Global Warming and You!

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Global Warming and You!

Postby AlexanderDitto » 22 Jul 2012, 15:22

Once again I have read an article that makes me feel angry and sad and completely powerless to stop the fact that in about sixteen years, we won't have a chance to change the fact that the earth is going eventually be good and messed up. Global warming!

The only thing I can do is share the anger:

WARNING: this is an excellently written article about the situation we're currently in with global warming, and what would have to happen for us to fix it. If you're liable to get upset by these types of articles, I'd recommend you just don't read it, and consider buying a house on stilts.

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/global-warmings-terrifying-new-math-20120719

:(

Even the one country that I thought was on board with fixing the problem, Canada, has backed out.

And the worst part is that to stop it, oil and gas companies would basically have agree to lose about 20 trillion dollars worth of assets. Which means we're straight fucked.

Ugh.

(EDIT: As Dutch guy rightly pointed out, I was previously guilty of rather severe hyperbole in this first post. The earth is not going to be destroyed in 16 years. But in about that amount of time we will have released enough CO2 into the atmosphere that the long-term effects of global warming (which will take one or two hundred years) will essentially be guaranteed to occur.

On the plus side, we'll only have to argue about global warming for a few more decades before it doesn't matter what we do.)
Last edited by AlexanderDitto on 23 Jul 2012, 06:08, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Global Warming and You!

Postby Metcarfre » 22 Jul 2012, 15:44

I'm thinking of volunteering to help prevent the Conservatives from forming a government in the next election. Because, seriously, what the hell.
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Re: Global Warming and You!

Postby Lyinginbedmon » 22 Jul 2012, 15:45

16 years?! But I'll still be alive then!
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Re: Global Warming and You!

Postby Merrymaker_Mortalis » 22 Jul 2012, 15:46

What annoys me is the General Public's ignorance about the matter in Britain.
They're like
wee warmer summers in Britain.
That's half true. It happens to come with, Colder Winters, Stormier Storms, Wetter rain, Floodier Floods. Basically, the British climate will stay the same (in till we freeze). In the mean time, we'll just get extreme weather. Yay. I can't wait to experience the climate which Britian is meant to experience at out latitude when the Gulf Stream moves away.

With flooding, it's not the sea-level rising due to Ice melting per-say. It's more to do with combos of Storm-Surges and Spring tides making amazing freak flooding. The sea-level rising will become an issue. The immediate issue is the Sea eating onto places below-sea-level when it's stormy and the water not going away.
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Re: Global Warming and You!

Postby Psyclone » 22 Jul 2012, 17:23

Fuuuuuck. I really should know better than to click these links by now. But hey, it's been, what, 3 months since my last panic attack? I was pretty much due anyway.

Helloooo, sleepless nights for the next week.
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Re: Global Warming and You!

Postby AlexanderDitto » 22 Jul 2012, 18:20

Psyclone wrote:Fuuuuuck. I really should know better than to click these links by now. But hey, it's been, what, 3 months since my last panic attack? I was pretty much due anyway.

Helloooo, sleepless nights for the next week.


Oh no! I'm sorry. I didn't mean to induce panic attacks in anyone. Should I put a more serious warning on the link?

There's not really much we can do about it, honestly, so don't panic! I know saying that doesn't help with panic attacks... I'm going to edit the first post to be more clear about it.

Merrymaker_Mortalis wrote:What annoys me is the General Public's ignorance about the matter in Britain.
They're like
wee warmer summers in Britain.
That's half true. It happens to come with, Colder Winters, Stormier Storms, Wetter rain, Floodier Floods. Basically, the British climate will stay the same (in till we freeze). In the mean time, we'll just get extreme weather. Yay. I can't wait to experience the climate which Britian is meant to experience at out latitude when the Gulf Stream moves away.

With flooding, it's not the sea-level rising due to Ice melting per-say. It's more to do with combos of Storm-Surges and Spring tides making amazing freak flooding. The sea-level rising will become an issue. The immediate issue is the Sea eating onto places below-sea-level when it's stormy and the water not going away.


