Two global warming questions

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  • #1
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1) How come on the PhysicsForums almost no one says “global warming” instead they say “anthropogenic global warming” while the media, and the average person, always refers to it as “global warming”?

2) It is my understanding that if US legislators rule to try and combat anthropogenic global warming it would most likely cost the average US household more money for energy then what we are currently paying. I’ve heard the figure could be as much as 2-3 thousand a year… in the form of something like a carbon tax, wind bill, etc…

Are only the energy companies the ones that stand to loose/spend additional money? Or will my electric bill go up a couple hundred bucks a month?
 

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  • #2
ShawnD
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1) How come on the PhysicsForums almost no one says “global warming” instead they say “anthropogenic global warming” while the media, and the average person, always refers to it as “global warming”?
"Global warming" refering to short term warming over the past few decades is a fact. Anthropogenic global warming is the idea that it's caused by humans, and it's just a theory at this point.

2) It is my understanding that if US legislators rule to try and combat anthropogenic global warming it would most likely cost the average US household more money for energy then what we are currently paying. I’ve heard the figure could be as much as 2-3 thousand a year… in the form of something like a carbon tax, wind bill, etc…
Possibly. If North America had to follow the same tax standards as Europe, the poverty level would soar. Most Europeans do not drive 15 miles to get to work, but I do. Most Europeans have never felt a -40C winter, but it happens every single year in Alberta; north Alberta often gets as cold as -50. Most Europeans have never felt temperatures as high as +50C after humidity correction, but it happens every year in Ontario and it causes brownouts every time it happens (people running AC)


Are only the energy companies the ones that stand to loose/spend additional money? Or will my electric bill go up a couple hundred bucks a month?
Energy companies will never give slack to the government because it would set a bad precedent. If the energy company will soak up $100 of your monthly bill, why not $200? Why not $300? Where does it stop? It's a slippery slope that they can't possibly win, so they won't budge on the price. If the government adds taxes on your existing energy consumption, your monthly bills will increase by exactly the amount of the new tax.
 
  • #3
Skyhunter
1) How come on the PhysicsForums almost no one says “global warming” instead they say “anthropogenic global warming” while the media, and the average person, always refers to it as “global warming”?

The media uses the term "global warming", because anthropogenic is not a commonly understood term.

syano said:
2) It is my understanding that if US legislators rule to try and combat anthropogenic global warming it would most likely cost the average US household more money for energy then what we are currently paying. I’ve heard the figure could be as much as 2-3 thousand a year… in the form of something like a carbon tax, wind bill, etc…

Are only the energy companies the ones that stand to loose/spend additional money? Or will my electric bill go up a couple hundred bucks a month?
It depends on the solutions.

The best solution for the average consumer is to reduce consumption, which in turns saves money.

If your electric bill should rise $200.00 a month, you could purchase a PV solar system with a home equity loan and end up with a net monthly gain.
 
  • #4
ShawnD
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The best solution for the average consumer is to reduce consumption, which in turns saves money.

This is always good advice, but it's a misconception that north americans are just a bunch of wasteful *******s. The vast majority of energy use is for heating, cooling, cooking, and cleaning. We heat our homes based on the weather, so that can't be changed. We run AC based on the weather and we need refrigerators for sanitary reasons, so neither of those are changing. Cooking is for sanitary reasons as well, so that's not changing. Cleaning is also for sanitary reasons, and we generally pack things like dishwashers and clothes washing machines as much as we can before we turn them on, so those aren't changing.
Solar panels are only an option if you own a house, but most people do not own houses, so that idea is out.

In the end, there's no way around getting nailed by the tax man. We're already trying to save as much energy (money) as we can, so piling more taxes on energy sources is nothing more than making the poor even more poor than they were before.
 
  • #5
Skyhunter
This is always good advice, but it's a misconception that north americans are just a bunch of wasteful *******s. The vast majority of energy use is for heating, cooling, cooking, and cleaning. We heat our homes based on the weather, so that can't be changed. We run AC based on the weather and we need refrigerators for sanitary reasons, so neither of those are changing. Cooking is for sanitary reasons as well, so that's not changing. Cleaning is also for sanitary reasons, and we generally pack things like dishwashers and clothes washing machines as much as we can before we turn them on, so those aren't changing.
Solar panels are only an option if you own a house, but most people do not own houses, so that idea is out.

In the end, there's no way around getting nailed by the tax man. We're already trying to save as much energy (money) as we can, so piling more taxes on energy sources is nothing more than making the poor even more poor than they were before.

http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/housing/hvs/historic/histt14.html [Broken] is the historical home ownership census data. A clear majority of Americans own their own home.

