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90% Sure Global Warming is Man-made

02/01/2007 5:55 PM

Per this article in the Houston Chronicle, scientists now consider it "very-likely" (90% certain) that global warming is man made.

"There's no question that the powerful language is intimately linked to the more powerful science," said one of the study's many co-authors, Andrew Weaver of the University of Victoria, who spoke by phone from Canada. He said the report was based on science that is rock-solid, peer-reviewed, conservative and consensus: "It's very conservative. Scientists by their nature are skeptics."

A. Suppose all these scientist are right, and we fail to take action, continuing (in the US) to buy 15 F150 pickups for every Prius sold, etc. What would the risks be?

B. Suppose we take conservation actions, but the scientists are wrong. What would the risks be?

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#1

Re: 90% sure Global Warming is man made

02/01/2007 6:30 PM

It's a trick question, right?

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#54
In reply to #1

Re: 90% sure Global Warming is man made

02/03/2007 12:56 PM

Global warming has been occuring for about 10,000 years, since thee last ice age.

Some scientests are 90% certain that global warming is caused by mans activities, primarily the burning of fossil fuels.

Where is the evidence that man was burning fossil fuels 10,000 years ago?

Life has always had to adapt to a changing environment, or perish. That is just the way it is!

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#2

Re: 90% sure Global Warming is man made

02/01/2007 6:31 PM

This article is a bunch of fluff

Where's the evidence that these "scientists" have such a strong concensus about?

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#10
In reply to #2

Re: 90% sure Global Warming is man made

02/02/2007 11:48 AM

Of course the article is fluff -- it is in a general distribution newspaper!

I would have hoped that the answer to your question would be obvious: you need to read the IPCC report. If you need some preparation for doing so, then read the Wikipedia articles.

An aside: I reread the Houston Chronicle article for which I created the link. It changed fairly dramatically from its original version. Same author, same date, same basic content, but sentences and paragraphs rearranged. Even the headline changed a little. I was not aware that this happened in the large papers -- that an article would be released and then edited after release --- seems really bizarre.

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#3

Re: 90% sure Global Warming is man made

02/01/2007 7:06 PM

A - Wide-spread death and destruction, etc, etc (bad).

B - A better world, but with a lot of unhappy accountants (who cares).

Simple answers to a very complicated and difficult topic.

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#4

Re: 90% sure Global Warming is man made

02/01/2007 9:05 PM

Where can we view the report referenced in the article, or would it be much to complicated and detailed to be much benefit for anyone who wasn't involved in writing it?

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#5
In reply to #4

Re: 90% sure Global Warming is man made

02/02/2007 1:49 AM

The IPCC reports are not too detailied and complicated to be of benefit. The previous reports are available on the IPCC site, and this one will be too -- I assume soon. m

I think one of the best summaries on the topic of global warming is available in the old standby, Wikipedia. Because all articles in Wikipedia are subject to editing by anyone, they tend to be well-balanced -- probably more so than virtually anywhere else.

If you read the Wikipedia article here, and then follow the links from the article, you'll have a good basis for making an informed decision re the relevance of this topic to you and your family.

The IPCC reports are certainly more detailed than the Wikipedia articles, but they are very readable, if the third report can be taken as an guide. I am sure you'd have no trouble getting through the fourth report.

On the other hand, if you have a life, and don't want to spend hour after hour reading about this stuff, then I'd suggest the briefer summary of climate change opinion available on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_opinion_on_climate_change

I notice one of the republican/oil interest lobbying groups is offering scientists $10,000 to discredit the IPCC report, so it you read up on this stuff, and find problems, you could make some money.

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#101
In reply to #5

Re: 90% sure Global Warming is man made

02/04/2007 10:40 PM

My understanding is that this first reporting of the scientific conference is essentially a "political" document. None of the actual scientific results/opinions will be reported out before March at the earliest.

This quote bears that out.

"At its Eighteenth Session in September 2001 the Panel decided to continue to prepare comprehensive assessment reports. At further sessions the Panel agreed that the Fourth Assessment Report would be completed in 2007, that the Working Group reports would be sequenced such that the Working Group I report would be finalised during the first quarter of 2007, Working Group II and Working Group III reports in mid-2007 and that the AR4 Synthesis Report (SYR) would be finalised during the last quarter of 2007."

No one doubts that the world is in a warming phase, as it has bee more or less since the end of the last ice age. That man is now contributing to this warming seems generally accepted. That recent warming trends have accelerated is also generally accepted. Ditto for the fact that the climate has always been changing in one direction or the other, and that the last few hundred years have been a period of relatively benign climate for most of the inhabited world. At this point, seems to be where the debate, such as it exists, begins, in terms of how big is mankind's contribution overall, and the most contentious points of what should we do about it (if anything), given that the large scale burning of fossil fuels will start declining within a few decades, that many effects of warming are self compensating to one degree or another, that any efforts we can make will have a minimal effect overall in the longer term climate, etc.

On the other hand, there could be "tipping points" where positive feedback mechanisms kick in at a certain point and cause relatively large and sudden climate changes, either towards a tropical model, or possibly towards another ice age. We simply do not know with any degree of certainty what caused past climate swings.The best we have been able to do is establish that short term (a few years to a few decades) have apparently been caused by volcanic activity, and we have established many correlations of longer term climate changes to a variety of factors, but unlike with volcanic activity, we have not determined causation ... only correlation, (and with a substantial error margin in terms of trying to establish causation). There is some "evidence" that the sun's output varies over the long term, as well as the short term variations we are aware of.

One of the biggest fears of global warming is the inundation of densely populated coastal areas by rising sea levels, yet sea level has been rising long before the onset of "global warming", and a geologic process called isostacy is also involved, besides the melting of the ice caps.

We should not allow ourselves to be panicked into ill conceived "fixes", but I believe we should be accumulating more data, and in the meantime, taking purposeful steps to reduce our impact on the planet in general, including our contribution to "global warming". See the link below for an example of an ill conceived effort:

http://cr4.globalspec.com/thread/5136

Certainly, when you look at the big picture, of our degradation of the environment on a planetary scale, the military and economic importance of energy "independence", the limited amount of fossil fuels and their great value as a raw material as opposed to simply combusting them, plus the global warming scenario it is obvious we should be moving away from our current wasteful, and polluting lifestyles toward a more sustainable model that is friendlier to this planet of ours, and the other lifeforms that share it.

The current global warming debate over what our response should be is a healthy thing, and despite the extremists on either side, there are no simple answers. The debate drives more research into monitoring our environment and climate, along with better understanding the mechanisms behind its changes. This will not only lead to better knowing what to do, but how to best do it.

What most of us can agree on, in the meantime, is that we should be doing something, and more than we are doing now. At the very worst, it is good practice for addressing bigger environmental challenges that lay ahead.

Greg

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#214
In reply to #101

Re: 90% sure Global Warming is man made

05/04/2007 5:12 AM

Hi Greg G. You mentioned a "tipping point"? During the Ordovician age, 443-495 million years ago a very sudden temperature rise occured, in the space of about 25 years the temperature rose by an avarage of 6 degree's C. The evidence for this sudden rise is in a very thin sedimentary layer from that time, and has been recorded on all continents. As to date nobody has fully understood why this sudden increase in temperatue occured, but it wiped out most of the Cambrian life forms, and those that survived moved towards the cooler polar areas of that time. Most geologists subscribe to the belief that it was a period of violent sun activity that caused this to happen. Is this what is happening now? I ask this because I have noticed something lately, this is the fact that solar observers have kept silent over the last two years! This has led me to believing that because oil is running out politicians and oil barons are panicing. I also believe that there is a secret agenda afoot. Spencer.

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#215
In reply to #214

Re: 90% sure Global Warming is man made

05/04/2007 6:03 AM

Hi Scapolie,

Do you have any reference for this? Have you any details of atmospheric conditions at that time?

Humans would be able to deal pretty well with an increase in temperature (at least those who could afford air-con or travel), but high levels (over 3%) of CO2 could wipe us all out.

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#216
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Re: 90% sure Global Warming is man made

05/04/2007 7:21 AM

Hi GM1964, "Your tag looks like something that came out of a genetic modification lab"! As a geologist I go to many lectures and discusions in many differrnt countries and by many different geologists. I went to one such lecture in Birmingham (UK) university last year. The theme was the sudden death of life forms in the Ordovician age, it was given by two renowned geologists, one from Scotland and one from Canada. It has been discovered that the Earths atmosphere in the cambrian age was not unlike ours is at this present time. These two geologists along with many others from around the world had come accross a very thin layer of sediment from the ordovician age that was extremely rich in carbon, methane and helium. This was at the time of the mass extiction of the time between the late Cambrian and the start of the Ordovician age. There was also slight increase in sulphur in this sediment. They also discovered that certain plant life, mosses and algae which are temperature sensitive retreated northwards or southwards, thus indicating a large temperature rise. There also appeared to have been widspread destruction by fire. I will try to find the papers refering to to this lecture and post them as soon as I can. Spencer.

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#217
In reply to #216

Re: 90% sure Global Warming is man made

05/04/2007 7:57 AM

"Your tag looks like something that came out of a genetic modification lab" - just initials & YofB (in case I forget!)

Interesting that Helium was found - I wonder if someone/something was dabbling with nuclear fusion?

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#219
In reply to #216

Re: 90% sure Global Warming is man made

05/04/2007 9:42 AM

"Very thin layer " with "high levels of Helium". Do I need to revise my thoughts on Helium diffusivity? Assuming that there really was a measurable increase in both sulphur and helium, would that point to some sort of geological or asteroid event rather than solar? (Presumably this would need to be unusual in type as well as magnitude if the dust didn't last for long enough for there to be a visible cold trace first?).

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#123
In reply to #5

Re: 90% sure Global Warming is man made

02/05/2007 11:15 AM

Here is a link to the latest report

ADMIN: Removed Resource

The linked article was removed because it is no longer on the host site.

The cost of doing nothing, we increase @ 7 degrees F, the planets been warmer and life survived.

The cost of doing something we increase @ 3 degrees F (the natural part of the cycle) and people like me 6'4" broad framed 235lbs cant find a car that they fit in.

According to the linked article using their confidence intervals we are responsible for 50-97% of the recent increase in temperature. (I personally believe that it is on the lower side of the scale)

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#8
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Re: 90% sure Global Warming is man made

02/02/2007 11:34 AM

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/shared/bsp/hi/pdfs/02_02_07_climatereport.pdf

This is the official summary, only 21 pages.

I read it - it's pretty compelling, in both the length of time studied, and the number of indicators studied.

