and never really heard from again on street corners. Vietnam and many other subsequent distractions have kept population concerns sidetracked. Even when, at the Millennium, population analysts announced that there were more people alive than had ever died...most folks never blinked. Even today, the knee jerk response to recent immigration surges has been a NIMBY reaction more than concern about world population.
I think you're conflating two issues: immigration and overpopulation of the planet. The more pressing issue at the moment is that we're destroying the planet.
These issues are somewhat intertwined. People have shorter life spans than our planet--even in it's present state of threat.
We have a prez who claims to be pro-life--it gets his base all fired up. Attacks by religious groups on women's issues and birth control make it likely we will see more "accidental" births. No mention about what these stances do to over-population numbers. The spin being used on Americans does more to distract us from real problems by blowing less important issues into "fake disasters". We hear about thousands of people fleeing and dying in countries most of us couldn't find on a map. Are we truly horrified--enough to do anything? No, and some who are closet bigots may even view this as population control.
"...and all we can really discuss is ways of postponing the inevitable."
Not exactly. Our focus should be two-fold: minimizing the damage by eliminating the human-based cause, and adapting to the new norm in an earth-friendly, sustainable manner.
Not that it will help all that much but the fact that each and everyone of us will die and reduce that overpopulation by one tiny digit shows that even unintentionally, we are doing "our part".
Only if we managed to reproduce no more than two offspring. That is zero population growth. Less than two would be a negative population growth.
It comes down to better education in the poorest areas of the planet. The women there are kept virtually (and sometimes literally) barefoot and pregnant. Tragically, that is also the focus of missionaries, who work for an industry that discourages birth control.
When Trump visited the Vatican, the Pope politely implied his desire that Trump back the Paris Accord on climate. If the Pope really cares about the planet, he should abolish the ban on birth control and move the church doctrine closer to the 21st century. Encourage missionaries to do good work without the focus being "recruitment".
Discussions about climate change are inevitably expressed in language about its devastating effect on the planet, but the underlying reality is that the planet has been here for billions of years longer than humans have and the part of the biomass that we're worried might be at risk is us.
But that having been said it's still possible for us to mess things up for a lot of other organisms. The buried carbon we've been burning and dumping into the atmosphere in the course of a few decades is reverting our geochemistry to a CO2 abundance that we haven't seen for 360 million years.
I suppose it's reasonable to note that there were things just starting to walk around on land back then, but it's also worth noting that almost every species that thrived back then is extinct now.
CO2 has only been a catalyst. By far, the atmosphere's primary greenhouse "gas" is water vapor. Added CO2 tipped the instability balance. Warming atmosphere passed heat to the oceans. Warming oceans pass more water vapor to an atmosphere that increases its moisture capacity as it warms. The oceans are also the planet's primary CO2 sink; as they warm, they decarbonate like our warming carbonated beverages. This all combines into a feedback loop that's already acquired its own momentum.
I'd say the oceans are more like a working carbon reservoir rather than a sink. Carbon that went into those Carboniferous Period coal swamps stayed locked in stone for hundreds of millions of years.
CO2 has a solubilty that's maximum near freezing. With temperature increases, it exsolves, effectively degassing as solubility decreases. It wasn't coal swamps that created limestones. That was about excess carbonate salts precipitating in shallow seas as evaporites. Deep oceans are a different chemical concentration environment.
Carbonate rocks like limestone do lock up carbon, but limestone just doesn't burn like coal. It doesn't give shivering humans a reason to dig it all up.
Also worth noting is that while carbonate shoals are continually forming even today in lots of locations, the anoxic conditions that formed those deep beds of Carboniferous plant matter sediment just aren't happening today. We aren't burying new coal.
But you're 100% correct about carbon frozen in the deep oceans. If those reserves are released we're all in big trouble.
Nathan and Candid--weirdly enough, I take some comfort in your descriptions of how this evolves. Mother Earth set the stage with some nasty little surprises. We stumbled on just the right--or wrong ways to trigger those surprises. Our own evolution brought us to this point by making us smart enough to do foolish things.
Isn't this where we say "Bend over and kiss your A$$ Good-bye"???
Can we PLEASE be mindful that President Jimmy Carter tried to address our energy concerns, specifically related to climate issues? This is the biggest cover up a world has ever known!! Solar panels on the White House, 17,000 wind turbines in California and he said in 1979 "It is the moral equivalent of war to be independent of energy." We in Marin County have recognized his endeavors and the incredible cover up BOTH democrats and republicans have done to put this president under the bus. It's time to be held accountable and honor a great president when the people chose NOT to listen. It's the failure of a generation when we had an honest president. Be mindful - Reagan knocked down those energy policies and pushed oil full throttle back into our economy.
We screened the powerful film A Road Not Taken in Marin County last year in honor of Carter's birthday. We remember and will not forget.
Lawmakers failed to act because American lobbies had enough influence to kick the can down the road. The CO2 issue became collateral damage in the bipartisan decay. There was no ROI for shareholders in adding the cost of pollution cleanup to the General Ledger. 9/11 removed it from the big headlines. Copenhagen put a lid on the coffin.The worms came out during that period. There was real money to be made by faux scientists, who would dis the problem and the people studying it. Political science trumped climate science.There's no problem for the lawmakers now. Anti-Science Syndrome and Anti-Intelligence Disease is ubiquitous. Everyone who actually understood the ramifications of charging the Greenhouse Effect, and shifting the pH balance of the oceans, was on board decades ago. They have only enough power to reserve ringside seats to the degradation of the biosphere.
