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View Poll Results: Do you do something for our Earth
Yes 50 51.55%
No 17 17.53%
I don't care 30 30.93%
Voters: 97. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 2009-06-26, 01:17   Link #61
C.A.
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lol, global warming is junk science? I guess you don't pay attention to the weather and seasons.

And its not about saving or protecting the rock beneath our feet, its about the organisms living on it, the environment and ecology.
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Old 2009-06-26, 01:30   Link #62
Vexx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrossoverManiac View Post
Global warming is junk science ...
I don't think you have established you know what real science is, so you're not in much position to assert what is "junk". Granted, there *are* people who are using the data to forward their political agenda or they speak in hyperbole about the data - but denying there's a problem... heh. That position collapsed several years ago.

Even Exxon and the other energy companies disagree with you on global warming being "junk science" so you just relegate yourself to a very small corner. Do yourself a favor and do some credible research if you want to be credible at all.

Weren't you just complaining about a congressman attacking NASA in another thread? Where do you think a great deal of the data supporting the conclusions that the climate system is destabilizing comes from?
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Old 2009-06-26, 03:00   Link #63
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I wouldn't go as far as to call it junk science, but if you stacked up what we do know on one side and what we don't know yet on the other side, the don't know yet side would win by a landslide. That's the main reason why people should be skeptical of any potential scenarios that computer models spit out, at least when dealing with highly complicated systems that are currently beyond our full understanding.
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Old 2009-06-27, 00:42   Link #64
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@Zippicus: agreed, still a lot of unknowns -- which is why the research is needed. However, as I keep saying - I don't think its too much to ask for individuals, corporations, or countries to "pick up after themselves".

Make a mess? Clean it up. What one should have learned in preschool :P

The other basic lesson is 'take things faster than they can replenish? well, duh, you're breaking the system.'
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Old 2009-06-27, 03:05   Link #65
CrossoverManiac
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
I don't think you have established you know what real science is, so you're not in much position to assert what is "junk".
My college education and years of keeping up the blunders of global warming 'science' says otherwise.

Quote:
Granted, there *are* people who are using the data to forward their political agenda or they speak in hyperbole about the data -but denying there's a problem... heh. That position collapsed several years ago.
Most of those people saying there is a man-made global warming problem are the ones with an agenda. Al Gore has already made millions selling carbon credits and "Cap and Trade" legislation hasn't been signed into law yet.

Quote:
Even Exxon and the other energy companies disagree with you on global warming being "junk science" so you just relegate yourself to a very small corner.
Energy companies don't trump climatologists in predicting environmental trends.

Quote:
Do yourself a favor and do some credible research if you want to be credible at all.
You're right. It's not credible at all to point out the increase in solar output and the rise in temperature on Mars, Jupiter, Pluto, Triton, etc and not blame pollution. Damn Halliburton must have built smog factories on Olympic Mons. Dick Cheney is so 3VIL!!!11111 he wants to kill the Martians

Quote:
Weren't you just complaining about a congressman attacking NASA in another thread?
The complaint was over canceling the mission to Mars, which has nothing to do with NASA's Earth Science division.

Quote:
Where do you think a great deal of the data supporting the conclusions that the climate system is destabilizing comes from?
Actually, data gathered by NASA says otherwise. Maybe you're the one that should be doing the credible research. You don't even know that your sources are disputing your argument.
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Old 2009-06-27, 03:18   Link #66
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What do I do for my planet?

I do nothing and simply tell myself to feel good...

Because even for people that do take environmental action, that's all it's worth for; Going "Green" is not to help the environment, it's a trend to make yourself feel good and look cool at the same time...And for all practical purposes, no matter what any of us does, we can't change an environmental thing to this iron of a ball we call "Earth"...Sure, you can do things like clean up pollution, but you can't play Mother Nature and change climates or move mountains; A meteor will strike this earth and black the skies before any of us even put a touch of gray to it, and for what it's worth, maybe put all of us out of your dumbfounded miseries...
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Old 2009-06-27, 05:08   Link #67
Zippicus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MidnightViper88 View Post
What do I do for my planet?