Local governments can regulate multiple family dwellings, to require them to meet energy efficiency standards.

So there is not a huge problem to overcome here, and the conversion to a greener energy grid can be a huge boon to the economy, as well as a sound investment in long term infrastructure.

Why not put American capital to work in America, creating a carbon/pollution neutral energy system that will be the model for third world development.

Throwing our hands up in the air and say "nothing can be done", is no longer a viable option.

It's better than Bush's gambit for political capital in Iraq.
 
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  • #6
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This is where the feasibility comes in. So you want to drastically reduce energy costs because of ....erm ...costs and anticipated increase of costs.

In Holland we were faced with an energy crisis in 1971. Nowadays our houses use only 10-20% of the energy which was required then. Roof insulation, wall insulation, floor insulation, heating pipe insulation, double or triple glass, heat blankets behind the heating radiators, high efficiency boilers and heaters. Isolation works both way, easier -less energy- to heat up in winter time, easier to cool in summer time.

But it's all just math: what is the investment, what is the effect, what is the monthly/annual saving on the heat bill. How long does it take to earn back the investment? Times here range typically from a few months (heating pipe insulation) to ten+ years, double glass in the sleeping rooms. Typical earn back time here is about three years. Then you decide what is feasible and what not.

Next possible options: heat exchangers, pumping warm water into a ground well in summer time and getting it out again in winter time for heating purpose. again costs - effect calculation.

Next possible option: expendables. Live in the middle of nowhere? Lot's of sun and wind? Almost a no brainer to find energy sources. But, do the math.

And there are high efficent clean modern diesel cars nowadays doing 1 in 50 easily.
 
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  • #7
BillJx
This is where the feasibility comes in. So you want to drastically reduce energy costs because of ....erm ...costs and anticipated increase of costs.

In Holland we were faced with an energy crisis in 1971. Nowadays our houses use only 10-20% of the energy which was required then. Roof isolation, wall isolation, floor isolation, heating pipe isolation, double or triple glass, heat blankets behind the heating radiators, high efficiency boilers and heaters. Isolation works both way, easier -less energy- to heat up in winter time, easier to cool in summer time.

But it's all just math: what is the investment, what is the effect, what is the monthly/annual saving on the heat bill. How long does it take to earn back the investment? Times here range typically from a few months (heating pipe isolation) to ten+ years, double glass in the sleeping rooms. Typical earn back time here is about three years. Then you decide what is feasible and what not.

Next possible options: heat exchangers, pumping warm water into a ground well in summer time and getting it out again in winter time for heating purpose. again costs - effect calculation.

Next possible option: expendables. Live in the middle of nowhere? Lot's of sun and wind? Almost a no brainer to find energy sources. But, do the math.

And there are high efficent clean modern diesel cars nowadays doing 1 in 50 easily.

Absolutely. There are lots of ways to heat a home, but there is an initial cost to each. Just south of Calgary Alberta, on the Canadian prairies with winter temperatures to -33C, there is a group of homes that gets 90% of their heat from solar. But the installation wasn't cheap.
http://www.dlsc.ca/
The amazing thing to me is, that the solar panels are on the garage roofs only, not on the houses. So the possibility is obviously there for total solar heat.

Where I live, we don't get much winter sun, but in-ground heat pumps are starting to get popular. They are fairly expensive too, but not if you consider the likely future energy costs.
 
  • #8
russ_watters
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That's interesting, but I don't see how it could possibly work. Their winters are very cold and the amount of thermal storage there is not very large. Plus, the temperature of the thermal storage is going to be low, so they must need a ton of airflow. I'd like to see them do a study next year when it gets up and running.
 
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  • #9
Skyhunter
That's interesting, but I don't see how it could possibly work. Their winters are very cold and the amount of thermal storage there is not very large. Plus, the temperature of the thermal storage is going to be low, so they must need a ton of airflow. I'd like to see them do a study next year when it gets up and running.

No airflow, this is a thermal heat exchange system using water. In fact I believe it is the same type of system that Andre was referring to in his post.



Here are the details of the Borehole Thermal Energy Storage system.
 
  • #10
ShawnD
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http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/housing/hvs/historic/histt14.html [Broken] is the historical home ownership census data. A clear majority of Americans own their own home. .

My mistake. The quickest stat I could find was 75 million people in the US owning a house, which would be about 1/4.

