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Author Topic: The Problem with Democracy
littlefish
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Icon 1 posted September 15, 2004 16:07      Profile for littlefish   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Prolly not going to be the most lucid, having imbibed a fair quantity of wine, but whatever. People die. Whether it is due to cancer, heart disease, or being trashed by a bus, what does it matter? The pursuit of immortality is futile.

One can hope to save the environment, the whale, or the lesser spotted thingy; in the end it depends on whether other people agree or not. In a nebulous way this is a response to the original query; if the masses want something, it will happen. If the masses don't, then it probably wasn't worth having. Of course exceptions exist such as the NHS, police service, passports, etc.

*Edited for readability whilst sober the morning after. I don't really remember writing it.*

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Serenak

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Icon 9 posted September 15, 2004 16:45      Profile for Serenak     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
>Yeah, having a habitable world for youerself as an adult and your children and grandchildren is real short term. Not wanting to see your gneration die in a series of oil wars is also short term. This isn't just about the future. This is about the now. We can't just wave our hands and say "Well, it'll be fine in the end" because whether we like it or not, we're going to have to live through all of the shit that hits the fan before the land recovers.

It's not the dying that scares me. It's the surviving.<

I'm not quite sure what exactly you're driving at here...

Having our *current* level of *me me me* society is short term. Trying to ensure that our children/grandchildren have a world worth inheriting and they won't be choking on our effluent is slightly less than short term, hoping that we don't leave our grandchildren a world so f**k*d they won't even be able to turn it around is approaching mid term..

Long term is "can mankind survive the coming changes?" Well, to be honest, I don't think there is a huge amount any of us can do *in the big picture* to deal with this one except pray it's not too late and hope to teach our children/grandchildren not to hate their antecedant's for their stupidity and inaction *TOO MUCH*

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Posts: 1937 | From: Suffolk England | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged
Serenak

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Icon 2 posted September 15, 2004 17:39      Profile for Serenak     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
This is where the time zone differences kick in... It is1:30am local here and I have to log out before I srgrt tiping ruggish luke me fingters dob't wirk anynorw.....

G'night now and don't have any bad dreams....

[Smile] Serenak

>8-)_ooOO (Man with glasses smoking cigarette)

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"So if you want my address - it's No. 1 at the end of the bar, where I sit with the broken angels, clutching at straws and nursing my scars..."

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Stibbons
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Icon 1 posted September 16, 2004 06:19      Profile for Stibbons   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Livebytheboard:
Its takes so many years for the earth to warm up, or cool down(read millions of years) assuming that there is still a human race in existance at that time. We most likely won't even be living on this planet. All these tree huggers are takeing themselves way to seriously, thinking way to short term.

The Earth goes through cycles of heating and cooling roughyl every 20, 40 and 100 thousand years, due to differences in the intensity of the light falling on the poles as the Earth's orbit varies. Geologically this is very, very fast.

However the temperature differences caused by these cycles (known as Milankovich cycles) can only be at maximum 1-2C, so there must be other feedback loops at work that produce the large (3-4C) changes needed to cause or stop a glacial period. One of these is thought to be the "North Atlantic conveyor" - the current bringing hot water from the tropics into the Arctic circle. This cools and sinks as it enters the denser, cold, less saline water from the melting ice sheets, and returns to the tropics. As the world warms, more ice melts, and the sinking point moves South (at points (during human existence it has been level with the entrance to the Mediterranean), causing the North to cool, ice sheets to advance across Europe. Ice sheets lock up the less saline water, meaning the conveyor can travel further North, warming as it goes, and so on.

That is the type of cycle we are effecting with global warming. The sinking point is currently moving South, and ice sheets are melting at a faster rate than ever before, which will push it even further South. We could easily through global warming force Northern Europe into a glacial that would then be re-enforced by a drop in temperature due to a Milankovich change that could last thousands of years, within the next thousand years. Before them, be prepared for tropical storms, and freezing winters, both things which Europian countries are not prepared for*. Humans are highly likely to still be around then. So climate change is a short term thing that will effect our race.

* These things do not exclusivly apply to Europe. Ice sheets advance down the entire Atlantic, and large masese of ice have covered Canada and the US in (geologically) recent times. Whatever happens to us will happen to them to [ohwell]

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Xanthine

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Icon 1 posted September 16, 2004 09:18      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
What I'm trying to get across and seen to be failing at is this. We should care about global warming not because it can kill us but because it can SEVERELY affect our quality of life. Tropical storms, fuel shortages, food shortages, water shortages...do we really want to deal with all of this? Especially those of us who aren't rich? A few sacrifices now can save us a world of hurt later.
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shentzu
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Icon 5 posted September 16, 2004 10:03      Profile for shentzu     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
not that it matters, but wasn't this about democracy? can anyone point one out to me? certainly there is not one here in America where i am hanging out.......

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Set a man by a fire and you keep him warm for a day, but set a man on fire and you keep him warm for the rest of his life.

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Cap'n Vic

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Icon 1 posted September 16, 2004 10:24      Profile for Cap'n Vic     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
We have one, up here.

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Neville
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Icon 1 posted September 16, 2004 12:19      Profile for Neville     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
On the topic:

Democracy can deal with long term threats, but it requires a consensus to be reached on the threat, so that a response carries on between governments. That can take a while. At the moment, the scientific consensus is that global warming is happening, but there is no consensus on its economic and environmental impact. Politics cannot react to that with a consensus on actions that need to be taken.

Dictatorships, benevolent or not, don't encourage disagreement with the approved policy, so it is inevitable that opportunities will be missed and incorrect paths taken. The first solution that presents itself will not always (seldom?) be the correct one.

On Global Warming:

There are a few memes that need to be knocked at every opportunity:

1. Global Warming takes a long time to have macro effects

We're not talking "The Day After Tomorrow" here, but there is plenty of evidence that macro effects can happen in decades or less if tipping points are reached.

quote:
Originally posted by Stibbons:
However the temperature differences caused by these cycles (known as Milankovich cycles) can only be at maximum 1-2C, so there must be other feedback loops at work that produce the large (3-4C) changes needed to cause or stop a glacial period. One of these is thought to be the "North Atlantic conveyor" - the current bringing hot water from the tropics into the Arctic circle.

For more see last question at BBC Horizon - The Big Chill - Q & A

In fact read the entire thing.

There is at least a small risk that we will experience a macro change in local climate within our lifetimes. It all depends on whether we reach tipping points - on which there is no consensus. And the conveyor isn't the only one affecting climate, never mind the wider environment.

2. Global Warming means "Oranges in Scotland"

Precisely what the Conveyor theory disputes. One British Met Service model quoted in the Horizon program above had regular six month winters in Britain, a die back of tropical forests and turned off the monsoon in India.

3. We can adapt

We might, if we have time; but lets say India's Monsoon did fail. We now have a billion people without their normal food supply. How effectively can we deal with that? There is no way to know what downstream geopolitical effects sudden localised climate change could have. If tipping points are reached the human and economic costs could be huge.

4. Life on Earth will come to an end.

Life on Earth has survived the loss of 95% of its species and come back to create the Dinosaurs. I'll bet on life, thank you very much. Human life? I'd still bet on us blowing ourselves to pieces before we climate change ourselves out of existence. There might be a severe drop in population though, due to secondary effects, war, disease, famine.

Boy, this all sounds more apocalyptic than I intented; but I have to say, I half expect some macro change within my lifetime, with global geopolitical implications. Its probably too late to stop us reaching at least one of the environmental or climate tipping points. I just hope that enough action will have been taken in time and it is one of the less disruptive changes.

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Cap'n Vic

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Icon 1 posted September 16, 2004 12:32      Profile for Cap'n Vic     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Welcome Neville

Thanks for your post. I am not saying that just because I agree with you but it is refreshing to see a newbie who can actually form an opinion and post it in a coherent way.

Stick around, have some fun.

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GameMaster
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Icon 1 posted September 16, 2004 14:16      Profile for GameMaster   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I won't deny any warming trend, however... I happen to work for a professor of atmospheric sciences. I talk to meterologists and people studying to become meterologists all the time. When the subject comes up they are first to point out that the longer the prediction period the worse the acuracy.

Some of the top meterologists hold to a theory of 9 year cycles, others watch certian trends and claim that any cycles are coincidental. It's a hot debate in the field. In any case, I'd like to point we don't have enough data, the sample size of modern consistant data isn't large enough to attempt to fit the weather to a simple function or pattern and be acurate 100 years or even a year out. Look at how much the 5 day planner changes in the course of a week, if we don't know what the weather will be like next friday with any accuracy then whos to say what it will be like in a decade.
Speaking about weather patterns, someone mentioned el Nino, so I thought it prudent to point out el Nino is cyclic (http://ww2010.atmos.uiuc.edu/(Gh)/guides/mtr/eln/home.rxml
).


Moreover, how can we stop global warming? We have no proof of a causal relationship between the increased tempatures and any single or group of variables (other than, perhaps, the increased solar activity). People are yelling about the Ozone layer is the problem, but the hole in the Ozone is actually growing smaller ( from the top of a google search: http://www.microcare.com/html-docs/article=1037226134.htm ).

The funny thing is that a powerful figures in the current "green movemnt" are hypocrites who do more harm than good. Moore, for instatnce, is a communist who is a millioniare who flies arround the world in a private jet yelling about our SUVs. Gore to jetted arround the world on when he was doing a series of speaches about the enviroment, why didn't he drive in a hybrid or solar powered car?

Is everyone forgetting the enviromental problems that combustion engines solved? Horse run off and desise spread from the manure standing in the streets of the city. Coal burning steam engines and generators pumping unfilitered soot into the air. The number of fires that spread from city to forest from wood burning fireplaces and stoves.

As for landfills... When is the last time anyone on the board was on one? Most landfills are "green" or use "green technology" in that they often burn the methane gas to produce power (which is typically sold to the power company for more money per killowat hour than they pay for their cheap "oil soiled -- unclean" electricity), mulch wood debreis into compost and wood chips which they give to free to area gardeners and/or farmers, grind any brick/stone/concreate into dust to make concreate which they sell to builders and the like. All of these things creates less waste. After the landfill is covered and compacted the land is sold off, a golf course or temparay structure (made of American steel I hope [Wink] ) is put up because the landfill will settle as the waste bellow decays and compacts benth the weight of the structure and top soil. In time, the land can be built upon and developed or planted or whatever.

Someone mentioned our unatrual substances that we created in a lab... Well:

Humans are animals, nothing more -- nothing less.
Animals are natural. Bees are animals. Bees are natural. Bees make honey. We consider honey to be natural. Humans are natural. Thus, it follows that any product humans make should be considered natural... And why not? Why is there a big seperation between man and nature only when it pleases the enviromentalists, and why are a part of nature only when it pleases the enviromentalists. You can't have your cake and eat it too. Either we're part of nature, or we're not.

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Xanthine

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Icon 1 posted September 16, 2004 14:42      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Unnatural = not found in nature.

As a chemist, I can assure you that there are plenty of things created in the lab not found in nature. Plastic comes to mind. So does heroin. So does pesticides.

Is unnatural bad? No, not necessarily. I avoided an amateur lobotomy last year thanks to my plastic climbing helmet. Most of us would be dead if not for the unnatural drugs and vaccines available to us now. It does, however, mean that when the unnatural compound is released into the environemnt, the natural systems in place may not be able to cope. Or, at least, not immediately cope. There is a species of bacteria (completely blanked on the latin name, even though I heard a very interesting talk on it last weekend :/) that has evolved to metabolize a certain pesticide that I could draw but can't name (I suck at names...). It's a six-member carbon ring with five chlorines and an oxygen on it. Not a friendly molecule. But this bug can eat it. It took 70 years to evolve, but it can eat it. So it's not like the world can't bounce back. It's just I don't see why we should keep dumping our shit and pointing fingers and letting things get worse when we don't have to. And I really don't care what the leaders do or don't do...I'm following my gut here, not a bunch of men. And my guts are telling me to burn less oil. So is my pocketbook for that matter. Anyways, I highly doubt that Moore is taking his private jet to work every morning.

BTW, I read a study somewhere where they found that things don't really decay in landfills. Apparently they used to pump oxygen into the things for some reason, which killed the anaerobic bacteria that are responsible for the decay process.

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Cap'n Vic

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Icon 1 posted September 16, 2004 14:59      Profile for Cap'n Vic     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
GameMaster. I think many have asked before, but please, for the love of God; use a fscking spell checker.

That textual tirade you just posted made no sense what so ever.


BTW, there is no such thing as meterologists.

