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Thread: Well, well, well. Go to jail if you have to - this is new.

  1. #1 Well, well, well. Go to jail if you have to - this is new. 
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    The first and last paragraphs from this opinion piece by Jeremy Grantham in Nature.

    I have yet to meet a climate scientist who does not believe that global warming is a worse problem than they thought a few years ago. The seriousness of this change is not appreciated by politicians and the public. The scientific world carefully measures the speed with which we approach the cliff and will, no doubt, carefully measure our rate of fall. But it is not doing enough to stop it. I am a specialist in investment bubbles, not climate science. But the effects of climate change can only exacerbate the ecological trouble I see reflected in the financial markets — soaring commodity prices and impending shortages.
    It is crucial that scientists take more career risks and sound a more realistic, more desperate, note on the global-warming problem. Younger scientists are obsessed by thoughts of tenure, so it is probably up to older, senior and retired scientists to do the heavy lifting. Be arrested if necessary. This is not only the crisis of your lives — it is also the crisis of our species’ existence. I implore you to be brave.
    Be persuasive. Be brave. Be arrested (if necessary) : Nature News & Comment

    His take on fertiliser shortages in the body of this item is also a bit sobering.

    As for the 'be brave and go to jail if you have to" message - it's alright for him to say. Though I suppose he's fair in saying that young scientists whose careers are not established can stay out of this. But it's a pretty big ask even for the older, established people to go this way. I suppose they can see that James Hansen hasn't brought the sky down on his own head, but a lot of them have had to deal with threats to themselves and their families. Maybe it is too much to ask?


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    They can't lock you all up, and even if they did you'd all be heroes

    I don't get why there's a need to do things which result in imprisonment... simply speaking up and raising awareness will help. Or going through the courts to make changes using scientific evidence. It will all add up to help sustain the earth as a habitate for future generations.


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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post

    Be persuasive. Be brave. Be arrested (if necessary) : Nature News & Comment

    His take on fertiliser shortages in the body of this item is also a bit sobering.

    As for the 'be brave and go to jail if you have to" message - it's alright for him to say. Though I suppose he's fair in saying that young scientists whose careers are not established can stay out of this. But it's a pretty big ask even for the older, established people to go this way. I suppose they can see that James Hansen hasn't brought the sky down on his own head, but a lot of them have had to deal with threats to themselves and their families. Maybe it is too much to ask?
    I do think the matter is urgent, however I'm not willing to go to jail to wake people up. I'm not sure when we are going to reach the tipping point, but I'd be willing to bet the farm that we will reach the tipping point, before real action on the problem will start taking place. What is the tipping point? That point at which the problem of global warming cannot be reversed in time to prevent major global problems that will cause the deaths of over 100 million people or more world wide. (I am really thinking a billion+ people) but only time will tell.

    One of the very disrupting problems will be the rising oceans. At the tipping point the oceans will rise much faster than most everybody thinks they will now. What will happen in all counties with lots of coast line? All the coastal cities and population centers will be lost and all those people relocated somewhere. Of course they will have lost most of their property investments. Once the water starts moving in property values will drop to zero, and of course over 90% of those people will be jobless. So where are all those jobless beggars going to live and be provided for?

    On the brighter side some people with a little money can research where the new coast line will be and buy the land cheap now.
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  5. #4  
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    I doubt it.

    With the exception of James Hansen, climate scientists predictions of sea level rise are mostly in the half to two metres region within 100 years. The world can adapt to that, though the new sea walls around cities will be very expensive.
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  6. #5  
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    You want scientists to be directed by hedge fund managers?

    wow
    ........................
    sea walls?
    hell man, rebuild the cities higher up
    look around any major coastal city, and count the number/percentage of century old buildings
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  7. #6  
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    rebuild the cities higher up
    Houses and businesses might be easy enough to shift. Shifting ports, power plants, sewage processing, roads, railyards and the like is not a light-hearted undertaking.

    You want scientists to be directed by hedge fund managers?
    Not just a hedge fund manager. Here's the latest from the World Bank. Climate Change | World Bank Warns of Four Degrees Global Warming
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    I doubt it.

    With the exception of James Hansen, climate scientists predictions of sea level rise are mostly in the half to two meters region within 100 years. The world can adapt to that, though the new sea walls around cities will be very expensive.
    The climate scientists you are talking about are completely ignoring the possibility of a tipping point that accelerates the whole process of global warming and the effects of it. If we were to stop all new green house gases from being released into the atmosphere today, it would still take decades to rebalance earths biosphere. However we are not slowing it down, it's picking up speed as China and India are trying to modernize their countries and if you haven't noticed the US is still the world heavy weight when it comes to a carbon footprint.
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    Climate scientists are naturally cautious and conservative, and do not dive into the latest 'tipping point' theory. They weigh their predictions up in the balance of reality. Sure, they might be wrong, but I would rather go with the cautious realist than the fashionable disaster-monger.
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  10. #9  
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    I would rather go with the cautious realist than the fashionable disaster-monger.
    What was the punchline on that cartoon? "What if it turns out that we made the world a better place for nothing!"

    My suspicion is that the gap between the cautious and the disaster-monger is getting narrower by the year. We'll see what comes out of the next IPCC report, but that's a year away or more.
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  11. #10  
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    imo
    the world bank is a criminal organization which tries to sell people and nations into the slavery of debt with "easy money"

    and you think that citing them will sway anyone with an ounce of analytical skills?
    granted, i ain't really looked into their dealings for awhile, but I recall one poor country that was the beneficiary of their largess. The "leaders" and their clique squirreled away most of the money, then moved to europe, leaving the country deeply in debt. The next government had to exact taxes and austerity measures from the populace to repay the debts which never netted the poor peasants one single f--ing dime.

    and, when they screw up and the unlucky suckers refuse to pay up, we seize the countries assets, and pay to keep this criminal enterprise going with our tax dollars which is taken from us tax payers with no recourse.

    ok, granted, maybe 1/2 the stuff in this computer wouldn't be here without other actions of the world bank, but what do bankers know of climates. paleoclimates. and the cycles of this world? (wild guess---less than I, a meer amature)

    what they know, is what they are invested in, and that includes current infrastructure,
    and that is what they want you to try and protect for them.
    and if you will do their heavy lifting without pay, so much the better for them.