Also large portions of London would experience severe flooding if sea level were to rise more than a few meters. The Thames would start to look more like Chesapeake bay. But that's OK, you guys don't need your parliament building, right? :roll:

metcarfre wrote:I'm thinking of volunteering to help prevent the Conservatives from forming a government in the next election. Because, seriously, what the hell.


The problem is regardless of who's in power, they're not going to be able to resist the allure of the huge profits fossil fuels offer. Unless it's made financially unfeasible to extract the oil from the sands, it's going to happen.

And nobody's willing to force oil and gas companies to eat the huge costs that carbon caps would enforce. They're too used to dumping CO2 as though it wasn't a waste product.

I really see no way out of this until some huge catastrophe strikes, like severe droughts that sharply reduce world food supplies that will cause people to get super angry. But by then, it'll probably be too late. And even then people will probably just blame the gays. :(
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Re: Global Warming and You!

Postby Psyclone » 22 Jul 2012, 18:26

It's my fault for clicking it in the first place -_- It's like when I visit the Reasons I will never sleep again thread. It's sort of a compulsion. Please don't feel bad! Plus, I remembered we have a thread of cute animals, so I'm doing okay.

I dunno how you could blame this one on the gays, though.
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Re: Global Warming and You!

Postby Metcarfre » 22 Jul 2012, 18:36

Still, the base of the Cons power is the Alberta tar sands. It's feasible that we could elect an NDP government next election - and if we did, we could see a carbon tax. BC has a carbon tax but it's too paltry to affect behavior (2 cents/litre).
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Re: Global Warming and You!

Postby Tally » 22 Jul 2012, 20:01

Jeremy was reading that article this morning in his RSS feed and telling me about it. It is completely and utterly terrifying, and I don't even know what kind of sensible response to have - what can any of us do, is what I want to know?!
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Re: Global Warming and You!

Postby Kapol » 22 Jul 2012, 20:11

It's pretty much like Ditto said, there's nothing that any of us can do. Even if every single person on this forum quit using anything that remotely helped increase global warming's speed, it wouldn't really help. The only people who can theoretically do anything is politicians/policy makers. And doing so would mean going against some of the richest people in the world. AKA the people who help fund the candidates as well.

Honestly, reading the article sent me into a depressed funk. But I suppose it should be depressing given that it's discussing the fact that we're quickly heading towards disaster and not many people seem to notice/care. Even the current drought/heat in the US isn't being thought much of.
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Re: Global Warming and You!

Postby Lord Chrusher » 23 Jul 2012, 01:01

metcarfre wrote:Still, the base of the Cons power is the Alberta tar sands. It's feasible that we could elect an NDP government next election - and if we did, we could see a carbon tax. BC has a carbon tax but it's too paltry to affect behavior (2 cents/litre).


Actually the carbon tax in BC is 6.67 cents per litre.

Supposedly the use of carbon based fuels has decreased in BC while their use in the rest of Canada has slightly increased.

A carbon tax is the simplest way of making carbon more expensive which is effective way of making people use less carbon.
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Re: Global Warming and You!

Postby Merrymaker_Mortalis » 23 Jul 2012, 02:53

Also large portions of London would experience severe flooding if sea level were to rise more than a few meters. The Thames would start to look more like Chesapeake bay. But that's OK, you guys don't need your parliament building, right?


I have the Welsh Assembly.

And it's hard to be concerned for developed countries, when they stupidly build their infrastructure on River natural flood planes or dangerously close to River estuaries. It's not my fault someone wanted to the build the capital city of Britain in a flood-risk zone. Theyeven built flood gates to prevent storm surges. I just hope the innocent people who'd be affected can get out of the way.
I'm safe where I live, 300ft above sea level.

If shit gets awful, like "The day after Tomorrow" bad, I'll just convince my family to move up into the mountains; away from any rivers. Lets hope the polar hurricane doesn't happen.
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Re: Global Warming and You!