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#6

Re: 90% Sure Global Warming is Man-made

02/02/2007 10:48 AM

I mean no disrespect to those who believe man is the ultimate devil for the environment. However, I tend to believe the position of the scientist from MIT that said this issue is an agenda driven issue and people like Al Gore are their gods. If you believe everything in the media you would think that ALL scientists believe this. Simply is not so. Like most life issues, people have their own "bent" on things and filter information through it. While I believe global warming is true, I dont believe man is the culprit, or the "evil United States" is either. The media in general tends to drive issues it feels compelled to by the same human "bents" of the journalists. Read any of the scientific literature 100-200 years ago on most any subject and you will soon get the point.

Have a great day

Have a great day

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#7
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Re: 90% Sure Global Warming is Man-made

02/02/2007 11:29 AM

Is your belief based on your review of the science, or is it simply what you've chosen to believe?

If it's based on science, is it based on all the available science, or just the science that supports your belief?

Me personally, I tend to believe that a majority of scientists will be correct a majority of the time. I've seen some of the science, but it's not my field of study. And since I can't think of any really compelling reasons for not wanting to reduce the amount of pollution on the planet, I have no reason not to want to believe the results of this study.

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#13
In reply to #7

Re: 90% Sure Global Warming is Man-made

02/02/2007 1:10 PM

Like many people it is based on some of both. I am as concerned about the environment as much as any average person today. But certainly not fanatical! As a matter of fact the company I own is involved in green technology products. As far as the comment about the majority of scientists being correct a majority of time doesn't make sense to me in the light of history. That is why doctors "PRACTICE' medicine and Lawyers 'PRACTICE" law. Science does nothing but change. If you go back further than the 100-200 years I mentioned you will find a large portion of the then known science has been debunked. The whole idea of global warming is a new one ignited by a Time magazine article. Time will tell in either case.

Just my opinion

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#15
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Re: 90% Sure Global Warming is Man-made

02/02/2007 1:48 PM

The whole idea of global warming is a new one ignited by a Time magazine article.

That the earth is getting warmer is an undeniable, measurable, phenomenon. That humans are changing the composition of the atmosphere is an undeniable, measurable, phenomenon. The only question is "are the two things related?"

Yes, science advances. Science as a discipline didn't really exist before 100 - 200 years ago, so I'm not sure of your point. The fact that doctors 200 years ago prescribed leaches and mercury doesn't mean I shouldn't believe the latest findings in molecular biology.

Some things are known for sure, they've been proven scientifically and that will never change. Other things are merely theoretical and not well understood, and those things change as new evidence and understandings emerge. In the '60s, the idea of continental drift was a radically new, and not well understood, idea. Today it is indisputable fact. 10 years ago, global warming was much less understood than it is today. Ten years from now we will understand it even better. The

So, as someone who's as concerned about the environment as the "average" person, given the results of this report, backed by years of research and scientists in 113 countries, what do you do now? Simply dismiss it? And if so, why?

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#17
In reply to #15

Re: 90% Sure Global Warming is Man-made

02/02/2007 2:16 PM

You really make my point. The tone of your reply shows the emotion of this issue. Emotion is a great driving force for many things but it is one of the most damaging forces when mis-applied in life and the easiest to manipulate. I respectfully disagree that science as a discipline did not exist. It was just not as advanced as today. Science 200 years from now will also look altogether different than today. Global warming caused by us humans is also no better than a theory. I think it is more related to the arrogance of man to think we have that much affect on global warming. Just my opinion. So, I am not so easily empressed by "years" of research in however many countries who have there own axe to grind. There has never been any guarnatees that just because the majority says so it is fact. There was a time when the majority thought the earth was flat among many other examples.Global warmng is an accepted fact. The cause is not and will not be for a long time.

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#19
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Re: 90% Sure Global Warming is Man-made

02/02/2007 2:50 PM

I don't mean to come off as emotional, because this really isn't an emotional issue for me, but I'm extremely curious why someone would not accept the latest scientific evidence about something, even with the known caveat that more information will surely be forthcoming.

Man obviously has had a great effect of the ecosystem of the planet - one need only look to the number of species that are being fished, hunted, and otherwise driven to extinction, the collapse of the coral reefs, the desertification of large areas of China, etc. And the effects of CO2, CH4 and N2O on heat and sunlight are well known and easily tested. So why is it so difficult to accept the notion that, as the report concludes, it is "likely, to very likely" that human activity is warming the planet? What evidence are you basing your opinion on? A distrust of science and the media? A contrary scientific opinion must have contrary scientific evidence, not just a gut feeling about man's arrogance and a world wide anti-American conspiracy.

If the warming of the earth is not being caused by greenhouse gases, and other human activity - then what is the cause? Did the sun get hotter? Has volcanic activity increased? Did the ocean currents change? Surely, if one scientific explanation is wrong, there must be one that's right, right?

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#21
In reply to #19

Re: 90% Sure Global Warming is Man-made

02/02/2007 3:11 PM

You ask some great questions at the end of your reply. The whole point is that NO ONE knows yet. It makes great news and politicians manipulate it to get elected. If I had the time (which I dont) or the inclination (which I dont) I could produce as many articles against as anyone can for. The problem is that when major media tilts in ANY particular direction, the other side does not get exposure. Again, I dont dispute global warming. What I do dispute is the motivation of the many that are so "convinced" without enough difinitive proof. People have been hanged for much less. You dont hear from the other side because MAJOR media outlets chose their position and any other is ignored or ridiculed. By the way, anything that the UN supports about global warming (or most everything else), is good enough reasoning for me to doubt it.

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#22
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Re: 90% Sure Global Warming is Man-made

02/02/2007 3:19 PM

Well, I will agree that anyone who "believes" in global warming (or evolution, or the Big Bang, or whatever) simply because someone told them it's The Truth is no better than someone who "believes" the opposite for the same reason.

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#25
In reply to #21

Re: 90% Sure Global Warming is Man-made

02/02/2007 4:00 PM

Thehanker:

Although you appear have convinced yourself that scientists and science are inconsequential, and that global warming has more to do with media and politics than science, that is simply not the case, any more than the media that controls whether or not F=MA.

Your personal beliefs will have no effect on the causes or effects of global warming. If you cannot or will not do the reading (beyond the major media) then you cannot come to any valid understanding of the science. If you are fundamentally anti-science, then simply say so -- nothing that scientists (or people who value science) say will change your mind -- and you might just as well be having fun at a site less science-and-engineering-focused than this one. Elsewhere, you might come across as a hero, exposing the tyranny of a bunch of smart climatologists saying something that is not readily understood by people who are ignorant of climatology.

But to convince anyone here of your viewpoint, you'll need to at least read the summary (for which the link was provided above) and then address those points in it that do not stand up to scientific scrutiny. Otherwise, you are simply saying "climatologists are just a bunch of smarty-pants scientists, and I don't like 'em".

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#26
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Re: 90% Sure Global Warming is Man-made

02/02/2007 4:47 PM

I have no idea where you get your conclusions from based on my comments. Then again I dont care. I have no problem with science. My problem is with the idiots who claim to be scientists. And If you think media and politics AND MONEY dont drive science,business, and opinons you are very naive indeed. If science is your god then so be it. Can't wait for the NEXT scientific "pet rock" to emerge. As I stated before the company I own is very involved with both green and nano technologies. I just dont agree with your logic

Have a great day anyway. My session here is done.

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#35
In reply to #26

Re: 90% Sure Global Warming is Man-made

02/03/2007 7:34 AM

Hi thehanker. With all this hot air being sent over the net, is there any wonder that global warming is increasing. Seriously though, I have no doubts about the phenomonen of global warming, but that we humans are resposible for it is a very debatable point? During the Ordovician age, 443 to 495 million years ago there was a sudden and steep rise in our planets temperature, which killed off most of the prehistoric Cambrian life forms. Those that survived had emmigrated north and south, to cooler climes. There were no humans about then to distrupt the planets climate. As a geoligist I have been to countless lectures about this prehistoric climate change, and every time, the different lectureres have come up with a different point of view as to why it occured. When the Romans came to Britain, 44bc, they brought with them grape vines, as they found that our climate here was sufficiantly warm enough for them to be cultivated. Then during the mid 1600s we had a mini ice age here in Europe. Now, once again the climate is changing, and to blame it on humans seems to be the answer, no way! Why is it that whenever the world faces a problem these days, the scientists and politicians of the day blame us, the answer is as simple as the thought.......We, the unenlightened peasants, have to obey, anything else is blasphemy! We all know that global warming is taking place, but, is there an agenda afoot that we are unaware of here?

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#100
In reply to #35

Re: 90% Sure Global Warming is Man-made

02/04/2007 9:19 PM

Scapolie, your insights are excellent. The Vikings (Danes) settled Iceland, Greenland, and Vinland (eastern Canada) around 1000 AD. The Vinland settlement did not last long. The Greenland settlement lasted until the climate turned too cold for their food production technology then it was abandoned. Climate change is like the movement of the tectonic plates i.e. we don't normally notice it because it is normally relatively slow, we think the way things are has always been, we prefer stability, we can affect it somewhat, but the technology we have can't even make confident predictions, so we must continue to study / experiment / adapt until our technology is more advanced.

David

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#105
In reply to #100

Re: 90% Sure Global Warming is Man-made

02/05/2007 2:37 AM

"Climate change is like the movement of the tectonic plates i.e. we don't normally notice it because it is normally relatively slow, we think the way things are has always been"

And this is precisely why we are in trouble. This time change is taking place over a few decades as opposed to previous changes that took between a few centuries to hundreds of millennia to take place.

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#204
In reply to #105

Re: 90% Sure Global Warming is Man-made

05/02/2007 4:50 AM

Hi masu. Yes you are right, but as was pointed out the tectonic plate movement is normally very slow. But every now and then one of the plates suddenly lets go and the plate shift is very fast indeed, we call it an Earthquake. Lets face it, nature is very unpredictable and neither you or I or anybody else for that matter has any real knowlege about how our planet, solar system or the universe works. We can only surmise, and mans greatest folly is that man thinks he is the oracle. Science can say one thing one day and the next day say the complete opposite. Politicians on the other hand say whatever suits them as long as it keeps them in a job with plenty of money. Scientists don't really know, politicians lie through their teeth, and I do not listen to either of them. Spencer.

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#112
In reply to #100

Re: 90% Sure Global Warming is Man-made

02/05/2007 6:21 AM

Would you like to clarify the bit about adaptation?

