Stoaty
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Re: In Defense of Carbon Dioxide

Mon May 13, 2013 9:20 pm

RegGuheert wrote:Big government profits most from climate change scaremongering by taking away liberties that rightly belong to the people.
It isn't the government scaremongering, Obama has barely mentioned climate change and done little to address the problem. It is the climate scientists, a normally staid group, who are getting increasingly freaked out by the data and projections (and the fact that most of the projections so far have turned out to be way too conservative).
Our federal government is way outside the limits of their authority on this issue, just as they are with many other issue. And any treaty which gets signed trumps our constitution, which I consider a worse thing.
Sorry, the U.S. supreme court took up this issue and said that the EPA can regulate CO2 as a pollutant. Of course, if you simply want to go by your own opinion (rather than the law of the land) that's a different story entirely.
IMO, we need to move in a direction which gives individuals more freedom, not less.
I think that is a major reason why many people can't accept climate change--the steps necessary to combat it will of necessity place some limits on these "freedoms". Unfortunately, you can't argue with physics.
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Re: In Defense of Carbon Dioxide

Mon May 13, 2013 9:46 pm

Stoaty wrote:I think that is a major reason why many people can't accept climate change--the steps necessary to combat it will of necessity place some limits on these "freedoms". Unfortunately, you can't argue with physics.
Freedom without responsibility can be a problem...
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Stoaty
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Re: In Defense of Carbon Dioxide

Mon May 13, 2013 9:57 pm

For a little perspective on the WSJ article see:

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/0 ... n-dioxide/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

If you want to get a good overview of the myriad problems climate change is causing (and will cause much more in the future) see:

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2012/1 ... cts-guide/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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RegGuheert
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Re: In Defense of Carbon Dioxide

Tue May 14, 2013 2:51 am

Stoaty wrote:It isn't the government scaremongering, Obama has barely mentioned climate change and done little to address the problem. It is the climate scientists, a normally staid group, who are getting increasingly freaked out by the data and projections (and the fact that most of the projections so far have turned out to be way too conservative).
Big government is who funds climate research, and by doing so, they control the agenda. Like it or not, a lot of science gets distorted by who holds the pursestrings. So if big business funds a site showing research (mostly government research) that contradicts the party line, the site is deemed unreliable, but if big government funds the research, it is the Gospel?
Stoaty wrote:Sorry, the U.S. supreme court took up this issue and said that the EPA can regulate CO2 as a pollutant. Of course, if you simply want to go by your own opinion (rather than the law of the land) that's a different story entirely.
It's not the first, nor will it be the last, time that the supreme court has interpeted the powers of the Federal govenment to be far beyond what I think the founding fathers intended when they enumerated the powers for our govenment. I don't have to like or agree with that, but fortunately, I still can speak against it.
Stoaty wrote:I think that is a major reason why many people can't accept climate change--the steps necessary to combat it will of necessity place some limits on these "freedoms".
This is the kind of thinking that bothers me. When government is able to convince enough people that things are so bad that we need our rights taken away, that is the day that we will lose the freedoms so many have worked so hard to attain.
Stoaty wrote:Unfortunately, you can't argue with physics.
You certainly can, but we'll save that for another time. ;)

But seriously, the science is extremely complex, and when scientists test their climate models to see if they can predict what has happened the past couple of years, the models do not get the correct answers! So while I agree that is a good way to refine the models, I must also conclude that the models have a very limited capability to predict our world's climate many decades in the future. Frankly, the predictions could be horribly wrong.

Yesterday's discussion about food supply is but one example. Several here have stated things like "The problem is, there aren't any benefits of increased atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations...", etc. But such statements are directly refuted by recent and broad-reaching research, as previously pointed out:
Overall, crops benefit from elevated CO2 by improving water productivity (+23% for biomass production and +27% for yield production), which is achieved through production increases in biomass (+15% for aboveground biomass) and yield (+16%), in combination with a decrease in seasonal evapotranspiration(-5%).
That quote comes from researchers at Leuven University, which is a very respected research university in Europe.

If you combine this fact with the knowledge that food crop production is now at the highest levels ever, it seems clear that the increases in global CO2 and temperature are not yet having the effects predicted for our food supply.