    The way container ships have been evolving, port facilities are out dated by the time the concrete is poured, and anyone who would issue permits for powerplants and sewage systems within the levels of sea level from the previous interglacials and superinterglacials is an ignorant pencil pusher. and should be encouraged to find employment elsewhere.
    AGW, even if well overhyped, should become part of any near "sea level" planning.
    Din't blame the climate, blame the jackasses who refuse to plan well.
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    I've hated the World Bank forever. Talk about colonialism by fair means or foul. The number of people who've died when they've imposed their 'conditions' on loans they've 'granted' for ill-conceived, inappropriate funding that never achieves any worthwhile economic advantage to the 'recipients'. It's just another way to suck poor nations' resources into those of the large economies.

    But I've heard more encouraging things lately. They're not perfect and much of the world might have been better off without them, but they could do some good if they just set their minds to it.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
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    Would one or two of the Members who have Posted to This Thread try to clear up one or two things that are worrying me.

    1. Solar Panels. Where the Sunshine is economically viable, every House or Dwelling or Backyard a few Panels.

    ( surely with our current technology sufficient Power could be Accumulated to run all the Appliances and Energy requirements of the modern home?)

    Wots worrying me? Are vested Interests preventing the individual ownership of their own harvested energy?

    2. Catching and saving more water in Rain Water Tanks on a Community driven basis.

    Wots worrying me? Those with the Power to update Legislation re water saving have dropped off the pace, dosn't loom large on their horizon.

    3. Global Warming. Climate Change. Tipping Points.

    Wots worrying me.? Should a rapid onset of radically changed conditions suddenly occur, then all the toughs in my neighbourhood will probably come and take any resources I may have prudently put aside. Oh yee of little Faith. Yes Yes me, the Barstardees are out there and They'll rape and plunder. Only need a small brain for that. westwind.
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    1. Solar panels. it might still be a bit early. They are still expensive. Costs are dropping though. Give them time.

    2. Water tanks. I am with you there. I use two rain water tanks for my water. We filter the drinking water through a double filter system and drink the purest water you can get.

    3. Global warming. Not your problem (or mine). We will both be long dead and gone before it gets so bad that we need to worry about any toughs.
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    Would you go to jail to save your child? Would you give your life?

    What is the battle worth?
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    Oh, I'm not so worried about things "going bad". If power or water or food have to be rationed in any serious way, the 'toughs' will instantly find new employment opportunities in black market trading. The merely poor will feel less hard done by if the same limitations apply to everyone. The 'politics of envy' tend to recede in such circumstances.

    And if liquid fuels are limited or rationed, people with hybrids or EVs will suddenly find themselves very popular among friends and neighbours. Same for people with off-grid power generating capacity - the street will probably chip in to buy a bigger shed for all their freezers to be together. And when everybody in a suburb has a veg garden and chooks, no-one will be stealing their eggs.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    I doubt it.

    With the exception of James Hansen, climate scientists predictions of sea level rise are mostly in the half to two metres region within 100 years. The world can adapt to that, though the new sea walls around cities will be very expensive.
    And they are equally honest when they say that doesn't include dynamic ice cap changes they can't predict yet. Hanson takes a swag at the missing part.
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  18. #17  
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    Lynx

    Sea level rise has been between 2 and 3 mm per year for half a century. To even predict half a metre by 2100 requires a substantial increase. To go to 5 metres, as Hansen does, requires an awful lot more. Bordering on insanity.
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    To go to 5 metres, as Hansen does, requires an awful lot more.
    Well, only if it's more of the same. If it's a whole new player - ice-sheets disintegrating - then that's additional to whatever 'more of the same' would continue as.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
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    Surely if global warming was a problem... then it wouldn't be legal or acceptable to be dropping all those hot little bombs over Gaza?

    Something isn't right here somewhere.

    Are the scientists wrong? or are the people dropping and building bombs wrong?
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    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    Surely if global warming was a problem... then it wouldn't be legal or acceptable to be dropping all those hot little bombs over Gaza?

    Something isn't right here somewhere.

    Are the scientists wrong? or are the people dropping and building bombs wrong?
    Good point. And what about all the Heat Exchangers (Air conditioning units) blowing hot air outside in the middle of summer?
    And while we're at it, if Global Warming was real, why hasn't the government banned the consumption of beans?

    Buncha fakers. We all know it's getting colder and not warmer. Why, just the other day, I had to put on my jacket when I went outside.
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    During my childhood (not so long ago), I would wait for exactly this time of year for the hard frosts to hit, I would pour hot water down the slope in the evening and we would spends all evening sliding down the slope.

    So far this year... the hard frosts haven't arrived.

    I know weather seems to 'change like the weather' and personally I wouldn't be suprised if global warming was made up for some reason...

    But real people who are researching the ice caps think that they are melting rapidly, even the other night I saw an honest looking researcher on a documentary saying that there is reason to worry.

    Apparently it's the top 5 or 10 meters of sea water which is carving up the glaciers and iceburgs because it's warm.

    Current practises are destroying the earth... if it's not global warming then it's pollution and destruction of habitat.
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    Scientists have a responsibility. The Same reponsibility Doctors have.

    If a Senior Trained Scientist who has constantly been working in an Earth Science situation has Scientific evidence that Global Warming is occurring in Critical Support areas(Global), then he has a Professional Duty to advise His Government through a meeting with the Enviromental Minister.

