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Forums > Social Discussion > Carbon dioxide: they call it pollution; we call it life Ad in USA

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Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne

Total posts: 2830
Posted:US ads praise carbon dioxide By Deborah Zabarenko in Washington 18may06



A LITTLE girl blows away dandelion fluff as an announcer says, "Carbon dioxide: they call it pollution; we call it life", in an advertisement targeting global warming "alarmists", especially Al Gore.



Herald Sun Newspaper



Anyone know whats going on with this Competitive Enterprise Institute?????







confused


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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ickleMatt


ickleMatt

enthusiast
Location: L.O.N.D.O.N.

Total posts: 242
Posted:Agreed, Mr Majestik.

While people endlessly repeat the matra that 'the majik of the market' will ensure the best and most efficient solution they will shirk all personal responsibility. What this misses is that:

1. the free market is merely a slave to the Western corporate machine's addiction to profit; and

2. the economics that underlines the market is based on a flawed assumption that environmental costs can be 'externalised' (ie. forgotten about until later).

The best current example of this is the airline industry which is based on passing the costs of very cheap fuel onto the people of Bangladesh and the Sahel who are already feeling the affects of global warming (for those who don't believe in global warming - if we can use the precautionary principle for global terrorism, then logically should we not also use it for gloabl warming which has the potential for affecting many people people?).

What is needed is a sea-change in the basic assumptions of the economic models which run our lives. Unfortunately the bible holders of the current economic faith are the very same people who are benefiting from its fallacies; the undemocratic Bretton Woods organisations of the WTO, IMF and WorldBank.

In the case of long term environmental changes brought about by current social and economic activity it will be impossible to force everyone to be 'socially responsible' as this will need an environmentally based all pervasive authoritarian regime - a cross between the Greenpeace and Stalinism. It would be far better would be to actually try and make the underpinning logic of economic activity fit better to the issues that affect life on earth.

Long live the economic revolution!
Don't externalise my future!


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astar2


member


Total posts: 37
Posted:I don't know if this was mentioned, but it's hard to take patriach seriously after he's suggested wind farms will have a serious impact on air currents, even suggesting solar farms will is a bit ludicrious.

If wind mills are so terribly invasive on the equilibrium of air currents, then we should chop down all our forests immediatly, I gurantee a forest has far more impact on wind currents then a bunch of sparsely spaced, slender windmills.

And you honestly think the surface area of solar panels will exceed the surface area of black tarmac and concrete we have all over the globe.


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astar2


member


Total posts: 37
Posted:ecologicaly the only issues with windmills is killing birds and bats, or perhaps the building of them/the infastructure for them.

Why don't you make up something a little bit more plausible next time?


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Patriarch917
SILVER Member since Oct 2005

Patriarch917

I make my own people.
Location: Nashville, Tennessee

Total posts: 607
Posted:It's hard to take seriously the idea that driving a car or flying an airplane could seriously affect the planet, which is why so many doubt it's plausibility. Just as with drugs though, the dosage is important.

Sure, sparsely spaced slender windmills would have a negligible affect on the environment. So would sparsely placed low emission vehicles. However, were we to put up enough windmills and solar panels to generate the amount of energy currently being generated by oil, I'm sure they would have a measurable affect on the planet.

It is true that the forests will probably have far more impact on winds than any number of windmills we could put up. It is also true that volcanos and solar activity have far more impact on climate change than anything we do with oil.

The current ecological issues with windimills may be killing birds and bats, but this is because we aren't doing much with them. Back when few people drove cars, the biggest ecological issue was the noise scaring the horses, and a temporary bad smell as they sputtered by.

Sure, they aren't a problem now because there are so few of them. This doesn't mean that enough of them couldn't have some impact. The whole point of a windmill is to rob the wind of energy and put that energy to some other use. Do enough of this, and we will certainly have interesting new environmental issues to discuss.


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astar2


member


Total posts: 37
Posted:so you think windmills will one day out number tree's?

I suppose we will replace the oceans with milk shake and rum to.


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TheWibbler
GOLD Member since Apr 2003

old hand
Location: New Zealand

Total posts: 920
Posted: Written by: Patriarch917


"Fossil fuels" are, as far as we can tell, dead plants and animals that somehow got buried. Clearly, they took the CO2 from the surface of the planet. By releasing their CO2, we are merely returning the planet to it's former state.