The point is that it appears that a very important negative feedback effect on both CO2 and temperature is being downplayed, if not outright denied, by those creating the models. There are many, many papers showing the growth rates of many of the plant species on the earth are accelerating in the face of higher tempraures and CO2 levels. It seems like climate scientists are focused on discussing positive feedback mechanisms, but are they giving proper due to this extremely significant negative feedback mechanism? It doesn't appear so, since when it is discussed in the media, it is dismissed as "sixth-grade science".

So, is this negative feedback of accelerated plant growth that is occurring all over the world enough to stem the effects of warming? I don't know. But the public outcry by many at the mere mention of the existence of this negative feedback mechanism by those who are supposed to be modeling the future climate leads to the obvious conclusion (rightly or wrongly) that they may be overpredicting the overall effects of the ongoing warming event.

OTOH, if the mention of this feedback effect were discussed in a manner that acknowledged the current literature and data and showed how it fits within the models, then I think it would be much easier to accept the conclusions being made.
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Re: In Defense of Carbon Dioxide

Tue May 14, 2013 4:14 am

RegGuheert wrote:While I agree we need to move away from the status quo, the assumption that the only direction to go is toward more government control is not valid.

IMO, we need to move in a direction which gives individuals more freedom, not less.
With too little government, none are free. Without government, every person has the right to everything. That leads to the war of all against all.
In such condition, there is no place for industry; because the fruit thereof is uncertain: and consequently no culture of the earth; no navigation, nor use of the commodities that may be imported by sea; no commodious building; no instruments of moving, and removing, such things as require much force; no knowledge of the face of the earth; no account of time; no arts; no letters; no society; and which is worst of all, continual fear, and danger of violent death; and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.
http://oll.libertyfund.org/index.php?op ... pter_89842" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Thomas Hobbs.

So back to carbon dioxide. The problem, as Hobbs would state it, is that currently everyone has the right to dump carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Dumping carbon dioxide (and some other gases) will change the climate. Changing the climate is fine, as long as no one gets hurt. The first degree centigrade or so of warming might work out to a net gain, unevenly distributed of course, with some losers and some winners. Ten degrees of warming? Not a chance that is anything other than a disaster.

The deus ex machina solutions are that some non-fossil fuel power source becomes so cheap as to make it uneconomic to extract fossil fuels or that there is so little fossil fuel that can be extracted economically that we need to move to other power sources. Or some combination of the two. Unlikely. Very unlikely.

So the solution will very likely need to be a social contract on a worldwide scale.

Everyone needs to lose the right to dump unlimited amounts of CO2 into the air. It has to be mostly by agreement, like other social contracts, but will need to compel those that disagree.
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RegGuheert
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Re: In Defense of Carbon Dioxide

Tue May 14, 2013 5:02 am

Well spoken, WetEV!
WetEV wrote:So back to carbon dioxide. The problem, as Hobbs would state it, is that currently everyone has the right to dump carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Dumping carbon dioxide (and some other gases) will change the climate. Changing the climate is fine, as long as no one gets hurt. The first degree centigrade or so of warming might work out to a net gain, unevenly distributed of course, with some losers and some winners. Ten degrees of warming? Not a chance that is anything other than a disaster.
I can agree with all that. So, how many degrees are we in store for? I'm not sure we have sufficient knowledge to predict that, but I'll agree that ten is not out of the question and it is certainly a scary prospect!
WetEV wrote:The deus ex machina solutions are that some non-fossil fuel power source becomes so cheap as to make it uneconomic to extract fossil fuels or that there is so little fossil fuel that can be extracted economically that we need to move to other power sources. Or some combination of the two. Unlikely. Very unlikely.

So the solution will very likely need to be a social contract on a worldwide scale.

Everyone needs to lose the right to dump unlimited amounts of CO2 into the air. It has to be mostly by agreement, like other social contracts, but will need to compel those that disagree.
I also agree with this sentiment. Unfortunately, we have waited FAR too long to act and our government is often doing things like allowing very damaging gas drilling and coal removal which are moving in the opposite direction. The result is that what could have been a fairly benign social contract will likely turn out to be severe, draconian measures. While I don't have the answers to the problem, I fear the government's eventual too-late response more than I fear climate change.
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Re: In Defense of Carbon Dioxide

Tue May 14, 2013 5:06 am

mrdcmills wrote:Doesn't anybody believe our great-grandchildren will adapt to a couple of degrees warmer? I grew up in central Fla in a house with no A/C. I worked 13 years in a metal building with no A/C.
Not just the heat, it is the humidity.

A couple of degrees F or C are not a real problem. On the other hand, there is almost for sure enough carbon in total fossil fuels to increase CO2 in the atmosphere by at least 8 times, and very probably enough for 16 times, and perhaps enough for 32 times. At roughly 3C warmer climate per doubling of CO2, that is a future that might be 9C warmer to 15C warmer. It is not just that the temperature will go up, like in the metal building, the humidity will go up as well.

Dew point is way of looking at the humidity in the air. The average daily high dew point in Tampa Fl is about 25C or 77F for August. The average daily temperature is about 32C or 90F. Suppose that both heat and humidity was 12C or 22F higher. There is one word for heat and humidity like this, lethal.

If it was just a couple of degrees, we could adapt.
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Re: In Defense of Carbon Dioxide

Tue May 14, 2013 5:29 am

Stoaty wrote:... Unfortunately, you can't argue with physics.
Actually, you can. It is just that you will loose.
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Re: In Defense of Carbon Dioxide

Tue May 14, 2013 5:44 am

Since it is just about as difficult to prove to some people that CO2 will be good or bad for human life as it is to prove the existence of God, I always get back to non carbon forms of energy are cheaper, and can be made cheaper than carbon forms. Instead of funding the US military actions that protect production and transportation of oil with income tax, move that tax to a tariff on imported oil. Instead of permitting unrestrained installation of resistive hot water, maybe during new construction you purchase 20 years of electricity for your hot water heater at the time of install, payable to an escrow account to the utility. This way you can pay $10,000 for the resistive water heater, or $5000 for the solar, you are free to choose.

The people that think you want to take away their freedom will never buy the data you provide them that CO2 is bad, or smoking is bad, or speeding is bad, they don't care about the data, they think you made it up to take their freedom. If carbon is cheaper, they care about cheaper. The problem is that carbon really isn't cheaper, it is much more expensive than sunshine, but the government protects carbon, and does very little to promote solar. I'm not talking about funding solar companies, I'm talking about free permits and inspections for solar installs. I'm talking about ending the practice of giving the oil in our public lands and waters away for practically nothing. I don't know what the outcome of all the CO2 we are dumping freely into the air will be, but it seems like changing the climate will likely be really bad. What is wrong with telling a utility that they can produce all the CO2 they want, but they can't emit it into the air without paying a fee to dump the CO2? I pay a fee to dump my sewer into the public system, and it could be argued that my sewer is much better for the environment than CO2.

The argument that nature produces far more carbon than man doesn't mean squat to me. If man made carbon is bad, so is natural carbon. Us dumping more on top of nature is a problem, perhaps we need to figure out a way to deal with nature's CO2 as well. My mom always told me "two wrongs don't make a right," which means just because nature makes CO2, doesn't mean that we should as well. My mom was pretty smart me thinks.

I figure I'll be dead long before CO2 causes me any problems with my life, but as a conservative, I believe we should waste nothing. When did being "conservative" change into "we should liberally waste nature and natural resources as quickly as possible?" Am I missing something?
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Stoaty
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Re: In Defense of Carbon Dioxide

Tue May 14, 2013 6:45 am

RegGuheert wrote:So, how many degrees are we in store for? I'm not sure we have sufficient knowledge to predict that, but I'll agree that ten is not out of the question and it is certainly a scary prospect!
How many degrees we are in store for depends on how much CO2 we emit. As stated before,

New scientific findings since the 2007 IPCC report are found to be more than twenty times as likely to indicate that global climate disruption is “worse than previously expected,” rather than “not as bad as previously expected.”

Read what the climate scientists are saying and why they are now speaking out:

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2012/1 ... cts-guide/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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