I do nothing and simply tell myself to feel good...

Because even for people that do take environmental action, that's all it's worth for; Going "Green" is not to help the environment, it's a trend to make yourself feel good and look cool at the same time...And for all practical purposes, no matter what any of us does, we can't change an environmental thing to this iron of a ball we call "Earth"...Sure, you can do things like clean up pollution, but you can't play Mother Nature and change climates or move mountains; A meteor will strike this earth and black the skies before any of us even put a touch of gray to it, and for what it's worth, maybe put all of us out of your dumbfounded miseries...
While I somewhat agree with the sentiment, it's not exactly true that we have no impact on the environment. It's true that one person doing one thing is pretty much irrelevant but billions of people doing the same thing is sure to have an effect. And just because some sort of environmental disaster is going to happen (and it will, it's just a matter of time honestly) doesn't mean we should just ignore potential problems.

The part that I agree with is this whole green movement making it's way into religion status. It's like you're automatically the devil if you question any of the "facts".

Last edited by Zippicus; 2009-06-27 at 05:26. Reason: edited for clarity
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Old 2009-06-27, 09:00   Link #68
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I use public transport and ride trains instead of planes, and have been voting for enviromentalists...I think those are the most important ecological choices I've made.

A trend it might be but it's certainly not a bad one. Could say it's a big social engineering process to make people aware and respectful of nature.
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Old 2009-06-27, 15:06   Link #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C.A. View Post
lol, global warming is junk science? I guess you don't pay attention to the weather and seasons.

And its not about saving or protecting the rock beneath our feet, its about the organisms living on it, the environment and ecology.
Never heard of junk science but it i do believe that it's been blown way out of proportion with saving the environment, i think the earth will be okay unless we start making huge nuclear waste dumps

Its all about making a profit and taking over peoples minds
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Old 2009-06-27, 15:36   Link #70
C.A.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrossoverManiac View Post
My college education and years of keeping up the blunders of global warming 'science' says otherwise.

Most of those people saying there is a man-made global warming problem are the ones with an agenda. Al Gore has already made millions selling carbon credits and "Cap and Trade" legislation hasn't been signed into law yet.

Energy companies don't trump climatologists in predicting environmental trends.

You're right. It's not credible at all to point out the increase in solar output and the rise in temperature on Mars, Jupiter, Pluto, Triton, etc and not blame pollution. Damn Halliburton must have built smog factories on Olympic Mons. Dick Cheney is so 3VIL!!!11111 he wants to kill the Martians

The complaint was over canceling the mission to Mars, which has nothing to do with NASA's Earth Science division.

Actually, data gathered by NASA says otherwise. Maybe you're the one that should be doing the credible research. You don't even know that your sources are disputing your argument.
Too bad I'm not American and we non Americans don't care about the deal with Al Gore. All we know is the Global Warming doesn't just exist in the minds of politicians in America, its actually affecting other countries directly. Seriously America is the one country which talks about cash the most, not everyone in the world thinks about cash and politics like you guys.

The truth is most people still don't have a clear idea what Global Warming is all about.

Is Global Warming just a steady increase in temperature all over the world? No.

Is Global Warming caused by humans? No, but humans are making Global Warming worse than it should be.

Why is that, whats the difference between Global Warming on Earth and other planets?

All planets have natural cycles of Global Warming, planets warm and cool as natural processes, including Earth. But Earth has life, which makes Global Warming a devastating effect as climate changes will cause extinction especially if animals cannot keep up with the change. And currently Global Warming is getting a boost from humans which makes it unnaturally more severe and life on Earth is starting to struggle as they cannot adapt fast enough. What we need to do now is to reduce greenhouse emissions and other pollutants and eventually convert fully to green technology which will not only benefit nature but civilisation itself.