Absorbing sunlight or screwing with air currents would absolutely have a noticable impact on the climate. Nothing sarcastic about that.



Firstly, patriarch you have to realise that you live in america and that most of what you have learnt in your life has been, well, not exactly true.

Now then, you raise some slightly valid points but you are getting confused with your scales of magnitude.

Firstly you are suggesting that Oil is 'Carbon Neutral'. This means that during a plants life it takes in CO2, turns it into oxygen, then when you burn it, it takes in oxygen and gives out CO2. The quantities are equal therefore you get 'Carbon Neutral'. However you are wrong to think Oil is carbon neutral. Say you grow a tree, cut it down and burn it. That's carbon neutral. Cos it's on a small timescale. The tree that has turned into oil grow lets say a million years ago, so you take a load of CO2 out of the atmosphere a million years ago and release it now, that's not carbon neutral because of the time scale. The result is that you get a hell of a lot too much CO2 in the atmosphere.

Secondly you say that taking solar energy and messing with wind currents will have a dramatic effect on the planet. Again your sense of scale is well out. I kind of agree with you about wind power, if we covered the entire planet in windmills we would have an effect on wind patterns, good or bad effect i don't know. Energy would be taken out of the wind and presumably there would be less powerful tornadoes etc, but perhaps so much energy would be taken out that it would have negative consequences. Who Knows.

However i think the ammount of the suns energy that would power the entire planet is under 1%, even if we could harness a thousandth this ammount it would have a very positive impact on the planet. The only down side i can see is that it would also cool the planet down to somewhere closer to where it should be, which is a bonus. Remember that the energy in oil came from the sun originally, the oil just acts as a battery.

Now being an american you use a massive ammount of energy, i mean it is off the scale of binge consumption. if you go to this site you can learn about your Carbon Footprint. That's the ammount of Carbon you consume.

http://www.safeclimate.net/calculator/
br>
I can't remember the exact numbers but but i saw a graph once. The ammount you carbon you're allowed to use was the size of my thumbnail. The ammount an average european was about 10 times that and the average american was like 100 times the size.

Ok so this gets us on to the topic of First World Debt. We all know about 3rd world debt. The poor people on th eplanet paying the rich back vastly inflated intrest on fairly small loans.

First World Debt is one that we in the west don't hear much about, since if we started paying it back we would owe a lot of money each. 1st world debt is enormous and is defined in one sense as the ammount of money it would cost to return the planet back to its original state. I mean this eclipses 3rd world debt, it eclipses USA's debt (yes that's right USA is not a wealthy country, it is in debt to the tune of around $6trillion, that's $6,000,000,000,000.00 i think) to put that into perspective the total cost of the current war in iraq is a miniscule $300,000,000,000, or $0.3 trillion

good site is the cost of war site http://nationalpriorities.org/index.php?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=182
br>
Anyways, a really excellent site, with awesome books is this one:

http://www.fragile-earth.com/earth/contents.html
if you are interested in your descendants having a planet to live on then i really reccomend reading the little earth book. It gives a broad outline of all the important factors without getting too confusing.

Oh yeah, as far as i'm aware the planet has NEVER had this much carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere, so we can expect lots of crazy things to happen that we never expected.

m


Spherculism ~:~ The Act of becoming Spherculish.

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Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne

Total posts: 2830
Posted:Id like to lock the whole Competitive Enterprise Institute in a sealed room full of CO2, and see if they still call CO2 life. A suitable punishment for false advertising and distorting the truth.

There is no doubt that carbon dioxide, methane, chlorofluorocarbons and nitrous oxide are being released into the atmosphere at a far greater rate than would naturally. All these gasses contribute to the enhanced greenhouse effect, the main cause of global warming.


IWhat I really don't understand is why ordinary people deny the obvious and actively support the global polluters who are turning our planet into a sewer.




frown


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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Patriarch917
SILVER Member since Oct 2005

Patriarch917

I make my own people.
Location: Nashville, Tennessee

Total posts: 607
Posted: Written by: Stone


Id like to lock the whole Competitive Enterprise Institute in a sealed room full of CO2, and see if they still call CO2 life. A suitable punishment for false advertising and distorting the truth.