    It could go something like this ""Mr. Minister, it is my melongholy duty to inform you that The Climate of this Planet will see some changes in the life time of your grandchildren. Shifting Monsoonal Cycles, Altered rainfall patterns, Extreme Summers and a shifting of Cereal Crop Planting Areas. This is the good news. The bad news will be high tidal events that will make some Coastal invironments uninhabital, Flooding and Drought."">

    Ïs that all? For a moment there we were going to have problems. You've come here urgently just to talk about the Weather? Will have to look at the Funding of your Research Deptpartment to see if we can find something useful for you to do. westwind.
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    I suggest that sea walls for the Ganges Delta - as just one notable example - will be prohibitively expensive, if they can be successfully constructed at all. 350 km across shifting silt strikes me as extraordinarily ambitious. Might need some exceptional pumps to cope with the backed up water behind during floods too - it's not just a matter of keeping the sea water from coming in, but allowing water to flow out. I'd be surprised if tide gates alone would do the job.

    The worst impacts of the extravagant carelessness (literally not caring or bearing responsibility) of the industrialised world will hit the poorest, who didn't make the problem the hardest. I can't see any of those industrialised nations offering to resettle a few hundred million climate refugees. More likely they'll boost border protection, with lethal force when it looks like becoming an unstoppable flood.

    The most cost effective way isn't to deal with the consequences of global warming as they arise but invest in preventing the worst.
    Last edited by Ken Fabos; November 21st, 2012 at 04:22 AM.
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  25. #24  
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    To even predict half a metre by 2100 requires a substantial increase. To go to 5 metres, as Hansen does, requires an awful lot more. Bordering on insanity.
    somehow the disintegration of the Greenland ice sheet doesn't look so improbable anymore

    Satellites See Unprecedented Greenland Ice Sheet Surface Melt
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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    imo
    the world bank is a criminal organization which tries to sell people and nations into the slavery of debt


    Here's a video you might relate to:

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=6h8Z1Z-nRWg
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  27. #26  
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    Quote Originally Posted by icewendigo View Post
    imo
    the world bank is a criminal organization which tries to sell people and nations into the slavery of debt


    Here's a video you might relate to:

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=6h8Z1Z-nRWg
    Very funny, if it wasn't the truth. I hate most banks as greedy money grubbing entities.
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  28. #27  
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    Maybeso, but what would you set up to replace banks?

    They are kind of useful.
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  29. #28  
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Maybe so, but what would you set up to replace banks?

    They are kind of useful.
    I don't think replacement is the way, but restructuring them to something other than huge corporations of stock holders demanding ever increasing profits and income, might be a big help.
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  30. #29  
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    As I understand it, arKane, the main constraint on banks behaviour and greed, is competition. Perhaps what is needed is a set of regulations that encourage proper competition.

    I have a different feeling about banks, which is probably because, here in NZ, our banks are strongly customer oriented. The bank I deal with will 'fall over backwards' to deal with my problems and concerns. A bank that offers such excellent customer service will get my vote any day.
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  31. #30  
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    As I understand it, arKane, the main constraint on banks behaviour and greed, is competition. Perhaps what is needed is a set of regulations that encourage proper competition.

    I have a different feeling about banks, which is probably because, here in NZ, our banks are strongly customer oriented. The bank I deal with will 'fall over backwards' to deal with my problems and concerns. A bank that offers such excellent customer service will get my vote any day.
    In the US we used to have banks such as you describe, and I seem to remember them going downhill in a big way after the republicans got rid of the regulation keeping them in check. So yeah, I like your idea.
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    We need a co-operative treasury that prints notes and gives all it's profit to it customers or members. Also invests in it's members projects. A completely transparent public owned treasury/banking service. Could that work?
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    <cough> tangent
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    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    To even predict half a metre by 2100 requires a substantial increase. To go to 5 metres, as Hansen does, requires an awful lot more. Bordering on insanity.
    somehow the disintegration of the Greenland ice sheet doesn't look so improbable anymore

    Satellites See Unprecedented Greenland Ice Sheet Surface Melt
    unprecedented: defined
    without previous instance; never before known or experienced; unexampled or unparalleled
    ..........................grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.....
    wouldn't it be really fucking wonderful if everyone stuck with the same meaning for words instread of hyperbolizing their way into pure babble>

    even just a casual perusal of the information about paleo climates gives the lie to
    "unprecedented greenland ice sheet surface melt"

    jesus fucking christ
    if the words are turning into hyperbolic bullshit, how in hell can we advance in science or understanding
    words,words,words
    smashed and broken and left lying in the dust by illiterate ignorant savages?
    frail enough as symbols of something else
    ..............
    how about "greatest greenland ice sheet surfice melt since instruments have been placed to record the melt"(then give the dates for the instrumentation?)
    Wherein lies the future of science if the headline guys ain't interested in one goddamned ounce of honesty?
    Last edited by sculptor; November 21st, 2012 at 07:29 PM.
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    even just a casual perusal of the information about paleo climates gives the lie to
    "unprecedented greenland ice sheet surfice melt"
    Just a casual perusal of the information about paleo climates tells us that human society, and agriculture in particular, could not have survived let alone thrived under any of the known climate regimes apart from the Holocene. We have no concerns about whether the rock we live on continues its whizzing around the sun in the snowball state or the superheated late Permian. The rock survives whether the oceans are poisonous stews of hydrogen sulphide or metres deep in ice.

    The earth supports life in the first place only because the planet is in the 'Goldilocks zone' in the solar system and a moderate helping of pure serendipity. Human civilisation has grown and developed on the basis of agriculture on this rare, possibly exclusive, planet only because we've been in a climate 'Goldilocks zone' for 10 thousand years.

    Climate reduced us to a measly few thousand specimens a mere blink of an eye ago in geological terms. There is no logical or scientific basis for thinking it couldn't do it again. Hot, cold, ice, fire, flood, drought, meteors - any of them, all of them can eliminate the human population from most of the face of the earth - and would have done any number of times if we'd been there in the past. Do you really think humans could have survived - any at all - the Permian extinction event if we'd been there in the first place?

    "Unprecedented" means for human purposes. If whatever-it-is hasn't happened during the period that agriculture has been developing and expanding, then we need to be cautious about changes to that beneficial climate.
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    Just a casual perusal of the information about paleo climates tells us that human society, and agriculture in particular, could not have survived let alone thrived under any of the known climate regimes apart from the Holocene.
    I do not often disagree with you, Adelady, since you are very good with your scientific facts. I have to disagree with this, though.

