Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Are pollutants and global warming really that bad?

  1. Mar 18, 2003 #1
    Is global warming really that bad?

    Just imagine, right now we're all "polluting" the atmosphere with "pollutants", like sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide and what-nots. Isn't this just like the time when oxygen was being pumped into the atmosphere by cyanobacteria and plants a long time ago. And in the end many of the species that exist today are all dependant on oxygen, humans, cats, etc and they were all evolved from those that survived the oxygen.

    So isn't it great that we're pumping out all these "pollutants"? We're probably creating the infrastructure for eg. sulphur dioxide based life-forms. Aerobic may not even mean anything next time. Just imagine all those new and unimaginable species that could evolve.

    Did i get anything about the biology and history wrong? I'm trying to share an interesting thought i had.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 18, 2003 #2
    I half agree.

    I think us humans are being way to egotystical to assume that our pollutants are going to destroy the earth. It's also egotystical to think we are somehow separate from nature, that out actions are "artificial" instead of natural. But that doesn't mean we aren't having a harmful effect on our environment. I believe we are causing problems for this planet.

    Nothing posed a greater threat to life on Earth than the oxygen created by the overwhelming breeding of bacteria. You have to understand that this product of nature could have killed off much of life on Earth. We too are a product of nature, and there is no garanteeing that the way in which we evolved is somehow superior, that we are sure not to ruin this planet.

    In short, I think we're rushing ahead too fast at times, not thinking about the consequences of our actions, on nature, and on ourselves.
  4. Mar 18, 2003 #3
    The bacteria was not intelligent enough to understand that its products may result in a bad result on itself.
    The bacteria was not really able to live without making oxygen.
    Human beings can live without making this ammount of pollution, and they understand that pollution has a bad effect on themselves.

    Each race cares more about itself than making another new race that will cause its own end.

    And after all if we really care about making some living beings that depend on anything other than oxygen, maybe we can begin by making them in the laboratory.
  5. Mar 18, 2003 #4
    We are a borg race...
    Consume and move on...
  6. Mar 18, 2003 #5


    User Avatar

    I agree that man kind probably cannot destroy the planet. We probably cannot destroy life itself. But we most definitely can destroy ourselves. In reality, global warming does not threaten the planet, or life on earth, but life on earth as we know it. And this includes us. In a way, the stress we put on the danger of global warming is simply a selfish desire to preserve our own habitat. But what else do you expect from what is still, fundamentally an animal?
    Life will change. It is inevitable. But such change will probably not be to our advantage.
  7. Mar 18, 2003 #6
    Bubonic Plague, you may be right, that the next set of intelligent species would be much more fascinating. However, I'd still prefer that humans continue existing.
  8. Mar 18, 2003 #7


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    You can call me egotistical, but in my own private morality I put humans above all else. I don't argue that we aren't part of nature, but I do argue that we should look out for ourselves with parochial interest. While I believe we should avoid global warming, we should attempt to do it in a manner that does not cause more problems than the warming itself.

  9. Mar 18, 2003 #8


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Re: Is global warming really that bad?

    I would rather do that in the controlled invironment of a lab than doing that in the atmosphere that we breathe.. just imagine the habitats that we are killing by pumping out these pollutants.. butterflies are very sensitive to those and the numbers are dwindling.. which would you prefer to see, a wonderfull butterfly or sulphur dioxide (thus stinky) bacteria? :P

    How about the rainforrests that will be destroyed, Venice is sinking, 1/3 of Holland will be gone..
  10. Mar 18, 2003 #9
    errrr..... i just noticed something. I must have forgotten to modify the topic's name. It was actually meant to be "Are pollutants and global warming really that bad?"

    Well.... I am not saying we are deliberately laying foundations for other types of life. But rather, we are unwittingly doing so. Just like how cyanobacteria and plants unwittingly laid the foundations for aerobic life.

    Yes. Sad isn't it? Which is why it's annoying when people start ranting and raving about "Saving the Earth", when all they actually mean is "Save the Humans". And humans also coin all sorts of terms like ethics and morals which dictate we shouldn't be selfish, etc.

    But ain't it a bit impractical? 'Cause evolution takes millions of years. The lab may be closed down even before we reach the good parts of the new life.

    Actually if we wait several million years, we'd probably see "beautiful" sulphur dioxide life. Global warming and the pollution we throw out, would probably serve as excellent stimuli for a new form of life. Those life may even utilise some new form of locomotion or what-nots that aerobic life may not be able to evolve. That's what i'm trying to focus on, the Wonders That Global Warming And Pollutions Are Capable Of(1).

    But if the shift happens, we might not be able to see what else aerobic life is capable of becoming.......

    *I hope historians will note that I am the first to use phrase (1).
  11. Mar 22, 2003 #10
    Let's start the discussion

    I thought these were discussion forums?
    Yet everybody seems to agree. We have global warming and Holland will dissapear under water. That would be bad. I'm living there, in convidence that this will not happen.