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#170
In reply to #112

Re: 90% Sure Global Warming is Man-made

02/06/2007 10:59 PM

In Greenland, the Inuit adapted to the climate becoming colder but the Danes simply moved back to Iceland, Denmark, or elsewhere. Some people adapt to the movement of the tectonic plates depending on the issue by building sea walls, better construction technology, diverting lava flows, or simply moving away from the problem at least for the time it persists. We have MANY more options on the current warming trend than did the Inuit, Danes, and others during the most recent cooling periods which were 100's rather than 1000's of years ago. Eventually, we might be able to control the climate and tectonic plates more than now or even control the sun, motion of various parts of our solar system, or even construct new planets. For now, we should look for opportunities related to current trends rather than ruin ourselves by doing things that don't make good sense. For instance, using hydrogen as a fuel could do more harm to the ozone layer through leakage / accidents / carelessness than anything done thus far because hydrogen is very light and very reactive. Most of the CO2 being pumped into the air is being taken up by plants on land and in the water. I am for taking care of the environment but not in a panic mode that is unnecessary at best or possibly even harmful.

David

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#171
In reply to #170

Re: 90% Sure Global Warming is Man-made

02/07/2007 12:23 AM

It is a pleasure to read well-thought commentary. Some comments:

"For instance, using hydrogen as a fuel could do more harm to the ozone layer through leakage / accidents / carelessness than anything done thus far because hydrogen is very light and very reactive. ... I am for taking care of the environment but not in a panic mode that is unnecessary at best or possibly even harmful."

You make an excellent point. What is sadly lacking in virtually all of the public literature, and (sadly) most of the scientific literature is a comprehensive systems approach in the suggested problem solving. There is an excellent book which tries to cover many bases: Hard Choices - Climate Change in Canada by Harold Coward and Andrew Weaver. They also provide a nice review of the goals and findings of the 2001 IPCC and some anticipation for the 2007 IPCC (due in March, and a motivation for this exciting thread).

"Most of the CO2 being pumped into the air is being taken up by plants on land and in the water."

This issue is discussed in the aforementioned book (Chapter 5 - Terrestrial Carbon Sinks and Climate Change Mitigation, by Livingston and Kooten). Briefly, somewhere between 25% & 40% of the human-produced CO2 is being captured by vegetation. This could be improved somewhat by revising land-use. Unfortunately, right now we are going in the wrong direction with land use, due to population pressures.

The other major CO2 sink is the oceans, through a combination of plankton activity and chemistry, mostly the latter. In a seminal 1956 paper, Revelle & Seuss showed that there are limits on the amount of CO2 that the oceans can absorb by chemical processes. The reasons for this are discussed in "The Ocean Carbon Cycle", http://www.harvardmagazine.com/on-line/1102198.html. This article also describes the limitations on significant mitigation by plankton activity.

A further warning, especially with regard to the oceans. Humans are prone to linear extrapolations. Mitigation issues, are clearly susceptible to significant non-linear behaviors.

This nonlinearity is why the serious scientists lean to models which can capture some of the nonlinear behavior. They know that their work is far from perfect, but they do their best. Weaver (Chapter 2) does a credible job of trying to explain the care that they take to glean good information from their admittedly less than perfect efforts. Nonetheless, this is the best information that we currently have to deal with a difficult problem, and sensible people will consider it carefully. Weaver also discusses how IPCC 2007 is attempting to deal with some of the identified short-comings of IPCC 2001, especially with regard to modeling.

When cancer is the problem, most of us will consult an Oncologist, even though we understand that Oncology does not provide perfect answers. For me, there seems to be less risk in acting on good, but known imperfect information, than in putting my head in the sand, waiting for perfection.

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#205
In reply to #171

Re: 90% Sure Global Warming is Man-made

05/02/2007 5:06 AM

Hi fwes. I think that you have missed the point. Scientists can say one thing one day and say the complete opposite the next day! Do you really trust what any scientist tells you? It is the same with politicians, do you really trust what any polition tells you? The answer to both questions should be a resounding NO! Spencer.

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#207
In reply to #205

Re: 90% Sure Global Warming is Man-made

05/02/2007 11:04 AM


"Scientists can say one thing one day and say the complete opposite the next day!"

Global Warming science is only recently developing, and in the process of the more recent scrutiny, there has been both an explosion of new information, some literally buried for thousands (millions) of years, and new scientific insights. A consequence of this scrutiny is some evolution of thought and the formation of a broad consensus on the main issues (compare the last two IPCC reports, http://www.ipcc.ch/). The discussion of issues is clouded by nay-sayers dredging up outdated results, and in some cases making blatantly false statements with the pompous aire of presumed authority. While the media statements are approximately 50-50 on global warming, the REFEREEd scientific literature is nearly 100% in agreement on the main issues.

I ask you: If you were diagnosed with cancer, would you refuse the advise of an oncologist, because there continues to be some controversy in the scientific literature, and in some case changes in preferred care in the past several years?

I dare say, prudent people will take the best advice they can get, when the stakes are high. Flippant comments reflect a lack of understanding or a dismissal of the gravity of the situation. Based on the IPCC studies, the consequences of allowing global warming to go unchecked are likely ( >95%) to be devastating to a large portion of the world's population, especially those in coastal areas. If the solution involved military action, we would barge into action with far less evidence. But alas, the suggested solutions are far less exciting, so we languish in indecision.

That is you choice, but I take offense at your resorting to character assassination of scientists, in order to dismiss the evidence that you are unwilling to evaluate on its merits.

"I have more respect for people who change their views after acquiring new information than for those who cling to views they held thirty years ago. The world changes. Ideologues and zealots don't." - Michael Crichton

"When my information changes, I change my opinion.
What do you do, Sir?" - John Maynard Keynes

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#229
In reply to #207

Re: 90% Sure Global Warming is Man-made

05/21/2007 5:00 AM

Hi fwes. A few days ago there was an artical in the newspapers here in the UK about a man who was diagnosed by no less than three doctors with having cancer, he was given twelve months to live at the best. So he sold everything, stopped paying his mortgage and embarked on the high life so that he could enjoy whatever time he had left. Surprise, surprise, he has now been told it was all a big mistake (by three different doctors) and has now had his house taken from him. He has no money, lost his home and is at his wits end. So my answer to your question is NO! Spencer.

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#231
In reply to #229

Re: 90% Sure Global Warming is Man-made

05/21/2007 10:27 AM

Spencer,

Thanks for yor comment.

Experts are not "gods", they are human and subject to occasional error. Even so, I believe that the best strategy is to go with the odds, and in most cases, the best odds come with consulting the best information available, not in throwing out all information because occasional errors may be found.

There are other approaches to life, which include willful ignorance. If that is your choice, then I suggest that you consider comment 208 by Blink.

Most of us only get to go around once, so playing the odds does not guarentee the expected performance. However, going against the odds leads us to even lower expectations.

The fellow in your example seems to have been seeking an excuse to do something irrational. That approach is rarely prudent.

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#208
In reply to #205

Re: 90% Sure Global Warming is Man-made

05/02/2007 11:37 AM

Hi Spencer:

I think you'll find that arguing in favor of profound ignorance is a tough argument to win. Although people shouldn't weigh the merit of an argument on the characteristics of the person making the argument, human nature often causes people to do just that. So, when you argue in favor of ignorance over science, then people will assume you are ignorant* -- which erodes your argument. Circuitous isn't it?

*otherwise, why would you be making the argument.

BTW, I am not using the word "ignorant" to mean stupid, but instead in it's more literal sense: if you "ignore" you become ignorant. One who ignores science is, de facto, ignorant re science.

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#209
In reply to #205

Re: 90% Sure Global Warming is Man-made

05/02/2007 11:40 AM

Scientists base what they say on fact and accumulated knowledge. Yes the do get it wrong some of the time and need to update predictions but they do get it right far more often than you give them credit for.

Just look around you, aeroplanes fly, trains move, electronic equipment works, ships sail the sea, spacecraft land on other planets, telecommunications work, the list goes on and on and on. All of these are based on scientific principles that have been applied by engineers to solve a problem or develop a technology. All these thing work primarily because scientists got it right and knew what they were talking about.

To not heed the warnings of such a large group of scientists is indeed reckless folly and dangerous. We still have time to act and mend our wasteful and destructive ways but the window of opportunity is closing and if we do not act soon it will be too late.

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#210
In reply to #209

Re: 90% Sure Global Warming is Man-made

05/02/2007 11:56 AM

One thing is for sure:

Changing our ways to reduce waste and minimizing our footprint on the planet will do no harm. It could only improve the situation so why not do it? We became a "BIC" society where everything is use-and-throw-away. Not so long ago, some regular televisions had warranties for up to 20 years. You could fix'em for a few dollars. Nowadays, they cost a few dollars and are worth just that (same for PCs, cars, etc).

Visit a landfill (where they bury all the "garbage") and see what a sad sight (and site) that is....really upsetting.

Sorry for the rambling....I feel better now.

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#212
In reply to #210

Re: 90% Sure Global Warming is Man-made

05/02/2007 1:08 PM

As one rambler to another, I appreciate your rambling.

You write: Changing our ways to reduce waste and minimizing our footprint on the planet will do no harm.

How true.

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#234
In reply to #171

Re: 90% Sure Global Warming is Man-made

09/03/2007 1:13 PM

FORGET THE CO2, IT IS JUST ANOTHER GAS IN THE AIR, AND SEEDING MILLIONS OF TREES WORDLWIDE THEY WILL SUCK IT TO RETURN US O2. DONT CONFUSE YOU MORE THAT WE ARE NOW.

- ONLY REMEMBER, THAT HIDROCARBONS, ALCOHOL, BIOFUELS, AND HIDROGEN ALL ARE FUELS TOO.

- AND ALL BUT FUELS THAT BURNS WITH AN EXTOTHERM ARE -HEAT GENETATORS- AND RESPONSABLES OF OVERHEATING ATMOSPHERE WITH 6 BILLION TONS OF WAISTED HOT GASES YEARLY, AND ACCUMULATED ALL LAST CENTURY IT MAKES:

SUN ENERGY + ACCUMULATED WAISTED HEAT FROM FUELS = OVERHEATING AIR

ENERGY IS UN-DESTRUCTIBLE -BUT ONLY GETS TRANFORMED-.

AND NOT ONLY THE SCIENTIST HAVE 5 SENCES TO TELL ME THAT WARM AIR IS THERE CAUSING THE CLIMATE KAOS -ALL YOU SEE TOO-. NO NEED OF MONITORS TO GET PRECISER PERCENTAGE OF CO2. WHO CARES.