    Humans are adaptable. Even with only Stone Age technology, humans lived in a wide range of climates, from Inuits living on sea ice and eating seals, to Tuaregs in baking desert, and everything in between. With modern technology, we are now talking of a self sustaining colony on Mars. We can live damn near anywhere under almost any set of conditions.
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    Just a casual perusal of the information about paleo climates tells us that human society, and agriculture in particular, could not have survived let alone thrived under any of the known climate regimes apart from the Holocene. ... ...

    "Unprecedented" means for human purposes. If whatever-it-is hasn't happened during the period that agriculture has been developing and expanding, then we need to be cautious about changes to that beneficial climate.[/QUOTE][/QUOTE]The survival part is just silly.

    "The rock" is a living evolving entity which created and is being recreated by us....and for which we as individuals and a species are thereby responsible.

    Ok, lets say, that we tried, "unprecedented since the dawn of agriculture"------------but that ignores at least 2 warm spells since then-----

    I'm back to "unprecedented melting within the timeframe of the instrumentation used to measure this phenomenon" (or something like that that speaks to the actual data gathering)...

    why the hype
    why not just "tell it like it is"?

    What is gained if I claimed to have the best trained (or largest) dick in all of mankind?
    When I'm just an ordinary schmuck with ordinary abilities, wants and desires.
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    We can live damn near anywhere under almost any set of conditions.
    How many of us?

    The big issue is food. I can well see modern multi-level apartment buildings being modified to have areas set aside suitable for growing chooks for eggs and a 'self-fertilising' hydroponic system for fish and vegetables adequate to supply a fair amount of the food requirements for the occupants. I can also easily envisage places like Adelaide and Perth retrofitting suburban houses with earth roofs and new housing built with cellars for indoor comfort and attached controlled environments for small animals, fish and veg and small fruits. Dairy cows could also spend a larger part of their lives in controlled indoor climates in hot areas the way they now spend winters in cold climates. But that's just for the few rich countries and some rich cities in poor countries.

    What I don't see is how any of us will have a reliable supply of grains under a climate 2C or more warmer, right now we're only 0.8C warmer than the mid 1800s. We can certainly modify our crop plants to tolerate more heat or drought or wet feet or early frost or late frost - but that's a big or. I rather doubt we can come up with strains of any species, let alone all of them, that will tolerate more heat and more drought and more wet feet and more unseasonal frosts. Basically, it's the disruption of predictable planting, growing and harvesting seasons that will most affect food production, grains especially. Though tree crops like nuts won't do too well if the loss of the USA and Canadian apples along the east coast this year is any guide - early warmth promotes flowers, normal frost kills the flowers, 80-90% loss of production.

    More resistance will also be needed to different pest and weed species moving into new areas and becoming more and more tolerant to more and more of the modifications we make to both chemical controls and plant resistance. I know we're also threatened with potassium and phosphorus for fertiliser running out and/or becoming prohibitively expensive in the next 30 years, but I'm reasonably confident we can reclaim and recycle of lot of what we've thoughtlessly discarded into landfills and put it back by reprocessing as well as better farming methods to reduce fertiliser runoff and composting every little scrap of crop and animal waste.

    The big issue in all this is what will the poor people do? I just don't see how a hotter climate won't worsen the already precarious food insecurity in far too many countries.

    I realise that we can stop the idiotic grain for fuel nonsense and we can feed less grain to animals to eat it ourselves, but with another billion or two mouths to feed before we can start reducing global population by fair and sensible means, we're not going to be too flash when the balance of grain stocks goes into the red zone. And I don't see how we can avoid that every single year - for fifty years.

    Food shock warning as global grain deteriorates - ABC Rural - Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
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    A:
    food is a lot like money
    the wise live of what they have
    the agressive unwise live on what they can borrow
    famine has ways of controlling population, you either get smaller or have fewer offspring.

    It wasn't just famine that nearly laid our ancestors waste, it was a volcanic cold snap in the middle of a period of glaciation.

    but still
    Why the hype?
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    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
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    To Adelady

    We can already grow grains at 2 C more than normal. It surprised me, too, when I learned of this. Apparently there is a mixture of fungal and bacterial species living in symbiosis among the roots of pretty much any plant. If you take the microorganisms that grow in very hot areas, even from a different type of plant, and place those microorganisms among the roots of lower temperature grains, they are able to thrive at the higher temperature.

    In terms of quantity, it is worth noting that hydroponics permits enough food production, assuming no animal protein in the diet, to allow one adult to be kept healthy from 100 sq. metres of cultivation. Hydroponics, of course, can be carried out under all sorts of artificial environments, meaning temperature control.

    Having said that, I do not think hydroponics will be the way we grow more than a small part of food in the future. There will be enough improvements in agricultural methods and enough improvements in crop genetics that humanity will be able to feed itself using methods closer to traditional, soil based agriculture. Producing enough food in the future will happen.

    On potassium and phosphorus - the proven resources for phosphorus are 80 years. Potassium, of course, can be extracted from sea water. Nitrogen made from the atmosphere. Phosphorus can almost certainly be reclaimed from sea water using advanced biological techniques. It is a large part of the ash from seaweeds now. By the time we run out of traditional sources, we should be able to extract more from the ocean.

    You would have read the New Scientist article on agricultural robots. Tending crop plants is likely to become far more intensive with mini robots. Each individual plant can be fed the nutrients it needs, which will make the process far more efficient, by orders of magnitude.

    Nor are grains needed. In fact, you can grow a lot more calories per acre using root vegetables.
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    You would have read the New Scientist article on agricultural robots. Tending crop plants is likely to become far more intensive with mini robots. Each individual plant can be fed the nutrients it needs, which will make the process far more efficient, by orders of magnitude.
    Absolutely. I just don't see how 3 billion of the poorest people on earth can afford such technology or the food produced by such an expensive method.