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littlefish
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Icon 1 posted September 16, 2004 15:11      Profile for littlefish   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Xanthine quoth:
quote:
It's just I don't see why we should keep dumping our shit and pointing fingers and letting things get worse when we don't have to.
OK, this isn't meant to be inflammatory, but you have used very vague language that has conjured up an image in my mind. What should we do with our shit? I can't hold it in. One can try to minimise their effect on the environment, but it is too much effort for most. For example, Xanthine just bought a car. I'm fairly sure you didn't need one. You managed without for however many years up till now. Instead you chose to buy one and spew out CO2. I'm not pointing fingers, but what do you mean by stopping dumping shit? We consume stuff and waste is produced. If we want to dump less shit, then we should consume less.
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Xanthine

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Icon 1 posted September 16, 2004 15:42      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Yeah fish...I managed fine without a car. So fine I spent most of the last year trying to save the money to get one so I could amuse myself outside of town (the buses don't run where I want to go, and even the closest 14er is far enough away that biking to and from would be an overnight trip). Going out of town is really all I use it for, well that and hauling my brother to the store because he can't figure out how to take care of his groceries by himself.

By "shit" I meant all our waste. Yes, it has to go somewhere. Yes, we have to produce it. But do we have to produce as much of it? Think about how much you just throw away. How much can be recycled? Reused? Or not even bought in the first place? More importantly, how can what must be disposed of be disposed of with minimal impact?

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted September 16, 2004 16:08      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by GameMaster:
I won't deny any warming trend, however... I happen to work for a professor of atmospheric sciences. I talk to meterologists and people studying to become meterologists all the time. When the subject comes up they are first to point out that the longer the prediction period the worse the acuracy.

Difficulty in accurately predicting the outcome does not lessen the urgency of taking action on climate change, it increases it.

Uncertainty == risk.

If it was simply a matter of "we'll all get the climate of the place 200km closer to the equator", then many people would be quite happy to see the climate change. It's the risk of hitting a 'tipping point' that makes climate change ++dangerous.

if we don't know what the weather will be like next friday with any accuracy then whos to say what it will be like in a decade.

If you work for an atmospheric scientist, you should know the difference between weather and climate. Weather can change in an afternoon, climate change takes quite a bit longer.

Speaking about weather patterns, someone mentioned el Nino, so I thought it prudent to point out el Nino is cyclic (http://ww2010.atmos.uiuc.edu/(Gh)/guides/mtr/eln/home.rxml
).

Thank you for the link.
If you'd read past the 'cyclic' bit, you'd have found the explanation of what causes an El Niño, which is all to do with water temperatures in the eastern pacific. As ocean temperatures rise, El Niño is expected to become more frequent. The most noticable effect of El Niño in Australia is severe drought.

Moreover, how can we stop global warming? We have no proof of a causal relationship between the increased tempatures and any single or group of variables (other than, perhaps, the increased solar activity).

This is eerily close to the arguement the tobacco companies used to use.
"You can't prove that this particular persons cancer was caused by smoking"

In fact, tobacco was proven to be carcinogenic, just as carbon dioxide is proven to be a greenhouse gas.


Is everyone forgetting the enviromental problems that combustion engines solved? Horse run off and desise spread from the manure standing in the streets of the city. Coal burning steam engines and generators pumping unfilitered soot into the air. The number of fires that spread from city to forest from wood burning fireplaces and stoves.

No, I haven't forgotten.
And I'm sure there were people like you at the time who argued against any attempt to lessen the problem.


quote:
Originally posted by littlefish:
We consume stuff and waste is produced. If we want to dump less shit, then we should consume less.

No, not necessarily.

We 'consume' electricity and transport, both of which (usually) involve burning fossil fuels.

If we find alternatives, for example hydrogen powered cars, and solar/wind/tidal technologies to produce electricity, then we can consume just as much 'stuff', while dumping less 'shit'.

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If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

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GameMaster
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Icon 1 posted September 16, 2004 16:43      Profile for GameMaster   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Xanthine:
Unnatural = not found in nature.

Right. Man == part of nature. Things he creates are natural. We are a part of nature, cities are natural, as they are a product of us; unless you also say honey isn't natural, silk isn't natural, and so on.

quote:
As a chemist, I can assure you that there are plenty of things created in the lab not found in nature. Plastic comes to mind.
Nope, here somne is right here. *holds up plastic bottle*

quote:
So does heroin. So does pesticides.
Nope they exsist in the natural world as well... As long as we are part of nature everything we create is within the scope of natural universe and thus is natural.

quote:
It does, however, mean that when the unnatural compound is released into the environemnt, the natural systems in place may not be able to cope. Or, at least, not immediately cope.
From Goerge Carland's (sp) act: "The earth was here a hell of a long time before we were, and it will be here a long time after we're gone. Deal with it. And there will be no trace of our civilization left... Except plastic... So then the world will be Earth plus plasic. *shrugs* So what?"

quote:
There is a species of bacteria <snip/> that has evolved to metabolize a certain pesticide <snip/> It' ... [n]ot a friendly molecule. But this bug can eat it. It took 70 years to evolve, but it can eat it. So it's not like the world can't bounce back.
Er, so a bug can eat the stuff... good for the bug.

quote:
It's just I don't see why we should keep dumping our shit and pointing fingers and letting things get worse when we don't have to. And I really don't care what the leaders do or don't do...I'm following my gut here, not a bunch of men. And my guts are telling me to burn less oil.
Worse? Worse than what? I think you

quote:
So is my pocketbook for that matter. Anyways, I highly doubt that Moore is taking his private jet to work every morning.
But if he for all these good things, and getting rid of evil oil burning SUVs where the hell does he get off even owning a private jet, especially because the philosphy he SAYS he perscribes to advocates no such thing as personal wealth and helping the enviroment.

quote:
BTW, I read a study somewhere where they found that things don't really decay in landfills. Apparently they used to pump oxygen into the things for some reason, which killed the anaerobic bacteria that are responsible for the decay process.
Yes, so now they cycle water from top to bottom through it helping the process by providing mosture and air (not pure oxygen).
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GameMaster
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Icon 1 posted September 16, 2004 17:16      Profile for GameMaster   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by The Famous Druid:
Difficulty in accurately predicting the outcome does not lessen the urgency of taking action on climate change, it increases it.

Uncertainty == risk.

Uncertainty == fear
fear != risk

I can be unsure of whether or not a giant robot will spring up from under the desk and eat me, and I'd be really afraid. However, there is no risk of it actually happening.

quote:
If it was simply a matter of "we'll all get the climate of the place 200km closer to the equator", then many people would be quite happy to see the climate change. It's the risk of hitting a 'tipping point' that makes climate change ++dangerous.
Yes, reaching a 'tipping point' would be dangerous, but exsactly what would happen at a 'tipping point' we don't know.

quote:
If you work for an atmospheric scientist, you should know the difference between weather and climate. Weather can change in an afternoon, climate change takes quite a bit longer.
TYPICALLY. Remember that the rising tempatures matchs more closely with the solar activity than it does with the increase of any "greenhouse gass". That being the case is the sun goes through some major flare cycles then tempatures arround the world could drastically change in 8 little minutes.

quote:
Thank you for the link.
If you'd read past the 'cyclic' bit, you'd have found the explanation of what causes an El Niño, which is all to do with water temperatures in the eastern pacific. As ocean temperatures rise, El Niño is expected to become more frequent. The most noticable effect of El Niño in Australia is severe drought.

Yes, but it is cyclic... Meaning the tempatures fall again, and while yes there is a 'warming trend' (which some very note worthy people think is cyclic as well) may cause El Niño to decrease the length of the time between each cycle.

quote:
This is earily close to the arguement the tobacco companies used to use.
Oh, so now Smoking causes global warming too??? Sheesh you people! (sorry had to)

quote:
"You can't prove that this particular persons cancer was caused by smoking"
We're gaining the technology to do so. However, with the smoking and cancer there isn't another prime suspect that we are completely ignoring. With global warming, everyone is forgetting that the thing that has the largest impact on our weather, climate and enviroment is the sun. The solar activity happens to have been increasing as of late, and there appears to be a trend that the sun might be the cause of the warming trend. Note that I said might be the cause, the reason why is because I realize that corralation doesn't equal causation... A point many envriomentalist miss, and the reason the DHMO site exsists.

quote:
In fact, tobacco was proven to be carcinogenic, just as carbon dioxide is proven to be a greenhouse gas.
Yes, carbon bioxide is a greenhouse gass, as is watervaper, as is...

quote:
No, I haven't forgotten.
And I'm sure there were people like you at the time who argued against any attempt to lessen the problem.

No, I'm all for faster, better, cheaper... Which is what all our modern inventions were. The hybrid cars don't have the torque of an SUV or the speed of current compact cars. Anyone have the gass milage (freeway and street) numbers and other specs on the Pris or other hybrid car (max speed, max torque, max acceleration)? I'd love to see them weighed against our Acura and CRV. If we're not able to carry the stuff we need to carry, or sacrifice performance for a minor improvment in gass effecency then it's not good trade off.

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GameMaster
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Icon 1 posted September 16, 2004 17:26      Profile for GameMaster   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Xanthine:
By "shit" I meant all our waste. Yes, it has to go somewhere. Yes, we have to produce it. But do we have to produce as much of it? Think about how much you just throw away.

I don't throw anything away... My room is a landfill, or so I'm told... Personally I think of it as "comfy". [Big Grin]

quote:
How much can be recycled? Reused? Or not even bought in the first place? More importantly, how can what must be disposed of be disposed of with minimal impact?
More of it than you know that goes to the dump gets reused. The Dump is a busniess and they often sell or giveaway compost/concreate... Not to mention that most cities have mandatory recycling (and I think we would anyway). We also have our own compose bin... But none of this is for the envrioment (well, except seperating the plasitcs and cans), it's for our benifit. When your yard is mostly garden you have to have firtilizer. Left to their own devices man will do the right thing for wrong reason most of the time. It's that whole social contract theory stuff the founders of this nation were talking about.

As for getting rid of the stuff once and for all... I can see no adverse effect to launching into the sun, as the the mass of our garbage getting eaten by the sun shouldn't even be large enough to cause the sun to flare.... Though, I don't think it'll happen, and I don't want my tax dollar paying for shuttles that are meant to be just "thrown away.

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Posts: 3038 | From: State of insanity | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted September 16, 2004 17:42      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by GameMaster:
quote:
Originally posted by The Famous Druid:
Difficulty in accurately predicting the outcome does not lessen the urgency of taking action on climate change, it increases it.

Uncertainty == risk.

Uncertainty == fear
fear != risk

I can be unsure of whether or not a giant robot will spring up from under the desk and eat me, and I'd be really afraid. However, there is no risk of it actually happening.

The actual situation is "We're making major changes to the level of known greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere, and we can't accurately predict the outcome".

That's risk.

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If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

Posts: 10680 | From: Melbourne, Australia | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
Cap'n Vic

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Icon 2 posted September 16, 2004 17:47      Profile for Cap'n Vic     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
GM, you really are an idiot. First of all, I can make little sense of your 3 posts above. As near as I can tell, you seem to be arguing with yourself and have yet to state a point that makes any sense what so ever.

As far as firing garbage into the sun, put down the crack pipe for just a second. How much fuel do you think it would take to launch a weeks worth of NYC garbage? How much would it cost to build the vechicle to get it out of earth's orbit? What if we are lauching 1000's of trash rockets a day globally? It is safe to assume a small percentage of these would explode during launch....then what?

If you are going to argue at least do some fscking thinking/reasearch you mindless little troll.

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xaxnar
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Icon 1 posted September 16, 2004 18:02      Profile for xaxnar     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Re democracy, I'm reminded of something Cordelia Vorkosigan said, roughly (about her own planetary government) "It's really stupid, but it can be made to work. Which come to think about it describes most governments." Or something like that.

To decribe what's wrong with American politics at the moment would take up too much bandwidth - and it's already being done elsewhere. If you disregard global warming, there are still way too many potential threats to civilization and/or human life to allow anyone of perception to sleep well.

One problem for any form of government that I don't think too many people have grasped yet is that the effects of humanity on the planet have reached a magnitude such that it takes a lot of education in science to appreciate - yet we don't select leaders for their ability to deal with questions of science. I was encouraged when the Democratice Party said something along the lines of "Wouldn't it be nice to have a President who actually believes in science?" - but that somehow hasn't seemed to catch fire as an issue. Not surprising since a lot of Americans don't seem to think science matters these days, and many are science illiterates - or agnostic at best.

Ideology, godliness, political correctness, character, etc. don't mean a lot when your country's water supply is exhausted/made unusable by bad policy, or your population has gotten so large in such close quarters that animal viruses can cross over with lethal results, or local fisheries are collapsing with no alternative protein sources, or etc. etc.

Add in to the mix how technology makes it possible for small groups and even individuals to exert effects it once took whole nations to accomplish, and it gets worse.