IF WE CAN NOT PROPOSE A VIABLE SOLUTION, WE HELP MORE NOT BEEN NEGATIVE WITH A SERIOS PROJECT AND THE ENTREPRENURE THAT HAS A BETTER COMONSENCE

CHEERS

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#235
In reply to #234

Re: 90% Sure Global Warming is Man-made

09/03/2007 3:58 PM

All in capitals - you must be really confident you know all about the causes and the solutions. You are right that heat is not destroyed; but it is re-radiated into space - it must be obvious that the Earth would have been getting hotter and hotter for millions of years just under the action of the sun if something like that wasn't happening. The biggest advantage of biofuels is that they convert some of the sun's energy into carbon in the first place - so you are not releasing new CO2 (or heat for that matter) into the atmosphere. The probable disadvantage is that, unless you are careful where you obtain the biofuels, you may be destroying forests that have been built up over millennia - a large loss for a small gain.

The trouble with "seeding millions of trees" is that they have to have space and the correct conditions to grow - it's great in theory, but there is a limit to how much extra we can absorb in this way; and unless we limit the heating first, the amount we can store is likely to start reducing because the conditions become inimical to biological growth.

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#243
In reply to #235

Re: 90% Sure Global Warming is Man-made

11/24/2007 1:51 AM

Hi, I am with you Her Guest, we better don`nt use scientific terms because we may look like a craisy guys, like Einstein. and that solves nothing.

Who cares if global warming is do to the CO2 -green house effect- or the due to petroburning effect where the heat that goes along with CO2 overheats the atmosphere and causes the sound global warming.

At the very end, it is the same -Desmadre- we all talk about. Eath is a big pot where we or broilig our selves due to petrodependance.

It does`nt matter if you have a very complex math equation to explain such warming effect, with some nice hipothesis, to compete for the Nobel prize.

But, It is a real problem, it is not a joke, and we are destroing our planet, our home planet, while stupidly debating what is the best process to explain the warming.

But at the very end, we all believe that it is due to burning huge amounts of petro-fuels, nat-gas and carbon, instead of using petroleum just to make value added petroquemicals and polymers but not to burn it. It will last no longer.

We do not have the button control to put the sun off, however we do have the button to put our gas water heater off as well as our gasoline car, our gas range, our cloth drier, our gas barbecue, and so on, and replace them with a solar or electric counterpart.

He, he, he,,,,, it looks like a fiction movie, but we must do that sunner than later.

I hope you are with me, to do some thing in our favor, to spread it all over, and to convince our friends our Blind politicians and Presidents to make an stop, rethink what is wrong, and correct it rapidly and stop burnig fuels.

America`s empire will fall if it keep petrolized.

Do`nt blame the sun for the sound green house effect -which have been there forever- it is unharmfull. and it is our salvation. I bet to sun energy for XXI century.

Please, do not reply like Manu, with so many math-formulas to convence me that I am wrong. Sorry I am not stick to the green house effect only, athough I do produced composite films for green houses in the past.

Drink a wine cup for me and for it to happen. Cheers,

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#244
In reply to #243

Re: 90% Sure Global Warming is Man-made

11/24/2007 11:08 AM

Hi Chema

In principle I would go along with your pragmatic approach - that it doesn't matter whether you have the correct explanation, so long as your explanation is close enough that it leads to the correct action. Unfortunately, basing your actions on an incorrect model can have significant consequences, even if the differences at first appear trivial; and so it is in this case.

The problem is as follows: if the cause of the warming is simply the heat from the burning petrochemicals, the world will start to cool down again immediately you stop burning them. If, on the other hand, the problem is due to an increase of the greenhouse effect, the raised temperatures will remain until whatever is causing them is removed (actually, further warming would occur because of the delays that are built into the system - and it could be even worse than that if atmospheric or ocean circulation patterns are in process of being modified)

So, if the problem is 'just' the amount of heat we are generating through burning processes, it would be possible to continue 'as we are' until the temperatures reach the maximum we think we can live with; then we could cut back to a level that is not far short of what we are currently using.
If, on the other hand, the problem is that we are steadily reducing the Earth's ability to get rid of excess heat, we have to reduce this activity a long time before the temperatures reach uncomfortable levels. Ant that is what most workers in the field now believe needs to be done.

I can appreciate that you may not have the time or the tools to go through all the evidence - or even a summary of it. But in that case, do you seriously believe that you have a basis to promulgate a view that differs from those who have done that work?
To recap: it wouldn't matter if the different models both led people to take appropriate action. But the fact is that there are all sorts of pressures (even aside from natural conservatism) to avoid change, so it is important that the arguments for change are based on the best available information.

A final point - I have done enough examination of the numbers to be certain (of my own understanding) that the heat from burning fossil fuels is totally insufficient to account for the warming we are seeing. I have also done enough to convince me that CO2 could account for what we are seeing, but not enough to be certain of my own knowledge that it is the dominant cause. For that last part, I like the majority, have to trust that those who are responsible for that work have done the work properly. I am, however, in the fortunate position of having been able to supplement that "trust" by auditing samples of that work for myself; as with most scientific endeavour, some of it was very limited and unconvincing, but the overall body of what I saw was better-based than the majority of what I would say I "know" about the world we inhabit.

So, when you ask "who cares", the answer is "I do, because the alternative assumptions are likely to cause delays that could result in the most comprehensive destruction of life on this planet that has ever occurred; and on this basis I believe you should too"

Fyz

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#245
In reply to #244

Re: 90% Sure Global Warming is Man-made

11/25/2007 6:58 AM

This was originally sent to chema via the CR4 mail system but as the discussion has expanded to include others I have reposted it here to allow others to comment.

First off, I havn't said anything to negate the concept that the atmosphere is not only warming but it is warming at a rate that is dramatically greater than would normally be experienced if it were a naturally driven phenomena.

The important thing that needs to be noted is the level of atmospheric CO2 and the rate at which it is increasing. By analyzing bubbles of gas trapped in the ice sheet that covers Antarctica scientists have been able to build up a picture of how the level of CO2 in the atmosphere has varied over the last 800,000 years.

No only is the current level of atmospheric CO2 the highest it has been in the last 800,000 years but it is rising some 50 times faster than it has at any time over the same period. This is a dramatic shift away from the norm and the only possible source of this phenomenal increase in atmospheric CO2 is the activity of humans burning massive amounts of fossil fuels.

Another point to note is that during the last 800,000 years the last ice age ceased and the planet warmed dramatically, however the levels of CO2 was lower than it currently is and while there was a corresponding increase in CO2 it was nothing like what we are currently seeing. We are clearly in uncharted territory and we are here for one reason only and that is our wholesale and wanton vandalism of the Earth's resources and environment.

Next up I can see that you are not going to believe me that the heating is not directly due to the consumption but rather to the products of combustion that are IR opaque and therefore cause more solar radiation to be trapped in the atmosphere until I prove it to you.

First off we need to calculate the mass of the Earth's atmosphere. The easiest way to do this is extrapolate from the median atmospheric pressure then multiply the result by the surface area of the Earth. The median atmospheric pressure is 101.325 kPa at sea level. Since we know the value of the acceleration this mass of gas is being subjected to is 9.78033 ms-2 we can calculate the mass of the column of air above each square metre of the Earths surface as follows:

If we now take the surface area of the Earth, which is 510,065,600 km2 and multiply it by the already calculated mass of the column of air we can arrive at the total mass of the Earth's atmosphere as follows:

We now need to convert this to a molar value. The atmosphere is primarily 21% O2 and 79% N2 which have standard atomic weights of 15.9994 g mol-1 and 14.0067 g mol-1 respectively. That gives the atmosphere a median atomic weight ma of 14.4252 g mol-1 which we can extrapolate to a total molar value for the atmosphere as:

Next step is to calculate the median specific CMed heat of the atmospheres. O2 has a specific heat of 29.387 J mol-1 °K-1 and N2 29.124 J mol-1 °K-1. If we scale this by the percentage of each we get a median specific heat of the atmosphere of 29.179 J mol-1 °K-1.

We have however not allowed for the heat that would be absorbed by the oceans. By far the majority of the energy that reaches the surface of the earth either from or the Sun or due to our actions ends up in the Earth's oceans rather than the atmosphere. The mass of the Earths oceans is around 1.35 x1018 tonnes which is 1,350,000,000 x 1018 g or 1,350 Yg and the specific heat of water is around 4.3 Jg-1°K-1.

If we put all this together along with the global annual energy consumption EGlobal of around 500 EJ we can get an idea how much the energy we are consuming would warm the Earth and its atmosphere as follows:

As you can see the energy we are consuming is not the problem as it would only result in an ultimate temperature increase of 0.0000000089103 °K per year which is totally inconsequential and some nine orders of magnitude less that we are currently seeing. Another factor that decreases the effect even further and hasn't been taken into account here is the latent heat that is required to turn ice into water. While there is still and ice cap covering the poles, Arctic and Antarctic regions much of the energy will be absorbed without causing an increase in the temperature as it has all been taken up by changing the state of the water from a solid to a liquid. As a result the Earths temperature is being kept fairly constant while there is ice to melt, however, once the ice is gone you can expect to see a dramatic increase in the temperature of both the oceans and the atmosphere.

This is somewhat born out by what is already happening in Australia. There is no permanent ice in Australia and therefore nothing that can store the latent heat of liquefaction from year to years. As a result you would expect to see an increased rate of temperature rise in Australia when compared to other continents where there is permanent ice locked up in glaciers etcetera. This is indeed the case and Australia now has long term median temperatures slightly greater than 1°C higher than was seen in the middle of the 20th century.

Something else that needs to be looked at is the amount of energy from the Sun that reaches the surface of the Earth. On average the surface solar radiation intensity is around 1,000 Wm-2. However this is only at noon when the sun is directly overhead and we also need to allow for the hours of darkness.

The best way to get an approximate the total energy that reaches the ground is to imagine that the earth consists of a flat plate that has the same diameter as the Earth. This reasonably closely approximates the reduced intensity when the Sun is not directly overhead plus the half of the Earth that is not facing the Sun. Therefore the total annual incoming Solar Energy at the surface of the Earth can be calculated as follows:

When you compare the amount of energy reaching the Earth's surface at 2.112 YJ to our 500 EJ consumption of energy you start to get the idea how inconsequential the energy we are consuming actually is. As we have see the energy itself isn't capable of causing anything like the sort of temperature rise we are currently seeing and expect to take place over the next century. You can therefore only conclude the following:

Global Warming is not directly caused by the energy we consume heating the environment. It is caused by the change in opaqueness of the atmosphere to IR radiation that is being reradiated from the surface back into space!!!!

In your posts you have stated that you have a masters in chemical engineering so you will hopefully find nothing here that you did not already know. As an engineer the most important part of you job is to look at any problem in its entirety. You can not just look at a single section and look at what happens there without looking at the effects on surrounding systems.