A book I recommend on the subject of science vs profit is
These are marketing ploys that were honed by the tobacco industry and are still in use today.
Some of the science is actually outdated, but the best single 'Climate Change for Dummies' was the John Gribbon work "Hothouse Earth" from 1990.The best thing out currently is Nova's "Decoding the Weather Machine". It's solid on everything from the basics to the anomalies.
Thanks for the recommendation; I'll download the "Hothouse" book.
[Edit] Turns out, it isn't in an e-book format. I've ordered the hard copy.
Amazon has resells for a couple of bucks. hth.
Haha!! Way ahead of you! $3.49, free shipping.
The typical inertia that ever impedes inappropriately unduly rash decision making and aceptances; also impedes a too rapid historical progression. Similarly, lengthy, and even longer periods have preceded the arrival of humankind on this planet. Also, well over 20 mllions of years were required to lay down the now controversial coal depoits, during the carboniferous period beginning some 200 million years ago. Yet even before such protracted periods, more resolving accretions and resolutions were even then reaching protracted maturation, on even larger scales .
Even so, no such vast lengths of time have been allotted,and can be safely anticipated, by a world af people already feeling the adverse affects of excessive misusages of natural elements, that began forming even billions of years ago. The natural inhibiting interia, fearing loss of the familiar, will not bestow genuine lasting profits, by continuance of delusions that some long term gain can be realized by disregarding the essential allegiance owed to planetary equilibrium and stability; and safety of its numerous long endangered inhabitants. -----------------
So, the fate of the planet was decided b y John Sununu during the GHW Bush Admin? I hope it doesn't come down to that.
The question is what to do and what difference will it make and at what cost!
While Brazil was burning rain forests and China, India, Central America and much of Africa have increasing populations and are burning carbon based energy any action of the United States is like using a squirt gun to put out a forest fire!
With ever increasing world population requiring ever more food and energy to just provide a basic living standard. In order to provide the highest standard of living to the greatest number of people it will take ever increasing amounts of the denses energy possible.
One thing we can do is help them skip to zero carbon technologies.
Which will have to include modern nuclear designs, even though we fear it so. Which is what some of our own startups are doing in china.
There is no future to nuclear whatsoever. The theory is fine, but the practice is a money pit of spiraling costs from womb to tomb.
Im going to have to disagree with you there. That is just the fear of the old nuclear technology. If we are going to meet emission goals and still power our countries as expected we are going to have to invest in new types of nuclear plants.
What should happen is all the old water cooled nuclear plants should be phased out. They are to expensive and dangerous and need to be replaced.
Quite frankly even if we ban them in the west, nations lacking regulation restrictions like china are going to build them anyways.
Which is where our own startups are doing that kind of work on reactors that dont need external power to prevent a meltdown and can be powered using depleted uranium, which deals with a waste biproduct we would sitll have to deal with even if every nuclear reactor was shut down.
Theres a good documentary by nova called the Nuclear Option that covers the whole issue.
It has nothing to do with a fear of nuclear technology. You're building a straw man. The issue is the cost chaos, from design and construction delays, to the cost of fuel management, to the cost of shutting down old facilities. https://www.vox.com/2016/2/...You not only disregard the current excessive costs, you seem to think there's leverage to phase out the old and build a new fleet. You really need to understand the debt bomb built into these fantasies.
Sorry if though thought that was my intention. The first and foremost reason people generally are afraid of nuclear is the times its gone wrong.
That is the cost of a conventional water cooled reactor, which was based on the design for the first nuclear submarines. It was not the best technology they had at the time, it was just that you cant use a sodium reactor in a submarine because of what happens to sodium when exposed to water, and yet nuclear physicists continued working on designing better safer and quite likely cheaper reactors up until they were shut down in the 90's.
Im not ignoring that traditonally its to expensive. Tradtionally renewables were to expensive compared to fossil fuesl.
Im just telling you we cannot afford to ignore the possibility that more advanced nuclear reactors like with more advanced renewable technologies, are a possible option.
The cost to continued dependence on fossil fuels is so much greater.
America is reinvesting in nuclear and it would be useful if you took the time to look into it.
You must have missed the part where it has nothing to do with fear.It appears your repetition of a previous comment supporting nuclear hasn't read or done any homework.
I have looked into it - extensively. You haven't. You don't know jack about the problems that have written nuclear out of the future. Go do your homework.
Sorry you may want to reread my last comment. I was midedit when you made your followup comment.
What exactly are those problems with the new reactors being designed, Such as with the liquid sodium reactor designed by terrapower?
Of course cost is one. That was the case for other power technologies such as solar panels for years. Refining the technology could make it cheaper.
what about it would make the new reactors that are in development now writen out of the future?
You just don't get it. Cost isn't a 'problem'. It's a complete show-stopper. No, there is not a magic solution on the other side. No, it is nothing similar to the price-performance curve of solar. No, spending more R&D money won't alter the landscape.Nuclear power plants are money suckers.
Thats not very convincing. You didnt actually say anything about the reactor or any reactor.
Why is there nothing similar to the price performance curve?
There is no reactor to talk about. There's an industry that's imploding.
"Why is there nothing similar to the price performance curve?"That doesn't even mean anything.You clearly have no clue about the the nuclear issues or industry. Worse, you were even given a link to get you going, and you proceeded to puke useless comment after useless comment.G'day, stupid.