The Fermi paradox, to paraphrase, is: if there are so many potential worlds with life out in the galaxy, with some subset possibly bearing intelligent life with a civilization capable of 'ringing us up', why haven't we heard from anyone out there?

I'm beginning to fear the answer is that most or all simply don't survive at that level long enough to learn how to live with it. Given the one case I can speak about from personal experience, I'm not sanguine.

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Xanthine

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Icon 1 posted September 16, 2004 18:38      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
GM, your arguments are so specious I hope you're just playing with us. Heroin was synthesized by a German chemist hoping to come up witha less addictive form of morphine. There are no living creatures that produce heroin, nor is it purified from mineral deposits. Plastic is not natural either. It did not come out of the ground as a product of the earth. There are no reactions found in nature that produce plastic...I don't think you'll find a place ion Earth with the suitable conditions outsid ea factory. It was originally brewed up in a lab from petroleum distillates and then scaled up to an industrial level. That said, plastic will eventually decompose, which is a major archival problem for those looking to preserve our current data. However, no one is looking to archive the plastic in the landfill and the plastic that is sitting on the side of the road, so it's just sorta sitting there until the atmosphere degrades it and/or bacteria eat it. That said, there are biodegradable plastics out there. But if you really want to leave your lasting impression, carve your name on a rock that doesn't see much water or wind.

Moreover, I really don't give a flying fsck what Michael Moore is preaching and doing, I really really don't. I'm following none but myself on this issue, and I speak from my own selfish desire to breath clean air, drink clean water, and climb clean, GLACIATED mountains. Even more selfishly, I want my children to be able to do the same...and I'm certain that by the time my kids, assuming I ever settle down and have kids, are of age to go climb the peaks I climbed this summer in Bolivia, they'll be scrambling on rotten rock and not scaling pitches of near vertical ice. That makes me sad. What makes me even sadder is how you, GM, are seeking to trivialize my views based on the actions of a man I have already stated that I don't follow.

It seems there are two opposing camps. Those who want to play it conservative and take some pro-environmental measures and those who want to stick with the status quo. I know I can't change anyone's mind, and no one here is going to change mine. It's just interesting to see how thinking people react so differently to a rather obvious problem.

Enough out of me, before someone tries to paint me into a box I don't belong in.

Posts: 7670 | From: the lab | Registered: Mar 2001  |  IP: Logged
The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted September 16, 2004 19:28      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Xanthine:
GM, your arguments are so specious I hope you're just playing with us. Heroin was synthesized by a German chemist

Xanthine, you've clearly missed his point entirely.

He's just following the advice from Chapter 3 of 'Trolling for Dummies'.

1. Choose a key word from someones post,
2. re-define it in such a way that no real-world example could possibly fit your new definition
3. show that your opponents statements (which will be a real-world example) don't work with your re-definition.
4. then pretend you've entirely disproven your opponents argument.

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If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

Posts: 10680 | From: Melbourne, Australia | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted September 16, 2004 19:50      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by GameMaster:
But if he's for all these good things, and getting rid of evil oil burning SUVs where the hell does he get off even owning a private jet

Um, he doesn't, he just took a ride on one.

Opps, sorry, there I go again, letting facts interfere with a good rant.

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If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

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shentzu
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Icon 1 posted September 16, 2004 20:05      Profile for shentzu     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by xaxnar:
Re democracy, I'm reminded of something Cordelia Vorkosigan said, roughly (about her own planetary government) "It's really stupid, but it can be made to work. Which come to think about it describes most governments." Or something like that.

The Fermi paradox, to paraphrase, is: if there are so many potential worlds with life out in the galaxy, with some subset possibly bearing intelligent life with a civilization capable of 'ringing us up', why haven't we heard from anyone out there?

I'm beginning to fear the answer is that most or all simply don't survive at that level long enough to learn how to live with it. Given the one case I can speak about from personal experience, I'm not sanguine.

i just think that it is a shame that so many in America think democracy is the answer, with out ever having tried.

....as for the paradox...

it does make you wonder. we have continued to develop better and better ways of destroying things, yet we have yet to come up with a new way to get along. is that a condition of life, or are we just special? [Wink]

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Set a man by a fire and you keep him warm for a day, but set a man on fire and you keep him warm for the rest of his life.

Posts: 108 | From: here and there | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged


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