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Global warming

Discussion in 'Small Talk' started by daxx0r, Apr 11, 2007.

  1. First of all, I'd like to post a bit of a warning here - I know this is a rather hot (no pun intended) topic in the world right now, and I know that I for one can get quite fired up when I start talking about this - However, this is a debate forum and I'd like for this topic to develop into an intellectual, mature debate where we can express and discuss our views on the matter - NOT start a flame war.

    So with that said, let me introduce the topic for our debate: Global warming!
    For years now, scientists have been arguing about this very important issue - Will the global warming effect us? How will it effect us? Are we causing the global warming? Is the global warming natural? Is there even a global warming to begin with or are we imagining it??



    Personally, I do believe that global warming is a fact - our planet is heating up, and we can see it everywhere - there's a topic in the misc. discussions forum right now where people are posting their experiences with the recent freaky weather (which is actually my inspiration for starting this topic :p). However, I am not nearly as convinced that it's actually our fault.

    I'll start with a bit of theory: Certain gases, greenhouse gases, exist in our atmosphere. When sunlight comes in through the atmosphere, it hits the ground and radiates heat to the surroundings. The remaining sunlight is then reflected and travels back out of the atmosphere. The greenhouse gases stop some of the light (and heat) from escaping and send it back to the earth for a second time - thus releasing more heat to the surroundings when it reaches the ground for the second time. Before I go into more detail, I'll point out that this is a good thing - without the greenhouse effect, our planet would have an average temperature about 30C/50F lower than it currently is, thus making life, as we know it at least, impossible (penn state college of earth and mineral siences).

    The scientists who believe we are responsible for global warming say that our gas emissions are creating an unnaturally high amount of greenhouse gases, thus forcing more and more light to re-heat our planet more and more times before finally escaping the atmosphere.
    CO2 (carbon dioxide) is usually blamed for being the largest contribution to global warming.

    I do believe my reason for doubt is valid - In the atmosphere, the majority of the greenhouse effect comes from water vapor - somewhere between 35 - 70 %. CO2 only stands for 9 - 26 %. (wikipedia) But surely, that's significant? Yes! The only problem is that we're not the only ones letting out CO2 into the atmosphere. The earth itself releases plenty of the stuff! In fact, we comparatively produce only 3% of the CO2 amounts that the earth naturally releases every year (earthsave.org). With some basic math, we can deduce that we are responsible for about 0.27 - 0.78 % of the greenhouse effect, in terms of CO2. Do these scientists really mean to tell us that a less than one percent increase in CO2 can cause such a drastic change?!

    I'd like to direct your attention to another explanation: that our planet has a natural heating cycle - at times it becomes warmer and at times, it becomes colder. Right now, we are getting close to a maximum on the curve - i.e. it's going to get warmer. There is both a long term and a short term cycle, and we're nearing the peak of both... I found a fairly good picture of what the cycle looks like here: http://cdiac.esd.ornl.gov/trends/temp/vostok/graphics/tempplot5.gif


    So, what do you think? It's time to voice your opinion!
     
  2. It WILL happen unless we find a cleaner form of energy and heat and to stop burning fossil fuels.
     
  3. Doctor Oak

    Staff Member Overlord

    The only people that argue against Global Warming are George Bush and his cronies. Because they're morons. It's like the right-wing christians in America debating against Evolution.

    "Takes the bads nasty sciences aways from ussss! They wants to takes our precioussss.."

    It's extremely sad that the one country that - if it actually took action - could actually have a meaningful impact against Global Warming wont do a sodding thing because it's ebil sciences and not the bible telling them what to do.

    Oh, and the fact that there's no profit in it.
     
  4. Ok, let me just stop you right there. I am not George Bush, and I am not a cronie ...I don't even know what 'cronie' means. And I am not against science in any way!

    I don't really want to bring politics into this, but since you already did, I might as well mention that there's practically no funding given to any scientists who don't agree with the fact that we're causing the global warming. Thus, a very large percentage of the research done on this mater is biased. But if you look hard, you'll find plenty of people who are not as convinced it's our fault as you are.