    I'm pretty sure the richest 100 countries in the world, for an arbitrary split, can manage reasonably well, if not entirely unscathed. That would leave 85 other countries - including India - which I'm also pretty sure would be unable to implement such programs or anything remotely as sophisticated on anything but a small scale basis totally inadequate for the size of the problems they face.

    you can grow a lot more calories per acre using root vegetables.
    Only if you have regular water. Root crops are much less tolerant of long dry periods than grasses are. If your water supply won't support rice you can have sweet potatoes and a few similar options, but if it won't support corn/maize then your options get very limited very quickly. And if you haven't enough water for the dry-lands wheat or barley varieties we grow in Australia I have no idea what root crop you might grow on a broadacre farm.
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post

    Absolutely. I just don't see how 3 billion of the poorest people on earth can afford such technology or the food produced by such an expensive method.
    .
    Nor could the poorest afford laptops or the internet. Yet there is a project under way right now to design and build cheap laptops with radio modems and distribute them to every family in the third world. The thing is that technologies get cheaper. The first flat screen TVs I saw were 40 inch and around $ 20,000 (probably $ 50,000 inflation adjusted). Today, you can buy a 47 inch one, with far more features, for $ 1,000. Agricultural robots will begin very expensive. Over a couple of decades, they will become cheap.

    In addition, most third world nations (who have dumped their old corrupt dictators) now have good economic growth. Given time, there will be a lot more money for such things. Bangla Desh for example, has 6% economic growth.


    On crops and water.

    One of the predictions of global warming is that precipitation will increase as a global average. Much of it will follow a monsoon pattern. That is : it will fall over 4 to 6 months of heavy rain and there will be drought for 6 to 8 months. This is manageable. It requires large collection reservoirs, or good ground water collection, and irrigation for up to 8 months. It will permit excellent root crop cultivation. Certainly there will be places that are arid, but that requires people to move, and that is no different from today, where arid areas are underpopulated.
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    precipitation will increase as a global average
    But that's just one side of a devil's bargain. Dry areas will get drier, wet areas will get wetter. Rainfall will be more unreliable and more likely to come in irregular downpours and floods rather than as soil-soaking, seasonal rains.

    And as one (very irritating) manager opined to me when we were discussing union matters. He sneered, "If I put my feet in the oven and my head in the fridge, one of your statistics people will tell me that on the average I'm comfortable."
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post

    Rainfall will be more unreliable and more likely to come in irregular downpours and floods rather than as soil-soaking, seasonal rains.
    Which is exactly the kind of rainfall pattern that the system I described best suits. Reservoirs and irrigation.
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    ... Dry areas will get drier, wet areas will get wetter. Rainfall will be more unreliable and more likely to come in irregular downpours and floods rather than as soil-soaking, seasonal rains. ...
    The truth is that we just do not know that.

    as one nasa scientist(in talking about atmospheric moisture content and expected precipitation) said:
    The world's major global climate models are all based on long-established physical laws known to guide the atmosphere. However, because these relationships are challenging to translate into software, each model differs slightly in its portrayal of global climate. In particular, some processes, such as those associated with clouds, are too small to be represented properly. Although satellites observe many types of clouds, satellite failure, observing errors and other inconsistencies make it challenging to build a comprehensive global cloud census that is consistent over many years.
    Some models are relatively accurate in predicting one thing, others at predicting another, but no climate model through last summer could fit the field data within their modeled world.
    Most scientific modeling projections shouldn't be taken as fact, but rather, just as "likely" scenarios given the available data and software which are evolving as we speak.
    Which is why paleo climate, biom, and pollen research should be well funded. If you wish to project where you are going, knowing where you have been becomes important.
    Change is of the essence, and we must adapt our thinking just as we adapt our actions to changing information. And always appreciate the limitations inherent therein.
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    Some models are relatively accurate in predicting one thing, others at predicting another, but no climate model through last summer could fit the field data within their modeled world.
    No climate model has ever been designed to describe, project or predict the weather for any one year or any one region. That's not what they're for (- and even if someone wrote software to do it, there may not be enough computing power in the world to run it anyway).

    Climate models work with trends over multiple decades.

    They have no role at all in weather prediction for any season or a few months.

    Which is why paleo climate, biom, and pollen research should be well funded. If you wish to project where you are going, knowing where you have been becomes important.
    At least you've taken notice of something that James Hansen says. His view is that our judgements and projections on climate should be based on
    1. Physics
    2. Paleoclimatology
    3. and a very poor last ... models.

    And we know he's been better than anyone else at projections over 30 or more years.
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    I never claimed that James Hansen was an idiot, or even a poor scientist. I just do not like his tendency to hyperobole.
    I studied various sciences for several years at different universities, and became accustomed to a more conservative pattern of communication from scientists.
    ...........and
    I have said that given certain triggers, we may yet see sea level changes the speed of which may well dwarf his prognostications-----just not on any predictable linear time line.
    .......
    I see no reason to view the world's oceans as really anything but one vast ocean with bottlenecks restricting the free flowing of it's waters.
    And if we are looking for moderation, I see maritime climates as the most moderate if not the most modest.
    I suspect that it is at these bottlenecks that we will see important signs of change.
    (eg)Most water flowing through the bering strait flows into the arctic ocean, then (through the various "seas") eastward along the northern coasts of alaska and canada----
    if/when this changes, in volume or direction, then things should get really interesting-------(ergo my earlier question about diminished flow and about the potential developement of the makarov gyre, and implications thereof)

    http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/fea...h20121108.html
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    I actually find it disturbing that the serious consideration of worst case possibilities - and I don't believe James Hansen has ever been shown to do so without scientific basis - is so often viewed and portrayed as an act of irresponsibility. With the world as we know it already clearly shown to be subject to vast change by our own activities, to treat a science based 1 in 10 chance it will be much more severe and rapid than the mid-range majority projections, taking us rapidly and inexorably over the edge of dangerous into catastrophic, as hyperbole that should be ignored is, in my view, vastly more irresponsible. We can sincerely hope that Hansen - and others - are wrong but to bet our future on it is even wronger.