Im sure they already are in rooms full of CO2. I know I am.

 Written by: Stone


There is no doubt that carbon dioxide, methane, chlorofluorocarbons and nitrous oxide are being released into the atmosphere at a far greater rate than would naturally.


Thats only if you consider humans to be a non-natural part of the ecosystem. An outside observer would probably point out that humans consuming oil and putting out CO2 seems as natural as cows eating grass and putting out methane.

The Wibbler seems to claim that humans owe a debt to return the world to its original state. If so, we share that debt with every form of life, since we all alter the environment.


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Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne

Total posts: 2830
Posted:Patriarch917, I think you mean room full of hot air . Which makes a lot of sense, otherwise you would be dead.

Gaseous carbon dioxide is an asphyxiant. Concentrations of 10% (100,000 ppm) or more can produce unconsciousness or death. Lower concentrations may cause headache, sweating, rapid breathing, increased heartbeat, shortness of breath, dizziness, mental depression, visual disturbances or shaking. The seriousness of the latter symptoms is dependent on the concentration of carbon dioxide and the length of time the individual is exposed. The response to carbon dioxide inhalation varies greatly even in healthy normal individuals. U.S. Department of Labor.


Want to try and experiment with CO2, Patriarch917?

I think u take liberties. Like you now say that cars occur naturally, as a part of the ecosystem.

More CO2.


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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ickleMatt


ickleMatt

enthusiast
Location: L.O.N.D.O.N.

Total posts: 242
Posted:Patriarch stop being a dolt; natural means something that isn't made by humankind.

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TheWibbler
GOLD Member since Apr 2003

old hand
Location: New Zealand

Total posts: 920
Posted: Written by: Patriarch917



The Wibbler seems to claim that humans owe a debt to return the world to its original state. If so, we share that debt with every form of life, since we all alter the environment.





Spoken like a true american. If you brake something that isn't yours it's your responsibility to fix it, right? That's what a good person would do. The Earth doesn't belong to you, it was not given to you by god to destroy, it belongs to all of us, including all the other creatures on the planet.



We are the only species on this planet which is stupid enough to destroy our habitat. No other creature owes a debt because no other creature destroys the ecosystem. They change it yes, but damage it NO. They do not produce massive ammounts of chemicals which have never existed on the planet.



The room you are in is not FULL of CO2, it is was, you would DIE. I don't know quite what gobbledeegook they teach on that *edit* of the atlantic but you need all the chemicals in the air to breathe, not just CO2.



*edit for content and language*



m

EDITED_BY: Pele (1148304864)


Spherculism ~:~ The Act of becoming Spherculish.

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Mr Majestik
SILVER Member since Mar 2004

Mr Majestik

coming to a country near you
Location: home of the tiney toothy bear

Total posts: 4693
Posted:umm



i must say in my two years of HoP this is the first post i've seen that just blantantly insults another member.



keep in mind Wibbler that even if someone is stupid insulting them most definatly doesnt change their mind, and they will usually get even more defensive and start considering any different views as attacking theirs.



 Written by: the wibbler

This planet WILL NOT SUPPORT HUMAN LIFE IN THE FORSEEABLE FUTURE





so what? that is what i beleive is called darwinism, if humanity (as a collective) is too stupid to sustain itself and its habitat then it makes sense we demise.


"but have you considered there is more to life than your eyelids?"

jointly owned by Fire_Spinning_Angel and Blu_Valley

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coleman
SILVER Member since Aug 2002

coleman

big and good and broken
Location: lunn dunn, yoo kay

Total posts: 7330
Posted:yep i agree - insults don't help, no matter how frustratingly incoherent someone's argument is.



maybe an edit to remove the personal comments may be in order matt? hug





we all realise that putting together a rational argument on a discussion board, only to have someone reply with complete nonsense is very frustrating.



i myself can't tell half the time if patriarch is simply being the devil's advocate or not.



i hope he is since it seems ludicrous to me that someone could be misinformed to such a degree and that they would openly present such irrational views with absolutely no coherent arguments or evidence to support the conclusions that are implied shrug



patriarch's 'argument' in this thread seems to be that he implicitly distrusts the scientific method to effectively develop and test theories on climate change and prefers instead to deny reasoning, persistently refuse to err on the side of caution and rely on irrational thought experiments that (as he perceives them) justify his lifestyle choices, no matter how they may affect the lives of others or of future generations.





