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Old 05-05-2009   #21
Rafter Town, California
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Originally Posted by Rich View Post
How un-Republican to ask people to sacrifice to help the future of our planet!

This is one of the most selfish statements I have heard.
<<Selfish? Only if you think you ought not sacrifice. I dint say anything about that did I? Nope. Its a simple statement--sacrifices will help on those in the future. Its not a value judgement--just the facts.>>

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Old 05-05-2009   #22
Rafter Town, California
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Role of water vapor

<<Good points, another is the very misunderstood and incomplete knowledge regarding the role of water vapor. Water Vapor is the largest global warming gas out there in the atmosphere by far. Its role in APGW is so far unknown in many ways. Many of the predictions made are simply not coming true--in some part probably because of a lack of where to put H2O vapor into the computer models.>>

Originally Posted by heliodorus04 View Post
Generally love your posts, Andy, but I would like to assert that "caused by CO2 from human activities" is not necessarily clear or agreed upon. When one attributes causation, one doesn't necessarily mean 'primary' or 'predominately'. Science agrees CO2 is a factor, but not on its primacy.

A factor under-emphasized by people who advocate the critical need to reduce CO2 emissions is the extremely limited amount of information we have on our life-giving sun. In capability, our sun's energy output could easily bear far more pressure on the earth's environment than any single factor (indeed, when it transitions to burning helium, it will grow in size to consume the first four planets in the solar system).

We know very little about the sun's mechanics, let alone the ability to measure much of the sun's energy output. We know from geological data that the earth was once much, much hotter (and that Antartica was not always an ice-ball). We've only theories as to why those changes occurred. We have very interesting data on the mini-ice age of the 17th century, but more questions than understanding because calibration of equipment from that era leaves so much to be desired. Indeed, our ability to measure atmospheric stuff tends to improve at a rate greater than linear improvement due more to technology than human understanding. Thus, data from a century ago are placed into question . This is a major problem for scientific inquiry. Older data becomes less reliable the older it is, and two or three centuries of data is completely inadequate in the study of an entire planetary atmosphere.

To the point that you argue about insurance companies and budget planners now taking into account the variables of global warming as they may impact calamitous weather phenomenon, I feel you assert too much scientific understanding to those actors. And this leads into my conclusionary points about the debate on global warming.

That insurance companies and planners take greater account of catastrophic whether phenomenon in planning is a factor having much more to do with risk management decision-making than it has to do with acceptance of global warming. It is in the interests of planning agencies to mitigate the impact of high consequence events even when the probabilities of those events occurring are astronomically small. Particularly in this country, where the cost is measured in human lives, we spend a great deal of money to protect life. This is not necessarily a factor of acceptance of (let alone understanding of) scientific models: it's a matter of risk mitigation.

Now this brings me to my conclusion, and something non-science folk really ought to consider. Science is an endeavor of incremental increases in knowledge, and (unlike so-called divinely revealed 'truth') is subject to revision in the face of new evidence. Clearly our atmosphere is a vastly complex mechanism that defies our current capacity to model.

But a logical human need not accept that global warming is a) occurring, and b) caused predominately by human activity to recognize the risk associated with atmospheric change. Because the risk of atmospheric change could radically impact human life, by any number of direct or indirect means such as loss of agricultural capacity, damage to lower parts of the food chain, or radical changes to weather patterns, it is prudent to ask the following question:

When do we decide it is necessary to act in the presence of incomplete information?

It's not a bad idea to act on the information we have now to see how we can affect our climate in self-preservational ways (or at least I don't think so).

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Old 05-05-2009   #23
Reality, USA
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Originally Posted by rafterman2007 View Post
<<Good points, another is the very misunderstood and incomplete knowledge regarding the role of water vapor.
It's a positive feedback loop. Hard to model, yes, but hardly misunderstood.
more CO2 = more H2O vapor = more CO2, etc.
NASA - Water Vapor Confirmed as Major Player in Climate Change
Even more reason to limit CO2 ASAP.
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Old 05-05-2009   #24
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Denver, Colorado
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Here's what scientists DO agree on:

1) Human activity since the Industrial Revolution HAS elevated atmospheric CO2 levels well above the historical range observed in 800,000 years of ice core data. (the 800k yr chart didn't have the cool little insert, so I used this one, but that's how far back the data goes)

2) Only water vapor produces more greenhouse effect than CO2. CO2 is the 2nd most effective greenhouse gas on earth.

3) The planet IS warming, and has been for the last 100 yrs or so.

Now, given these facts, it seems to me that anthropogenic global warming is not an unreasonable hypothesis. Are they absolutely conclusive? No. Few things are, given a data set of one planet. There is the possibility that some other self-correcting mechanism, such as increased cloud cover from increased evaporation on a hotter Earth reflects more solar radiation into space (altho as pointed out above, more H2O in the air means more greenhouse effect too). Some mechanism that hasn't stopped things from warming up so far and hasn't been observed yet.