Why is Global Warming not just a steady increase in temperature?

Our planet is retaining a low average temperature rise because the heat energy is being used to melt ice all over the world. Greenland and glaciers all over the world are having the highest melt rates ever recorded and is still rising. The heat energy is being used in this phase transition of ice to water all over the world, and this itself is showing no signs of recovering.

While all the world's ice is melting and have their melt rates increased from rising temperatures, Antarctica is showing signs of expansion. Antarctica is expanding because the rising temperatures of the seas surrounding Antarctica caused more evaporation and clouds, the Antarctic circle benefited from increased snowfall.

And if the Arctic circle continues shrinking and Antarctica continues to expand, it will eventually cut of the Atlantic Conveyor Belt system, Gulf Stream, the most important ocean current in the world. This will stop nuitrient rich currents from circling the world and will cause major damage to ocean life. And also if the current stops flowing, the ocean's temperature cycle will stop as well, this will lead to ocean temperatures that continue to rise and lead to more severe atmospheric conditions.

I'm sure people won't understand the severity of such or care at all.

But scientists and politicians are 2 different things. I don't care what kind of propaganda politicians are stirring up, the job of scientists is to continue the research and predictions, which so far is showing up more negative signs than positive. People can choose not to believe, but scientists will just carry on and help prevent what may come.

There are many causes where people blame scientists for disasters when they themselves are the ones who do not heed warnings and continue spending their lives living in inevitable danger.
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Last edited by C.A.; 2009-06-27 at 17:27.
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Old 2009-06-27, 16:25   Link #71
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Originally Posted by CrossoverManiac View Post
Most of those people saying there is a man-made global warming problem are the ones with an agenda. Al Gore has already made millions selling carbon credits and "Cap and Trade" legislation hasn't been signed into law yet.
The IPCC clearly states that human have a responsability for this actual global warming so I think there is nothing to add anymore about this.
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Old 2009-06-27, 17:10   Link #72
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When I travel I usually end up staying there for several months, thats got to count for something carbon foot print wise right?
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Old 2009-06-27, 17:24   Link #73
Ledgem
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Originally Posted by CrossoverManiac View Post
My college education and years of keeping up the blunders of global warming 'science' says otherwise.
And what did you major in - literature, or science? Did you even read that article that you linked to? They're not dispelling the notion of climate change there, they're only dispelling the notions that some elementary school kids have about what will happen due to global warming (and they come right out and say that). In other words, they're saying that we can still survive and adapt in a warmer world, and that practically any effort we make to stop global warming will be useless anyway.

Which is sort of silly. They criticize the Kyoto Protocol, saying that it will barely have an effect. That may be true, but it completely overlooks the fact that there's a bit more usefulness to it than completely preventing climate change in one shot. Getting countries used to the idea of cutting back on emissions, even monitoring their emissions - that's a necessary first step toward converting to more environmentally friendly activity.

Everyone has to admit that we don't fully understand what's going on, but that it seems like there's an awful lot of unusual activity happening right around now (arctic melting, increased incidence of hurricanes in number and severity, etc.). Whether it's due to human activity or not, nobody can say for certain. However, it's within our best interests to not have things change in an unfavorable manner. We should thus do what we can to make sure that it really isn't something happening due to human activity. That's playing it safe with the only planet that's hospitable to us at the moment. It's a smart plan, wouldn't you agree?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrossoverManiac View Post
Most of those people saying there is a man-made global warming problem are the ones with an agenda. Al Gore has already made millions selling carbon credits and "Cap and Trade" legislation hasn't been signed into law yet.
Your skepticism of politicians is healthy, and you are very likely right that some people are making loads of money off of this. It doesn't mean that the issue is any less true or important.

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Originally Posted by CrossoverManiac View Post
Energy companies don't trump climatologists in predicting environmental trends.
You're right that they don't, but energy companies are generally the absolute last group that you'd expect to accept the idea that "clean energy" (read: not the energy that we're currently using) is a necessity.

