Page 3 of 4

Re: Global warming fact or fiction?

PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 9:40 am
by Gorbadoc
Oh, and, red, ice caps are still melting. What do you propose we do about it? Because it is a problem, and I don't see you offering any solutions.

Re: Global warming fact or fiction?

PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 10:51 am
by Dr.Mellifluous
I found a video that while not completely on task, elucidates in pleasant British tones what being open-minded really means. It focuses on the supernatural, but is easily applicable towards our global warming debate.


Re: Global warming fact or fiction?

PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 12:21 pm
by Half + Seven
Everything sounds better with a British accent.

Re: Global warming fact or fiction?

PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2009 9:14 pm
by Herosbane
The word "turd" in a British accent is good for about a half hour of giggles.

Re: Global warming fact or fiction?

PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 2:32 pm
by Mur
I could record myself saying turd, if you pay me.

Also,

It's fact, /thread.

Re: Global warming fact or fiction?

PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2009 11:14 pm
by Zalabim
According to scientific method, what Kaz has detailed so far is a hypothesis of man-made, CO2 caused global warming. The best next step would be to take a decade or a few decades to test whether reality follows the theory. Simply take two copies of Earth and remove mankind from one of them, (that'll be the control, I suppose), and on the other measurably reduce our emissions of CO2 and leave our own planet alone during the process so we should have conclusive evidence of 1) whether we effect global warming and 2) how much reducing carbon emissions will lessen that effect.

Lacking that grandiose of an experiment to perform, I'm curious if you know what experiments have been published? Preferably ones I can access online. Google has not yet gifted me with anything experimental.

Re: Global warming fact or fiction?

PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2009 11:56 am
by Kaz
Is this a roundabout way of saying we can't possibly know?

CO2 is a greenhouse gas because it lets visible light through and absorbs infrared. You could test it in a laboratory if you like. CO2 emissions are a consequence of human activity as pretty much everything we do consumes some petroleum byproduct somewhere along the way. You can derive how much of the CO2 in the atmosphere is man made by calculating global petroleum consumption. You can also derive what the natural amount should be by analyzing the trend of CO2 concentration found in ice cores. There are many different ways but none of them are really experimental in the way you're thinking.

A grandiose earth-copy experiment is a fun fantasy but not very useful because we know what CO2 does and we know how much of it is there because of us. Unless you question either of these two things, the rest of the global warming problem is math/stat far more than experimental. You could read these few articles as they're sort of related I guess? I dunno.

At this point it's probably too late anyway. The glaciers are thawing and the arctic sea is warming up, releasing their entrapped CO2. The cycle is likely self-sustaining by now.

Re: Global warming fact or fiction?

PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2009 12:33 pm
by Zalabim
Actually, I was thinking we could probably do something with an artificial environment in space that would be interesting. It'd be a massive undertaking, but the idea of habitable and sustainable space stations should be drive enough to make something like that possible, someday. I was mainly asking because it'd be nice to know how much the increase in CO2 is affecting the planet's temperature.

Ultimately, the question of whether we're causing it is irrelevant. The first question is, will this be a bad thing? If yes, the second question is, how do we change it? It doesn't matter if it's our fault, only that we can stop it if we need to. That's why I want to know how much effect we have, rather than just whether we have an effect.

Re: Global warming fact or fiction?

PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2009 1:58 pm
by bdnakathelakaflammab
Science has proven a direct link between the carbon in the air and the temperature of the planet. It in itself is not a bad thing, just a naturally occurring one.

The issue is we can't easily undo the carbon we've put in the atmosphere, and we can't/won't adjust if it is happening. As for it not being a bad thing, what do you say to New Orleans or anywhere coastal when the sea levels rise? Climate change is typically always a bad thing in the short run, as the effect of a changing climate is immediate, and evolution or human resettlement can't/won't keep up with it in a good way.

Personally, I find your statement entirely wrong. If we are causing it, is the big issue. If it naturally happens, we don't have anyone to blame. We, being humanity, just have to deal with it. However, if its man-made, there will always be people at fault. Look at the difference in national reaction between Hurricane Katrina and 9/11.

Re: Global warming fact or fiction?

PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2009 4:27 pm
by Zalabim
I don't see how laying blame helps fix the problem in any way. We're talking about the effects of almost the entirety of human civilization as we know it: Farming, fishing, mining, industrializing, advancing, and now blaming. What are we going to do with blame, really? It's pointless. It's a curiosity and nothing more. We do what we can to prevent catastrophes for the sake of human life, not because we feel guilty. The only purpose it serves is to make some people feel better, and others feel worse.