My point still stands that jacking the price up will not better the situation. If the government really wanted to help, they would give some kind of tax credit or grants for people to make their homes more efficient. This has been done in the past, and it does work.
My parents bought their house in the 1970s before the energy crisis hit, so the insulation was done sort of half-ass. When energy prices started to go up, a government program was put in place to help home owners add more insulation to their house. My parents jumped on that opportunity and had the entire house reinsulated for next to nothing; maybe a few hundred dollars (as opposed to a few thousand).
Programs like this could be done for all sorts of things. There should be some kind of tax deduction for getting a new furnace because the heat exchangers in the older ones are absolute crap compared to modern ones. A tax credit for solar panels would be great. All solar panels and insulation should be tax-free.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. Raising the price of energy, or any other commodity for that matter (food, water, etc) will only serve to hurt lower class people.
 
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  • #11
Skyhunter
My mistake. The quickest stat I could find was 75 million people in the US owning a house, which would be about 1/4.

My point still stands that jacking the price up will not better the situation. If the government really wanted to help, they would give some kind of tax credit or grants for people to make their homes more efficient. This has been done in the past, and it does work.
My parents bought their house in the 1970s before the energy crisis hit, so the insulation was done sort of half-ass. When energy prices started to go up, a government program was put in place to help home owners add more insulation to their house. My parents jumped on that opportunity and had the entire house reinsulated for next to nothing; maybe a few hundred dollars (as opposed to a few thousand).
Programs like this could be done for all sorts of things. There should be some kind of tax deduction for getting a new furnace because the heat exchangers in the older ones are absolute crap compared to modern ones. A tax credit for solar panels would be great. All solar panels and insulation should be tax-free.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. Raising the price of energy, or any other commodity for that matter (food, water, etc) will only serve to hurt lower class people.

I agree completly.

Natural rescources IMO belong to everyone. The very few are reaping the majority of the benefits of cheap energy.

And who do you suppose will bear the brunt of the effects of global warming?

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2007/04/08/ING16P2PLN1.DTL

The problem of climate change is rooted in wealth and poverty. The rich, who created the problem of climate change by burning fossil fuels too heavily, will be spared, while many poor people, who never benefited from an industrial lifestyle anyway, will be vanquished.

The global divide between rich and poor has an ugly new face.
 
  • #12
Evo
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China surpassed the US in CO2 production in 2003 releasing 2.73 billions tons as opposed to the US at 2.10 billion tons. By2025, China will be producing more CO2 that the entire rest of the world combined.

"Already, China uses more coal than the United States, the European Union and Japan combined. And it has increased coal consumption 14 percent in each of the past two years in the broadest industrialization ever. Every week to 10 days, another coal-fired power plant opens somewhere in China that is big enough to serve all the households in Dallas or San Diego.

To make matters worse, India is right behind China in stepping up its construction of coal-fired power plants — and has a population expected to outstrip China's by 2030."

"One of China's lesser-known exports is a dangerous brew of soot, toxic chemicals and climate-changing gases from the smokestacks of coal-burning power plants.

In early April, a dense cloud of pollutants over Northern China sailed to nearby Seoul, sweeping along dust and desert sand before wafting across the Pacific. An American satellite spotted the cloud as it crossed the West Coast.

Researchers in California, Oregon and Washington noticed specks of sulfur compounds, carbon and other byproducts of coal combustion coating the silvery surfaces of their mountaintop detectors. These microscopic particles can work their way deep into the lungs, contributing to respiratory damage, heart disease and cancer.

Filters near Lake Tahoe in the mountains of eastern California "are the darkest that we've seen" outside smoggy urban areas, said Steven S. Cliff, an atmospheric scientist at the University of California at Davis."

I suggest reading this article in case you're not aware of this.

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/11/b...=e9ac1f6255a24fd8ei=5088partner=rssnytemc=rss
 
  • #13
russ_watters
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No airflow, this is a thermal heat exchange system using water. In fact I believe it is the same type of system that Andre was referring to in his post.
No, it is forced-air using water to heat the air. You may have just misunderstood what I was talking about. The website is specific:
The air-handler unit selected for use in each Drake Landing Solar Community (DLSC) home replaces the need for a conventional furnace. The unit is specially designed for use in low-temperature heating. It consists of a large heat exchanger surface, an integrated heat recovery ventilator (HRV), and a high efficiency, variable speed, electronically commutated motor (ECM™) to drive both the main blower and the ventilator.
http://www.dlsc.ca/air_handler.htm

Andre didn't say or allude to anything about how the air in the house would eventually be heated.

But that isn't the point anyway - whether you use an air handler or baseboard radiators, you need water at a certain temperature to get the heating capacity you need. If the water comes in at 176F at the beginning of the winter, but at 126 F at the end of the winter, the capacity of the air handler drops.
 