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Originally Posted by CrossoverManiac View Post
Actually, data gathered by NASA says otherwise. Maybe you're the one that should be doing the credible research. You don't even know that your sources are disputing your argument.
Did you even read what you linked? They say that they notice a warming trend, full stop. There is a warming trend. However, they say that the warming trend is not as extreme as our current climate models predict that it should be. They do not say that this means that global warming is not due to man-made causes, but rather, that there is still a lot that we don't understand.
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Old 2009-06-27, 18:30   Link #74
Vexx
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I see I don't even need to respond since Ledgem and others answered ... this will be a funny thread to share with my NASA comrades.....
(hint: spent 20 years doing science/engineering at NASA... but so it goes). People actually interested in *real* science news should stop wasting their time with mainstream news and subscribe to items like Nature or Science News where actual science research can be found.
As for the "junk science" soundbite --> http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Junk_science
Spoiler for Summary about the source of the phrase "junk science":


Simple point though -- if you make a mess, clean it up. Other people don't like you when you make a mess and leave it for them to deal with. Make enough of a mess and they may start considering more permanent ideas for what to do with you.
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Old 2009-06-27, 21:32   Link #75
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zippicus View Post
While I somewhat agree with the sentiment, it's not exactly true that we have no impact on the environment. It's true that one person doing one thing is pretty much irrelevant but billions of people doing the same thing is sure to have an effect. And just because some sort of environmental disaster is going to happen (and it will, it's just a matter of time honestly) doesn't mean we should just ignore potential problems.
In layman's terms without getting into the exact sciences, I have a hard time believing that that in the 200,000 years of modern human existence with the technological window of the past 100 years or so, we can do anything remotely significant in context to the Earth's 4.54-billion year existence...

I also think humans are giving way too much credit to itself, with much of it I believe to be fabricated for whatever political reason...There is just too much that we do not know; We only have concrete data for the past couple of decades of what we actually have recorded, and we can use scientific data collected from geography to estimate the climate patterns of Earth's past, but short of a pattern, there's only so much we can say for certain, and just not enough to support any theory of a man-made anything...

There are just too many unknowns in the history of Earth...Take, for example, the period where dinosaurs predominantly existed: The Triassic Period was 230 million years ago and the Cretaceous Period was 65 million years ago...Based on the cold-blooded reptilian nature of the dinosaurs, we can say with a good amount of certainty that the Earth was in a very hot tropical period...The common belief is that at the end of the Cretaceous period, an asteroid collided with Earth and caused a mass extinction across the planet, due to various factors, including multiple impacts, ash blackout, increased volcanic activity, and whatnot...After that, the Earth went into an ice age period, a dramatic climate change in a short geological time period, occurred completely on natural terms...Just how exactly did Earth's climate pattern differ because of that? We can trace the periods of global warming/cooling like an up-and-down roller coaster event on a dependence level, but the independent factor of the asteroid and subsequent effects could have significantly changed things from that point forward...

Things like that make anything about "man-made climate change" seem like politics, and quite frankly, as a member of the human species and a mere inhabitant of this planet, makes me feel extremely insignificant...Things on this Earth just happen on a whim all of it's own; If at any time after this point in time when Earth goes into another tropical period like during the dinosaurs or another ice age after the extinction of the dinosaurs and humans are still around with technological advances, I don't think there's anything we could ever do about it...It would either be adapt or die...Dinosaurs died because they couldn't adapt, while other various animals survived because they adapted and evolved over time...What have humans done these past 200-thousand years, even before modern technology? Adapted, to the best of our genes and our intellect to create technology, both ancient and advanced...I'm pretty sure our race has experienced some climate changes during our existence...