as much as it is disheartening to hear such selfish, head-in-the-sand, la-la-la type opinions with regards to ethical and social responsibility, we cannot and should not try to forcibly change someone's views nor should we insult or stereotype them because they are not able (or refuse) to argue rationally.





cole. x


"i see you at 'dis cafe.
i come to 'dis cafe quite a lot myself.
they do porridge."
- tim westwood

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Pen Draven


Pen Draven

Unofficial Lord Of Confusion And Pirate Extrodinaire
Location: Nuneaton

Total posts: 1363
Posted:While i kind of agree with TheWibbler,, i have to also agree with Mr M. and Cole.

Dont think its quite handbag time yet guys hug


Some men see things and say why....

I Dream of things that never were and say Why Not....?

Oh No I'm going to get Shot Alive if he finds out - DA wink

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Domino
SILVER Member since May 2004

UnNatural Scientist - Currently working on a Breville-legged monkey
Location: Bath Uni or Shrewsbury, UK

Total posts: 757
Posted: Written by: coleman


patriarch's 'argument' in this thread seems to be that he implicitly distrusts the scientific method to effectively develop and test theories



We know this already wink

However he's right in that there is still lots of debate in the scientific community as to whether climate change is happening or at least the extent of it.

I'm sitting on the fence (and that's certain what I'm going to say in my exam on Thursay frown because then I can talk about both sides) but leaning towards the idea that climate change or not, emissions should be reduced. But try convincing people to spend money on reducing emissions when your argument boils down to "Well, it might cause climate change, anyhow - it's the right thing to do"

(-- I'm saying that this is my argumnet, not anyone elses)


Give me a lever long enough and a place to stand and I can beat the world into submission.

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Stout
SILVER Member since May 2004

Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada

Total posts: 1872
Posted:Mr. Majestik, did you read the I.D/Evolution thread? Patriarch got it there too.

I for one think Patriarch is far from stupid and raises quite a few valid points and questions in his posts. What you're seeing here is more of a case of "green guilt" on the part of MrWibbler. Now, from reading on this site I've noticed that Mr Wibbler somehow got himself from the U.K. down to N.Z. and Australia, presumably toured around a bit and is now planning on using global shipping to distribute plastic discs to further his own financial status.

I'd be interested in how Matt, and anyone else for that matter is willing to compromise their own lifestyles for the sake of the planet, because, quite obviously, complaining and pointing fingers isn't going to solve much of anything, now is it?

Who's willing to give up their car, or never get on a plane again for the sake of the planet? Anybody? I didn't think so. Really, it's a personal responsability issue and I for one would like to see those who are all bent out of shape about the state of the environment actually making the sacrifices they demand of all of us rather than simply bitching about who's fault it is.

Come on, SHOW us how it's done, we're tired of talk.


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faith enfire
BRONZE Member since Mar 2017

faith enfire

wandering thru the woods of WI
Location: Wisconsin

Total posts: 3556
Posted:seriously though why is what us americans taught any less true than what you have been taught...what if your government is lying to you
what a novel idea
large windfarms seriously affect windpatterns and this must be taken into consideration. the plateau raising 1in each year affects weather patterns so it is naive to think wind farms would not


Faith
Nay, whatever comes one hour was sunlit and the most high gods may not make boast of any better thing than to have watched that hour as it passed

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coleman
SILVER Member since Aug 2002

coleman

big and good and broken
Location: lunn dunn, yoo kay

Total posts: 7330
Posted:stout, you have focused on the specific issue of reduction of emissions through changes in the usage of fossil fuel powered personal transport.

the solution in that case is not to force people to give up their cars or to never use a plane again - the world is not black and white and i for one am not suggesting that its either 'by foot, by bicycle or not at all'.

the aim is rather to encourage some kind of sensible and ethical use of these forms of transport.

for example, if i go to edinburgh, scotland, i do not take a plane, i take a train, even though it takes three hours longer.

if i need to go to the shops, i do not drive a car, i walk.

if i were buying a new car to drive on the road, i would not pick one with four wheel drive and a massive four-litre engine.


you are right that pointing of fingers is indeed going on, but they are not pointing at everyone that uses a plane or a car to make a journey.
they are pointing at those who use their supercharged izusu trooper to drive their kids on a ten minute journey to school, those who would rather argue the case of 'climate change is a crock' than err on the side of caution for the sake of future generations - those who flatly refuse to take any kind of personal or social responsibilty for the amount and type of energy resources they consume and their overall impact on the world we live in and on.


putting the climate issue completely to one side for a moment, the fact that the use of fossil fuels for energy is wildly non-sustainable (and as such when they run out, that's well and truly the end of it) should really be enough to signal that continuing on our current course of 'convenience over all' is idiotic.

as individuals, we could do a lot worse than try to be more aware of how much energy we use, in what form and the ways in which we can personally minimise our impact on the environment.

i am not proposing that people cast aside all modern inventions (which patriarch seems to think is the only alternative to the much more attractive way of living equivalent to total decadence), but rather to use the technology that we have developed ethically and in moderation.


it is the type of person that refuses to even consider the positive effects that certain lifestyle changes could bring about that concern and ultimately offend me, as i see in their views nothing but ignorance and selfishness.


cole. x


"i see you at 'dis cafe.
i come to 'dis cafe quite a lot myself.
they do porridge."
- tim westwood

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coleman
SILVER Member since Aug 2002

coleman

big and good and broken
Location: lunn dunn, yoo kay

Total posts: 7330
Posted: Written by: faithinfire



seriously though why is what us americans taught any less true than what you have been taught...





i think that was an unfair and fairly sweeping accusation made by matt (the wibbler)



however, its topics like the (ongoing) id 'debate' that form these kind of stereotypes in the minds of non-americans.



exhibit a.





cole. x


"i see you at 'dis cafe.
i come to 'dis cafe quite a lot myself.
they do porridge."
- tim westwood

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Pen Draven


Pen Draven

Unofficial Lord Of Confusion And Pirate Extrodinaire
Location: Nuneaton

Total posts: 1363
Posted:Faithinfire... Possibly the rather large smatterings of media coverage demonstrating that most of GWB's pet 'scientists' say what big business tells them to. Not that big business controls whats going on over there wink

http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0,12271,1507554,00.html
br>And heres my favorite tidbit from the past
http://www.scientistsandengineersforchange.org/mt/
br>
Not saying that ours is any better of course,, but then i don't choose to believe what mine tells me most of the time anyhow ;0)


Some men see things and say why....

I Dream of things that never were and say Why Not....?

Oh No I'm going to get Shot Alive if he finds out - DA wink

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Mr Majestik
SILVER Member since Mar 2004

Mr Majestik

coming to a country near you
Location: home of the tiney toothy bear

Total posts: 4693
Posted: Written by: the guardian (above)

He had previously worked for the American Petroleum Institute, a lobby group that was vocal in countering the virtual consensus by scientists that manmade emissions are warming the planet.

Bush administration policy on global warming has generally echoed that of the oil lobby, emphasising doubt over climate change science and focusing on the need for further research.



a virtual consensus, but of course everyone knows science is mostly just an abused tool of the powerful.


"but have you considered there is more to life than your eyelids?"

jointly owned by Fire_Spinning_Angel and Blu_Valley

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faith enfire
BRONZE Member since Mar 2017

faith enfire

wandering thru the woods of WI
Location: Wisconsin

Total posts: 3556
Posted:i would like to have you note that one guy in texas said let's teach id but the title of the article states that most disagree...
and you don't think scientists around the world are being told what to say by their governments

as for bush cutting funding to certian scientific exploits, i'm glad he cut it to stem cells because all they want to do is use embreyos, there are several other ways to gather stem cells, you don't need to use the unborn, but that is a whole other issue


Faith
Nay, whatever comes one hour was sunlit and the most high gods may not make boast of any better thing than to have watched that hour as it passed

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coleman
SILVER Member since Aug 2002

coleman

big and good and broken
Location: lunn dunn, yoo kay

Total posts: 7330
Posted: Written by: faithinfire


i would like to have you note that one guy in texas said let's teach id but the title of the article states that most disagree...



no, it says that most *rivals* disagree.

as far as i 'm concerned, that's what rivals tend to do - if they agreed on the issue, they wouldn't be rivals!

from the same article:

"school boards and legislatures in almost 30 states ... have considered or passed intelligent design initiatives."



cole. x


"i see you at 'dis cafe.
i come to 'dis cafe quite a lot myself.
they do porridge."
- tim westwood

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ickleMatt


ickleMatt

enthusiast
Location: L.O.N.D.O.N.

Total posts: 242
Posted:Yes maybe I was reactionary in my personal criticism, however I called Patriarch a dolt because he is *purposefully* confusing the term 'natural' to forward his argument, not because I disagree completely with what he says. I reserve my right to call him a dolt (note that I am being conservative in my term) for doing this, because by doing so he is being disingenuous and muddying the waters. Unless of cause we hear otherwise, and then I will retract the statement and then it will be hug

I too am sceptical that science *really* knows what is going on regarding changes in the weather and if humans are having a concrete impact. However, as I mentioned in my previous post I think it is prudent to use the cautionary principle regarding climate change; to assume that we are having an impact, because to assume otherwise and to be wrong will have terrible consequences.

Stout:

Who is pointing fingers? I have detailed a valid means by which environmentalism can become the norm not the view of the fringe. If you want a more nuanced view check out Friends of the Earth.

I have already tried to minimise my ecological 'footprint' through a whole range of various actions. To list them here would be terribly boring and self centred. However, when I live in a country where a third of the CO2 is produced by 5 companies what practical difference will this make? That's not to say everyone shouldn't try, because trying means that you are aware and mass awareness can be translated into the political arena. Why not vote for the Green party?

I am a great believer of 'value me by my actions, not by what I say' unfortunately it is rather difficult on HoP to *show* you anything.


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jeff(fake)


jeff(fake)

Scientist of Fortune
Location: Edinburgh

Total posts: 1189
Posted:Everything changes the wind currents. That's what chaos theory is all about. Buildings, tree, wind turbines, you, me.



Why single out the wind turbines? It would make as much sense to disintegrate a forest or city (or me) because of the effect it as on the wind currents as to argue that wind turbines are bad because they affect the wind.


According to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle of Quantum Dynamics, we may already be making love right now...

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faith enfire
BRONZE Member since Mar 2017

faith enfire

wandering thru the woods of WI
Location: Wisconsin

Total posts: 3556
Posted:goodness must you be contrary about everything
this is mentioned because people seem to think that wind energy comes at no price
some people don't think about the environmental ramifications of hydrodams--they just see it as clean energy
trees are fine...the benefits of a tree/grove often but not always outweigh the disadvantages. erosion, air quality, keeping wildlife out of the house, flooding, energy conservation
skyscrapers suck tear em down...it's not healthy for us to have our feet so far off the ground


Faith
Nay, whatever comes one hour was sunlit and the most high gods may not make boast of any better thing than to have watched that hour as it passed

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Patriarch917
SILVER Member since Oct 2005

Patriarch917

I make my own people.
Location: Nashville, Tennessee

Total posts: 607
Posted:Is it doltish to think that humans are a natural part of the environment? I resist the suggestion that we do not belong here, and that human activity is some sort of violation of the planet that should never have happened.

I see your meaning of course. No doubt the rabbits consider the wolves to be not acting naturally, since they probably define "natural" as eating plants. No doubt the plants see the rabbits as unnatural, and consider it natural to simply grow in the dirt. An outside observer would see all of these as part of the "nature" of this planet.

To say that we have a duty to return the earth to some non-human state because human activity is not natural seems to be a very odd view to have.

Rather than labeling CO2 emissions as pollutants or unnatural, I think that it is far more helpful to frame the argument in terms of what is best for our species. If we are truly destroying our ability to survive and thrive, then we should limit our output to acceptable levels.

Of course, this argument is hard to make, since you have to reason backwards from an outcome. It is easy to say stop releasing CO2 because it is unnatural or stop releasing CO2 because it is a pollutant.

It is much harder to say stop releasing CO2 because CO2 will cause a greenhouse affect that might warm the planet an extra degree or two than it will warm naturally (minus the cooling affects of human activity), and that warming will eventually be bad for humanity.

All of that reasoning may be true, which is why I have advocated in this thread that we should decrease their energy consumption. However, I admit that much of the things we hear about global warming is speculative, including the idea that it is a bad thing. Even though, it is far more compelling than merely calling CO2 pollution or unnatural.