I have spent way too much time on this but I have no problems spending as much time as is necessary with anybody that is willing to learn. If your physics is a bit rusty than I suggest gathering the information I have used in this post and doing the calculations yourself.

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#174
In reply to #170

Re: 90% Sure Global Warming is Man-made

02/07/2007 4:43 AM

Thank you fwes - I'd like to make a few additions, though I am straying way outside my area of competence here, so they are in the hope that those with specialist knowledge can expand on and/or correct them:

"For instance, using hydrogen as a fuel could do more harm to the ozone layer through leakage / accidents / carelessness than anything done thus far because hydrogen is very light and very reactive."

An interesting if not directly relevant thought. Ozone layer depletion will result in an increase in skin cancers, particularly near the poles, but I don't believe it will contribute significantly to global warming. Then, unlike chloro-fluorocarbons, each molecule of hydrogen can react with just a single ozone molecule. In addition (I'm no expert here), I suspect that hydrogen is sufficiently small and light that once it reaches the altitude and temperature of the ozone layer it will soon escape the Earth's gravitational pull - in any event, I would not expect the reactivity of hydrogen at -70C to be that high.

Regarding plant take-up - yes, most CO2 does pass through plants - but I believe the net take-up at the present time is quite marginal, and will shortly become negative unless we change our use of resources, partly because of the effects of global warming (regardless of man's impact in this regard).

Wouldn't the by-products of hydrogen reactions be just water and a rather low level of hydrocarbons? If so, much less problematic than existing fuel spillages.

That does not mean that I'm enamoured of hydrogen as a fuel. It is inconvenient and (at least at the present) a relatively inefficient way of converting/storing/transporting/releasing energy, which is its basic function. So I've no problems with objections to its use that are soundly based (nor indeed soundly-based support of hydrogen as a fuel, or anything else for that matter).

Fyz

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#195
In reply to #170

Re: 90% Sure Global Warming is Man-made

02/19/2007 5:08 PM

The "Inuit" of the so-called Dorset Culture and Thule Culture habitations at Resolute were attributed by historians to the presence of large whales which they apparently hunted for sustainance. The Thules displaced(killed) the Dorsets and in turn the Thules moved on when the climate cooled, because the whales went south.

The more recent presence of Inuit in that area was a strictly political move by the Canadian Government in 1947 - a move to "occupy" Canadian territory before the United States sent people to claim that it was unoccupied - and to set up shop there. These were forcibly removed from northern Quebec on that occassion and were deposited on the rocks of the high Arctic with a cheery "see you next year after the ice leaves" by caring civil servants.

The adaptatation in each case seems to have EVERYTHING in common with the Viking Experience in both Vinland and Greenland!

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#110
In reply to #26

Re: 90% Sure Global Warming is Man-made

02/05/2007 6:10 AM

Greetings Hanker

Even if you don't wish to credit the scientists with a modicum of integrity, you should at least credit the developmental history of the theories. I have been watching these people you describe as "media politics and money driven" for a long time - and well before the Time article that you claim started it all. In the early years, the only people who were working on man-induced warming arrived there as a result of more general geological and geophysical work. As some of this work started to produce plausible results, other academics (mostly with tenure, who could choose to work in whatever area they considered interesting or important) started to contribute to the measurements and the models. Only later, as theory and measurements showed there was the potential for predictive value, did national research bodies provide specific financial support (and, at least initially, this was provided without specific bias).

So, yes, there are now plenty of people who have jumped onto the bandwagon, who are funded by vested interests or are zealots who have been convinced without understanding the complexities. This applies to both sides, so I would regard it as disingenuous to pretend that all of these are only the people who are promoting the idea that we should take action, or that there is no-one who is receiving money to debunk the theory; some of these latter are honest, but there seem to be as many who would prefer to black the opposition rather than involve themselves in reasoned debate that is based on evidence.

Whatever the pressures, the least biased opinion that we have available is the consensus of the international scientific panel, as many of these people are directly or indirectly government funded - and many governments would prefer not have to pass legislation that modifies their economic systems in this way.

Personally, I have been expecting since about 1970 to see an acceleration in the rate of global warming; for me, such a confirmed prediction (even if it was not my own) is a strong reason to take an argument seriously. In any event, it should be enough for us to take reasonable action to reduce our contribution - especially as, even if unnecessary, such action is unlikely to cause an increase in deaths or other catastrophe. (In which respect, the level of certainty needed should be far less than that required to justify war, or even to kill a few shed-loads of turkeys). If and when evidence is found that such precautions are unnecessary, we can if we choose resume our profligate ways.

If, as you imply, the company you own is involved in the development of green products, may I ask why you choose to work in this area? Or are you just playing devil's advocate here? BTW, to the best of my knowledge, my only vested interest in this issue is the long-term welfare of my globally extended family.

Fyz

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#44
In reply to #19

Re: 90% Sure Global Warming is Man-made

02/03/2007 11:30 AM

The planet has had several ice ages during it's existence it has even flipped it's axis on more than one occasion- all of these occurred before man ruled and certainly before the united states even existed. How do you explain this cooling and rewarming?

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#45
In reply to #44

Re: 90% Sure Global Warming is Man-made

02/03/2007 11:42 AM

"it has even flipped it's axis on more than one occasion"

I think you will find it that it is the magnetic poles that have flipped not the axis. They are two separate things and the magnetic field has reversed several times in the Earths history.

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#48
In reply to #45

Re: 90% Sure Global Warming is Man-made

02/03/2007 11:59 AM

Hi masu. Another unexplained mystery!

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#52
In reply to #48

Re: 90% Sure Global Warming is Man-made

02/03/2007 12:17 PM

There is a lot of work being done into the reason for the magnetic poles switching and it's not just confined to earth. The Sun's magnetic poles switch polarity every 11 years and it looks like the next changeover has just begun.

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#104
In reply to #45

Re: 90% Sure Global Warming is Man-made

02/05/2007 2:31 AM

Yes, the poles reversed, not the axis .. and a potential significant problem in the future is that the present magnetic field has been weakening, and appears headed for a time of little or no field, probably prior to another reversal. That it is weakening and is now very measurably weaker than it was only some centuries ago is established fact. The earth's magnetic field protects us from the solar wind and its radiation, channeling it to the poles. Without its protection, things will be somewhat inhospitable for much of life here according to what I have read.

A few links:

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2004/09/0909_040909_earthmagfield.html

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/magnetic/animals.html

http://www.pureenergysystems.com/news/2005/02/27/6900064_Magnet_Pole_Shift/

Greg

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#47
In reply to #44

Re: 90% Sure Global Warming is Man-made

02/03/2007 11:57 AM

Hi GeneralCivil. No one has explaied this phenomenen yet, and I doubt very much if we ever can. It just happens, as it is happening now.

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#113
In reply to #47

Re: 90% Sure Global Warming is Man-made

02/05/2007 6:31 AM

"and I doubt very much if we ever can"

This is largely a matter of the complexities needed in the models, I think. So we should expect reasonable simulations based on standard physical models within the next 30 years. Whether this will 'explain' the process in a manner that we would regard as intuitive is another matter.

I believe we already see evidence of a pair of opposing magnets during the transitions, which at least holds out hope for the preliminary models - but this could still be a misinterpretation (on my part) of the data

Fyz

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#57
In reply to #19

Re: 90% Sure Global Warming is Man-made

02/03/2007 1:29 PM

Really, we can't SCIENTIFICALLY say what is THE cause of global warming.

Scientists have no idea of what the Sun's contribution to the cycles of heating and cooling of the Earth is. There is simply very little data on the output of the sun. Until very recently with Sun-observing sattelites, there was no way to even measure the sun's relative output. It could take decades and maybe centuries of observation to discover and understand the cycles of the sun. I think that it is extremely naive to believe that the sun has remained absolutely constant for hundreds of thousands of years. Like every other dynamic system, the sun's output most likely varies with time.

Scientists have no idea of the Earth's Albedo (how much light and heat form the sun is reflected back into space). To my knowledge, there are currently no instruments on any sattelite that can measure how much energy is being reflected by the Earth's atmosphere. Recently someone has come up with the idea of observing the moon to determine some of this (brightness of the dark side due to Earth reflection VS. the bright side), but we need unattainable data from before the industrial revolution to see if the increase in CO2 is having any effect on Albedo. There is plenty of science showing that CO2 may(even probably) have and effect, but there are no measurements to determine how much of an effect.

So, even if one scientific explanation is wrong, there may be no CONCULUSIVE way to determine if any other explanation is right. At least it is not possible with the data and knowledge that we have now.

That being said, lack of knowledge is no excuse for inaction. There are things that we can and should do to reduce/minimize our footprint on the Earth's ecosystem. I am often appalled at the wasteful actions of people.

I've read that there is an underground coal deposit in China that is burning and producing more CO2 than all the cars on Earth. Maybe we should put that out and see if it changes anything.

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#58
In reply to #57

Re: 90% Sure Global Warming is Man-made

02/03/2007 1:44 PM

Where did you read that about the coal deposit in China?

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#63
In reply to #58

Re: 90% Sure Global Warming is Man-made

02/03/2007 3:07 PM

I don't remember where I originally read about the coal fires, but a quick Google search of 'coal fire china' gives lots of information. I haven't read anything I've found in detail yet but it is obvious that there is a problem, and not just in China. I guess that it is more like all of the combined coal seam fires are producing more CO2 than the cars of the world. Here are a few of the links I found:

http://www.itc.nl/personal/coalfire/index.html

http://www.coalfire.caf.dlr.de/projectinfo/impact_en.html

http://www.gi.alaska.edu/~prakash/coalfires/coalfires.html

Here is a photo of a coal seam fire pulled from one of the above sites:

Also, here is one article about the sun, the moon, and the Earth's albedo:

"Scientists Clueless over Sun's Effect on Earth"

http://www.livescience.com/environment/050505_earth_bright.html

I guess I was wrong, long ago even Leonardo DaVinci recognized the 'Earthshine' effect on the dark side of the moon.

A quote from the article: "If we don't understand the albedo-related effects,then we can't understand the effects of greenhouse gasses."

There is much we need to learn about global warming, but unfortunately the Chicken Littles of the world screaming "the sky is falling" are getting all of the attention.

I still think that we should be making efforts to reduce pollution and all, but I don't think that the current hype is entirely correct. Maybe the hype is necessary to get governments into action, but I really don't like some of the misleading statements that are out there.

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#68
In reply to #63

Re: 90% Sure Global Warming is Man-made

02/03/2007 6:28 PM

Yes, the coal fires are pretty interesting. In Pennsylvania, where I used to live, you'd see them frequently. You'd think the things would extinguish themselves if you were just reasonably careful with sealing off sources of oxygen -- but they keep going. There's the huge heat sink around them tending to cool them... but no, they keep burning.

From what I've read, virtually all serious climatologists understand that albedo is not fully understood, and that is among the reasons that the confidence level changes over the years. As scientists take more and more of the hundreds of variables into account in their models, they could either say 1. it's looking less likely that the current warming is man-made... or 2. it is looking more likely that the current warming is man made. Right now, they are saying it's looking more likely, and that has been the trend over the last few decades.

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#73
In reply to #57

Re: 90% Sure Global Warming is Man-made

02/03/2007 6:57 PM

How is it that climatologists have been declared non-scientists?

Of course climatologists know a great deal about albedo, as do astronomers, astrophysicists, astronauts, and even middle school students. Do we know everything? Of course not. We still have profound and fundamental questions about the nature of gravity. Does that mean that we can't predict, with very, very high certainty, what will happen when an apple comes loose from a tree?

Scientists have no idea of what the Sun's contribution to the cycles of heating and cooling of the Earth is. On the contrary, they have thousands of ideas, and have developed models that can predict overall energy gain and loss to very small fractions of a percent.

We can, scientifically, say what the causes (of course there is no singe cause) of Global Warming is to some level of certainty. That level of certainty has been increasing.

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#236
In reply to #15

Re: 90% Sure Global Warming is Man-made

09/03/2007 8:15 PM

What in science is "known for sure"?

There have been warmer periods than today in the recent past:

Grapevines brought to England by the Romans did quite well but that is no longer true.

The Vikings settled Greenland and Iceland during a warm period but eventually had to abandon Greenland due to the cooling climate.

The Vikings found grapes growing in what they called Vinland in Canada which no longer has grape vines and they built their houses out of trees that no longer grow that far north in Canada (their settlement has been unearthed).

Therefore, doing something economically bad at this point seems unreasonable.

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#239
In reply to #236

Re: 90% Sure Global Warming is Man-made

09/04/2007 3:02 PM

Grapevines only stayed away because "cheap" transport made wine 'uneconomic' to produce locally. In spite of this, they have been grown commercially in Sussex and Kent (among others) for quite over twenty years, and adequate commercial wines have recently been produced in the colder areas of Essex - and those are just the ones I've drunk.

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#23
In reply to #13

Re: 90% Sure Global Warming is Man-made

02/02/2007 3:22 PM

The whole idea of global warming is a new one ignited by a Time magazine article.

Where do people come up with this stuff? The "whole idea of global warming" has been studied since the late sixties. There have been thousands of magazine and journal articles written about it. To which Time magazine article are you referring?

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#65
In reply to #23

Re: 90% Sure Global Warming is Man-made

02/03/2007 3:19 PM

"The "whole idea of global warming" has been studied since the late sixties."

Wasn't the fear of the sixties and seventies all about the impending Ice Age, not global warming?

Just goes to show that 'Hype', not science often drives the media.

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#69
In reply to #65

Re: 90% Sure Global Warming is Man-made

02/03/2007 6:36 PM

Yes, hype is definitely in the driver's seat! REAL science is boooorrringgg for everyone other than the scientists involved, and often goes on in virtual secrecy, from a public perspective. In the late sixties, there some scientists saying an ice age is on the way, and others saying but.. but... People now are paying more attention to the ones who were saying but...

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#79
In reply to #65

Re: 90% Sure Global Warming is Man-made

02/04/2007 4:12 AM

"Wasn't the fear of the sixties and seventies all about the impending Ice Age, not global warming?"

It may well have been the case and in the 1960 the earth was actually headed towards a period of sustained lower temperatures. If that is the case then the effect we are having on the environment is all the worse because we are not only causing the planet to warm but have reversed a natural cooling.

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#9
In reply to #6

Re: 90% Sure Global Warming is Man-made

02/02/2007 11:37 AM

Hi thehanker:

You write: If you believe everything in the media you would think that ALL scientists believe this.

This is not the case. If you follow Fox TV or read reports in the right wing online press, then you'd conclude just the opposite: that NO scientists believe this. Thus to be informed, you need to ignore the popular media (other than to be alerted to updates in consensus, etc.) and actually read the scientific reports and seek out other data sources. This is an area in which simple belief or gut feel is insufficient to make an informed decision.

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#14
In reply to #9

Re: 90% Sure Global Warming is Man-made

02/02/2007 1:21 PM

I appreciate your comment about Fox, which certainly leans conservative although I have seen scientists on there that do believe in global warming. However, Fox cable is a little fish compared to the mass of media in general. While being involved myself

in green technology, neither I or many others like me have the time to make global warming our lifes work. I do agree however that we could all do a better job in protecting the environment than we are presently. The environment is an emotional issue not so unlike politics and religion. Noone can deny this is a very polical issue as well.

Have a great day

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#11
In reply to #6

Re: 90% Sure Global Warming is Man-made

02/02/2007 12:38 PM

I do belive that all we do affect in a good or bad way the "Whole enviroment".

I think we do ot need medias or Scientist to tell us that something is happening. We can compare when we where childs and today.

I think man is the one active or pasive contributor for Global warming.

I think nature is doing what it has to do to restore the equilibrium... We are in the middle together with all animals and plants.

May be those 1000 years GOD will take the rigtheus with him out of the earth will be to allow the earth to became stable again.... something to think about.

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#12
In reply to #11

Re: 90% Sure Global Warming is Man-made

02/02/2007 12:57 PM

The earth has never been stable. Even when God took up all the righteous dinosaurs.

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#200
In reply to #6

Re: 90% Sure Global Warming is Man-made

05/01/2007 7:01 PM

You are correct it is a politically driven industry. Money is the real evil. Increasing world population the cause. The more people the more consumption of energy the more we all suffer. There is no great mystery to why we now have to face up to the fact that the human race is its own worst enemy.

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#16

Re: 90% Sure Global Warming is Man-made

02/02/2007 1:48 PM

Faced with the choice between changing one's mind and proving there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy with the proof. – J. Galbraith

I'm neither for nor against global warming. I have formed my own opinions based on the information presented and have chosen the following path. I stopped listening to everyone whining about it. If it truly is happening, whining and debating over the issue won't cure anything. If it isn't true, so be it. I recycle, ride my bike or walk when I can, I don't drive my SUV unless I have to, I seek out green alternatives at work since I maintain a fairly large building and all the equipment in it, and I planted trees on my property. I also live 10 minutes from my place of employment. If everyone shut up and changed just a few things that they do in their day to day routine, there wouldn't be much to cry about. It's a big planet, there's a lot of people, to think that nature doesn't change or that we don't have an impact is rather foolish. Making better choices doesn't concede that global warming is true, it just means that you're choosing to be a little nicer to the Earth. I don't want anyone to get the wrong idea either, I have 3 race oriented 4-wheelers, a nice SUV with a V-8, and two late 60's Mustang's with nice fire breathing engines.

Unfortunately, a lot of science is driven by money. Without funding and support, they don't have a job. Remember, the world is flat, if you exceed 60mph you will disintegrate, and man will never fly.

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#18
In reply to #16

Re: 90% Sure Global Warming is Man-made

02/02/2007 2:19 PM

I agree with you, except, of course, I would never own a Mustang.

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#20
In reply to #16

Re: 90% Sure Global Warming is Man-made

02/02/2007 3:08 PM

There have been two "good" Mustangs: the first GT 350's and the new GT 500. The rest are trash. Ok... there are some others that were OK.

Sounds like your's is a pretty good approach to being generally green. (Of course ,as a past motorcycle racer and acrobatic pilot, I can say that in one hour of riding a race oriented 4-wheeler you will pollute as much as you will in a year of driving a modern sedan... so walking or biking every now and then doesn't help a lot. But did I give up racing because of environmental concerns -- not really.)

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#24
In reply to #20

Re: 90% Sure Global Warming is Man-made

02/02/2007 3:28 PM

It's kind of a "chick" car isn't it?

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#43
In reply to #24

Re: 90% Sure Global Warming is Man-made

02/03/2007 11:17 AM

I'll strap you in my 500hp '67 fastback (5 pnt harness on the roll bar) and do the 'ole dollar on the dash board trick!!

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#46
In reply to #43

Re: 90% Sure Global Warming is Man-made

02/03/2007 11:49 AM

On a good day I reckon the solar powered Discus glider I used to fly could give you a run for you money.

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#198
In reply to #46

Re: 90% Sure Global Warming is Man-made

05/01/2007 5:44 PM

You flew a "solar-powered" discus???

Are you ready for a little hero worship?

Snowboy

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#206
In reply to #198

Re: 90% Sure Global Warming is Man-made

05/02/2007 8:11 AM

Hi snowboy

The club I was a member of had 2 discus gliders. We purchased them unfinished, just the airframe and no final finish then fitted our own instrumentation and finished them off using the club members expertise. For every hour you worked on the aircraft you got 15 minutes free flying in them.

Gliders I have flown

  1. Grob G-103 Good trainer but heavy
  2. Grob G-102 Lots of fun easy to fly and you can throw it around
  3. Hornet Incredible airbrakes but prone to ballooning on landing
  4. Discus Well what can you say
  5. Janus Full flying tail plane makes it a bit of a handful.
  6. Blanik A big shift in performance compared to the rest but still fun.
  7. IS28 Same as the blanik

The club did have an ASW-20 but that got written of in a mid air collision. It was replaced with a Numbus-2D which was also written off in a mid air collision by the same pilot that wrote the ASW-20 off. Unfortunately his second effort at a mid air collision did not have as good an outcome as the first and he did not survive.

The discus is definitely the finest aircraft I have flown, it is just so well balanced and smooth it is hard to fault. The only hassle that we had with them was that they are so slippery that it is easy to get into a pilot induced oscillation. One of the club aircraft was severely damaged in exactly that way when it impacted the ground heavily during a launch. It bent all the internal wing carry through and undercarriage structure and took nearly 12 months to repair.

The hornet is a dam good aircraft as well and once you figure out that you need to have full air brakes deployed as you flare it becomes a great aircraft to fly. They are also good value for money and you can pick second hand ones up for a song.

The Grob G-103 are flying armchairs, simple aircraft, very forgiving, easy to fly and plenty of room when flying from the back seat. Very good for training and carrying passangers.

Unfortunately I havn't been able to fly for about 10 years due to health problems but things have improved somewhat and I intend to rectify that gap in life in the not too distant future.

If you ever get to Australia be sure to look me up and I will organize for you to have a fly.