To make ourselves feel more insignificant, how about the kind of carbon emissions a volcano puts out each time it erupts? Now think about how many times volcanos must have erupted during the existence of Earth, given that the geological structure of this planet and the continental makeup of land mass was created from volcano eruptions, and the entire period where scientists theorize that Earth was at one time in perpetual volcanic eruption...What kind of things was Earth doing to itself these past 4.54-billion years? I'm sure these past 100 years of cars could hardly compare...

What about things not on Earth, like the Sun? The Sun is the main source of sunlight and heat to this planet, and I can imagine that just like the Earth's own ecosystems, the Sun also has periods of independent increased surface activity and hydrogen eruptions that could cause direct dependent influence to the surface temperature of our planet...Sun flares, sun spots, solar winds; All these happening almost 100-million miles away from Earth, far beyond any human reach...What could we possibly do about that?

We can predict climate patterns thousands of years in advance, but we can't get tomorrow's weather correct...I just think there's only so much we know, with a hell of a lot more that we don't know, just as much as we can only have such a minute amount of influence while the rest actually leaves us at Earth's own mercy...Humans are insignificant...Until we have the capability to create an ecosystem, I have a hard time believing we can destroy something that we don't even understand...I'm not going by hard scientific data either; I'm just using common sense...
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Old 2009-06-27, 22:22   Link #76
Ledgem
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Originally Posted by MidnightViper88 View Post
In layman's terms without getting into the exact sciences, I have a hard time believing that that in the 200,000 years of modern human existence with the technological window of the past 100 years or so, we can do anything remotely significant in context to the Earth's 4.54-billion year existence...
If you have a hard time believing it, you have a hard time believing it. Nobody will be able to convince you, although in responding to some aspects of your post I'll try a bit. The real question is, if there's even the slightest chance that humanity really is messing things up and making the environment inhospitable to itself, shouldn't something - anything - be done to try and stop it?

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Originally Posted by MidnightViper88 View Post
I also think humans are giving way too much credit to itself, with much of it I believe to be fabricated for whatever political reason...
Humanity has been responsible for the creation of deserts, which resulted in shifted weather patterns. Humanity is also responsible for the destruction of many coral reefs, and the extinction of countless numbers of species across the planet. Humanity occasionally gives itself too much credit for things, such as believing that we know more than we really do. Yet when it comes to major mess-ups like what I've mentioned, humanity tends to not want to take responsibility. We're not capable of it, right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MidnightViper88 View Post
There is just too much that we do not know; We only have concrete data for the past couple of decades of what we actually have recorded, and we can use scientific data collected from geography to estimate the climate patterns of Earth's past, but short of a pattern, there's only so much we can say for certain, and just not enough to support any theory of a man-made anything...
There's a lot that we don't know, but that doesn't mean that we can't try to theorize about things. And the facts are that right now, things are getting warmer. Whether it's a man-made effect or not doesn't really matter, in my opinion. We should be doing what we can to cool things off or at the very least stabilize the temperature.

How can we do all of that when we seemingly understand so little? The unfortunate answer is that there's no one thing we can do, because we don't know exactly what to do. The Earth's biological systems - those that existed long before humanity in the form of plants and algae - generated our current environment and were very good at maintaining it. Yet we're now destroying forests left and right, polluting the ocean (which is arguably more important than the forests, even), and so on. That really harms the planet's ability to remain relatively stable.

So starting with revering our harm on those elements is a good start. The rest is basically trying to perform the functions that those injured "biosystems" performed. Arguably part of the reason that people made a big fuss over carbon dioxide has to do with the fact that forests and massive swarms of algae act as a huge carbon dioxide sink. We've taken out a good chunk of the rain forests at this point and nobody's quite positive of our impacts on the oceans, but they're probably in worse shape with each passing year. Then add in the fact that we're producing more carbon dioxide than would normally occur. It seems reasonable to expect that carbon dioxide might at least be partly responsible for some of the shifting that's going on.

Of course, now we know that there's more to it than that, although we're not sure quite what. But the point of all of that was to demonstrate that humanity likely is having an impact, and what directs our course of action.

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Originally Posted by MidnightViper88 View Post
The common belief is that at the end of the Cretaceous period, an asteroid collided with Earth and caused a mass extinction across the planet, due to various factors, including multiple impacts, ash blackout, increased volcanic activity, and whatnot...
I've read that new evidence argues that the meteor wasn't the cause of the extinction, and that the dating either places it as having occurred a few years too late to be the cause (or perhaps it was too early). Rather, the belief was that volcanoes released a ton of garbage into the air and induced a global warming-like effect, and that was ultimately responsible for the mass die-off of the dinosaurs. But given our relative uncertainties about what can cause global warming, I wouldn't endorse that version as the ultimate truth (nor am I overly familiar with the "deep time" sciences). Either way, something to consider.

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Originally Posted by MidnightViper88 View Post
Things like that make anything about "man-made climate change" seem like politics, and quite frankly, as a member of the human species and a mere inhabitant of this planet, makes me feel extremely insignificant...Things on this Earth just happen on a whim all of it's own; If at any time after this point in time when Earth goes into another tropical period like during the dinosaurs or another ice age after the extinction of the dinosaurs and humans are still around with technological advances, I don't think there's anything we could ever do about it...It would either be adapt or die...
I mean no offense in saying this, but this attitude reminds me of when we hear about "primitive" societies just accepting things like disease as some supernatural phenomenon or some ill stroke of fate. They don't have the knowledge to deal with it, yet rather than try to find some sure-fire methods of a cure, they just accept that things will always be like that and that they always have.

Our society is different, as you may have noticed. Yes, we're a bit haughty, rushing into solutions when we don't yet have a full understanding of what's going on. But we try to find out, and we try to control what we can. You don't think humanity can make a difference? Save that sort of talk for when we've failed.

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Dinosaurs died because they couldn't adapt, while other various animals survived because they adapted and evolved over time...What have humans done these past 200-thousand years, even before modern technology? Adapted, to the best of our genes and our intellect to create technology, both ancient and advanced...I'm pretty sure our race has experienced some climate changes during our existence...
Yes, our race has experienced some climate change. No climate change as great as what we're about to experience, if our reading of trends are correct, but they experienced climate change. However, the population sizes were much smaller compared to what they are now, and the needs of society were much less than what we demand now. Our first concern isn't about the fate of humanity, it's about the fate of our society. I think I can speak for all of us when I say that we'd all like to continue living in our current lifestyles - with seemingly unlimited access to food and water, among other luxuries that we take for granted. If the climate shifts a bit too far and the ecosystem's potential to support us diminishes, we're going to experience a population crash. That won't be pretty to live through.

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Originally Posted by MidnightViper88 View Post
To make ourselves feel more insignificant, how about the kind of carbon emissions a volcano puts out each time it erupts? Now think about how many times volcanos must have erupted during the existence of Earth, given that the geological structure of this planet and the continental makeup of land mass was created from volcano eruptions, and the entire period where scientists theorize that Earth was at one time in perpetual volcanic eruption...What kind of things was Earth doing to itself these past 4.54-billion years? I'm sure these past 100 years of cars could hardly compare...
I couldn't find any direct comparisons between how much carbon (and other air pollutants) is put out by a volcano vs. human activities. It's quite possible that a volcano put out more. However, you should realize that human activity is always on full blast, while volcanoes aren't quite. Additionally, remember what I said about ecosystems being able to absorb carbon dioxide? It doesn't matter how many times volcanoes erupted in the past, because forests and the ocean were there to buffer it. We're screwing that up quite nicely.

I found a nice bit of reading that covers what I basically said and then goes into some greater detail. I don't know how credible New Scientist is, so take it with a grain of salt and a healthy dose of skepticism, but keep an open mind regardless.

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Originally Posted by MidnightViper88 View Post
The Sun is the main source of sunlight and heat to this planet, and I can imagine that just like the Earth's own ecosystems, the Sun also has periods of independent increased surface activity and hydrogen eruptions that could cause direct dependent influence to the surface temperature of our planet...Sun flares, sun spots, solar winds; All these happening almost 100-million miles away from Earth, far beyond any human reach...What could we possibly do about that?
Build a giant mirror/umbrella and deflect some of the sunlight. Harness a giant ice comet and bring it to Earth to help take up some energy. I don't know what's really viable; I'm a molecular biologist, so space is out of my area. But c'mon, why the defeatist attitude? These are things that are way bigger than a single one of us, but you must realize that we (humans) currently occupy nearly every single aspect of this planet. That's no small feat - no other single species of animal, plant, or bacteria can claim to have done the same. Things like terraforming are currently beyond us, but in the future, who knows?

Or perhaps terraforming isn't beyond us - there's a chance that we're doing it to our own planet, after all. No one has definitely proven it, perhaps, but nobody can really disprove it, either.

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Originally Posted by MidnightViper88 View Post
We can predict climate patterns thousands of years in advance, but we can't get tomorrow's weather correct...I just think there's only so much we know, with a hell of a lot more that we don't know, just as much as we can only have such a minute amount of influence while the rest actually leaves us at Earth's own mercy...Humans are insignificant...Until we have the capability to create an ecosystem, I have a hard time believing we can destroy something that we don't even understand...I'm not going by hard scientific data either; I'm just using common sense...
So common sense says that if you can't build/create something, then you can't destroy it?

For what ever reason, you're mitigating humanity's potential - both for negative and positive effects. Give yourself and the rest of us some more credit!
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Old 2009-06-27, 22:28   Link #77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MidnightViper88 View Post
Until we have the capability to create an ecosystem, I have a hard time believing we can destroy something that we don't even understand...I'm not going by hard scientific data either; I'm just using common sense...
Since Ledgem has already made a giant post, I'll just say this:

The more complex something is, the more fragile it gets.

I don't understand how to make a cake or cook anything, but I sure know how to destroy a cake instantly by throwing on the ground. People don't fully understand how a car is built, but they sure can easily destroy one.

A single match can burn down a forest. Millions of matches per second would definitely do something.
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Old 2009-06-27, 22:39   Link #78
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You're pretty much preaching to the choir here

The only thing I really disagree with is the notion that we don't have an effect on the environment. I do think that it's not as big as it's made out to be though.
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Old 2009-06-27, 22:40   Link #79
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Ledgem's answer is much more detailed, so just some minor points:

1) "dinosaurs == reptiles" has been replaced -- new data arrived over the last 20 years. We now believe based on available evidence many dinosaurs were warm-blooded and we actually have them around today --- they're called birds.

2) Our species dealt with a few Ice Ages in the polar climes.... it probably sucked and much was lost. Are we okay with people in the northern climes rushing towards the equator by the millions if that happens again? (or vice versa as it heats up?)

3) The Sun's behavior is a more valid issue -- but if it turns out that the sun is the central culprit in screwing with our precarious hold on existence, isn't it still a good idea to mitigate it? And yes, we *can* mitigate quite a lot of variability in solar output. Same for volcanic output.

4) I recommend a course in nonlinear systems analysis... or at least a fair book on "chaotic systems theory" and "complex systems". Then you might have a better understanding (especially that the Earth doesn't 'do things on a whim' - phase state descriptions are pretty illuminating but require some advanced mathematics). Climate *models*, unfortunately need a lot of re-engineering as many of them were originally simultaneous linear equations that fail to adequately model non-linear systems more than a few iteration cycles out. Climate models should differ intrinsically from weather prediction models as the first is phase space domain and the latter are mostly traditional simultaneous linear equation models of atmospheric dynamics coupled with a history of "we often had this kind of weather in this situation". As you say, the Earth has been in a variety of different climate "regions of stability" ... the problem is once the tipping point is reached you don't get to choose what the new region of stability will look like. Why is it not better to do what you can to keep the system away from catastrophic instabilities?

5) You're dismissing or are unaware of a lot more data than you seem to think you are.

5) The effects are happening. Do we mitigate them? Do we prepare for them? Do we manage the situation using the tools we can concoct? What kind of world do you want to live in?

... and 'common sense' generally sucks, btw, especially if one don't have enough understanding of whats going on in any given situation.
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Old 2009-06-28, 00:52   Link #80
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Not that I don't care or give up, but when I'm procrastinating on all sorts of things, I don't have the personal time to delve into a debate here...

I just want to clarify something about my post...

Quote:
Originally Posted by C.A. View Post
The more complex something is, the more fragile it gets.

I don't understand how to make a cake or cook anything, but I sure know how to destroy a cake instantly by throwing on the ground. People don't fully understand how a car is built, but they sure can easily destroy one.

A single match can burn down a forest. Millions of matches per second would definitely do something.
For starters, a forest and a cake aren't complex at all, especially since humans can bake cakes and manufacture cars in the first place...

Maybe "destroy" isn't the best verb to use, especially not in a literal sense (), but I don't think we can have nearly as much of an influence on the ecosystem as we think we can...A cake is a simple tangle thing; An ecosystem has tangible aspects to it, but is otherwise an extremely complex whole, both in it's functions and how it "behaves"...Can anyone explain why the Earth cools and warms itself? Can anyone explain why the atmosphere "sticks" to the Earth? Irregardless of our vast scientific knowledge, there are just things outside of human understanding, if only because of current limits; After all, it took several millenniums for science to stand where it is today...

My point is the difference between what we can and can't influence...No one can argue for dirty water and air; Pollution's obviously something humans are capable of, and it's something that can be easily cleaned up (Depending on what country you live in, anyway)...But that's not what I'm talking about...I just don't think we have the remote capacity to influence some of the greater things of our ecosystem like the climate itself...Environmentalism used to realistic goals about doing good things for the environment before people like Al Gore made it something that got out of hand with outworldly claims of "man-made changes" to the climate and whatnot...During the 1970s, "we" were pulling our hair out over global cooling; 3 decades later, we're talking about global warming...Now, I can be pretty damn positive that Earth's overall climate change does not go from a cold cycle to a warm cycle in 30 years past, so it makes me wonder where we're being lead to and if anyone knows what the hell is even going on...Or, if, for some bizarre reason that the climate did change in a short 30 year cycle, maybe it was just nature independently and we experienced a rare natural quirk...

Of course, for realistic things that humans can do, I'm not saying "ignore that"; You sure as hell don't want to be cutting the catalytic converter out of your car's exhaust system nor would you just want to be dumping synthetic toxins just anywhere on the ground...But there is a limit to what we can and can't do; And if someone's doing something in hopes of "stopping climate change" or anything, then that would be a futile battle...And then there's the asinine "I'm doing this to be green" movement...

I'm also up for a game of "Adapt or die" if the climate wants to change on us, kind of like what the dinosaurs did (Which, speaking of dinosaurs and birds/reptiles, goes to show there's still quite a bit we have left to discover for ourselves); If humans really are such a large problem as we keep telling ourselves, then maybe a mass population reduction would be good for the environment, but that's just me being cynical now...

But I'm also not preventing anyone here from doing what they want to do...If it makes you feel good, fine, I don't care...Your efforts, not mine; Your reasons, not mine...I just wish more people would take mind what's fact and what's bluff...And then you can take your debate and tear each other's facts apart like zombies on the living, and I'll be glad to know at least science doesn't go by a "consensus"...

On the other hand, if one's efforts interfere with my life in one aspect or another, then that's changes things...The "Cap and Trade" bills Congress is currently voting on, for example...





Oh, dear, I just extended my procrastination...
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