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Domino
SILVER Member since May 2004

UnNatural Scientist - Currently working on a Breville-legged monkey
Location: Bath Uni or Shrewsbury, UK

Total posts: 757
Posted:Dont over look those few degrees. 4C lower and we'd be in an Ice Age.

Give me a lever long enough and a place to stand and I can beat the world into submission.

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dream
SILVER Member since Jul 2003

dream

currently mending
Location: Bristol

Total posts: 493
Posted: Written by:

I called Patriarch a dolt because he is *purposefully* confusing the term 'natural' to forward his argument



No... Just because someone doesn't use a term in the same way as you doesn't mean he is purposefully confusing a term to forward his argument... On the contrary your definition of nature as excluding humans doesn't actually make any sense if you were to stop and think about it.

 Written by:

I too am sceptical that science *really* knows what is going on regarding changes in the weather and if humans are having a concrete impact



the weather was discovered to be chaotic in the 1960's by Edward Lorentz... This means that is impossible to accurately predict weather patterns beyond the very short term. As it stands, your comment makes no sense. Do you mean climate? the two terms are not interchangable.


 Written by:

To say that we have a duty to return the earth to some non-human state because human activity is not natural seems to be a very odd view to have.

Rather than labeling CO2 emissions as pollutants or unnatural, I think that it is far more helpful to frame the argument in terms of what is best for our species. If we are truly destroying our ability to survive and thrive, then we should limit our output to acceptable levels.



It shouldn't be a case of thinking of things-in-themselves as good and bad. Carbon Dioxide and Oxygen are both necessary for life as we know it to sustain itself. Its a case of balance: as Patriarch mentioned, a few percent more oxygen and the atmosphere would be too reactive for of life to survive. Equally too much CO2 in the atmosphere and the rise in temperature is likely to lead to a rise in sea levels of up to 80ft worldwide, mass starvation throughout the tropics (rice fertility drops by 10% for each degree over a certain threshold), and possible runaway effects as positive feedback kicks in.

However with the amounts as they stand now (and roughly as they've been for several million years) life has been able to thrive - not because of the presence or absence of substances but because of their balance.

Saying things like 'wind farms affect climate', or 'are humans are having a concrete impact on climate' are fairly meaningless... Everything will impact upon everything else in some way down the paths of a rhizomatic casual network. The question should never be 'does it have an impact' but 'what are its impacts' and 'to what systems can a process be seen to have a detrimental impact', and consequently 'what alternative processes would potentailly be preferential'.

The biosphere has a huge tolerance to changes in condition - whether the cause be human related or otherwise (for example sunspots have been linked to large changes in climate throughout history) - negative feedback creates a homoestatic zone within which the planet's climate will regulate itself out - think Lovelock's Daisyworld simulations for a massively simplified working example of this. Another good example is a spring...

Go beyond the tipping point though and no-one really knows the extent to which positive feedback will alter the composition of the atmosphere - the release of the vast quantities of methane currently under the oceans is one possible effect which is commonly mentioned. The precautionary principle basically says that while we dont know where the tipping point is we sure as hell don't want to find out.

Disturbingly about 45% of climatologists surveyed earlier this year said they believed we had already passed this ecological point of no return...


He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.

Nietzsche

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dream
SILVER Member since Jul 2003

dream

currently mending
Location: Bristol

Total posts: 493
Posted: Written by:

It is easy to say stop releasing CO2 because it is unnatural or stop releasing CO2 because it is a pollutant.

It is much harder to say stop releasing CO2 because CO2 will cause a greenhouse affect that might warm the planet an extra degree or two than it will warm naturally (minus the cooling affects of human activity), and that warming will eventually be bad for humanity.



So the first sentence is plainly ridiculous. While the second features spelling and grammer that would disgrace a twelve year old. I'm not sure what you're trying to say.

As for

 Written by:

this argument is hard to make, since you have to reason backwards from an outcome.



??? Isn't this what most people do on a daily basis? You perceive things (outcomes of events) and then rationalise, or make sense of them.

Unless of course you begin by assuming say, that God exists, and then trying to make every outcome you subsequently encounter fit your preconceptions.

ubblol

sorry


He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.

Nietzsche

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