    Did you, for example, know that 7000 - 4500 years ago, the temperature was at a temporary high-point known as the holocene maximum? During this time period, long before the industrialization of man, the temperature was actually higher than it is today. http://gcrio.org/CONSEQUENCES/winter96/article1-fig2.html.

    Before I give you an opportunity to retort, might I also add that you have yet to provide me with a single piece of research pointing to that I am wrong. I am not ignorant. I won't keep fighting for my side of this argument if you convince me that I'm wrong.

    Also, please know that I'm not against cutting down on pollution, and I am 100% for cleaner forms of energy. In my opinion, we should only have nuclear power plants, and possibly water or solar power in places where it can be effective. Pollution does grime up the environment and I am all for keeping it clean. I just don't want us to be blamed for destroying the planet, when we might only be responsible for a very little part of it.

    Think of me as your defense attorney; your Phoenix Wright - fighting for your "not guilty" sentance in a world of prosecutors! ;) (Ok, that was corny, but I just finished Justice for All and I needed to include a reference)
     
  5. Doctor Oak

    Staff Member Overlord

    You can't prove a negative, there's no point in funding research into something that has no result at the end. Global Warming is happening and it's happening because we've spent the last century+ completely screwing the entire planet over.

    Aside from the obvious impact of burning fossil fuels (that being that at present we're running on extremely low), it also has a massive negative impact on the atmosphere. This advert has a very useful image representation on that impact - not based on theory or conjuncture, but based on proven fact: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SJMd2gMu_wE

    Take a look at this graph showing CO2 in the atmopshere for just the past 40 years:

    [​IMG]

    Go back even further and the leap is even larger. And it's not just pollution that's causing this, it's the other aspects of Human life - specifically chopping down everything with a bit of green on it. We're choking ourselves to death - and choking the planet itself.

    I spent 3/4 years as an environmentalist, campaigning with our local government on many things - all of which are causing us massive problems now that are in a "act now or never" state. Without a proper recycling plan, we continue to throw our rubbish onto tips - which is not only detrimental for our landscape, but the methane those tips produce and expel into the air by decomposing is what has pushed methane levels up 150% in the last two centuries - making it account for 20% of the Greenhouse gasses in the air. This methane could be used as fuel - it can be recycled - some say that if it was, it could be used as the same natural gas that people power their homes with and could effectively half the amount of emissions from both sources, condensing their impact massively - but when I asked the council woman why it wasn't the answer was simply that "It wasn't cost-effective". There is more profit in burning up the skies than saving the planet. And that's the cold-hard reality that we cannot escape and what places us the position where it's quite simply up to the Governments themselves to do something - as businesses will not.

    Aside from that, you have the obvious things - cars, power plants and the like. Now, you can power a car using 100% organic fuel, that you can grow yourself, and get just over half the same amount of miles to the gallon that you can using petrol. And while that may not sound AS appealing, the fact that you can do that for an extremely small fraction of the price of petrol - if it were properly pushed forward - would be more than enough to get people singing to that tune instead. Screw electric cars - they are, always have been and always will be, a joke. Organic Fuel is the way to go.

    As for power plants and electricity, we have three of the most superbly abundant fuel sources sitting there for the taking - and yet we snub water, wind and light in the search for coal, a material that over the past 100 years we've almost completely used up all our planet's resources of, and oil - which isn't that much better off. We're told as consumers that if we use less electricity we can be the ones who save the planet.

    Unfortunately, that's a bald faced lie. If you plug in an energy efficient bulb instead of a normal 60 Watt, you're saving yourself money on electricity bills, but that little bit extra energy that you aren't using? It's going to someone else instead. The power plants don't simply make Electricity on demand, they make it on a surplus. Whatever we don't use, is used elsewhere - we aren't preventing the flow of GreenHouse gasses from their stacks at all, we're just being duped into thinking we are so they can get away with it longer.