    So perhaps we do have global warming, perhaps not. Only the sun knows that. One thing I'm convinced of is that we don't have antropogenetic global warming due to higher than usual carbon dioxide emission.

    Unusual statements coming from the same area where the chairman of the Kyoto treaty is living. I think that the only virtue of Kyoto is it's contribution to general consiousness of environmental issues. Pollution may be bad. Antropogenetic Global warming is just gossip and will cost us a lot.

    How many enemy did I make? :wink:
  12. Mar 22, 2003 #11
    Yes, they are indeed.

    I'm not trying to appeal to your humanitarian or emotional aspect, 'cause i think the media and teachers have already done a good job of doing so. Rather, i am trying to appeal to your intellectual curiosity and bring to light some fascinating things global warming and the pollutants we release can do, which has been overshadowed by the numerous dooms-day predictions.

    Antropogenetic? Could you explain what it means? My dictionary cannot identify that word.

    I doubt you made any. We won't declare war just because you disagree.
  13. Mar 23, 2003 #12
    Bubonic Plague,

    Thanx for your reaction.

    About global warming, I have been emotionally and deeply concerned about that. However when that http://dsc.discovery.com/convergence/landofmammoth/dispatches/dispatch.html [Broken] in Siberia was discovered in 1999 suggesting a warmer climate there, I was very curious and started my own personal (secondairy and tertiary) research into global warming. Later I got reinforcement of two others. We've turned the ice age totally inside out. The study is about finished now. I think we have a closed case: no global warming. Would anybody be interested to hear more about it?

    Anthropogenetic (sorry for the typo) is usually refering the to roots of mankind but it is misused nowadays to inducate: originated (caused) by humans as this google search will show:

    So there is no global warming caused by humans. That's my message.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2017
  14. Mar 23, 2003 #13


    User Avatar

    Yes, we would be very interested in hearing more.
    But a note: Human carbon emmissions may not DIRECTLY trigger any sort of significant effect. But other studies seem to show that small increases in temperature caused by human action might trigger other metastable situations in the world, and allow a large increase in rate of global warming, perhaps exceeding such effects. Ie. us not having the sort of increase we see could be due to a temporary dampening effect from the environment, which we steadily stretch to breaking point...
  15. Mar 24, 2003 #14
    I'm all ears.
  16. Mar 24, 2003 #15

    OK, I´ll open a seperate thread later to tell the whole story. BTW My little play with gravity is also a part of the whole bigger plan. It´s a complicated story though and has a very high crackpot level (well it looks like it). That´s why I hesitate to publish the book right away. Looking for some peer views but those are scarse when one dares to make too bold statements. Furthermore I´ll substantiate every step with independent sources.

    FZ+ I assume that ...
    is refering to the studies that cover the rather heavy isotope fluctuations that characterize the Dansgaard Oeschger events, the Younger Dryas and the interstadials. Those were thought to reflect extreme unstable climate conditions. If so, rest assured. The world is turning totally different. I intend to show that those isotope stages are not paleo thermometers.

    Having said that let me put an extreme crackpot remark to show what I mean:

    The ice age did not exist as such, we are looking at the effects of migrating ice sheets.
  17. Mar 24, 2003 #16


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Sounds less egotistical that way. And environmentalists are nothing if no egotistical. So they are very sensitive to that kind of subtlety.
    There is a thread in another forum on ice ages. Seems we're overdue for one. Maybe we are HELPING stabilize the global climate? ;)
  18. Mar 24, 2003 #17
    Actually there are several. Just look around. I'm in some of them.
    Humorous thought. After the SPECMAP discovery of some distinct 100.000 year cycle in the ice and sediment cores in the 1980s it seemed also clear that the present alleged "interglacial" was due ending any moment. This view is elaborated in Imbrie and Imbrie, ice ages, Solving the mystery .

    Some ideas.

    Believe me, the Imbries were too early with that assumption. That's why I'm starting another thread. I think we need to review a few mysteries of the ice ages first. People always seem to love talking about mammoths. For me it started with the Jarkov mammoth as I stated early. So why not starting with that.
  19. Mar 25, 2003 #18


    User Avatar

    Not really. I was referring to recent studies of undersea methane hydride deposites, the effects of small changes in temperature on North American wheat production and rain forest growth/dieback patterns.
  20. Mar 25, 2003 #19
    Ah, the clathrate gun. That's hot stuff, cutting edge science. Actually it should not be hard to make it reasonable that this graph:
    http://www.geosc.psu.edu/~sowers/Image1.gif [Broken] (source Todd Sowers) will shed a whole new light on isotope behavior. But that's along story with a lot of physics in it.

    Hey, the image feature not working in this forum?
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2017
  21. Mar 25, 2003 #20

    Hi Everyone. :)

    Do you mean methane hydrate? or is there a slightly different chemical form of it. Yes methane bursts are eXciting and a fascinating field of study.

    Are you talking about 11 year and Gleissburg solar cycles?

    I see the feature that tells how many characters you can type: max 10,000. Hmmm
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook