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Global Warming - What Can We Do or Should We Do?

04/21/2018 3:46 PM

I love reading your posts - there are some very smart people here. Thank you for sharing your knowledge!

I've seen that there are two camps when it comes to global warming and CO2 emissions. I think we all are aware of both sides argument, so please no hostility with your posts.

What I'd like to find out is two fold.

1. Whether GW exists or not, is there anything that you as an individual can do? Some people say we can change the world, one trip at a time (or some other catchy phrase) but they don't live in reality. Why? Because on any given day, I can see 14 lane freeways filled with cars (yes, the 405 freeway has 14 lanes) emitting CO2 and this is one freeway in one city in one state in one country on one continent - we're not even talking about the rest of the world. So one or one hundred or one thousand or 100,000 or even 1,000,000 less drivers won't make a difference.

2. Some here spend a lot of time defending their position and attacking the opposing side. I know you feel strongly about your position, but what good is it doing? Does anyone here feel that they can make a real difference? And if so, how big of a difference? Or is it all about our ego and proving we are right?

If everyone on this site chose to get rid of their ICE car and go EV, what difference would it make? Or if we were lucky enough in addition to convince one friend ... What will it do?

I just want everyone to think about this. I am not an alcoholic and I'm only bringing this up, because I like this part of their Serenity Prayer (in fact, I like the entire prayer) where we ask God to give me the wisdom to know the difference (referfing to things you can't change).

So, if we can't change things either way (GW believer or non believer), why not focus our energy on things we can change? And work together to solve problems, because we engineers are some of the best at doing so.

Thanks for listening to my rant and please post your ideas/comments.

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#1

Re: Global Warming - what can we do or should we do?

04/21/2018 4:24 PM

If you mean what can we do as a country, the answer should be obvious. We (the new administration) is rapidly rolling back all environmental protections, consumer protections, banking regulations and dumbing down education to a point equivalent to the 1950's when air, water, and all environmental pollution was unregulated. We're rolling back pollution/mileage on ICE engines, simply to add profit to bottom lines. Social issues are decaying even more rapidly, but that's another issue.

We're subsidizing and prompting the use of coal, and then dumping the waste in streams and rivers.

We've lost 50 years of progress in environmental reforms and protections so I see us doing nothing positive to control pollution which very likely is a MAJOR factor in global warming. We'll do nothing in this country and leave any reforms that do get enacted to the rest of the world.

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#2
In reply to #1

Re: Global Warming - what can we do or should we do?

04/21/2018 5:40 PM

Actually, the strongest environmental rollbacks are just to the Clinton era of the late 90s.

One of the problems of all government agencies is 'mission creep'. Once the original goal of an agency has been satisfied, the bureacrats search to find other projects to keep their jobs and justify their existence.

Your comments on education are hilarious. Education is worse in almost every way, compared to the '50s. Any objective standard of learning for math, science, reading comprehension, general knowledge of current events and world history shows that the level of education is miserable compared to the 50s.

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#3
In reply to #2

Re: Global Warming - what can we do or should we do?

04/21/2018 6:35 PM

You can characterize it any way you want to. IMHO it is a monumental desertion of environmental stewardship only for more profit and NOT for the betterment of mankind.

The last time the USA ranked #1 in the world in education was 1980. So, maybe my dates are not correct, but the impact of the current administration's roll backs are unmistakable and a detriment to our health here in the USA.

The good news here is some municipalities, state and countries are smarter the the USA has suddenly become.

Fortunately, advances in technology do not cost the coal, oil, automobile, power generation companies and other advancing technologies much, if anything in the bottom line.

Oh, the company's executives cry and moan that regulations are hurting them almost mortally, but it just isn't true. Anybody can cook their books to paint a picture of doom and gloom.

True, the Earth cycles between hot and cold, but nobody was burning fossil fuels, making trillions of tons of plastics from oil, etc. before the industrial revolution.

Do we know what it all means? Some think they do, others think it doesn't matter. So, doing nothing has always been an option. If you keep doing what you always did, you'll keep getting what you always got.

Finally, I grew up in mid Arkansas and when I was a child the visibility was unlimited most every day. If there wasn't a forest fire. That is no longer true and in fact there are very very few days of clear, unlimited visibility, if any.

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#27
In reply to #1

Re: Global Warming - what can we do or should we do?

04/22/2018 6:52 PM

I agree that the situation is serous, but I don't think we have gone back 50 years. For one thing, only the laws and regulations have changed, not the actual pollution or emissions. Laws and regulations can be reinstated pretty quickly, and industries know that. Nobody is going to be dumping flammable liquids into rivers or lakes like before. Lead paint is still illegal. Leaded gas is still illegal.

Industries can't just start polluting again like they used to, they would have to build new factories without all the current safeguards again. I really doubt that they would do that, because the vast majority of them know that the current mood in Washington is temporary, whether you agree with it or not. Also, many of the anti-pollution technologies actually save money, by recycling byproducts that used to be discarded. Maybe they could turn off smokestack scrubbers or something, but they will have to turn them back on pretty soon. The new CAFE standards were delayed, but the current ones were not rolled back. Car companies know the future is greener, so even if they can breathe a little easier about deadlines, they will still be working hard on reducing emissions just so they can be competitive in the market.

In short, I am very optimistic about the future, because the US wants a greener future in spite of setbacks and the corruption of congress by the fossil fuel industry. And the younger generations will demand it.

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#75
In reply to #1

Re: Global Warming - what can we do or should we do?

04/23/2018 5:14 PM

Hi Lyn,

Here's what I'm thinking. That we (people here on this forum) are powerless to do anything. Whether we're for or against regulations, we can't do anything except look at it from a point of - can I make money on it? If you believe regulations are stifling and choke business, then you invest more when regulations are dropped. On the other hand, if you believe regulations are good for our economy and businesses, then you invest less when regulations are dropped.

What "we" as a country can do is not within your or my control - or anyone here on this forum. If "we" could do something, what is it?

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#4

Re: Global Warming - what can we do or should we do?

04/21/2018 8:09 PM

And I remember sitting in the Holland Tunnel between NY and NJ choking on the fumes with 2-3 car length visibility. Now the air is relatively clear and the haze over Manhattan is due more to an air inversion instead of the raw pollution that used to pour out of the crankcase breathers and untreated exhaust systems. It's simply a matter of perspective and life experiences.

I'm not much for opinion based political science; choosing to rely on fact based engineering science. And that's where the transition to a 100% EV economy fails. A quick look at the Tesla twinned SuperChargers shows that they are a significant load point, and providing multiples of them in a single location can easily put a strain on existing distribution networks that will require rebuilding/expansion to supply the peak load, and somebody's got to absorb that cost.

Scaling up the number of SuperChargers an order of magnitude will affect the transmission grid, and lead to a palpable increase in the peak/baseload demand on the available generation capacity. Again, somebody has to plan for, build, operate, and pay for that expansion. It will become a societal/governmental/economic problem that I never see addressed in the current literature.

Hopefully some better minds than mine will start taking an unbiased academic look into all the parameters that go into such fundamental decisions. Right now the numbers are small and have only a small local impact, but will require much more scientific analyses as things grow exponentially.

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#5
In reply to #4

Re: Global Warming - what can we do or should we do?

04/21/2018 9:10 PM

Carbon monoxide is invisible, but only 2-3 car length visibility isssh ... the geography does play a big role,.. such as in LA where smog dispersion can remain dormant.

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#59
In reply to #5

Re: Global Warming - what can we do or should we do?

04/23/2018 9:54 AM

Agreed! And remember, pollution control and efforts to clean up environmental problems basically got underway with "Smoke Control" in Allegheny County PA about 1946. Problems will have to get way worse before governments will act, but they ultimately will; note efforts in Chinese metropolises and elsewhere in the world.

It seems the OP was cheering us on to look at alternative solutions that hopefully more economic and more locally controllable. Pollution is not a particular issue in rural areas. IMHO it is our job to come up with better solutions and/or workable technologies for political figures to provide for in their deliberations. If they work and are cost effective. people will adopt them.

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#118
In reply to #59

Re: Global Warming - what can we do or should we do?

04/25/2018 4:18 PM

I would love to see our air get cleaner and I will say that here in LA, the air quality has drastically improved from the time I moved here (1987) to present.

I like being positive, however there are too many variables and players to find a solution - it's a world problem, not just a US problem. Economics are involved and as much as we'd like people and companies to be ecologically responsible, the bottom line is $$. Most of the world doesn't care about pollution or GW - their people are just trying to survive, so there are more important things they worry about. Adding an expense such as pollution control isn't very high on their agenda. Feeding their people, providing drinkable water, having safe shelter or providing jobs - those are basic needs that aren't being fulfilled.

If there is anything that we can do, I think we should (within reason). I believe the more important aspect would be to not worry so much about our carbon footprint (since changing one person or family won't make a dent in the world problem), but if someone could create some sort of "machine" - now that's the answer.

Yes, so I'll cheer all of you on, with hopes that you'll find the solution. Until then, I think we need to focus on problems that we can solve and to be more civil when it comes to arguing about GW. It may or may not be a real problem - if you don't have the solution, then who cares, because the only thing you can do to "fix" it is to create some sort of new machine. Battling between ourselves doesn't solve anything.

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#124
In reply to #118

Re: Global Warming - what can we do or should we do?

04/26/2018 7:31 AM

Just to get back to the 'serenity' concept, as you pointed out, to change the things we can. Reducing the footprint of one person or family is actually, the basic thing that everyone can do. This is the level of change that everyone contributes to, and the sum of those small things does in fact make a dent in the problem.

I'm not saying to worry about it, because worry, guilt and certain other emotions I classify as wasted energy (vs serenity).

The bigger dent is made by people who create innovative technologies and successful products that provide new opportunities for individuals and families to reduce our footprints, and make it easy to do so. But it always comes down to the consumer, to choose a smaller footprint when it becomes available and a viable alternative. And that would be, the wisdom to know the difference.

Teaching our children about the issues, and how to take a 'serenity' approach in life, is a good thing. And joining with other nations to address what is obviously, a global problem, is the reasonable thing to do.

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#143
In reply to #124

Re: Global Warming - what can we do or should we do?

04/28/2018 9:32 AM

Follow my logic for a moment.

Problem (assuming it's true) = Burning massive amounts of fossil fuel creates a sizable amount of CO2 which can't be completely consumed by natural process, so excess gasses hold heat in out planet causing the melting of out polar ice and erratic weather that is harmful to the planet and its inhabitants.

Solution = Either remove massive amounts of excess CO2 or produce substantially lower amounts of the gas.

As an individual, what can you or I do?

1. You can reduce your carbon footprint, but it will have no effect on the problem.

2. You can create huge amount of public support (worldwide) to reduce the burning of fossil fuel.

3. You can create a machine to reduce large amounts of CO2.

My serenity lies in me knowing the difference between what I can and cannot change. If I do #1, it won't do anything to solve the problem, but I may feel better with the belief I'm "doing my part". I can try to do #2, but how can I influence that many people? In reality, it won't happen, will it? I can try to do #3, but how can I make this machine? Then get it built in large enough quantities where it will make a difference?

When it comes down to it, the only thing I can do to solve the problem is nothing. So why waste my time and energy on something I'm not able to change?

Better yet, why get worked up defending my position, possibly making enemies, insulting others and getting worked up over something that's impossible for me to do anything about? I see GW comments find their way into many threads that the OP wasn't asking for. Then people get angry and conversations become heated. The thread gets hijacked and the goal of helping the OP solve his problem is gone.

Whether I believe that GW is a problem is irrelevant; what is important is that I can't do anything to solve the problem, so why waste my time on it. This is the reason for my post.

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#165
In reply to #143

Re: Global Warming - what can we do or should we do?

04/28/2018 8:53 PM

Why not try for your #1? (?? x 10E9) times (not very much) = (a significant amount)

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#198
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Re: Global Warming - what can we do or should we do?

05/02/2018 5:04 AM

My question to you or anyone who agrees that you can change the habits of 10E9 people. Tell me how YOU can do it? If you change your own habit, you are changing 1/10E9 of the group. What about the other 999,999,999 people?

I think you'll agree that you cannot control the energy use over that many people.

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#144
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Re: Global Warming - what can we do or should we do?

04/28/2018 9:39 AM

This is off topic, but what if Elon puts up banks of charging wall batteries next to his Supercharging stations. During down time, the batteries can charge. When the stations are being used, they can help keep the grid from being stressed?

Of course, that would mean more Tesla battery packs to be produced for the massive number of charging stations that will need to be built to support the 312,000 Tesla Model 3's that will be built this year.

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#6

Re: Global Warming - what can we do or should we do?

04/21/2018 10:37 PM

We've already solved the problem, theoretically, but change takes time...Anyone who thinks you can radically change the energy infrastructure overnight isn't playing with a full deck....so you can relax and work on reducing your energy footprint, which as an individual, is about all you can do...

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#73
In reply to #6

Re: Global Warming - what can we do or should we do?

04/23/2018 3:54 PM

Do you have a job?

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#74
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Re: Global Warming - what can we do or should we do?

04/23/2018 4:23 PM

I'm retired....

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#78
In reply to #6

Re: Global Warming - what can we do or should we do?

04/23/2018 5:50 PM

You nailed it. Reducing your energy footprint ... is about all you can do

Unfortunately, if you or I (or all of us here collectively) reduce our footprint to 0, the difference will be so small, it wouldn't make a difference.

So, if any changes you make will not make a difference on the macro level, then the only reason to be good to the environment is because you want to be a good steward to the world. And arguing or battling others regarding global warming is futile, because neither person can make a difference.

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#81
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Re: Global Warming - what can we do or should we do?

04/23/2018 7:38 PM

"Unfortunately, if you or I (or all of us here collectively) reduce our footprint to 0, the difference will be so small, it wouldn't make a difference."

NOT TRUE!

While the direct influence of our reducing our energy footprint will be extremely small, we have a responsibility to set an example, and others will follow suit, once they see the advantages. Also, it is mostly engineers who develop, and help others develop, more efficient ways of doing things.

One example: I started buying LED lamps as soon as they became available. Yes, several of those early ones have failed partly or entirely, and they were expensive at first, but I figure that I contributed to the development of better ones. There are still a few incandescent lamps in my home, in places that are seldom used, like in the attic and crawl space (and in my wife's salt lamp), and there is at least one Compact Fluorescent, but I'm essentially finished converting to LEDs. I definitely prefer the whiter light!

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#145
In reply to #81

Re: Global Warming - what can we do or should we do?

04/28/2018 10:10 AM

I'd like to believe that my actions will influence others, but in reality the effect is very small. I am very well respected in my group both civically and in business. I'm a former councilman, I'm the President of my School Board and I've had many successful business ventures. Even with this much clout, I realize that I do not have the power to influence the amount of change needed to even make a tiny dent in solving the problem.

The problem is a global one and even IF we in the US decrease out carbon footprint by 50%, will it solve the problem? This is all pie in the sky anyway, because the general public is not willing to pay the price. This is reality and comes from first hand experience.

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#166
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Re: Global Warming - what can we do or should we do?

04/28/2018 8:56 PM

You seem to be stuck looking at this with a short term perspective....We, our generation is just the beginning of change, the next generation will continue, and their children and grandchildren will live in a different world....Change on this scale, over the next 100 years, will not really be discernible to us, we'll be long gone....The longest journey begins with a single step as they say, we are that first small step...No need to worry about this, if you are, and you have teenagers in school, just talk to them, they have been brainwashed green, and the cool cars are now electric, and every child can tell you about sustainable living, where we, as children, had never even heard the term, and the coolest cars were the biggest gas guzzlers...The initiation of change is the hardest part, once that is achieved, everything sort of goes on autopilot and the course for the future is set....If we have achieved that, we have done the heavy lifting....Although it seems like a gimmee that change to other aspects of society will continually be necessary as has always been the case in mankind's history...we have at least made our contribution...

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#199
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Re: Global Warming - what can we do or should we do?

05/02/2018 5:15 AM

You are right about the teens and young kids being indoctrinated at school with being "green" and collectively WE as in our generation may have done something. My post isn't about WE as in our generation, but YOU as an individual. Because there are so many people in this world, YOU can do whatever you like regarding YOUR CO2 footprint and it will do nothing to change the GW problem.

YOU or I or anyone else here can make the best post on this site and it won't change the GW problem. So, why waste energy and create enemies for something YOU or I can do nothing about?

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#167
In reply to #81

Re: Global Warming - what can we do or should we do?

04/28/2018 11:55 PM

I've recently converted to all LED lighting because I found the prices have dropped so dramatically and the lights are now available from 2700 to 6500 heat colors....the 2700's are great for regular lamps and wall lights, they use the edison design LED bulbs....and the 3000, 3500, 4000, 5000, and 6500 colors are only about $9 US for 4' fluorescent bulb replacements, give off about the same lumens, 3000, but are all directed down, so no loss from reflection...they work directly on 120v so are easily convertible...just removed the whole ballast system, and one hot one neutral to the pins on one side, cut the wires from the other end....I've got 5000's in the kitchen , 20 watts....6500's in the workshop....and all dimmable...get the frosted lens...

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#7

Re: Global Warming - what can we do or should we do?

04/21/2018 11:03 PM

This is a copy of a response I posted to a couple of other forums. Some folks did not take kindly to my assertions.

The climate is changing. It is always changing. Remember when ice covered most of the northern hemisphere a few 10 thousands of years ago? Remember the Little Ice Age http://www2.sunysuffolk.edu/mandias/lia/little_ice_age.html? Remember when Europe could grow grapes much further north than they can now?
What causes Earth temperature changes? When I sit in my car on a sunny day with the windows closed, the car becomes very warm. Since I exhale CO2, it could be said that CO2 is the cause. But the car still becomes warm even when I am not inside. I notice that the temperature does not rise above the ambient temperature when the sun roof is rolled back. I conclude that the cause of temperature rise in my car and a greenhouse is lack of convection, not CO2. Besides, greenhouse plants consume CO2.
CO2 is a thermal insulating gas. The slang term for this property is "greenhouse gas". The percentage of CO2 in the Earth's atmosphere is 0.04%. The percentage of water vapor in the atmosphere varies from zero % in the Gobi Desert to 4% over the warm tropical oceans. Using an average of 2%, we can assume that the water vapor is 40 to 60 times more prevalent than CO2. The kicker here is that water vapor is a better thermal insulator than CO2, and is far more prevalent. In other words, CO2 is an insignificant factor compared to water vapor. Good luck to those who want to reduce water vapor in the air. CO2 is an essential plant requirement, not an atmospheric pollutant
So what is causing atmosphere temperature changes? The Sun spews out an enormous amount of charged particles called the solar wind. This can observed as Northern or Southern Lights. The cosmos puts out high energy particles call cosmic rays. They can be observed in a cloud chamber https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloud_chamber . The cosmic rays help the water vapor condense into clouds, which in turn, shield the earth from the thermal effects of the sun. The solar wind pushes away the cosmic rays, thereby causing fewer clouds to form. The solar wind intensity is cyclic, and so are the thermal effects. The effects are delayed by thermal equilibrium. So, global warming does not depend on CO2, but instead on the solar cycle https://www.google.com/search?q=sol.....69i57j0l5.4377j1j4&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8 . The "industrial" Ice Age thousands of years ago did not have or need large amounts CO2 to change.
So why is there a controversy? The reason is $$$. Climate change has put a lot of dinners on the table for a lot of people. Think of the government grants, endowed chairs at the colleges and universities, and other financial endowments. But, perhaps more, think of the bureaucracy and rule over people's lives that government likes to do. So, look at the facts and figures and determine for yourself what the situation is. What a shame we are wasting so many financial resources.
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#9
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Re: Global Warming - what can we do or should we do?

04/22/2018 12:37 AM

Ratch: Here is a simple numerical experiment you can try. It depends on two observations. The greatest solar energy reaching earth lies between the ultra-violet and infra-red wavelengths <https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Solar_Spectrum.png>. The high energy particles are so few as to make virtually no contribution to the heat balance. Recall that any object with a temperature above absolute zero radiates. If there were no atmosphere (no H2O and no CO2) the average temperature would be very close to 0 F. This is a classroom exercise that is usually asked of all students of meteorology--usually engenders some gulps and "Is that true?" questions.

As you can see from the figure, adding in water vapor produces significant absorption bands in the infra red. Those water molecules warm and then also re-radiate the energy in all directions including back to the earth surface to produce the comfortable temperatures we enjoy. Total solar input at the top of the atmosphere is approximately 2000 W/m2 of which about half reaches the surface on a clear day.

Now assume that the earth (radius = 6370 km) radiates as a black body (a reasonable assumption) and use the 1000 W/m2 as the input on the side facing the sun (pi*r2)and calculate the resulting equilibrium temperature--remember the entire surface (4*pi*r2) radiates, not just the side facing the sun.

I'll leave the calculation of the equilibrium temperature as an exercise. Wikipedia can help you get started <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black-body_radiation>.

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#89
In reply to #9

Re: Global Warming - what can we do or should we do?

04/24/2018 10:33 AM

Correction

The solar radiation on top of the atmosphere is about 1380 W/m2.

I used this link which is not Wikipedia.

Values differ dependent on information source, year measured and most probably solar activity.

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#92
In reply to #89

Re: Global Warming - what can we do or should we do?

04/24/2018 11:05 AM

It would have been nice if you had identified Woods Hole Oceanograhic Institution as your source.

"Values differ dependent on information source, year measured and most probably solar activity." Then why do you imply that this particular value is the correct one?

Although WHOI is commonly considered a reliable source, I have a higher confidence in NASA. https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/EnergyBalance/page2.php

This NASA source provides a value of 1360 W/m2, which is not far from the WHOI value you provided. Both are far below the 2000 W/m2 I seem to remember seeing earlier in this thread.

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#111
In reply to #92

Re: Global Warming - what can we do or should we do?

04/25/2018 8:52 AM

Sure, the source was the link I provided. Further down in the thread you will find a link to a paper from our friend Clint above which purports a value of 1362 W/m2.

There ya go. The point of my post was to correct the 2000 W/m2

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#17
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Re: Global Warming - what can we do or should we do?

04/22/2018 3:34 PM

I can see where you are coming from, but I think you have to do the actual arithmetic rather than the back of the envelope estimations. The most conclusive point you make is that CO2 is an insignificant factor compared to water vapor. I agree with that, if you are speaking in geological terms, but "insignificant" does not mean "zero." If you actually calculate out that insignificant effect, exactly how large is it?

If it raised the temperature of the earth by 1%, that is almost 3 degrees Kelvin, or over 5 degrees F. Is that much of a rise "significant?" To an astronomer looking at a planet from a distance, probably not. But to a biologist or farmer, it might be more significant. What effect would that 5 degree difference make to human beings, agriculture, and the rest of life on earth? Will it cause the Arctic Ocean to have less ice cover? Will it melt the Greenland Ice Sheet? Will it cause the tundra to melt and start producing vast amounts of methane? Then what effect will those things have?

This is what climatologists do. Their entire lives are devoted to studying what happens when some factor changes. What happened in the last ice age is interesting, but it was very, very slow, and even then perhaps you would not want to have lived while it happened.

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#36
In reply to #7

Re: Global Warming - what can we do or should we do?

04/22/2018 11:19 PM

Thank you for an excellent answer. Even if you are not totally correct, I feel you have put forward a reasoned and informative view, giving readers another valuable perspective.

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#65
In reply to #7

Re: Global Warming - what can we do or should we do?

04/23/2018 11:22 AM

Causality is one of the most difficult propositions to prove. If event #1 *causes* event #2, then event #1 must precede event #2 in time. But the mere fact that event #1 preceded event #2 does not prove causality. This is especially true if the "books are cooked" and experimental data is deliberately changed to "fit" with a desired result. (Like in Freshman Chemistry Lab!) Unfortunately, this happened many times in the current debate. An excellent analysis of this is: "Climate Change - The Facts" by Alan Moran

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#146
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Re: Global Warming - what can we do or should we do?

04/28/2018 10:22 AM

The question is: can you, personally, do anything about it? Do you believe you can change your opponents belief? You'll find serenity knowing you are powerless when it comes to GW.

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#8

Re: Global Warming - what can we do or should we do?

04/22/2018 12:06 AM

"If everyone on this site chose to get rid of their ICE car and go EV, what difference would it make? Or if we were lucky enough in addition to convince one friend ... What will it do?"

It's just like voting: If nearly everyone takes the attitude that their vote doesn't matter, then the election gets decided by the few who do vote.

When I bought my current car, I looked very seriously at quite a few EVs and Hybrids, but none of them I saw in my price range met my criteria. It will presumably be several years before I buy another; I certainly plan to buy an EV at that time. Assuming I do buy another vehicle, it will almost undoubtedly be my last.

I'm also very seriously hoping that autonomous vehicles become available before I reach the age/condition where it becomes unwise for me to drive.

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#79
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Re: Global Warming - what can we do or should we do?

04/23/2018 6:03 PM

I've found that voting is futile, but I still vote, because I like that I have the right to. The only time my vote has mattered is in our local election. And even then, my one vote didn't make a difference, however my influence with my friends and family did make a difference.

Regarding my vehicles, I see it in a practical way. If I drive a 1972 GMC 3500 Dually with a 454, double pumper 750 carb that gets 5 mpg on a good day it won't make a difference when it comes to GW. Same if I drive a Chevy Bolt EV - disclaimer - I don't own either one. So I should drive what I like (and can afford) and if I want to be environmentally sound, I do it for myself. If I buy a Prius, I do so for my pocketbook - I don't own one of these either. When I drive my little Alfa, I do so for enjoyment.

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#10

Re: Global Warming - what can we do or should we do?

04/22/2018 1:01 AM

I've read the comments on the Two Camp's, my interpretation is:

a. If you believe that global warming is man made, continue to separate your recyclables - cans in this box, glass in that one etc.

b. If you believe that global warming is a natural process, just throw everything into one waste bin and be done with it.

Anything you can do as an individual ? Plenty, : Toss it in, Pack it out. Constructive dissertation is a positive.

(2) Attack ? The mere fact that there is a discussion with perspectives is a gain, nothing is lost trying to understand your opponent..

Going from ice to electric is a conversion in waste. Time will tell which one is dirtier.

( I am not an alcoholic ) huh,, Where did that come from,,.

All the engineers I know work every day to solve problems.

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#47
In reply to #10

Re: Global Warming - what can we do or should we do?

04/23/2018 5:58 AM

Tony,

This type of thinking is too broad and also utterly wrong!

Recycling has nothing to do with "GW". One is the apparent warming of the globe due to natural or human made factors. The other one is the way we humans are using our resources.

You also seem to suggest that someone who recycles his waste is a "GW" believer, while anyone else is a "Tosser" waste-away environment destroyer. Neither of it is right! In fact some of the "Renewables Energy scheme" is an entire waste!

You need to open up your box and rearrange your box thinking!

For once: I work for money!

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#56
In reply to #47

Re: Global Warming - what can we do or should we do?

04/23/2018 9:04 AM

Idea Smith.

I see it as very simple, not broad.

Although there are two major schools of thought, the third minor party would comprise those that agree to some of one and the other.

I feel GW is the result of both the natural cycle of the earth and man made actions. As has appeared here, mainly the comments are either, or. I recycle and I use biodegradable cleaning agents, I see the natural side warming since the ice age. Sometime during the preindustrial age, mans actions started to have an impact. Obviously that impact can't be quantified, because there is no reference. It can only be surmised what the climate would be sans human activity.

What say you,

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#60
In reply to #56

Re: Global Warming - what can we do or should we do?

04/23/2018 10:11 AM

"Obviously that impact can't be quantified, because there is no reference."

It is indeed obvious that there was no one around with a recording thermometer thousands of years ago, but there are references which are being found in such things as sediments, air bubbles trapped in ice, and isotope analysis.

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#87
In reply to #60

Re: Global Warming - what can we do or should we do?

04/24/2018 1:44 AM

Core samples.

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#70
In reply to #56

Re: Global Warming - what can we do or should we do?

04/23/2018 1:01 PM

Your way to take it very simple has you already earned a third party that might take the one or other grain from the basket you offered.

Only I say that there is waste on the GW scheme and a lot there too! So those that can see the real problems of this world will not need GW.

BTW if you are a bit observant in this space GW has been renamed to Climate Change when they found out that there was a certain unwillingness of nature to proved a constant warming, having a break here and there.

It goes as far as calling the European cooling or is it an ice age to come? (Who knows) when the Gulf stream ceases to provide its heat to the North of Europe a result of climate change. So to say the global warming will provide some cooling.

Who would have thought that the CC apostel at least get some basic thermodynamics right:

When one part cools the other warms, if there is no new energy there anyway!

I feel like GW is entirely man made or was that made up by man?

Cheer up folks, if Europe gets its ice cap back there is a chance that other parts on Earth get a bigger slice of energy!

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#80
In reply to #10

Re: Global Warming - what can we do or should we do?

04/23/2018 6:52 PM

Good hearing your side of it. I think you got a gist of what I was asking.

Here's some feedback on your post.

a. I separate my recyclables because I've done so for many years and I feel it's the right thing to do. I don't think it makes one tiny bit of difference, but I like the feeling that I'm reducing waste.

Toss it in - I think that's just being considerate to others.

Same for "pack it out".

Constructive dissertation is positive, however when people become too aggressive, it's no longer constructive and therefore no longer positive. Also, if you or I can't do anything about the problem, then why keep complaining? Reminds me of old men complaining about taxes!

Attack - yes, there are some who feel they need to be aggressive for their voice to be heard. Some also believe that if they're going to shut the other side up by attacking. They may be successful, but they also may not be invited back to the table. If that's the case, then they won't be heard by the right people. There's a difference between having a heated argument and attacking the other person.

The Serenity Prayer gained popularity from AA. You know: God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.

Engineers solve problems - when people ask what I got out of college, it's two things: 1. Taught me how to solve problems. 2. Gave me confidence - the first real mental challenge in my life. Again, we need to use our wisdom to know the difference between what we can change and what we can't. And if we can't change anything, then what good does it do to worry about it?

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#11

Re: Global Warming - what can we do or should we do?

04/22/2018 5:22 AM

Just wanted to share my ideas with a like minded engineer.

Warmth is imparted by passing thermal energy from a higher level to lower level. Let us say that we have ' x ' units of energy at a specific time in the entire earth. Thereafter, each second, there is extra heat energy imparted to the earth by way of

1. Burning of fossil fuels, such as petroleum and coal.

2. Burning of immediate products of photosynthesis such as food, by digestion by living beings, which produces muscular energy, a part of which gets converted to thermal energy too.

3. Burning of secondary photosynthetic products like wood, leaves etc, for various activities, such as cooking, raising steam or heating water etc.

4. Incessant bombardment of the earth, with solar radiation, the bulk (Almost 50%) of which is thermal.

ENERGY CAN NEITHER BE CREATED NOR DESTROYED

so, all the energy as mentioned above goes to heat our earth, which we are terming with a fashionable name GLOBAL WARMING !

it was mentioned by some one highly knowledgeable, that the Sun, delivers on the surface of earth, not the stratosphere, an amount of energy, that is 6000 times the per capita energy consumption of all earthlings. Taking it as a fact all the energy spent by us comes through 1 to 3, what is happening to 5999 times that energy ?

It is true that our own atmosphere dissipates some energy into space, but even if a lowly part of the solar energy gets trapped in the earth, will it not melt the glaciers, ice caps and what not and slowly roast all the living beings ?

If, some contents of the atmosphere, say carbon dioxide, CFCs, Methane or what not, add to the retenion of heat, is it it not right thinking, to avoid them ?

May be, I am Utopian, but I am thinking if an umbrella of artificial cloud cover at least over the land area, that could drift over oceans too, which would facilitate reflection of heat into the space.

This is what I think of GW.

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#147
In reply to #11

Re: Global Warming - what can we do or should we do?

04/28/2018 10:39 AM

Interesting idea. I don't know enough about this topic to tell you if your idea is feasible and will solve the problem, however I applaud you for trying tio find a solution.

I believe you should run with your idea. Here's another angle - what if you can create some sort of solar shield that blocks the energy above our atmosphere? Block the energy so it doesn't reach out planet??

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#170
In reply to #11

Re: Global Warming - what can we do or should we do?

04/29/2018 2:06 PM

Dangerous! Geo Engineering on a not-understood none problem with potential devastating consequences.

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#172
In reply to #170

Re: Global Warming - what can we do or should we do?

04/29/2018 2:31 PM

I agree with you there. Unfortunately we have been geoengineering the Earth on a massive scale for a hundred years, using CO2. With potentially devastating consequences. Do you think we should stop?

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#174
In reply to #172

Re: Global Warming - what can we do or should we do?

04/30/2018 3:18 AM

Inquisitive mind wants to know how you use CO2. In green houses? A yeah! No problem not devastating.

I think we should use CO2 in green houses because it improves crop output.

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#12

Re: Global Warming - What Can We Do or Should We Do?

04/22/2018 9:53 AM

..."Earth's internal heat and other small effects[edit]

The geothermal heat flux from the Earth's interior is estimated to be 47 terawatts.[10] This comes to 0.087 watt/square metre, which represents only 0.027% of Earth's total energy budget at the surface, which is dominated by 173,000 terawatts of incoming solar radiation.[11]

Human production of energy is even lower, at an estimated 18 TW[citation needed].

Photosynthesis has a larger effect: photosynthetic efficiency turns up to 2% of incoming sunlight into biomass, for a total photosynthetic productivity of earth between ~1500–2250 TW (~1%+/-0.26% solar energy hitting the Earth's surface)[12].

Other minor sources of energy are usually ignored in these calculations, including accretion of interplanetary dust and solar wind, light from stars other than the Sun and the thermal radiation from space. Earlier, Joseph Fourier had claimed that deep space radiation was significant in a paper often cited as the first on the greenhouse effect.[13] "...

"Atmospheric gases only absorb some wavelengths of energy but are transparent to others. The absorption patterns of water vapor (blue peaks) and carbon dioxide (pink peaks) overlap in some wavelengths. Carbon dioxide is not as strong a greenhouse gas as water vapor, but it absorbs energy in wavelengths (12–15 micrometres) that water vapor does not, partially closing the "window" through which heat radiated by the surface would normally escape to space. (Illustration NASA, Robert Rohde)[19]"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth%27s_energy_budget

It doesn't take much to throw the balance off, just a smidgen over time can add up to cause complete loss of habitability of this planet...

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#15
In reply to #12

Re: Global Warming - What Can We Do or Should We Do?

04/22/2018 2:38 PM

Thanks. I believe NASA is about as credible a source as one can find.

Ive been working on a response to a post that seems to have disappeared. That post included a graphic of the solar spectrum at sea level, which I believe may have originated with data from the ASTM.

That graphic is superimposed behind a similar one from PVEducation here:

At the bottom of this illustration is a graph of transmission (inverse of absorption) of light through pure CO2. These three graphs have been scaled to the same horizontal resolution, and the two spectrum graphs have been scaled to the same vertical resolution. One has to be careful of differences; for example the absorption graph shown in your post uses a logarithmic wavelength scale, while the ones I've shown are linear.

Those making the original illustrations also insert (intentionally or not) their own biases. One of the two above graphs identifies only two tiny dips (one region) as associated with CO2, while the other identifies three regions, two of which overlap H2O absorption.

I haven't seen any reference that compares the importance of CO2 absorption with that of other gasses, like methane or refrigerants.

I've often wondered whether the "Canned air" (dust blowing aerosols) should be allowed...

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#16
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Re: Global Warming - What Can We Do or Should We Do?

04/22/2018 3:30 PM

Common duster gases are 1,1-difluoroethane, 1,1,1-trifluoroethane, or 1,1,1,2-tetrafluoroethane. Hydrocarbons, like butane, were often used in the past, but their flammable nature forced manufacturers to use fluorocarbons. When inhaled, gas duster fumes may produce psychoactive effects and may be harmful to health.

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#19
In reply to #16

Re: Global Warming - What Can We Do or Should We Do?

04/22/2018 4:45 PM

... and what happens to those gasses once they have been released into the atmosphere?

The same question applies to whatever propellants are used in any aerosol can, from paint to hair spray etc., not to mention the tiny unused droplets of paint, hairspray, etc.

As a society, we have become accustomed to convenience and instant gratification, without regard to environmental costs.

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#62
In reply to #19

Re: Global Warming - What Can We Do or Should We Do?

04/23/2018 10:20 AM

As a society, we have become accustomed to convenience and instant gratification, without regard to environmental costs.

IMHO the above is a major reason for many of the environmental issues currently faced worldwide.

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#148
In reply to #12

Re: Global Warming - What Can We Do or Should We Do?

04/28/2018 10:47 AM

The question is can you, personally, do anything about it? And if not, should you expend any more energy on the topic?

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#13

Re: Global Warming - What Can We Do or Should We Do?

04/22/2018 12:19 PM

Stop electing idiots, whose only interest is big business and their own wallets?
(Applies both sides of the pond)
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#14
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Re: Global Warming - What Can We Do or Should We Do?

04/22/2018 2:02 PM

I don't think "idiot" is the correct term, but I'm not at all sure what the correct term would be...

Jimmy Carter had some education in nuclear engineering. I'm not aware of any other presidents or prime ministers with engineering education.

Otherwise, you're right!

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#23
In reply to #13

Re: Global Warming - What Can We Do or Should We Do?

04/22/2018 5:09 PM

There is no one else running. Both parties are corrupt. That's why Donald Trump (an outsider) was elected.

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#150
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Re: Global Warming - What Can We Do or Should We Do?

04/28/2018 11:00 AM

I just had a discussion yesterday about why Trump was elected. If you remember the prediction just before the election, it looked like Clinton was a shoe in. Why didn't she win?

I believe many people are sick and tired of how DC is running things, but they won't stand up and say they support Trump. When it came time to vote, they punched Trump. Secretly, they like what he has to say, but they don't want to be judged as one of his supporters.

As the Baby Boomers get pinched with no pensions, higher taxes, failing 401k's, threats of less Social Security and Medicare, I believe they won't stand for it. Also, we need to do the right thing, which is to leave the next generation in a better place. This is why I see more like Trump gaining power. The statue quo will be gone.

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#149
In reply to #13

Re: Global Warming - What Can We Do or Should We Do?

04/28/2018 10:48 AM

Sounds good, but how can it be done?

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#18

Re: Global Warming - What Can We Do or Should We Do?

04/22/2018 4:08 PM

Not only can we change things, the US is already changing.

The cost of wind and solar energy are now below the cost of fossil fuels. In most of the US people save a lot of money in the long run if they installed solar panels instead of paying their local utility for energy. If they install batteries too they can go off the grid entirely. In a lot of areas they can get the savings immediately, because installation often requires no down payment, just a reduction in monthly bills until it is paid off. Once you have solar panels, having an electric vehicle becomes a no-brainer, as fuel for it becomes essentially free. For the moment, some governments are trying to protect fossil fuels and expensive utilities by making it difficult to switch to solar, but that can't last very much longer.

Even during this great expansion of the economy for the past 8 years, CO2 emissions in the US have not gone up, which is quite unusual for an expansion like this. So if people do what is best for themselves financially, CO2 emissions will keep dropping. As they drop, many other things go down too. Oil spills, mercury from coal, refinery explosions, railroad tanker car explosions, wars over oil, perhaps even terrorism. And other things rise dramatically, such as jobs in the solar energy sector, which are already far above the number of jobs in the fossil fuel energy production sector.

Notice that none of these things have anything to do with global warming.

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#38
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Re: Global Warming - What Can We Do or Should We Do?

04/22/2018 11:50 PM

Have you even priced the installed cost of a pv system? Well I have and the're not cheap...Remember you don't just buy the panels, you need them installed, and you need the inverter and battery banks, charge controller, disconnects, special electric meters, wiring, for a 20kw system you can spend 70k easy...I don't expect to use that much electricity in a lifetime....and I suspect the system will need replacing before that...Quotes are around $3.57 a watt installed...I'll stick with FP&L @ .00007 cents a watt....Forget the tax credit, useless for most people..

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#42
In reply to #38

Re: Global Warming - What Can We Do or Should We Do?

04/23/2018 12:24 AM

I don't know how much you pay per month, but if you paid $150 per month, you'd pay $1800 per year, and you would take about 39 years to pay $70,000. A long time, but not an average lifetime. If you were pricing a 20KW system I suspect you pay a lot more than $150 per month. Most systems in CA are about 6 KW. I'm guessing that FPL is Florida Power and Light, so I expect you live in FL.

Here are estimates from EnergySage for California. Others are typical. These include a 30% Federal credit for installing solar energy, which I'm assuming would also apply in Florida. Please correct me where I'm wrong.

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#151
In reply to #18

Re: Global Warming - What Can We Do or Should We Do?

04/28/2018 11:13 AM

On a personal level, let's say that you and everyone in a one mile radius changed to solar power, would it make a difference regarding GW?

The problem is too large for any of us to do anything about.

Also, the tax credit for putting solar panels on your home is just shifting money. You just shifted a portion of the cost burden to our government, which is us collectively.

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#20

Re: Global Warming - What Can We Do or Should We Do?

04/22/2018 4:50 PM

I have remained quiet about this debate, but now I will express my thoughts. Yes, the earth's climate has been warming, as it has been since the end of the last ice age. Now, the debate is whether or not this latest warming trend is due, at least in part, to human activity. Yet this debate seems to ignore the "elephant in the room", the exponential growth of the human population. I believe that our population is reaching, if it has not already reached, the carrying capacity of this planet.

For the last few hundred years, technology has allowed this rapid growth, but this has required an equal growth in our energy expenditure. This energy, for the most part, has come from the exploitation of readily available fossil carbon with the accompanying degradation of our environment. Have we reached the limit?

In the past, when a local environment became unlivable, either from human activity or some natural cause, the population simply migrated to a better environment. Today, this is impossible! We build walls to keep other people out of our domaine.

Given our inbuilt biological, and universal cultural imperative to reproduce, can technology or politics solve this dilemma?

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#22
In reply to #20

Re: Global Warming - What Can We Do or Should We Do?

04/22/2018 5:04 PM

GA!

I've mentioned your point in other blogs, but not yet in this one.

If technology and/or politics (and I must add religion) don't solve the problem, then nature will, sooner or later. Any way I can conceive of a solution, it won't be pretty!

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#24
In reply to #20

Re: Global Warming - What Can We Do or Should We Do?

04/22/2018 5:41 PM

Thanks for making this point. Yes, population pressure is the crucial factor. I don't see any way that we can reduce that with politics or technology, but the constant risk of a global epidemic might take care of it for us.

However, if you don't mind I'd like to correct a common error. The climate warming leveled off around 9000 to 5000 years ago, and has been cooling ever since. Until now.

Here's an entertaining graphic to illustrate it:

https://www.vox.com/2016/9/12/12891814/climate-change-xkcd-graphic

And here's the data from NOAA for the the past 12,000 years.

https://www.climate.gov/sites/default/files/styles/inline_all/public/marcott2-13_11k-graph-610.gif?itok=HrOTBQaE

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#28
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Re: Global Warming - What Can We Do or Should We Do?

04/22/2018 6:54 PM

That tells me that if we stop burning fossil fuel we will enter another ice age, and north America and Europe will be covered by a 1000 feet of ice again. Mexico will have to build a wall to keep us gringos out.

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#33
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Re: Global Warming - What Can We Do or Should We Do?

04/22/2018 7:25 PM

Could be.

Also could be that too much meltwater from Greenland could shut down the AMOC, Atlantic Meridional overturning circulation. Then whether or not we have an ice age, it could get very cold in Northern Europe and North America.

Recent research says that it has slowed down to a 1000 year low:

https://www.npr.org/2018/04/13/602240020/atlantic-ocean-current-slows-down-to-1-000-year-low-studies-show

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#30
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Re: Global Warming - What Can We Do or Should We Do?

04/22/2018 7:05 PM

Great cartoon

Just received my weekly dose of AGU pubs and there is one detailing an estimate of the solar input at the surface

<https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1002/2017EA000357>

Figure 14 on page 15 may be a good summary of the solar irradiance since 920 CE.

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#90
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Re: Global Warming - What Can We Do or Should We Do?

04/24/2018 10:38 AM

1362 Watt/m2.

There ya go!

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#94
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Re: Global Warming - What Can We Do or Should We Do?

04/24/2018 11:20 AM

I looked at/studied that link at least twice, but I still don't know who/what AGU is.

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#112
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Re: Global Warming - What Can We Do or Should We Do?

04/25/2018 9:03 AM
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#40
In reply to #20

Re: Global Warming - What Can We Do or Should We Do?

04/23/2018 12:00 AM

You have hit the nail on the head, exactly.

Most of the ills we are facing could be at the doorstep of over population, especially from so called 'Developing' countries.

The lesser the number of people, the lesser the energy requirement and hence consumption.

But all said and done, what are we able to do with the bombardment of radiation from sun ? Should it not be addressed pronto ?

Will it at all be possible to place an umbrella of sorts over the land area at least to prevent or reflect back the sun's energy into the space ?

Reduce Carbon emissions, CFCs, etc, is Okay, but will it make a dent to the Global warming ?

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#58
In reply to #20

Re: Global Warming - What Can We Do or Should We Do?

04/23/2018 9:35 AM

Well you are absolutely correct about the population of our "space ship". Mankind has created a problem and mankind will need to correct it. One way is to not do anything and continue on the same path and eventually cease to exist. Our ship is self correcting so at some point (a looooong time) it will go back to where it was before humans screwed it up. The other is to DO something to correct the situation. It will require worldwide political solutions, which will create technology and "controls", that can change the direction. Until that happens we each have to do our part to the best of our abilities. We are so far down the path now that Earth will be living with the mess we've made for many centuries.

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#67
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Re: Global Warming - What Can We Do or Should We Do?

04/23/2018 12:06 PM

Do something! Let's be brutal! Given that there is too much population, Let's get it under control by having families have an average of 2 children per female. That means, of course, that some will have zero, and some will have many more. But, if we average 2 live births per female, not all will reach child-bearing age and the population will slowly decline. Want it to decline faster? Then more drastic measures are needed. Stop with all the safety devices (seat belts, air bags, helmets for motorcyclists, etc), and stop with life preserving medical interventions (stents, transplants, etc.)

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#68
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Re: Global Warming - What Can We Do or Should We Do?

04/23/2018 12:17 PM

Seeing as how my above suggestion will likely not get traction, another method is to reduce the amount of CO2 going into the atmosphere. One way to do this is to reduce/eliminate combustion processes. One way to do this is by utilizing the vast energy that can be obtained by nuclear processes. The thermal nuclear processes that are so commonly used now would do the trick; however, fast nuclear processes are tremendously better--less waste, waste not as radioactive, etc, etc.

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#203
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Re: Global Warming - What Can We Do or Should We Do?

05/02/2018 7:41 AM

I agree with your analysis of nuclear as a power source, but I am concerned about your draconian solutions of limiting children, CO2, medical procedures, et. al.

History has repeatedly shown that to be able to do all of what you opine would require a very powerful centralized government that believes they are the masters of society and that everyone must adhere to their desires/dictates. This is what the whole GW alarmism is about, world wide domination and control (see my earlier post). It is a dystopian future that you would create for reasons that would never be addressed, but worsened. The word Gulag comes to mind, as this is the result of unopposed government dictates.

The fact that the greatest pollution issues occurs when government is in charge needs to be a major concern here. A good example here is the increase in wild fires, since the BLM has decided (wrongfully) to prohibit the cleaning of old growth and using controlled burns to manage forest growth (something the Indians did). The take over of puddles (casual water) and drainage ditches under the Navigable Waters Act. And of course the Chernobyl debacle. Woe will betide you, should your statements become reality.

It all about control. Research Law of Commons, which, briefly states that people don't dump on their own property, it is an asset. They dump in areas that no one owns and the government is the biggest polluter of all. Private property is one, but necessary, answer as financially responsible people are not going to reduce the value of an asset, at least not the sane ones.

In closing, technology is the another necessary solution. Look at how far it has taken us in the last 75 years, at this rate the next 75 will be amazing. Fossil fuels will be replaced by other cheaper sources, just as automobiles replaced horses. This MUST come naturally and not through the force of government as none of us is as smart as all of us.

Thanks for listening.

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#69
In reply to #58

Re: Global Warming - What Can We Do or Should We Do?

04/23/2018 12:17 PM

What is the problem?

Could you explain what problems we have? There are none. No weather, no ocean rise, no CO2 problem, more CO2 provides more tree and food growth.

The only problem I see is the government, the UN, the EU, the rich and their agenda 21 / 2030.

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#152
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Re: Global Warming - What Can We Do or Should We Do?

04/28/2018 11:22 AM

Agreed, overpopulation is a cause of the problem, but what can you, personally do to reduce the world overpopulation problem?

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#161
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Re: Global Warming - What Can We Do or Should We Do?

04/28/2018 1:21 PM

We (my wife and I) thought the world was over populated 50 years ago, and elected to have no children.

I can imagine all sorts of sarcastic answers...

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#21

Re: Global Warming - What Can We Do or Should We Do?

04/22/2018 4:50 PM

I personally cut my use of gasoline by 50%, my electricity by 25%, and I recycle as much material as I can. It matters, and voting matters too!

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#153
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Re: Global Warming - What Can We Do or Should We Do?

04/28/2018 11:28 AM

I thank you for being a responsible person. My question to you is what effect does this have on the worldwide GW problem? It matters to you, personally, however it does nothing to solve the problem.

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#162
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Re: Global Warming - What Can We Do or Should We Do?

04/28/2018 1:37 PM

WRONG! Although any one individual is an extremely small part of the problem or of the solution, millions of small contributions do indeed add up to something significant.

I'm not 100% convinced about anthropomorphic CC or GW, but it is just logical to use a minimum of resources in order to leave as much as possible for future humankind (and also for other plants and animals).

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#197
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Re: Global Warming - What Can We Do or Should We Do?

05/02/2018 4:58 AM

I think it'll take billions of people successfully lowering their CO2 footprint to make a difference, however let's use your statement about millions. Remember that my post is about what you can do personally, so my point is that the amount of CO2 you produce doesn't make a difference in the global problem. Unless you have the power to change millions of people's CO2 emissions, then you're only contribution is what you, your family and your circle of friends can do. In the whole scheme of things, it's not going to make a difference.

I'm not trying to put you down, but this is fact.

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#25

Re: Global Warming - What Can We Do or Should We Do?

04/22/2018 5:44 PM

Here's what I have done personally:

1. Sold my 6-cylinder mini-van and bought a 4-cylinder car to save gasoline.

2. Changed from incandescent light bulbs to fluorescent, and now switching to LED bulbs.

3. Used thermometers, then turned down the refrigerator and freezer thermostats to optimum.

4. Painted my moderately sized house to white to reflect heat to save on air conditioner power.

5. Built a roof over my deck to shade the patio door for reduced air conditioning.

6. Planted a grape vine and trees to shade the house.

7. Planted a garden for several years to save shipping costs of food.

8. Cut my consumption of meat (especially beef). (Cows produce methane and have other ecological problems.)

9. Used Pepto-Bismol or equivalent when necessary to curb my own methane production.

10. Retired, so as to stop driving to work.

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#26
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Re: Global Warming - What Can We Do or Should We Do?

04/22/2018 6:19 PM

Kudos on 9 and 10. I wish I could retire, to save commuting, but I've the next best thing. I retired from one career and started a new career, with a very short commute. More about 9 below.

I rent, so the things you do for your house are not options for me. I don't have to install solar panels because my landlord already did that and I don't have a separate electricity bill. Note that people who rent still have the option of having solar panels installed somewhere else, maybe miles away, because it doesn't matter where the solar power feeds into the grid, you still get the credit. Of course if you want to go off the grid the panels have to be close enough to connect to your house directly.

Here's what I've done, starting years ago:

1. Reduce red meat consumption by more than 90%, which is also good for my health.

2. Bought a hybrid car.

3. I drive much more slowly (except when I need to get somewhere fast). In a hybrid car, that dramatically improves gas economy. In any ICE car best efficiency is around 50 - 60, but in a hybrid car, the slower the better. My fuel economy is highest in the worst traffic. I might get 80 - 90 mpg while moving 5 - 10 mph. Sitting at a stoplight the motor turns off entirely, and now some ICE cars do that too.

4. Switch to fluorescent and LED bulbs.

5. I moved closer to work (actually I moved work closer to me), with a 10 minute commute in good traffic, and 20 in the worst.

6. Grow a lot of my food in my garden. That's also good for my health, both the gardening part and the eating part. I get organic food for cheap. I grow a fair crop of organic ground squirrels and gophers, but those are only for show, not consumption. I put all of the weeds and other inedible organic matter from the garden into compost, so there is some additional carbon that is sequestered.

7. Dry my laundry on a line when it is warm out. It reduces energy for drying and my clothes last a lot longer that way, especially anything with elastic waistbands.

8. I use a Mexican herb called epazote in the appropriate foods to reduce my own personal emissions.

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#29
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Re: Global Warming - What Can We Do or Should We Do?

04/22/2018 6:56 PM

Regarding your #3: I always assumed that the regulators knew what they were doing when they enforced the 55mph speed limit "to save fuel". At that time I didn't have access to a vehicle with continuous milage indication. I do now, and have made careful observations: my mileage is at least as good at 65mph as it is at 55mph.

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#31
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Re: Global Warming - What Can We Do or Should We Do?

04/22/2018 7:08 PM

That sounds pretty good. Since the resistance at those speeds is mainly due to air resistance, perhaps your car is very streamlined. I'm sure air resistance is one of the easiest things to improve in fuel economy, so I'm sure all most have improved in that regard. I wonder if that means that the optimal speed has increased overall.

Have you done any actual measurements to determine your fuel economy or have you done it mainly by looking at your mileage meter at different speeds?

In my own case, I know that my fuel economy drops exponentially above 55, even though my car has a relatively low resistance.

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#35
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Re: Global Warming - What Can We Do or Should We Do?

04/22/2018 11:18 PM

I've done both. I try to keep a log of all the fuel I buy, and the mileage at each purchase. Although my wife has her own almost identical car, once in a while she uses mine (2 years newer), and if she buys fuel, I can't get her to keep the record, so there are a couple of gaps. My calculations of average mileage based on those figures agree quite well with those indicated by the car's computer.

FWIW, they are both diesel VW Passats. My first one was a 2014 (before the fiasco, and therefore before the "Fix"). Since I live at 2100 ft altitude, and have to go frequently down to a few feet above sea level (the lowest point on the freeway between here and downtown Sacramento is 12 ft AMSL [Above Mean Sea Level], according to Google Earth), all the climbing reduces my mileage from that which a 'flatlander' might get.

In that 2014, my average mileage was 42 mpg, while on trips I got close to 47. My best mileage was 52 mpg, while driving right around 65 mph next to and just behind the front of a semi-truck in the next lane. I don't have the nerve/guts/ignorance to actually draft behind a truck.

Due to the smog thing, VW bought back my 2014, and sold me a modified 2015. As expected, the smog modification did lower the fuel economy, but not as much as I feared, and I don't notice any change in performance. The 2015 is now getting just under 40 mpg average, so the modification only lost about 2 mpg (I feared closer to 5). Checking on this made me realize that I haven't taken any long trips in the 2015, other than a trip to Oregon to see the eclipse last summer, and that one had poor mileage (just under 35 mpg), because it involved a LOT of driving in the mountains, much of it on dirt/gravel roads.

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#43
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Re: Global Warming - What Can We Do or Should We Do?

04/23/2018 12:28 AM

In normal driving when I'm not being careful I get about 44 mpg. If I'm being slower and driving about 55-60, I get 49-50 mpg. If I get really careful and coast a lot I get over 55.

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#32
In reply to #25

Re: Global Warming - What Can We Do or Should We Do?

04/22/2018 7:18 PM

"10. Retired, so as to stop driving to work."

But how many people have to drive to work to support you ( and me too) in your retirement. Much of the money that you receive from Social Security comes from today's worker's contributions, and the returns from your investments comes from the growth of the economy

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#34
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Re: Global Warming - What Can We Do or Should We Do?

04/22/2018 8:12 PM

Do you have any idea how many people have to drive to work every day to pay Congress' social security, retirement, medical, and other benefits when they retire?

The return on their investments most likely comes from insider trading.

The system is not designed to benefit the unwashed masses.

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#154
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Re: Global Warming - What Can We Do or Should We Do?

04/28/2018 11:37 AM

You are a good steward to mother Earth. My post is about what can you do to solve the GW problem? You can be 100% efficient and leave a 0 carbon footprint, but your part is minute in the whole scheme of things.

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#37

Re: Global Warming - What Can We Do or Should We Do?

04/22/2018 11:43 PM

Watch how quickly humans are changing the planet in these animations of NASA satellite images

The maps also illustrate sociological patterns — like what countries refugees are fleeing to.

coral bleaching

timelapse

Maybe it's just me.

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#49
In reply to #37

Re: Global Warming - What Can We Do or Should We Do?

04/23/2018 6:24 AM

Oh cartoons and predictions! Its ok for the gullible!

Else its fear-mongering based in visual material!

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#50
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Re: Global Warming - What Can We Do or Should We Do?

04/23/2018 7:00 AM

Back in the 80's I've heard about this, with the paper mills started moving or expanding in the southwest that it won't be longer, the refugees will be internal.

30 years ago, when the paper mills moving from the great lakes (Water supply to make paper), down south because of the climate that was inducive to softwood growth. And the water supply was somewhat solved.

With the added tree plantations in the southwest, the humidity would rise, as well as the heat.

I was going to add the difference of hardwood and softwood pulp there is a difference of the properties of paper, but that would really be a drift on the topic.

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#39

Re: Global Warming - What Can We Do or Should We Do?

04/22/2018 11:53 PM

The following is without doubt and no one in this forum would argue with these facts:

Fact 1. The CO2 concentration in the atmosphere is rising. It now sits at around 400 parts per million (or 0.04%).

Fact 2. Average recorded temperatures appear to be rising.

I deliberately said "recorded" because some people assert that this rise may be attributed to increased urbanisation around the temperature monitoring sites rather than an actual average temperature rise of the atmosphere.

I have a number of concerns about the posit that man-made CO2 is causing the rise in atmospheric CO2 and the further hypothesis this rise is causing an average temperature rise in the earth's atmosphere. There is no doubt man-kind is emitting a lot more CO2 now than it did in the 1800's but, if some are to be believed, this amount still is only around 3% of the total CO2 being emitted to the atmosphere. To put that into perspective 12 parts of the 400 parts per million of CO2 in the atmosphere comes from mankind. 388 parts comes from nature. My experience with biospheres tells me it is highly unlikely the earth's biosphere is being overwhelmed by the addition of a mere 12 parts of CO2 to the overall mix. It is therefore possible the rise is due to natural causes.

Man's knowledge of the biosphere has come ahead markedly thanks to satellites and improved sensors. When I was growing up I was told the Amazon was the lungs of the world. Now satellite borne sensors tell us a different story. Most of the oxygen in the earth's atmosphere comes from the algal blooms in the sea. If we have gotten something as fundamental as this wrong for the last 200 years, what else do we not know about?!

My concern with all of the global warming controversy is that it is diverting our attention away from a really pressing problem and that is human over-population which is potentially leading to massive illegal immigration. This in turn will destabilise the world and even possibly put it back many years in terms of civilisation. The fact is that if this world had half the number of people it presently has, there would be far less pollution. Some readers will object to this saying, "Who will agree first to limit their population growth?". Well, the fact is most advanced European countries and affluent countries like Japan and Australia have negative population growth. Indeed, like Australia, these countries are only expanding as a result of immigration from poorer countries. The way therefore to reduce the world's population growth and eventually the world's population is to increase the affluence of all people and particularly focus on increasing the status of women in third world countries. To suggest this seems counter-intuitive because with affluence will potentially come increased per capita pollution but that is indeed the case. If the world continues on its present course with respect to population growth it does not auger well for any of us.

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#44
In reply to #39

Re: Global Warming - What Can We Do or Should We Do?

04/23/2018 12:57 AM

"There is no doubt man-kind is emitting a lot more CO2 now than it did in the 1800's but, if some are to be believed, this amount still is only around 3% of the total CO2 being emitted to the atmosphere. To put that into perspective 12 parts of the 400 parts per million of CO2 in the atmosphere comes from mankind. 388 parts comes from nature. My experience with biospheres tells me it is highly unlikely the earth's biosphere is being overwhelmed by the addition of a mere 12 parts of CO2 to the overall mix."

I don't know where you got those numbers, but you may be confusing the amount of CO2 released per year with the amount that has accumulated in the atmosphere. The amount of CO2 in the atmosphere has increased about 30% since 1950, from 310 to 411, and it was clearly already rising before that. While nature releases and absorbs a very large amount every year, that does not result in an increase in the concentration. The increase is due to human activity.

From NASA:

"Ancient air bubbles trapped in ice enable us to step back in time and see what Earth's atmosphere, and climate, were like in the distant past. They tell us that levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere are higher than they have been at any time in the past 400,000 years. During ice ages, CO2 levels were around 200 parts per million (ppm), and during the warmer interglacial periods, they hovered around 280 ppm (see fluctuations in the graph). In 2013, CO2 levels surpassed 400 ppm for the first time in recorded history. This recent relentless rise in CO2 shows a remarkably constant relationship with fossil-fuel burning, and can be well accounted for based on the simple premise that about 60 percent of fossil-fuel emissions stay in the air."

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#225
In reply to #44

Re: Global Warming - What Can We Do or Should We Do?

11/01/2018 10:13 AM

Highest in recorded history? When did they start recording, since Michael Mann with the IPPC? Both along with the East Anglia University Study have been proven liars, just look at their emails. This is a cherry picking of data, which is why most people here understand that the GW issue is bogus. There is not correlation between CO2 and temperature let alone a causation. Historically, before 1800 CO2 level were much higher, with very little Temp change. 50 million years ago the CO2 level was over a 1000ppm with avg. temp =22C and even higher 350 (3000ppm) to 550 million years ago (7000ppm see link below). In 1880 13.9C and today 14.7C with 400ppm. Focusing in on smaller time differences only produces noise any data being derived is useless except for an ideology. So, no matter how far you go back, the CO2 levels were much more with lesser temps. During the 1880 to present time many of the greatest changes in temp (0.4C) occurred in less than 5 years (1918-1923 for one) with very little change in CO2. What was that about CO2 levels directly proportional to global temperature?

That there is a causation is only believable by the gullible great uneducated masses, who are seen only as voters by those who want to replace the American Republic and free thinking people with democracy - first, then with the socialist New World Order, which is the end game. If you have children you would know that's why we don't believe their lies and propaganda. If you do, think about moving to Europe, they like that kind of stuff.

Conclusion: You are not serving the planet reacting to CO2 hysteria, leave the world alone and live your life as YOU see fit, not what the IPCC agenda wants to dictate. The earth will be here long after all of us. Worry about the higher fatality probabilities of the earth being hit by an asteroid or visited by aliens, at least that is possible.

https://papundits.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/historical-co2-levels.jpg

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#226
In reply to #225

Re: Global Warming - What Can We Do or Should We Do?

11/01/2018 10:32 AM

The media has always been "used" to keep the truth from the voters. The truth being that "democracy",(majority rules) is NOT who we are, we are a Republic. Our Republic is being "swiped" .

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#230
In reply to #225

Re: Global Warming - What Can We Do or Should We Do?

11/01/2018 4:23 PM

The East Anglia scandal has been investigated multiple times, and no actual wrongdoing has been found. However, you will still find a lot of fossil fuel sites that claim that this single incident of bad judgment disproves the work of many thousands of climate scientists, and all their work.

Your data is not correct. Gas bubbles in the Arctic have shown that the percentage of CO2 in the atmosphere has been below 280 ppm for hundreds of thousands of years. Here is a graph from NASA based on analysis of bubbles from the arctic.

https://climate.nasa.gov/climate_resources/24/graphic-the-relentless-rise-of-carbon-dioxide/

Talking about CO2 from 50 million years ago does not apply to the current situation, and it doesn't even mention the speed at which the CO2 is increasing right now.

Of course the real problem is not the mere technical details about CO2 and warming and such. The real problem is what you said about the New World Order and all that. The problem is that the people who profit from fossil fuels want to scare you into thinking that admitting the problem exists automatically results in solutions that are terrifying, like the New World Order bogeyman. The solutions don't have to be terrifying, and they don't have to result in loss of freedom, but they will almost certainly result in loss of profits by certain people. THEY are the ones who are terrified, and who will resist the truth at all costs.

You go ahead and believe whatever propaganda you want to believe, and I'll go ahead and believe the data.

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#251
In reply to #230

Re: Global Warming - What Can We Do or Should We Do?

11/07/2018 11:07 PM

And the "data" shows that YOU are the one to reveal who these "certain people" are so the rest of us can bombard them with e-mails.

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