    As I said, all these solutions, every single one of them available and sitting ready to grasp - the technology for everything is all there, we don't need to be in the dark ages any more. We don't need to be cutting our countries apart in the search for thousands year old materials to burn or throwing our rubbish onto a massive pile of other rubbish and letting the methane produced seep into our air. But they wont be grasped, and they wont be grasped because "it's not cost-effective". Businesses will not go to all the extra cost to switch to more eco-friendly alternatives because it will cost them money.

    The only people that can do anything about Global Warming are the Governments of the planet. And most specifically, the only one that will actually have a proper impact, as being the country that produces over half of the world's Greenhouse Gas emissions, won't do a sodding thing because they hide behind the defense that it's all just "ebil science nonsenses", when really they just don't want to be seen as the reason all the people that paid for that Government (not the people that voted, they don't count) had to pay out all that extra money "just to save the stupid planet".
     
  6. Haha, this is starting to get interesting! ;D

    Now that's just ignorant. How could you possibly know if it will produce results if you prevent the research from being done in the first place?!

    Now, as for that video - very nice, and it did convey a pretty clear image, but it really didn't tell me anything. There were no facts and figures, no numbers, nothing. And that it's based on "proven fact"; well, I don't really know what you mean (considering my previous statement - there was nothing there to be proven by scientific fact)... If you're saying we produce a lot of emissions, then yes, that is true, but I'm not questioning that. I'm questioning what impact it really has.

    But you also have a graph, and here's where it becomes interesting. This data has clearly been measured, and if I am to trust your source, it is undeniable that the CO2 levels are rising. The graph is quite scary. But that's sorta the point with the graph, isn't it? Most people would look at it and be totally freaked. But if you take a moment to really go through it, it doesn't really seem so bad. The reason that curve is so large and so threateningly steep can be found in the vertical axis. It tells us that the emissions under the last 47 years or so has gone up with around 60ppm which really isn't that much.
    The amount of CO2 over Hawaii is really quite small as well. We are talking .380% of the total greenhouse gases with an almost fifty year increase of .060% CO2!

    I'd also like to add to this that taking CO2 measurements in Hawaii gives an unfair result anyhow, considering that the Hawaiian Islands are volcanically active. If you check out this site: http://eos.higp.hawaii.edu/ppages/kil.html, you'll see that the lava-flow pictures have been taken during last three decades and that there have been many eruptions during that time. Volcanoes spew out, among other gases, plenty of CO2 to go around.

    As for the trees we're chopping down - which trees exactly are you referring to? Cause the ones we use for paper and such are constantly being replaced. We're not actually loosing any trees in that industry. If you're referring to the rain forests, I do agree with you. We should stop cutting them down. However, my reasons for thinking so is that they are part of an endangered eco-system, more than the CO2 levels. As for why; that's what the whole debate is about - I don't think the change is significant.

    As for the recycling - Where did you get that information about methane accounting for 20% of the greenhouse gases? I can find almost no data surrounding this, and from what I can find, the maximum value I've discovered is 15%. HOWEVER, in this case water vapor was not even listed as a greenhouse gas, and seeing as it represents 70% of the greenhouse effect, I can't really say I trust that source's scientific method too much. Plus, if you look at my previous post where I bring up the percentage of CO2 and H2O in the atmosphere, 20% doesn't really add up. But if you can show me some validation for that, I'll reconsider it.

    Also, by what means would we be able to salvage this methane? It sounds to me sort of like claiming to be able to salvage heat radiation as a means for energy.

    And regarding the organic fuel- Studies have been published as late as last week regarding this - and it got quite a bit of attention. You know that of the 6 billion inhabitants of this planet, we can only feed 4 billion? A third of our species is starving, and what do you think will happen if we redistribute a lot of our food production to production of organic fuels? If we produced excess food, I'd be all for it, but right now - I don't think we can spare any for organics to use for fuel. And in my book, the starvation of 2 billion people is a bit more serious than global warming.

    However, on the note of electricity, I do agree whole heartedly with you. It's pointless to participate in this energy-saving bull*"¤t. The only reason you'd do that is economical - if that's your game, fine - but don't put it off as saving the planet.

    As for the government being the only people who can do anything.... no offense, but isn't that a bit hypocritical? I mean, if this problem is caused by us, and so urgent as you seem to say it is - shouldn't you do something? I mean, sure the government can enact laws that will help a great deal, but nothing will ever happen unless each and every one of us do our part. Besides, the government can't help if the people don't want to anyway.

    Final note: I just read up on what's been going on about the climate the last few decades. You are aware I hope, that not more than thirty years ago, everyone was concerned about global cooling - sorta similar to what's going on now, eh? I'm trying to keep an open mind, but I think you should too. You seem so totally convinced that what you're saying is the truth. How do you know it won't end like the cooling issue?
     
  7. Global Warming in fact does not exist, the Earth goes through various cycles. Look at the temperatures in the year 1300, there were grapes growing in Newfoundland for crying out loud. Then in the years of 1400-1600 we hit an ice age, which we've slowly been coming out of, and we finally came out of the mini ice age today, where temperatures are higher, which a small group of scientist claim is global warming, yes the temperatures (for the most part) have reached a record high, but from temperatures around here right now I'd say it's global freezing. Also you have to look at the orbital tilt of the Earth, which has decreased its angle of inclination, thus causing this effect sceintist call global warming. If you were to talk to top physicists, they'd tell you the Earth is going through a normal phase that occurs once every so many hundreds of years. When the Earth comes out of an ice age, it's angle of inclination decreases, causing more sunlight to reach the surface of the Earth, instead of the innards. So quite frankly I feel global warming existes in a sense but it is not caused by hmans, temperatures still haven't reached the point they did in the 1300's, I don't see myself growing pineapples in my backyard anytime soon, so in effect some areas will record an increase in temperatures while others will see a decrease, you can almost say the hemispheres are switching places, as the inclination angel continues to change you will see the Northern hemisphere mimic what our southern hemisphere is now and vice-versa.


    Also there was recently a documentary made by some of the top biophysicists in the country and they've came to the conclusion global warming is a phase the earth's seen before, they are currently being sued by Al Gore, since they aren't entitled to their opinion which ahs more proof backing it than an Inconvenient Truth did.
     
  8. Global Warming is a myth and people who blame it on President Bush are idiots No one person can control the worlds tempuature. I think its natural for the world to get warmer.Also Algore is such a phoney. He tells you to save energy and use good gas mileage cars when he uses 3 times as much as a regular citizen and all of the other people like Al gore are the same way so if they want Global warming to stop they should lower what they use before telling people what to do. (I hate politics)
     
  9. arek: I totally agree with you, and it's nice to finally have some support here! However, I still don't fully agree with your statement about global warming being a myth. I agree with what you're trying to say (and I know I'm getting picky here - sorry!), but even though it's natural, the fact the planet is heating up means there's some form of global warming (just not man-induced). Saying that it's a myth might actually be what's turning a lot of people against us - there's a definite temperature rise, and calling it a myth just seems ignorant. That's not really what we're trying to say.

    That thing about the earth's tilt is also true - very good point. Might I also add the effect of 'solar cycles'? Sunspots appear on the sun in various numbers in an 11 year long cycle, and these spots give off more heat radiation than the sun usually does. The result is a spike in temperature and it actually matches our planet's temperature variations to 92%!

    And a recent study said that parts of the Atlantic are, for a totally unexplained reason absorbing 2/3 less CO2 than it usually does. This could also have an effect.

    Basically, there are SO many factors in this debate that singling out a cause is close to impossible. I think we can eliminate humans because we contribute so little, but there are many other factors that haven't been measured or are just now being discovered. I think that when people say, as an absolute, that we are to blame and no one else, they are not doing proper research on the matter.

    oizen6: Same comment on the myth thing as with arek, but let me also add that you're giving Gore a huge break. He doesn't consume 3 times as much as a regular person - he consumes TWELVE times as much! http://www.snopes.com/politics/bush/house.asp (I realize this isn't the most trustworthy source, but still)

    Finally, let me leave you with this famous quote - one that I believe whole heartedly in: A scientist must never alter the facts to suit the theory - they must alter the theory to suit the facts, and right now, the facts are not conclusively telling us that we are to blame - so neither should the theory.
     