    What is abundantly clear is that our decision makers are not treating even the mid range likelihoods as cause to act decisively. A great many still willfully choose to disbelieve the problem is serious. Even without those less likely possibilities, we are being led along a path that is exacerbating the problem by people who hold positions of trust and influence, who are continuing to treat the very likely as if it's the worst that can happen, and, because acting effectively is hard and potentially unpopular, are leading us along the road of least resistance, in the face of consistent and persistent expert advice to the contrary. This is a course that continues to make the problem worse, even without treating the possibility of non-linear and rapid ice sheet disintegration or climate sensitivity to CO2 doubling being greater than 5 degrees as real risks.
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    Hansen's original prediction would have sea levels rising at about 6 mm per year by now, and they are not. They are still at about 3 mm.
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    Sculptor, to treat oceans as some kind of self-levelling single body - the bathtub model - is to perpetrate a serious misunderstanding of how sea levels behave. If there is one science based cause to think that the West Antarctic Ice sheet will remain grounded and avoid rapid break up it's the gravitational changes that will accompany ice loss; sea levels around Antarctica are expected to drop in response to ongoing loss of ice sheet mass. Of course that means further away from that gravitic influence sea levels will rise more than the global average. Different rates of sea level rise - and fall in places - in different parts of the world are not simply short term variations that will even out over time. The Earth's gravity across the surface varies by as much as 0.5% and sea levels are affected by it.
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    No. Hansen's 2011 paper has the rate of SLR staying much the same for a few decades yet - and it applies only if ice-sheets have, in fact, started disintegration.
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    Ah hah! The bathtub model of the oceans. Jerry Mitrovica's talk on this - among other things - is fan. tas. tic.

    Jerry Mitrovica, Harvard University - YouTube Well worth the 30 minutes. And the first segment on archealogical evidence (rather than paleo evidence) is truly fascinating.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Fabos View Post
    Of course that means further away from that gravitic influence sea levels will rise more than the global average. Different rates of sea level rise - and fall in places - in different parts of the world are not simply short term variations that will even out over time. The Earth's gravity across the surface varies by as much as 0.5% and sea levels are affected by it.
    That's interesting.

    Where is gravity at it's strongest?north and south poles? What cuases gravity to vary?
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    What cuases gravity to vary?
    Gravity doesn't vary. The weight of oceans varies as waters move. The land beneath an icesheet rises as the water moves away.

    Watch the Jerry Mitrovica video in my earlier posting. It's one of those D'oh! moments. When he describes the way it works you wonder why nobody did this before. Science at its best.
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    I deleted this because the post got duplicated during an attempt to do a minor edit - spelling error!
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    Question For You and Adelady - actually gravity does vary - geographically, according to the differences in mass, predominately the continental land masses that are more dense as well as more voluminous than the equivalent area of ocean water. Varying through time by such processes as growth and decay of ice sheets, geological uplift and subsidence and plate movements. The ocean water movements of tides are a consequence of the variations in the gravity influence of the moon and the sun and (I think, but not sure) those would largely balance out the changes to local gravity from that mass of water.

    Antarctica is going through uplift - recovery from the distant past when it had a lot more ice, that is presumably being increased by recent increasing loss of ice. Working out how much, how fast that uplift is is one of the important adjustments that need to be made to work out how much ice is currently being lost. I don't know how much lag time is involved. The gravity effects of that mass attracts the ocean around the continent, making the sea level there higher than what you'd get from the bathtub model, like a permanent high tide. (Some from Jerry Mitrovica but from other sources too). Complete loss of the West Antarctic Ice sheet would, IIRC, cause a drop of sea level around that continent of an astonishing 100m, mostly from gravity effects. Apologies, but I don't have a lot of download capacity to watch that video again to confirm, but I'll try and get back with some links.

    Grace satellites - that measure variations in gravity - have revealed shifts of water from ocean to land during flooding events, the depletion and replenishment of ground water, as well as the ongoing loss of ice sheet mass from Antarctica and Greenland. Aircraft carried gravimeters are used to map variations in finer detail to tell - by the density - what kinds of rock and potential ore bodies are under the surface.

    I think it was Lynx Fox that posted an image of a gravity map of the globe a while back in another thread, with the variations exaggerated to reveal a raised and lowered "virtual" surface. Antarctica was a significantly raised area because of it's mass, not it's location at the pole.
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    What are the chances that somebody is melting the artic/antartic because they found out it's packed with diamonds/gold/oil/gas/coal/precious materials of all kind... maybe that has something to do with the raised gravitational feild too... it's packed with diamonds which makes it a dense mass which affects the gravitational force.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Fabos View Post
    ... taking us rapidly and inexorably over the edge of dangerous into catastrophic, as hyperbole ...
    ... problem is serious. ... is exacerbating the problem ... continues to make the problem worse, ...as real risks.
    Ken, do you see that your approach is THE problem?
    I once had a client who was "concerned about a problem" and I told her that she had no problem, and that i didn't see "problems" but rather solutions.

    Climate and climate change ain't the problem, it is just another challenge in a string of challenges to which our species has found solutions. The only problem, really is those who see "problems".
    Instead, see change, see causality, and you will see solutions.

    My wife and helper were amazed at just how quickly I solved a "problem" that they considered insurmountable a couple days ago. I tried to explain that my approach left out the 'if" i could solve the "problem" and focused on the how and why------------just gitting rid of the "if" cut out 1/3 -1/2 my work load.
    While they were hung up on the "problem" I was zeroing in on the solution. Simple, really....it's a matter of perspective.

    The early taoist sought to study and learn from nature that we might better thrive within nature. Are we lesser men?
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    We know the 'why' and we know the 'how' for dealing with the challenges of excess greenhouse gases in our atmosphere. We've already implemented worldwide solutions to acid rain and ozone depleting chemicals in the atmosphere. So why hasn't the international cooperation approach come through for us this time?

    That is the real problem.
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    Sculptor, a problem needs to be recognised to be solved. We can talk around it, tread softly around it, but this one needs to be faced head on like it really matters. Do you really think our parents/grandparents generation dealt with the prospect of all out war by avoiding mention of how serious it was? That would be more like a way to ensure they failed to mobilise their resources.
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    Here in Iowa over 1/2 of the new electricity production plants added since 2000 has been wind, with another 1/4 being natural gas----and we pay a surcharge on or electrical bills for that. Meanwhile, the federal government offers a 1/3 tax credit for solar and wind installations, and Iowa offers another 15% tax credit on top of that. So, effectively, my tax dollar is paying for 45% of all new clean energy production.
    Meanwhile, battery density(ability to hold a charg) has increased significantly in the past 30 years(by orders of magnitude)

    Meanwhile, there is (perhaps) unprecedented oceanic phytoplankton blooming at the higher latitudes, so the earth is doing her part in using up a lot of that (extra) CO2.
    Meanwhile, the efficiency of gasoline and diesel vehicles is inproving damned near every year. some of the solutions were available for generations and are now being implimented------such as adding higher gearing ratios---for example, my 17 year old diesel truck gets over 22 mpg if I drive it at peak torque(60 mph) but drops off rapidly at anything over 60 mph, down to 15 mpg at the speeds people drive the expressways around here-----simply adding a higher top gear so peak torque would happen at 70-75 mph would save another 1/3 of the fuel for most drivers(a solution beyond my old, but well maintained truck---but already available in new models)

    Agree, a "problem" needs to be recognized to create the will to find solutions.
    And, the energy "problem" is multifaceted, as are the developing "solutions"

    All we need do is look around to see "solutions"
    And focus on using the best most efficient products available, and lobby for solutions when we see them.

    admittedly, some of the political solutions are really crazy-----the "energy star" roofs, and windows and doors come to mind---their goal was/is to reduce cooling costs, but at this latitude, heating uses up far more energy than cooling, so there is no tax incentive available for that part of the energy spectrum.

    once you've invested 5% of your mind and body recognizing a "problem" , Don't stop there: Use the other 95% to actually do some good, and focus on talking about that.
    Did you plant any trees this last year?
    Quit mowing the lawn with a gas powered mower?
    Consolidate your trips to make less of them?
    Car pool?
    Grow your own produce to save the fuel of trucking it in from far away plantations?
    Choose what you use, always with an eye on conservation?

    I reiterate:
    focusing on the problem Is THE problem
    Go way beyond that every day, every step, with every waking moment and breath you take.
    Last edited by sculptor; November 23rd, 2012 at 11:54 AM.
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    Failure to treat GHG emissions driven climate change as serious enough to devote significant resources to or to accept significant regulation or accept costs to adopt solutions is a serious problem. Stating the seriousness of the reasonably possible as well as most likely consequences of that failure is not the problem.
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    Adelady just from the title of this thread or nature gist of this artical I would suggest that it (was desinged to?) strikes fear into the hearts of scientists who are thinking of upsetting the apple cart by revealing the truth,

    I wouldn't propergate this rubbish.

    Scientists will die like everybody else... they should be as honest as they want to be and as fearless as can be.
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    qfu
    I think everyone should freely speak their minds. (I've been fired for that)
    But, it seems that a lot of people are too insecure for that.
    And, with any luck at all, those who do speak will know the difference between knowledge and speculation

    I ain't all that bright, but even I can easily see that as ice melts, we'll be more likely to see sea level rise,-------more surface water---more evaporation---more humidity---more rain---(if it rains over inland ice) more sea level rise.
    which, (oddly enough?) I see as an adventurous knowledge quest through a different climate paradigm.

    But, if indeed the milankovitch cycles do really control the climate, and are destining us into another period of glaciation, all the greenhouse gas we put into the atmosphere may be only enough to slow the onslaught of the glaciers before they come yet once again.
    Or.......
    (over the hump and into the second 1/2 of a superinterglacial?)
    Or........

    Meanwhile, I'm confident that we are headed in the right direction with tax subsidized clean energy, and wealthy people testing(helping refine) electric cars as we speak
    My dream truck would have a small diesel powering a generator which fed a pan of betteries hanging from and between the frame, and an electric motor on each wheel with regenerative braking. The wheels would be able to either run or free-wheel so i could use 1 or 2 or 4 motors depending on need, with traction sensers that could power up 2 or all four motors as needed. when cruising, I suspect that only one motor would be needed.
    Having wheel mounted motors would free up all the space used by the transmission and drive train for batteries. Add in being able to recharge from our ever more clean and renewable electricity grid would mean that I could over-ride the system and kill the diesel, and run down the patteries when i was cruising homeward.
    If the truck could do 40 miles between charges, I might only need the diesel 2-4 times a year, efectively giving over a 500-1000 miles per gallon petro-fuel economy. I've been pitching this design to every engineer I know who is in that field------with the selfish hope that someone will build it and make it affordable before my current truck dies. I've had her since she was new, and she's 17 years old now--next year' she's an adult, and in 3 more years, i'll be able to take her out to a bar with me. We could lift a few and talk about times gone by.
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    I would add that strong acceptance, especially at the government/regulatory level of the necessity to rein back emissions sees R&D&D (and Deployment) get funded within industry as well as within Universities and other research institutions. But energy companies continue to spend on further developing and financing fossil fueled energy, not renewables. Or nuclear. So far commerce and industry has tended to treat the shift to low emissions as an imposition that is avoidable, through lobbying, advertising/PR, through tankthink and through the cultivation of economic fears.

    There actually is a lot of potential for solutions - in my view we have sufficient right now to maintain high levels of prosperity - but fossil fuels remain abundant and cheap. The profit level on export coal from here in Australia has shrunk lately but it's still more than substantial enough to come down a lot further in the face of competition from low emissions sources. I really don't see any ethical underpinnings to their commercial decision making and they are already playing dirty. They have the ears of governments and the financial sector and have shown themselves willing to demand favours under threat of taking their gigadollars elsewhere and sending national economies into recession. The external costs - the climate ones as well as health ones - continue to be successfully fobbed off onto the nation and world at large.

    Did you realise that Australia, despite it's abundant sunshine has seen almost every attempt to finance and build large scale solar facilities fail? Most of our solar is on private homes! What we do have is massive expansion of new coal and gas mining with government assistance incentives.