But is it wise to hang our collective hats on that slim, and so far unseen possibility, given the potential consequences? Isn't the prudent--and conservative--course of action to try to reduce the observable impact that our industrial society has already done to the only atmosphere we've got? Looking at the risks and benefits of action and inaction it seems like it might be worth trying to reduce our collective carbon footprint.
I've a suggestion to keep you all occupied...learn to swim!
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Old 05-05-2009   #25
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Golden, Colorado
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Originally Posted by Mr Beaver View Post
Here on the Buzz, we refer to them as Jesus Ponies!
They weren't ALL ponies, Beav...
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Old 05-05-2009   #26
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Little Village, Colorado
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Originally Posted by El Flaco View Post
They weren't ALL ponies, Beav...
Quick safety question: Is it advisable to put on a helmet before rolling on the floor laughing? Afterall, there could be dangerous furniture nearby...
Uh, I'm just gonna go find a cash machine.
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Old 05-05-2009   #27
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conifer, Colorado
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So I take it you don't follow the news and discount these articles. You're an outright liar or just ignorant if you can't admit that antarctic ice pack is growing at an alarming rate. The first article also explains why over the past year consensus was that the arctic ice pack was shrinking so quickly. You'll are a bunch of sheeple
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Old 05-05-2009   #28
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Support Renewable Energy Development with a few bucks a month

You'll are a bunch of sheeple
Hey Mr. C - you sound like you're getting rattled. As for part of the Antartic Ice sheet growing, yes there's part that's growing, however the majority of Antarctica's ice, along with Greenland's ice sheet, and the Arctic ice sheets have lost much more ice mass and are shrinking at a dramatic rate. Additionally, if you want to repeat the lie that for every receding glacier there's one that's advancing (just that the "Librul press" doesn't want to report it, bla,h blah, blah...) you're flat wrong. Of the earth's glaciers, there were about 385 or so receding, and only about 25 advanding. And that simplified statement doesn't take into account the at a number of advancing ones were still losing ice mass because they were becoming thinner.

Now back to what this post was going to be about:

If you're an Xcel customer, you can decrease your carbon footprint by paying a couple of bucks a month extra to support wind and solar energy in CO by signing up for Xcel's Windsource program. There's been some controversy about the program recently when demand outstripped supply, but Xcel (at the behest of the CO PUC) is refunding customers their premiums. Also, there have been times when wind power has actually been cheaper than conventional power and Windsource customers paid less than those buying the conventional power. The times when alternative energy is cheaper will increase as the price of conventional continues to rise and wind/solar prices come down. You also get exempted from the air quality improvement surcharge.

In a couple of minutes you vote with your wallet for renewables - Xcel Cust. Service - 800-895-4999.

For the cost of a burger and fries every month, you can help force the utility company to bring more renewable energy onto the grid.


Xcel Windsource Program:
Xcel Energy - Wind Power

More info on Windsource and Xcel PUC Settlement:
Green Power Network: Green Pricing: Xcel Energy
Nothing in the world is more yielding and gentle than water. Yet it has no equal for conquering the resistant and tough. The flexible can overcome the unbending; the soft can overcome the hard. - Lao Tse
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Old 05-05-2009   #29
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Originally Posted by Andy H. View Post
Its fascinating to me that the supporters of conservative ideology, who did away with the FCC's "equal time" doctrine years ago, has used the concept of equal time to ensure that the views of a very small minority of climate and earth scientists (usually those funded by the fossil fuel industry) are given voice.

There has been a consensus since about 1995 among the scientific community that climate change is real, its happening, and that its caused by CO2 from human activities. The reason so many people think it doesn't exist is because the media has insisted on reporting the "other side of the story" which has also been pushed by powerful interests vested in continuing use of fossil fuels. The fact that they can manufacture a perceived scientific controversy, even when there's not really one there, is added incentive to report the coal industry shills' side of the story as if its actually an accepted viewpoint.

If you don't believe the scientific community, consider that a lot of insurance companies and other traditional institutions recognize that the climate is becoming warmer. These institutions are about as far from being tree hugging greenies as any hard-nosed capitalist can be and are mainly concerned with the bottom line and preserving profit. These guys in suits know that, for example, if they insure coastal areas and get hit with more hurricanes than expected by the actuarial tables, or we have a 3-ft sea level rise, it'll wipe them out. While idealogues like Mr. C are still beating the drums that global warming is all a "librul" conspiracy promulgated by a bunch of egghead scientists because they can get grants by raising an alarm.
The news media gives no coverage to this! The changes are cyclical in nature and correlation with CO2 levels can't be proven when looked at historically vs. over the past 40 years.
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Old 05-05-2009   #30
Rafter Town, California
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<<Well it is misunderstood as in we dont quite understand its role, just like we dont fully understand the role of all the variables in the mix. Otherwise the predicted warming found in the models would have already come through and the Earth would be MUCH MUCH warmer than it currently is. The models are WAY off as the predicted amounts of heat given the current CO2 levels. Its this disparity that climate modelers admit readily that shows much of this stuff is still MISUNDERSTOOD!>>

Originally Posted by mouflon View Post
It's a positive feedback loop. Hard to model, yes, but hardly misunderstood.
more CO2 = more H2O vapor = more CO2, etc.
NASA - Water Vapor Confirmed as Major Player in Climate Change
Even more reason to limit CO2 ASAP.

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