  10. I ment myth as in what people think it is and what is causing it and what actually happening. I still think we should conserve oil and other important minerals but not to try to stop Globlal warming but so they last longer. I think the polar icecaps are whats left of the ice age so when it melts (or so they say) The world will be the way it was actually created.
     
  11. the earth naturally changes it temperature example the ice age
     
  12. Please, read the topic beforehand. arek said the exact same thing, but better. Warned.
     
  13. Hmm, Let me add some fuel to this fire! (Bwahaha!... nah, just kidding really)

    What I am going to say however is what I normally reply to those who argue for or against issues concerning the natural world, such as this.

    I believe most of the problem comes from a sort of core mentality, that for the majority of humans states change as a phenomena that is somewhat distanced from what is perceived by them as a natural, unmoving balance. This leads to heated discussion over issues such as this because hey, no-one alive has actually witnessed a long enough span of the earths climactic activity to see, say, 10,000 years of it (this is kind of why I'm also for extending human lifespan, but thats another story). Therefore without any real long term knowledge we resort to attempting to preserve what we have perceived to be the normal state during most of our lives, regardless of change.

    On the actual subject of global warming however I do tend to favour arek and daxx0r's view that it is more to do with natural cycles than the express activity of man. For me it is a blatant fact that the planets climate is changing and will change, that much should be visible to anyone who sees that we live in a world that has changed and wasn't placed in situ by some deity. What the key issue here is how we deal with this change, if we really want to keep afloat of these changes (no pun intended) then I think we should be examining differing ideas for the continuation of human life, such as the sea and space (and most importantly Waterworld!). If we were actually looking towards goals like this I feel we would be much more able to see that basically the world is out to fuck us up, in a totally non-sentient way of course, and that no state of balance will be perfect for our existence or guarantee that it wont be threatend in the future.

    On that point I think I'll stop rambling and apologise that my anthropological study has led me to create horrendously overgeneralised arguments. But yeah, thats what I think.
     
  14. i have a theory .
    in the middle ages there was a little ice age. a time when the magnetic feild was very thick. i think that this might be what is happening now but the complete oposite. the earths magnetic feild "rebuts" itself so the northern hemisphere will be the southern hemisphere.
    and the earth is overdue for another switch. so its possible that the warming of the earth is just the magnetic feild weakening but it will dissapear when it needs to switch giving the earth a major case of solar radiation.
    i think this because it has been proven that dried volcanic lava is like a compas and in hawaii there is evidence everywhere where the lava is completly flat showing that there was no magnetic feild.
    during the switch there will be lots of skin cancer and bushfires everywhere and my home (australia ) will be the most effected.
    desertfaction will be everywhere the amazon will have burnt down and water will be scarce.
    any year now the feild will turn
    very scary really......what do you guys think???
    with all this extra heat the ice caps will melt and the sea level will rise flodding low level areas changing the climate which means increasing cyclones and storms
     
  15. I am both for and against the theory of global warming being caused solely by the activities of man. Yes, our excessive burning of valuable fossil fuels is worrying, but as has been stated the Earth is also going through a natural cycle of warming, and, presumably after, cooling. What does bother me, however, is the rising of sea levels around the world. I'm a resident of Florida, and have always been. This information worries me:

    --All of the above directly quoted from http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/effects/coastal/index.html

    Now, call me a worrywart, but being someone who lives extremely close to the coast, this worries me, especially after Katrina and the ordeal with New Orleans. I've read through, and it almost seems as if this is the only problem not addressed. I agree with natural climate changes and the Earth's natural cycles, but...Do you think this is natural? Somehow it doesn't seem like it is.
     