Postby Dutch guy » 23 Jul 2012, 04:26

Lord Chrusher wrote:
metcarfre wrote:Still, the base of the Cons power is the Alberta tar sands. It's feasible that we could elect an NDP government next election - and if we did, we could see a carbon tax. BC has a carbon tax but it's too paltry to affect behavior (2 cents/litre).


Actually the carbon tax in BC is 6.67 cents per litre.

Supposedly the use of carbon based fuels has decreased in BC while their use in the rest of Canada has slightly increased.

A carbon tax is the simplest way of making carbon more expensive which is effective way of making people use less carbon.


Carbon tax doesn't work. People still need to drive to work, people still need to heat their homes. The tiny bit you can save by having the general public turn down the thermostat a bit or driving a few miles less is paltry.

Want to seriously affect the amount of carbon dioxides we produce? Build much more nuclear plants, stop international shipping of "small commercial products", stop building with concrete, etc. THEN you can get an effect. Joe public can generally do didly squat when it comes to saving on carbon emissions.

As to the article. ugggghhhhhh, just... how much overblown doomsday panic can you pack into an article? And all this doom and gloom is well and good, but this kind of article NEVER actually come with a solution or some actual new input.
Also, 2 degrees in the next 16 years? Meters ocean rise? How exactly?? Looking at the graphs they would need to make about a 90 degree bend and rise at ridiculously fast rates to achieve such numbers. It's just not going to happen.

Claiming those oil and gas reserves should be counted as, "ready to be consumed"? Also completely ridiculous. I know for a fact some of the reserves companies like Shell have on the balance won't be economically viable until the price of oil atleast doubles. They probably won't be extracting that oil for atleast another 50 years. A lot of the oil- and gasreserves on the books today are still "economic reserves" that won't be tapped until needed, and that could take decades.

Just, uggghhhhhhh, that whole article... it's so overblown.
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Re: Global Warming and You!

Postby Merrymaker_Mortalis » 23 Jul 2012, 04:42

A Horizon episode mentioned that methane is a greenhouse gas, and there's massive reserves of it under the sea-bed. The methane gets released over time, but is accelerated by the earth warming up.
So global warming will get a snow-ball effect.
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Re: Global Warming and You!

Postby Psyclone » 23 Jul 2012, 04:43

*huge hugs to Dutch Guy for doing the research I was too scared to do*

Not that that's why you did it, but it makes me feel better anyway.
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Re: Global Warming and You!

Postby Lyinginbedmon » 23 Jul 2012, 05:03

Possibly the simplest thing to do is what I've been saying we should for years: Leave

Certainly it's a field we're a lot more familiar with than climate control.
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Re: Global Warming and You!

Postby Lord Chrusher » 23 Jul 2012, 05:12

Dutch guy wrote:
Lord Chrusher wrote:
metcarfre wrote:Still, the base of the Cons power is the Alberta tar sands. It's feasible that we could elect an NDP government next election - and if we did, we could see a carbon tax. BC has a carbon tax but it's too paltry to affect behavior (2 cents/litre).


Actually the carbon tax in BC is 6.67 cents per litre.

Supposedly the use of carbon based fuels has decreased in BC while their use in the rest of Canada has slightly increased.

A carbon tax is the simplest way of making carbon more expensive which is effective way of making people use less carbon.


Carbon tax doesn't work. People still need to drive to work, people still need to heat their homes. The tiny bit you can save by having the general public turn down the thermostat a bit or driving a few miles less is paltry.

Want to seriously affect the amount of carbon dioxides we produce? Build much more nuclear plants, stop international shipping of "small commercial products", stop building with concrete, etc. THEN you can get an effect. Joe public can generally do didly squat when it comes to saving on carbon emissions.


Not everyone has to drive to work. If they still want to drive they can drive vehicles that get a hundred miles a gallon. Houses can be made much more energy efficient and there a host of ways to heat or cool a building that do not use carbon based fuels. A high enough carbon price would make nuclear power plants economic, make air transport horrifically expensive and force a different way of making cement.

