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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2011 2:57 pm 
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I observe that all readily available fossil fuels are essentially a mixture of just two elements, carbon and hydrogen, in various combinations ranging from 100% carbon (coal) to 1 part carbon and 4 parts hydrogen (methane, the primary constituant of natural gas). So the combustion of any fossil fuel produces only two end products, carbon dioxide and water vapor, again in varying amounts depending on the fuel. (Trace elements in the fuels and their combustion products ignored for the purposes of discussing the main actors in the drama.)

The paragraph quoted below causes me to wonder (tongue firmly in cheek) should we be burning as much coal as possible to minimize the use of oil and natural gas and so minimize the production of the largest GHG emission?

Pipcecil wrote:
Now, Carbon Dioxide is the largest HUMAN source GHG emission we know of (there are other minor ones like methane, etc. but they aren't worth mentioning since they take up a small portion), BUT CO2 is NOT the largest GHG emission, not by far. Water Vapor is the largest GHG gas (by far) and is completely out of our control which is why we concentrate on CO2 (#2 behind water vapor) since we control it (something to strain your brain about: if fuel cell cars become mainstream, would the tailpipe emission of water vapor cause an increase in global warming?). So even now, we are concentrating on a gas thats not responsible for most of the regional climate changes we have recorded.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2011 3:18 pm 
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Yodrak wrote:
Life on earth in general has adapted, for as long as it's existed. But most individual species have not adapted and "we", the human species, which has not been around for "the last million + years", have big worries.

Our ancestors with lower skills and brain power go back at least a million years if you believe evolution.

Honestly I would worry about a sudden drop of 5 degrees more than an increase of the same amount. JMHO.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2011 4:42 pm 
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Yodrak wrote:
The paragraph quoted below causes me to wonder (tongue firmly in cheek) should we be burning as much coal as possible to minimize the use of oil and natural gas and so minimize the production of the largest GHG emission?

No, H2O is short lived in the atmosphere - think days or months before it equalizes.
CO2 on the other hand will be there for decades to a century.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2011 7:59 pm 
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I'd love to take your opinion and believe my children and my grand-children to be will be fine, too bad my rational mind directs me to go with what scientists think:
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/10/041001092938.htm.

Life on earth will continue to exist, our species, in its current form, not so sure...

smkettner wrote:
Yodrak wrote:
Life on earth in general has adapted, for as long as it's existed. But most individual species have not adapted and "we", the human species, which has not been around for "the last million + years", have big worries.

Our ancestors with lower skills and brain power go back at least a million years if you believe evolution.

Honestly I would worry about a sudden drop of 5 degrees more than an increase of the same amount. JMHO.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2011 8:25 pm 
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The article says we over hunted. I am not sure that will continue. And much of the effect was from natural temperature changes.
Kids and grands will be fine. Although 100 generations from now may have some changes to deal with.

I am not saying it won't happen. I just believe we have less control than the scientists imply. Society is not going to revert back 500 years anytime soon.

How much can we really affect the world temperature if every person contributes?
How much have the natural changes in temperatures been?

Here is a quote that baffles me: "The Pleistocene, a period starting about 1.8 million years ago, was a time of glacial comings and goings, with more than 20 cycles of cooling and warming that concluded only about 10,000 years ago with the end of the last ice age. "

How exactly does he know these cycles have concluded? Maybe we are due for another ice age. Maybe the earth continuously warms until some natural event gives a sudden cooling. I think there is a lot left to learn.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2011 8:51 pm 
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Pipcecil wrote:
In the end I see no need to focus just on GHGs or climate change. Just reduce air pollution period. If we stop carbon monoxide, lead, particulate matter, benzyne, and all the other bad junk, CO2 will reduce too. Why focus on something people question when you can get the same clean-up results focusing on stuff we know is bad.


I agree, I have not made up my mind if the climate change is man made or not. But nobody can deny that what comes out the tail pipe is bad for you. If they do, then tell them to run the car in the garage with the door closed, and stay in the car. Or to go buy a house downwind of a coal power plant or refinery.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 2:51 pm 
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OK, I'll agree with you on this - the genus Homo does go back 2+ million years, although the species Sapiens goes back only about 250,000 years.
smkettner wrote:
Our ancestors with lower skills and brain power go back at least a million years if you believe evolution.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 3:06 pm 
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I think the serious problems will be underway not long after the "kids and grands", for sure a lot less than 100 generations (~2,500 years for the sake of discussion).

Our fossil fuels will be gone within a few hundred years, but that aside - because affordable renewable alternatives will be found (they will, won't they?) - our breeding habits will do us in within only a few more generations. There may be some hope if we look at some European countries and Japan, where native populations are actually in decline, but the world's social structures are all based on population growth and many ethnic groups continue to breed like rabbits. It's going to be really hard to turn those two things around.

smkettner wrote:
Kids and grands will be fine. Although 100 generations from now may have some changes to deal with.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 3:41 pm 
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Are you serious?

smkettner wrote:
[...] if you believe evolution.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 4:14 pm 
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Fabio wrote:
Are you serious?
smkettner wrote:
[...] if you believe evolution.

There was a question on how long humans had survived the natural fluctuations in temperature as if we were popped on the earth 250,000 years ago.
I believe humans continue to evolve. In 250,000 more years we could be very different.

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