    If those external costs - those unattractive actualities, possibilities and inevitabilities - don't affect balance sheets directly fossil fuels will continue to be a growth industry and the hyperbole won't be any kind of exaggeration. The attractiveness of the glittering prize of the developed world's extravagant prosperity through rapid industrialisation and development using these cheaper than low-emissions energy sources means that use of fossil fuels is growing rapidly not shrinking rapidly - each new coal fired power plant embodies something like a half century commitment to use of coal.

    How to make a different development model more attractive has to involve both highlighting the positive of that model as well as highlighting the negatives of the fossil fuel model. Unless we really want the incumbent interests to be free to play on our economic fears whilst proponents of a sustainable low emissions path are restrained from even using the stark truth, let alone the full array of tools of public persuasion - and effectively have to fight for the future with hands tied behind backs.
    Last edited by Ken Fabos; November 23rd, 2012 at 04:23 PM.
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    So money isn't available for sustainable or low carbon energy developments because it has a higher initial cost to set up and is less profitable on the short term so borrowing would need to be long term and will become too expensive... or lenders will not wait for their profit?

    And generally nobody wants to fund a technological advance that can't be monopolised for evermore?


    It's up to the government to invest in things that are for the good of all. If scientists are aware of advances being ignored and poor policies being made, they should set up a facebook campaign, get it some publicity... that's not illegal is it? Do they train people in the science of campaigning at uni? The science of activism, is that covered?

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  69. #68  
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    Ken

    What gets me more about the Australian situation, is that you are one of the world's biggest uranium exporters, and refuse to use nuclear power. Instead you have a whole network of coal burning power stations, all belching CO2 into the air. A serious attempt at mitigating global warming should surely involve a program of replacing those coal stations?

    Here in NZ, things are more difficult. 50% of our greenhouse effect is from agriculture - basically cattle belches and farts. There is no practical way of reducing that, apart from reducing the cattle population, which would have disastrous effects on our economy. We do have scientists, though, hard at work looking at ways to reduce the methane output from cows, using different foods for cows, and possibly a method to change the microorganisms in cows' guts.
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    Gm cows
    lol
    welcome at any dinner table
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  71. #70  
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    Quote Originally Posted by sculptor View Post
    Gm cows
    lol
    welcome at any dinner table
    More likely GM gut 'bacteria'. The methane comes from the actions of a methane producing archaean (bacteria for the non cognoscenti) that lives in the gut of the cow. Research is towards affecting the archaean.
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    I wonder how termites weigh in on this. 20 million tons of gas per year...
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    Termites are OK. They haven't changed anything they do for several millennia.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    Termites are OK. They haven't changed anything they do for several millennia.
    So I guess we can't save our Chevy's by eradicating them?



    Drat.
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  75. #74  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    So I guess we can't save our Chevy's by eradicating them?


    Well actually, in theory, you could.

    However, good luck trying to get rid of termites. They are tough!
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  76. #75  
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    40 years ago, one of my fellow design school classmates modified his volvo to run on methane.
    we called it "fart power"
    Compressing the stuff enough to get any distance was problematic. With 2 presurized tanks, he might get 40-50 miles.
    anaerobic digestors---good for compost and shit, but maybe not so good for termites?
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    Us domesticating cows in such high densities that it's a threat to the environment that supports us is in some peoples opinion a symbiotic relationship.

    I think they forgot that symbiotic means mutually beneficial.

    If we didn't farm animals, our population would never have grown so big, we would all have space for a garden and global warming wouldn't be an issue.

    Plus we wouldn't be ingesting the essence of a fat unattural animal into our systems for generations... meaning better health and in my opinion which I havent bothered to find scientific evidence of... we would be more intelligent, healthy and civilised/advanced biological organisms.
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    Skeptic @68 - why would Australian energy providers want to go nuclear? Coal is abundant and cheap, they are comfortable with the technology, they have wielded more than enough influence to ensure they don't have to change, not even in the face of climate change. If the head of an electricity company in Australia says nuclear is the best or only viable alternative to fossil fuels that is not promotion of nuclear, it's a coded way to emphasise that sticking with coal is the most politically acceptable and expedient course to take. Now, should genuine acceptance across mainstream politics of the absolute necessity to ditch coal (along with understanding that gas is not a viable alternative) solidify, those energy providers might become sincere in calling for nuclear. From industry they might get genuine and sincere backing for it and there might be genuine political will at government policy level to get behind it. Right now none of those circumstances exist and the electricity industry in Australia is overwhelmingly a fossil fuel industry. Export mining - of uranium, coal or gas - is another story. If methamphetamine were a mineral ore, Australia would dig it up and export it.
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    Ken

    Re nuclear in Oz.

    Yeah, I know that I am pushing the proverbial mess uphill. The Aussi government and the Aussi electricity industry will use any excuse to continue burning coal.

    My own view is that coal is the fossil fuel that is the biggest threat in terms of global warming, simply because there is so much of it. It also has the highest CO2 for energy ratio. Coal, in my view, is the ideal sequestrant for carbon. Just leave it in the ground!

    For Australia to do that would come at a $$$ cost, of course. But Australia has the advantage of having heaps of nuclear fuel. In terms of climate responsibility, it is hard to justify mining and burning coal.
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    it is hard to justify mining and burning coal.
    Justify? Why would Australian industry throw away the business model of Australia as just a huge quarry?

    (Sorry. couldn't resist.)

    Australia is in a good position to get most, if not all, of its power from its abundant (not to say over-abundant) solar and other renewable sources. Dig-stuff-up-and-burn-it is, to my mind, a bit too much 19th century. Making it more difficult, more sophisticated, more dangerous or more complex doesn't change its basic mind-set. (?? Can't think of a better word than mind-set for now.) And definitely 19th century notions that centralised is preferable and bigger is better.

    I know that's more of a personal preference about what counts as modern or simple or easy or elegant. But I find it helpful when looking at the dozens of technology items I see each week to have a mental sorting system.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
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