Also, like Kaz said, CO2 makes it hotter -> ice caps are melting releasing their stored CO2 -> self-sustaining cycle. It's a correlation that clearly goes in both directions, not the final evidence of the cause. If it gets hotter, ice melts causing a rise in CO2. Works the same way as rising CO2 making it hotter. I know, the rise in CO2 came first. That's why it's worth testing. When we start talking about legislating changes in the release of CO2, I want to know it's backed up by the soundest scientific testing, not observational studies.

Re: Global warming fact or fiction?

PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2009 10:41 pm
by Kaz
The CO2 rise corresponds with the advent of the industrial age. You can burn petroleum in a controlled environment and see how much CO2 it releases. I really don't see what's the hangup here.

Re: Global warming fact or fiction?

PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2009 11:34 pm
by Myth
The hang-up is the same hang-up that we see for every right-wing argument as of late. There's no way to PROVE IT (which isn't necessarily true but who needs facts when you can hire firms to do your dirty work for you) so REALLY it -can't- be an issue. It's the same as how we can't recreate the actual Big Bang in a lab, so we can't actually prove that the universe isn't six thousand years old and that the dinosaurs' fossils aren't the Devil playing tricks with us.

It's the faith-based right's way of using science against us.

I also enjoy Zal's statement that is, in short: "Well, we've fucked it all up, so let's not talk about that and just fix our ratio of it. If we only caused 20% of what's now happening, we should only have to "fix" 20%." Am I right?

And yeah, requiring corporations to go green is a really stupid fucking idea. I mean, the Rapture's just a few years away anyway, so wtf does it matter? And after all, we've fucked up the natural cycle of things so bad it can't possibly be fixed, so why bother?

(I realize I'm being a little extreme here but it's 2:30 in the morning and I'm not the best with diplomacy.)

PS. Requiring factories to NOT spew pollution into the atmosphere would hurt their bottom line. Money > Breathing.

Re: Global warming fact or fiction?

PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 5:21 am
by Zeuter

Re: Global warming fact or fiction?

PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 8:19 am
by Gorbadoc
bdnakathelakaflammab wrote:Science has proven

Watch your tongue. In scientific parlance, 'proof' applies to deduction. I can prove that if the point-line-plane postulate holds, then the sum of the interior angles of a triangle is 180 degrees. Claims about the actual world are based on induction, though. I have a pretty good idea that there's a computer in front of me, but I can't prove it.

You would do better to say, 'Trustworthy research has demonstrated...' (assuming the research you're thinking of is actually trustworthy).

Myth wrote:It's the faith-based right's way of using science against us.
It's not using science; it's deliberately misconstruing scientific language. I don't know how many people have pointed out to me that "evolution is just a theory", as though this somehow cast evolution into doubt.

For anyone in doubt: a theory is a broad explanation that seems consistent with observation. To be useful, a theory should also have some predictive power. Evolution matches the observational evidence. 'God did it' also matches the observational evidence. The difference is that the theory of evolution explains rules that can be used to predict the future; 'God did it' doesn't predict anything.

Re: Global warming fact or fiction?

PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 12:02 pm
by Zalabim
Myth wrote:The hang-up is the same hang-up that we see for every right-wing argument as of late. There's no way to PROVE IT (which isn't necessarily true but who needs facts when you can hire firms to do your dirty work for you) so REALLY it -can't- be an issue. It's the same as how we can't recreate the actual Big Bang in a lab, so we can't actually prove that the universe isn't six thousand years old and that the dinosaurs' fossils aren't the Devil playing tricks with us.

It's the faith-based right's way of using science against us.

I also enjoy Zal's statement that is, in short: "Well, we've fucked it all up, so let's not talk about that and just fix our ratio of it. If we only caused 20% of what's now happening, we should only have to "fix" 20%." Am I right?

And yeah, requiring corporations to go green is a really stupid fucking idea. I mean, the Rapture's just a few years away anyway, so wtf does it matter? And after all, we've fucked up the natural cycle of things so bad it can't possibly be fixed, so why bother?

PS. Requiring factories to NOT spew pollution into the atmosphere would hurt their bottom line. Money > Breathing.


No faith involved here. My statement is basically the opposite. It doesn't matter how much damage we've done, it only matters what we need to do to fix it. Whether we've caused 100% or 0%, how much we need to change it by isn't affected.

I'm not saying CO2 levels haven't increased. I'm not saying we haven't caused that. I'm not even saying we haven't caused global warming. I'm saying, as it's been presented, it's a correlation. You do know what that means, right? It's an educated guess. If it can explain what happened and accurately predict what's going to happen, that's evidence in its favor. As we examine the possibilities and discard the ones that are disproven, what we have left is most likely correct. It still should be put to testing, which we can't control on a global scale at this time.

We know what pollutants do to wildlife and ourselves. We know the earth is over 6000 years old. Going green or not will not answer any questions about how much CO2 affects global temperatures until we can predict what global temperatures should be. We need an ecosphere, biodome, or whatever you want to call it where we can simultaneously test the effects on the environment of different levels of CO2. Alternately, we need to quantify all the influences on global temperature other than greenhouse gases. I have had to do some digging, but I've found out that we do have models that are claimed to be accurate. There's some large underestimated spots that bug me.

All I'm saying is that "Temperature has gone up. CO2 has gone up. QED. End of discussion," is a woefully inadequate proof. There's a lot more that has gone into it than that. I'm also naturally wary of the global warming movement, because it so closely mirrors bullshit, fear mongering schemes of the past. We've had a war on heathens, a war on drugs, a war on communism, a war on terror, a war on obesity all based on fear, and so far all ineffective. Fear and guilt are not scientific tactics. So when I see fear and guilt slung around to make us do something about global warming now, it naturally triggers my bullshit reflex. It says they're more concerned with getting action taken than they are with science.

Re: Global warming fact or fiction?

PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 1:22 pm
by Kaz
What part of the following 3 statements makes you think it's only a correlation?

1) CO2 is a greenhouse gas because it lets visible light through but absorbs infrared, thus warming up the atmosphere. You can test this in a laboratory.

2) We're pumping massive amounts of it in the atmosphere.

3) Unsurprisingly, temperature trends are going up and glaciers are thawing.


We know what the CO2 level ought to be by analyzing ice cores which gives us slices of what the atmosphere was like over the millennia. The amount went virtually unchanged until industrialization. Now, unless you have some genius hypothesis explaining how our CO2 is absorbed by some unknown factor and the extra CO2 present in the atmosphere actually comes from somewhere else, it is pretty much QED end of discussion.

Re: Global warming fact or fiction?

PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 4:11 pm
by Half + Seven
You're looking at CO2 levels from ice caps, this is a mistake. The ice caps have been around for what would be a month of the Earth's lifetime, maybe the most recent 5-10 million years, no one really knows for sure. Claiming that is any indication of what the levels "ought to be" is laughable.

Explain how your measly few most recent "millennia" are a more natural state for the Earth than the eons preceding it. I say this not because I disagree, merely because I think you do an injustice by putting forward such a simple concept to explain the most complicated system we've ever encountered and quite frankly will never fully understand.

Re: Global warming fact or fiction?

PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 6:01 pm
by Kaz
This isn't a debate or discussion between climatologists. I explain it simply because that's how you make laymen understand.

Re: Global warming fact or fiction?

PostPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2009 1:34 pm
by Gorbadoc
Also, fuck 'natural'. I want an Earth where I can live well.

Re: Global warming fact or fiction?

PostPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2009 3:30 pm
by StrikeRaider
Oh please, there are people who would rather let others starve then let them eat non-organic food.

Re: Global warming fact or fiction?

PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2009 4:45 pm
by Dr.Willy
Half + Seven wrote:You're looking at CO2 levels from ice caps, this is a mistake. The ice caps have been around for what would be a month of the Earth's lifetime, maybe the most recent 5-10 million years, no one really knows for sure. Claiming that is any indication of what the levels "ought to be" is laughable.

Explain how your measly few most recent "millennia" are a more natural state for the Earth than the eons preceding it. I say this not because I disagree, merely because I think you do an injustice by putting forward such a simple concept to explain the most complicated system we've ever encountered and quite frankly will never fully understand.

Oh dear, where do I start...
Lets see:
First of all yes, the ice caps have been around for just a bit of Earth's lifetime. Incidentally that period is also the only period we all care about. Whether or not Earth had a different CO2 level back when it was a burning ball of lava is irrelevant.
Also if what you say is true, that we will never understand how climate works, emmitting tons of a gas that probably has an impact on the climate and just assume everything is going to be all right, does not sound like a good idea to me.

On a sidenote, the age of the ice caps or at least the sample you took from them can be dated relatively precise.

Re: Global warming fact or fiction?

PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 2:27 pm
by Half + Seven
I did not say we should continue in our current trends, I merely pointed out the flaws in logic being used. The ice caps are a poor crutch and in no way set any sort of standard CO2 level for the Earth.

Re: Global warming fact or fiction?

PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 7:40 pm
by Kaz
It's pretty standard for huh, the near entirety of human civilization.

Re: Global warming fact or fiction?

PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 6:18 am
by Half + Seven
I prefer to take a grander approach to the whole Global Warming Trend. Humans are not masters of the climate, nor should we be. Trying to force the climate to be what we want is just as bad as altering it recklessly like we are now. I prefer a natural earth, even if that means there is no place for humans.

Re: Global warming fact or fiction?

PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 11:36 am
by Kaz
Yeah ok