    #15 Carrie_Slovak, Jun 3, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 27, 2014
  16. I know that this global warming thing can be scary...but I want to tell people that they have nothing to be afraid of if it is your time well its your time so don't be afraid to talk about what can happen or your beliefs about global warming.

    Anyways now to the main point. I think that people are mainly getting afraid of changing their way of living, because if major events like desertion or etc. happen we will have to readapt. We are perfectly capable of adapting (remember the ice age) but some people are losing faith in the capabilities of humans. I do believe that global warming is happening, but I also believe we can survive it so I'm not too worried about it
     
  17. Are you guys blind?
    Typical american attitude, really!
    Did you know that one third of The Greenland's ice has melted? Do you know that this may cause the north of europe being frozen(the gulf stream)?? Do you really thing, it is natural that ice bears are dying? Do you guys actually know anything about the world's evolution?

    Sure there were periods where it was hotter and when it was colder, but THERE WERE NO HUMAN ALIVE!!!!! Moreover do you think it is just a joke?? Even the most ignorant of the morons in America and everywhere else should be able to see this.
    And do you think it is normal that there is almost nothing left of the rainforests?
    And do you actually know what CO2 does?
     
  18. Whoa, whoa, whoa, settle down there. Yes, this is a place to share your opinions, but you've got no reason to do so in such a vitriolic manner. Next time, before you hit 'post', hold on a second and think, "will this make me sound like an arrogant ass?" Because really, we have Doc, and that's enough.

    Also, daxx0r, the guy who posted the topic and made some of the points you disagree with, is from the UK, not the USA. Just thought I'd throw that out there.

    One final thing. Do not stereotype Americans like that. It really pisses off the Americans who don't conform to that stereotype, like myself. Am I making myself clear?
     
  19. Well, does Bush think before saying something???
    To be exact he lied to you guys like 270 times about Irak in just one year, is that a good president?? Dont think so really.

    Moreover you have to admit a lot of you guys there are thinking bush is simply great and everything is cool and the scientists are all lying....
     
  20. Y'know, I don't have to admit that a lot of us "are thinking Bush is simply great." Right now, his approval rating is is hovering around 30% - one of (if not the) lowest approval ratings for any president ever.

    Also, learn to spell "Iraq" before lecturing us on how dumb we are.
     
  21. When you will be able to speak 3 languages fluent and one quite well then continue!
     
  22. No matter how many languages you speak, you don't get off insulting my whole country (most of whom dislike Bush, incidentally), taking the intellectual high ground, all the while misspelling the name of the country that's central to your argument. It doesn't look good for you.

    I mean, you don't see me misspelling, say, Slovakia, do you?

    (I should make a note here - any other time, I wouldn't be picking on your spelling. However, you're acting entirely too arrogant, so the way I figure it, I get to be equally jackassy in return.)
     
  23. I am quite arrogant but mostly only when something pisses me off.
    I didnt mean to offend you, but when the whole country dislikes Bush, how come he won two times in a row?? It was you, not us who elected him. And sorry for missing one letter, k....
    And I didn't want to offend the country just some points of view, and sometimes the attitude of some is really quite bad....

    But this topic is about global warming, and i think i have said enough about that one, so lets just continue with the topic and sorry again.
     
  24. No worries, dude, I can completely understand.

    And Bush's approval rating has only gone down the tube since the most recent election; before, it was split about 50-50.

    Also, fun fact: Bush didn't technically win the first election. Gore won the popular vote, but since the Supreme Court halted the recount, Bush got the votes. Go figure.
     
  25. Sem

    Sem The Last of the Snowmen
    Former Administrator

    Next time someone is acting like this, TBA. Just ban them. ;P Mike did well to apologize. No matter how strongly you feel on an issue, you should keep a level head in debates.
     
  26. Doctor Oak

    Staff Member Overlord

    It's right there in the forum description. Consider yourself lucky you HAVEN'T been banned, but you're certainly getting a warning.
     

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