Making something expensive is the best way to get someone to stop using it. Likely the best way to introduce a carbon price as was done in British Columbia is to introduce it at a low price (say $10 a tonne) then raise the price at regular intervals (say $10 a tonne per year). Thus there is no sudden shock and people are able to plan since they know what the future price of carbon is.
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Re: Global Warming and You!

Postby Lord Chrusher » 23 Jul 2012, 05:15

Lyinginbedmon wrote:Possibly the simplest thing to do is what I've been saying we should for years: Leave

Certainly it's a field we're a lot more familiar with than climate control.


Interplanetary migration makes climate change look like a simple and cheep problem. It might be a long term solution but my guess is that the climate will be nice and toasty far before a significant fraction of the population can move off planet.
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Re: Global Warming and You!

Postby Lyinginbedmon » 23 Jul 2012, 05:18

Agreed, neither option is easy (at current rates of progress, 16 years is a tremendously short timeframe as well), but if we can get even a small percentage of us into orbit at least we'll be able to get more things done without the constant threat of hurricanes and floods, such as to help the remaining percentage on the ground. We don't need to go interplanetary, just off-world, and even then not permanently, just long enough to fix Earth or find somewhere new to live, ideally with a message to the future generations not to screw up as royally as we have.
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Re: Global Warming and You!

Postby Dutch guy » 23 Jul 2012, 05:20

The whole problem with these kinds of articles is that they are written purely for sensationalism. They contain very little in the way of facts and even less in the way of sources.

Yes, global climate change is a problem. Yes, we as humans are probably contributing to it's effect (BUT we are far from the ONLY source). However, the whole process is poorly understood and some very wild claims are being made by people without a clue. The problem of climate change is far from as catastrophic and world destroying as it is often portrayed. The link between heavier or more forest fires and climate change is very tentative at best. Yes, we've had a few "record breaking" years in terms of temperature, but those temperatures are in the grand scheme of climate history not at ALL that exceptional.
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Re: Global Warming and You!

Postby AlexanderDitto » 23 Jul 2012, 05:39

Dutch guy wrote:
Lord Chrusher wrote:
metcarfre wrote:Still, the base of the Cons power is the Alberta tar sands. It's feasible that we could elect an NDP government next election - and if we did, we could see a carbon tax. BC has a carbon tax but it's too paltry to affect behavior (2 cents/litre).


Actually the carbon tax in BC is 6.67 cents per litre.

Supposedly the use of carbon based fuels has decreased in BC while their use in the rest of Canada has slightly increased.

A carbon tax is the simplest way of making carbon more expensive which is effective way of making people use less carbon.


Carbon tax doesn't work. People still need to drive to work, people still need to heat their homes. The tiny bit you can save by having the general public turn down the thermostat a bit or driving a few miles less is paltry.

Want to seriously affect the amount of carbon dioxides we produce? Build much more nuclear plants, stop international shipping of "small commercial products", stop building with concrete, etc. THEN you can get an effect. Joe public can generally do didly squat when it comes to saving on carbon emissions.

As to the article. ugggghhhhhh, just... how much overblown doomsday panic can you pack into an article? And all this doom and gloom is well and good, but this kind of article NEVER actually come with a solution or some actual new input.
Also, 2 degrees in the next 16 years? Meters ocean rise? How exactly?? Looking at the graphs they would need to make about a 90 degree bend and rise at ridiculously fast rates to achieve such numbers. It's just not going to happen.

Claiming those oil and gas reserves should be counted as, "ready to be consumed"? Also completely ridiculous. I know for a fact some of the reserves companies like Shell have on the balance won't be economically viable until the price of oil atleast doubles. They probably won't be extracting that oil for atleast another 50 years. A lot of the oil- and gasreserves on the books today are still "economic reserves" that won't be tapped until needed, and that could take decades.

Just, uggghhhhhhh, that whole article... it's so overblown.