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#213
In reply to #206

Re: 90% Sure Global Warming is Man-made

05/03/2007 8:00 PM

Masu,

I am no longer "current". Our gliding club in New Brunswick is extinct and Nova Scotia has stopped operating as a training club - shrinking in the process.

Like yourself, I do intend to rectify this problem at my own personal level.

I will take you up on that soaring offer if and when I do come to Australia.

When I think of soaring in Australia - I remember the poster picture taken over the pilots shoulder showing the airspeed at VnE (maybe 120 knots) with lift pegged UP on the variometer and a procession of other gliders in front and (one imagines) going away - all absolutely tearing across the sky at 8000 feet beneath small puffy clouds.

Was that your shoulder in the picture Masu?

A cheap Hornet sounds like a great deal to get me airborne - what do you call cheap? I notice that every aircraft you list is more expensive than ANY that I list in my logbook.

The only one of mine that is really noteworthy was the SGS 2-32, a very rare bird and dating to the early '60's. With an all-up weight of around 1500 lbs without the oxygen system - they were built as a high performance trainer and certified to carry a pilot and 2 passengers. This particular aircraft and the P1 were the Canadian Altitude record holders at 30,000 plus feet.

My intro to this aircraft was interrupted by my host, who, at 400 AGL on 'final' announced that he was taking control from the back seat. I had little time to contemplate the reason as he pushed into a dive reaching 100 knots (from 50-ish) in only 300 feet of altitude.

Let me tell you that the view from the front seat was INSPIRING. He then executed a nice, clean loop - before announcing : " You have control again". I found myself at the SAME location, altitude and airspeed and when we rolled to the flight line, no-one so much as commented. I guess that was just a normal intro at York Soaring with Walter Chmeila in the back seat!


Luckily, I had worn my brown trousers that day...

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#218
In reply to #213

Re: 90% Sure Global Warming is Man-made

05/04/2007 9:22 AM

Australia has a surprising number of pilots, both powered and non powered. I think it has a lot to do with the vast distances between any to places of population.

Until recently I lived in Adelaide and when I first moved there I worked for a computer company as a field engineer. Part of my territory was the Northern Territory and Darwin so each month I would need to fly to Darwin and spend between on and six weeks working on customers sights. The flight from Adelaide to Darwin is about the same as flying from London to Moscow except there is only one place, Alice Springs, between the two that has any sort of population or size. For the rest of the trip all you see is desert, dry salt lakes and river beds, and arid land.

During the wet season about the time you get to Alice Springs, which happens to correspond with the half way point and the Tropic of Capricorn, you will start to fee turbulence from thermals at FL 200 and even higher.

The club I flew at mostly was based at an old WWII airfield some 50 Km north of Adelaide but we had a special arrangement with the Royal Australian Air Force as it was in the middle of a Military Control Zone. MLZ. Basically we could call up and ask for whatever chunk of air we could use up to the altitude we predicted we could reach and have a block release to that altitude. Because it was a MLZ all the normal jet traffic in an out of Adelaide stay clear and we could fly at altitudes that would otherwise be impossible so close to a Primary Control Zone. We would get at least 10 days a year that you could easily pick up thermals to well over 10,000 feet. A couple of times I tool a hornet up to 13,500 feet but need to call it quits in a 5 Kt thermal because I wasn't carrying O2.

When I was working in the Northern Territory I would sneak the occasional weekend up there and have a fly at a place called Batchelor. You can only fly during the dry season, it's not fun getting sucked up by one of those thunderstorms that form in the wet season, but it's pretty easy to pick up a thermal to the lower limit of the Darwin control zone at 8,000 feet that has the vario jammed on the stop the whole way.

As for the price of a Hornet, you can pick one up for less than AU$20,000 CA$18,000. One of the most popular gliders in Australia it the Mosquito. The last one off the production line when Glasflugel when bust is actually owned by a friend of mine. He had paid his deposit and progress payments when the factory went into liquidation and was all locked up but he managed to get the aircraft as it was and finish it himself in Australia. You can pick a mosquito depending on the condition, for between AU$25,000 and 35,000 CA$22,000 and 32,000. The good thing about a glider is that if you look after it you can usually sell it for whatever you purchased it for so it really only costs you the maintenance, insurance and what you would have earned in interest on the money.

When you do come to Australia, and I do mean when, make sure you bring you log book and any paperwork with you. It means you can start where you left off and if you are up to flying solo the clubs will rent you a glider at club rates.

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#220
In reply to #218

Re: 90% Sure Global Warming is Man-made

05/04/2007 4:42 PM

Hi Masu:

HMMmmmm....those are good prices.....hmmm.

....when indeed? I'm already digging for the paperwork!!

Incidentally - your description of the desert between Darwin/Adelaide brings to mind the distances and the desolation of the high arctic where temperatures can linger above zero degrees C for 6 or 8 weeks of the year, long enough to expose the barren rock, the very striking badlands and gorges, cliffs that look like huge Thai palaces, and much more for vast distances

If you are low and slow, you can never run out of vacant but fresh scenery, while if you are jetting over the top, it has all of the "life" of an empty moonscape that goes on for hours

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#221
In reply to #220

Re: 90% Sure Global Warming is Man-made

05/05/2007 8:32 AM

The Australian deserts come alive about once every seven to ten years when they get what is called a big wet. The literally come alive and flower within days the return to there desolate dry natural state within weeks.

On one of my trips to the top end there was a once in a decade big wet and on the return trip, about a week and a half later, the whole center had bloomed and was covered in flowers of imaginable colours and patterns. Lakes had filled, the Fink river, one of the worlds oldest rivers courses, started flowing and the bird life was visible from 30,000 feet. It truly was one of the most incredible sights and it was visible for literally hours during the flight.

Two week later when I returned to the top end it was back to the dry dusty desert it had been around a month before.

There is actually a species of frog that buries itself in the clay and hibernates between the big wets. Within hours of it raining they have come out mated and laid eggs. Some of the eggs remain dormant and wait for the next big wet while other go through an accelerated life cycle maturing to adult frogs in weeks then hibernate like the adults that were their parents.

While the populated areas are in the midst of the worst drought in a thousand years the desert just had one of its once in a decade big wet rains so you are going to need to wait for at least another 7 years before you have a chance of seeing one.

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#222
In reply to #221

Re: 90% Sure Global Warming is Man-made

05/06/2007 12:42 PM

Another seven years? Are you sure? Is the pseudo-regularity of this pattern proof against the present changes in weather patterns?

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#225
In reply to #222

Re: 90% Sure Global Warming is Man-made

05/07/2007 6:22 AM

"Is the pseudo-regularity of this pattern proof against the present changes in weather patterns?"

Nobody knows exactly what causes this cyclic pattern and before you say that the sun has a 10 year cycle, to my knowledge there is no apparent correlation with the solar cycle. Short big wet cycles do not appear to coincide with short solar cycles. One hypothesis is that it takes that long for the oceans around there to gain enough energy to trigger the large number of storm cells that are associated with the pattern. Tropical revolving storms (cyclones, hurricanes, monsoons) require a certain ocean temperature for them to trigger and once you have had a series of large storms the ocean is cooled. It may take several years for large enough areas of ocean to warm sufficiently to trigger them on a wide scale.

The big wet weather pattern is not something that I have studied in detail and I think it has something to do with the South Pacific oscillation index (El Nino / La Nina) phenomenon but I can't confirm this.

If I get time over the next couple of weeks I will do some study on the big wet cycle and see if I can find what the current thinking is.

However, if it were to suddenly start happening ever 6 years or so, I would be extremely worried as it may be an indication that we have gone too far and that the atmosphere is going to change drastically no matter what we do.

I do think that we still have time to avert a dramatic shift in climates but unless we act quickly it will be too late and we are going to need to completely rethink just about everything we do.

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#226
In reply to #225

Re: 90% Sure Global Warming is Man-made

05/07/2007 5:51 PM

Nicely put

Fyz

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#42
In reply to #20

Re: 90% Sure Global Warming is Man-made

02/03/2007 11:15 AM

'67 GT350 replica and a '65 gt fastback....

As a former motox racer myself, I can't dispute the fact that 2-strokes pollute quite readily. I'm have since converted to 4-strokes. The pollution is a sore spot with me, you don't belong to CARB do you?? Banning bikes and closing riding spots is not the answer.

There's a lot of rhetoric, a lot of passion for and against, and quite honestly a lot of ignorance/intolerance on both sides. I truly believe that if everyone took a step back and stopped keeping up with jone's, stopped letting money drive any and all decisions, the world would be a safer and cleaner place. We can debate all day long and scientists/engineers can propose all this stuff that would make the world cleaner, but at the end of the day, the guy signing off on the requisitions will only approve those that which impact the bottom line. Broad generalization I know, but as far as the majority goes, I think I'm right.

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#66
In reply to #42

Re: 90% Sure Global Warming is Man-made

02/03/2007 4:40 PM

I lust after both of your cars.

No, I'm not a member of CARB. Further, I'm not sure that the various forms of racing have a dramatic effect on overall pollution (although current racing 4-strokes do emit about 1000+ times as much as road vehicles -- so maybe it is significant). On the other hand, I think is is irresponsible for manufacturers like Yamaha to have sold as many 2-stroke WaveRunners and snowmobiles as they have. It's not as if they didn't know or didn't have the technology available -- they consult with car manufacturers worldwide. So, by acting as they have, they force governments to take action. (The pollution generated in an hour by a 1995 WaveRunner vs a year of driving your car is not an exaggeration.)

Honda has never made 2 stroke outboards for many good reasons, not the least of which is that they pollute like crazy. Honda, and all other motorcycle manufactures, have shown that four stokes can be produced for prices close to those of 2 strokes, and that even in the days when both were available on the market side-by-side, 2 strokes had no advantage in the marketplace, and had several disadvantages -- even in racing. (On a 350 four Honda we beat every Kaw triple, every Suzuki water buffalo, every Yamaha two stroke -- save one, dammit -- in an early 1970's 24 hour road race. In fact, we also beat every 900 Kaw, every Ducatti, etc, too. In a field of 53 bikes, a little 350 four stroke beat everyone but a 350 Yamaha -- and even then we lost by just one lap out of 1000, for second overall.)

Nevertheless, I'd be fooling myself if I claimed that our 350 four was even remotely ecologically sound -- it poured out unburned hydrocarbons at a rate more than 1000 times higher than a current 300 HP sedan. So did my aerobatic airplane. Current racing bikes are no better -- unless you are racing an unmodified crotch rocket.

Interestingly enough, emission controls have been a boon to profitability in cars, and if it were not for government action, we'd still be running Holley 4 barrels. Although the American manufacturers stumbled endlessly in getting their act together, giving Honda an entry into the market, the same technology that has reduced emissions has made cars much more drivable, easier to start, faster, (Geez, my vanilla 4 cylinder accord is governed to 130!! My first accord wouldn't break 100) etc.

The cost of bringing ATVs up to road standards re emissions is about $38 dollars. That's a small price to pay for the consumer, it's additional profit for the manufacturer, and it reduces the number of things we kill with pollution.

Acting as I did, riding generally noisy motocrossers through the woods, usually on land that didn't belong to me, causing erosion, etc. is the kind of thing that has forced people, who believe that have the right to quiet enjoyment of public lands, to band together through government to kick me off. I can't blame them: my noise, air pollution, broken branches, all interfere with their quiet enjoyment. Their quiet use does not interfere with my enjoyment. So it seems fundamentally unfair to them.

Private land, far enough away from public land to ameliorate the noise issue -- then sure, most people will ignore the air pollution and runoff issues (even though a housing contractor would be hanged for ignoring runoff issues).

Manufacturers (Honda excluded, to some extent) could have done much more to avoid the closing of public lands and waterways to ATV's, motorcycles, jet skis, etc. Jet ski's are the most obvious example -- far too late, they are much quieter, and pollute far less. But for many years they were almost universally reviled by people who wanted to enjoy the peace and quiet of water: ordinary motor boaters, fishermen, sailors, windsurfers, swimmers, etc. etc. Honda made whisper quiet, relatively clean outboards since the early days of jet skis, and Yamaha and Kawasaki were well aware of the advantages of four strokes, quiet exhausts, etc.

One person's rights end where they infringe on those of others. All that's required is reasonable accommodations by the offending group: quiet mufflers, low emissions, responsible riding well away from population density, runoff control, etc.

RE bottom line: Alcoa is outstanding, but many companies have shown that the bottom line and environmental stewardship go hand-in-hand. It is "scientist/engineers proposing all this stuff" that enables Alcoa to do good well while doing well. You won't find solutions to more efficient energy usage, reusing, recycling, emission reduction coming from the accounting department. Volvo does great things too, and has been, at many times, Ford's only profitable brand. The problem with many American corporations is the "the guy signing off on the requisitions" thinks only in the very short term. Because of that, practically in the blink of an eye, Toyota is big enough to consider buying GM, and Ford is now fourth in the marketplace.

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#27

Re: 90% Sure Global Warming is Man-made

02/02/2007 6:24 PM

Global warming aside , we are the most wasteful of all species on the planet.

Every human being on this planet could be put into a cube less than 1 mile on each side, without the use of a compactor (over 125 billion cubic feet, that allows roughly 40 cu.ft per person)

How much waste does the human race produce in proportion?

We are a very small mass, generating a large mass of mess, and one day the earth will shake us off, like a bunch of fleas, and start all over again.The surface will be scraped clean by glaciers, and all signs of the infection will be gone.Maybe the next experiment will fare better.

-------------/dev/null

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#28
In reply to #27

Re: 90% Sure Global Warming is Man-made

02/02/2007 10:14 PM

Re the cube: Interesting calculation! Provides some perspective.

Although your last paragraph might seem a little gloomy, the imagery is great! I've been trying to treat cock roaches with more respect, knowing they will inherit much of the mess -- but they'll probably make better use of it.

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#51
In reply to #28

Re: 90% Sure Global Warming is Man-made

02/03/2007 12:09 PM

A little goomy, you say?True, but also realistic.The earth does not need us to cut back on emissions, it will keep on orbiting the sun, unperturbed by the coming and going of mankind.It is mankind that needs the earth.It is our only home at the present time.It is true that volcanoes produce more CO2 than humans, but we may be the straw that breaks the camel's back.

The effect of global warming will have an unknown effect on the methane stored as methane hydrate on the sea floor.If it begins to be released, the effect could be an amplified increase in global temperatures,that feeds on itself.Pure speculation, of course, but maybe we should err on the side of caution.

Over 99 percent of the species that have ever existed on Earth are now extinct.One day, we too will be in that large majority, unless we can survive long enough to find a new home before we fade into obscurity.

On a lighter note,it is possibly all beyond our control, so "Don't worry! Be happy!"

/dev/null

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#53
In reply to #51

Re: 90% Sure Global Warming is Man-made

02/03/2007 12:38 PM

"It is true that volcanoes produce more CO2 than humans, but we may be the straw that breaks the camel's back."

If that were true we would not be getting the results from the Antarctic ice cores that we are. As I stated in an earlier post these cores are not only showing the highest levels of atmospheric CO2 in the last 800,000 years but the rate it is rising at is nearly 60 times greater than at any time over the same period.

We are not seeing a 60 fold increase in volcanic activity or any other phenomenon that could explain the sudden increase with the exception of mankind burning fossil fuels.

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#29

Re: 90% Sure Global Warming is Man-made

02/03/2007 2:09 AM

As with virtually every argument ever made, the truth lies someplace between the two extremes. There is evidence that global warming is taking place by significant glacier and polar ice cap size reduction. There is also evidence, in the form of well-known spectroscopic data, if nothing else, that CO2 prevents heat radiation to space. However, we do not have any hard evidence that the two are tied together, despite the fact that atmospheric CO2 levels have increased dramatically in recent years. There are simply too many other variables.

But then again, the last 10 years have averaged higher in temperature than for any period in the last 150 years. So are so-called "greenhouse gasses" the culprit"? The probable answer is that we don't know for sure, but a reasonable likelihood is that CO2 in the atmosphere is at least a contributor. However, if it turns out that atmospheric CO2 concentration IS the MAJOR culprit, we will have acted too late if we do nothing at all now.

There are many objectives to be considered in reducing dependence upon oil imports, one of which can be POTENTIALLY tied to global warming. The same is true of coal, but to a greater exent due to its higher carbon content, except if the resulting CO2 is pumped underground. When both sides of the argument are considered, capping atmospheric CO2 content at 350 PPM in 50 years appears to be a reasonable compromise, as stated by some who tend to be rational on the issue.

In the short term (50 years), reliance upon new pebble bed fission power generation appears as the very obvious answer. At least France and Japan are already participants in that trend, and develop virtually all electrical power by nuclear means.

Energy pricing will stabilize to a considerable extent, as we will not be held hostage to the same extent as now by OPEC. In the writer's opinion, real-world fuel cell powered cars will become available in the next 20-25 years. Hydrogen derived from electrolysis of water, stored in metallic hydrides can serve as the carbonless portable fuel. In the event of an accident, H2 diffuses in air very rapidly to below the lower explosive limit due to its very low molecular weight. Gasoline vapor and liquid pose a much greater threat.

Ultimately, fusion will be a viable power source, but probably not within the next 50 years. Until then, we need to follow the lead of the French and Japanese to reduce oil imports. And guess what: Just in case the global warming scenario involving CO2 is real, we will have done our part in avoiding or reducing its effects. China has to be next.

Bernie Katz

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#30

Re: 90% Sure Global Warming is Man-made

02/03/2007 3:30 AM

Those who think man is not responsible for global warming are still probably waiting in line to vote for bush again.. and are the 10% of the population who probably are married to your sister neice and cousin, you've had your time. Global warming is real. Besides who cares about the 10% who dont believe it. Thats what I would throw away every on each sale on amazon any how, and those buyers are the stupidest in the country. 90% is a 2/3 vote! Scientists are not bluffing, or making up stuff., what possible reason do they gain? OIL companies have all the loss. Wonder what happened to the man who invented the car to run on water/steam... He got slick boots fitted.

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#176
In reply to #30

Re: 90% Sure Global Warming is Man-made

02/07/2007 11:35 AM

94% of the population cannot vote for Bush, and 97% didn't vote for Bush, from a global perspective.

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#31

Re: 90% Sure Global Warming is Man-made

02/03/2007 3:36 AM

I just wanna comment on one thing I find funny... We in America are way behind Germany and other countries in recycling. We dont have a proper system. In fact, there really shouldnt be anything at all considered trash., nearly everything brought home from the supermarket these days can be recycled. Dont ya think it would make more sence to have a big sorting facility at the dump! Right where things can be sorted out first hand., we as americans are way too american to concern ourselves to be burdened...

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#60
In reply to #31

Re: 90% Sure Global Warming is Man-made

02/03/2007 2:20 PM

We are also behind Germany in anti-semitism and their crappy economy. What the heck is this fascination with Europe as if they had ANY ANSWERS about ANYTHING!

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#177
In reply to #60

Re: 90% Sure Global Warming is Man-made

02/07/2007 11:38 AM

Perhaps the word "..they.." is the problem?

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#179
In reply to #60

Re: 90% Sure Global Warming is Man-made

02/07/2007 12:02 PM

"What the heck is this fascination with Europe as if they had ANY ANSWERS about ANYTHING!"

As a (retired) man of science and of years, I have tried to learn from whatever sources have something to offer. Wisdom and knowledge come from many sources and in many forms. Most of the good ol' American technology that "won" WWII and the cold war started in Europe (radar, rockets, nuclear physics, ...). Much of the recent brilliance from Silicon Valley is due to Indian and Asian intelligence. THEY have quite a few answers. Americans have provided many answers as well, but they rarely have come from the ranting, arrogant bullies.

There are political blogs for those of all persuasions who are prone to unfounded ranting. I enjoy the variety of well-thought, technical comments on this blog, and trust that the ratio of "well-thought" to "rants" will remain high.

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#180
In reply to #60

Re: 90% Sure Global Warming is Man-made

02/07/2007 12:03 PM

You are absolutely correct - anti-sematism (at least overt) has virtually disappeared in Germany*. But Germany has also had some problems since merging with the extremely poor (ex-communist) Eastern part.

Tell you what, why doesn't the US raise a country one third its size to the same level of prosperity? And,if you want to knock present-day Germans for prejudice, you'd be closer talking about the Turkish issue - but it's as nothing compared with the way some wonderful U.S. citizens treat blacks and arabs.

*But I imagine you are 'hanker'ing back to WW2. I guess it never occurred to you that the ability of such extremeists to attain power in central Europe was at least in part due to the post WW1 reparations demanded by the US. At least some of the powers be learned from that mistake immediately after WW2**. Shame they couldn't remember any longer, otherwise we might at least have heard 'hearts and minds' at the beginning of the Iraq war instead of 'shock and awe'.
**Not totally though - it took a long time for Britains 'debt' repaymennts to drop to a level where their economy could begin to catch up with the rest of Europe - and the US and Britain were supposed to be on the same side.
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