While the tone of the article is perhaps a bit alarmist, it seems everything the article says is true.

I'm guessing carbon taxes haven't worked in large part because the countries that consume the most carbon-based fuels, like the US and China, refuse to implement them. Also, while people still need to heat their homes and drive to work, the point is to disincentivize it, not prevent it. Encouraging everyone to keep their thermostat one degree higher, etc.

I agree with you, though. Consumers aren't where the change has to happen. A carbon tax on companies that emit CO2 would have the biggest impact; it makes sense to me that companies should have to pay for the waste they emit. International shipping of small commercial products would naturally stop if the price became prohibitively expensive because the shipping companies or the companies that provided them with fuel had to pay a tax on it. More nuclear plants would also help.

Perhaps you didn't read carefully enough. The point of the article, which you seem to have missed, is not that a two degree rise in the next 16 years will cause the ocean to rise meters. It is that:

-a 2 degree rise will likely be enough to precipitate disastrous changes in climate patterns over the next few centuries, including record highs/lows that could cause crop problems, damaging floods, fires, etc, and eventually (much longer term) permanent sea level rise. Most everyone agrees on this. Chances are good it won't even take that much.

-in order to achieve that increase we know how much more carbon we'd need to put into the atmosphere. "The Earth's average surface temperature, expressed as a linear trend, rose by 0.74±0.18 °C over the period 1906–2005." and "Climate commitment studies indicate that even if greenhouse gases were stabilized at 2000 levels, a further warming of about 0.5 °C (0.9 °F) would still occur [over the next 100 years]." Which means we're already over half-way to the two degree mark. We can calculate how much more CO2 we'd have to introduce to push us there.

-We have that amount available to us, and companies are already acting as though they have it (borrowing against it, factoring it into their books) and they're looking for more, which means taking political action to change their behavior is going to be extremely difficult without incurring significant "financial loss" for those companies. And you can't say those reserves aren't "ready to be consumed." Tar sands in Canada and Venezuela are becoming economically viable. They've already started fracking for natural gas here in Pennsylvania, and they're increasing it in Ireland. As we burn through what's easy to get, prices will increase, motivating continued extraction of harder-to-reach sources. Also, as technology improves, those harder-to-reach sources will become easier to reach. But it doesn't matter, because we'll reach the amount mentioned in point 2 long before we even need to get to these.

The point being not that we have 16 years until the world explodes. The point is that we have only a few decades to fix the problem before enough carbon is in the atmosphere that it's out of our hands entirely. The effects of what we do in the next few decades will entirely dictate the course of the planet's climate for the foreseeable future.

Basically, we'll be fine, but our grandchildren are going to hate us.

If anything is alarmist, it's not the article, it's my stupid joking last paragraph in the first post, and the few sentences I used to lead into the article, both of which were flagrantly wrong and alarmist. So I will remove them.
Last edited by AlexanderDitto on 23 Jul 2012, 06:04, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Global Warming and You!

Postby Lyinginbedmon » 23 Jul 2012, 05:46

Considering the abysmal quality of modern music I'm already expecting them to hate us.
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Re: Global Warming and You!

Postby Lord Chrusher » 23 Jul 2012, 06:30

Lyinginbedmon wrote:Considering the abysmal quality of modern popular music I'm already expecting them to hate us.


Fixed. I suspect a lot of it will be forgotten. Sure we remember the Beatles and the Rolling Stones but there was a lot of dross forty or fifty years ago that we do not know about. In the mean time I will be listening to the New Pornographers.
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Re: Global Warming and You!

Postby Matt » 23 Jul 2012, 11:20

Lyinginbedmon wrote:Considering the abysmal quality of the vast majority of all music made in every era I'm already expecting them to hate us.


Double fixed.

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Re: Global Warming and You!

Postby Merrymaker_Mortalis » 23 Jul 2012, 11:24

^ true, time is the best filter for any art form. People forget shockingly bad music. It's why when you say 60s music, you think Beatles.

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