  • #14
russ_watters
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My point still stands that jacking the price up will not better the situation. If the government really wanted to help, they would give some kind of tax credit or grants for people to make their homes more efficient. This has been done in the past, and it does work.
Some of the best ideas are ludicrously easy. Most people don't know it, but at the beginning of 2006, the gov't requirement for minimum residential a/c efficiency went from 10 seer to 13 seer. *Poof*, just like that, a 30% improvement in efficiency. It really was easy to do, too. All it takes is a larger heat exchanger. Another good one is that most residential gas furnaces are 80-85% efficient when 95% efficient furnaces are actually cheaper to install (they use PVC vents).


Now, of course, not all changes are that easy, but in my industry the wastefulness I see is just staggering. And in most cases, it actually requires making a bad business decision to be that wateful. We had one client who had a water pump that was too large, so it had a valve mostly closed to keep from overpressurizing the system. That valve burned $1000 a month in energy costs when a variable speed drive or a new pump would have cost only $5,000 to install. And here's the kicker: we offered to buy it for them and they still wouldn't do it!

Now I'm generally not in favor of government pressure to change bad habits, but there are some cases where people are just so spectacularly stupid that there isn't another way. One simple in principle but probably difficult to manage idea would be to monitor energy usage as a function of square footage and tax people if they use too much energy.
 
  • #15
Skyhunter
My mistake Russ, I totally missed that part. I was more interested in the borehole, which is I believe what Andre was talking about:

Andre said:
Next possible options: heat exchangers, pumping warm water into a ground well in summer time and getting it out again in winter time for heating purpose. again costs - effect calculation.

It is amazing the amount of waste that happens. people used to think I was eccentric, because I would supply a separate can and make the workers on my sites put their drink containers in it for recycling. Now contractors in California need to document how they handle their waste. I don't get as much resistance anymore when I want to keep construction debris separated.

Although I didn't have to much trouble, most construction workers are very conscientious about their image. The last thing they wanted was to have their butt kicked by a vegetarian. :biggrin:

I like the idea of charging a pollution/consumption tax. Use the revenue from the tax to fund programs that help provide cleaner and more efficient sources of energy.

Like this one:

http://www.gridalternatives.org/drupal/video/

I am not a supporter of expensive carbon sequestration.

Here is a 2000 year old method that is tried and true, that has fantastic side benefits.

First, recent discoveries have revealed an ancient soil management technique from the Amazon basin. For thousands of years before the first Europeans arrived, civilizations there had buried charcoal in tropical soils to make them productive. Those terra preta, or “black earth,” soils still remain bountiful five hundred years later. The charcoal acts like a coral reef for soil organisms and fungi, creating a rich micro ecosystem where organic carbon is bound to minerals to form rich soil.

http://www.eprida.com/home/explanation.php4

Eprida offers a revolutionary new sustainable energy technology that will allow us to remove CO2 from the air by putting carbon into the topsoil where it is needed.

The process creates hydrogen rich bio-fuels and a restorative high-carbon fertilizer from biomass alone, or a combination of coal and biomass, while removing net carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Often times the best solutions are simple solutions.
 
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  • #16
siddharth
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China surpassed the US in CO2 production in 2003 releasing 2.73 billions tons as opposed to the US at 2.10 billion tons. By2025, China will be producing more CO2 that the entire rest of the world combined.

"Already, China uses more coal than the United States, the European Union and Japan combined. And it has increased coal consumption 14 percent in each of the past two years in the broadest industrialization ever. Every week to 10 days, another coal-fired power plant opens somewhere in China that is big enough to serve all the households in Dallas or San Diego.

To make matters worse, India is right behind China in stepping up its construction of coal-fired power plants — and has a population expected to outstrip China's by 2030."

While the amount of C02 China & India are producing is a problem (IMO), I don't think it's fair to look at cutting energy consumptions in these countries with the same urgency when compared to US energy consumptions. For example, the per capita emission of C02 is 21.75 tons in the US, compared to 4.03 tons in China and 1.12 tons in India [1]. The population that these two countries need to support is enormous, therefore the larger energy consumption and C02 production.

[1] - http://www.time.com/time/specials/2007/environment/article/0,28804,1602354_1596572_1604908-4,00.html
 
  • #17
Evo
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While the amount of C02 China & India are producing is a problem (IMO), I don't think it's fair to look at cutting energy consumptions in these countries with the same urgency when compared to US energy consumptions. For example, the per capita emission of C02 is 21.75 tons in the US, compared to 4.03 tons in China and 1.12 tons in India [1]. The population that these two countries need to support is enormous, therefore the larger energy consumption and C02 production.

[1] - http://www.time.com/time/specials/2007/environment/article/0,28804,1602354_1596572_1604908-4,00.html
The issue is that they have the option to build these new plants with newer technology that would dramatically cut the amount of Co2, and they have chosen not to.
 
  • #18
Gokul43201
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Everyone has the option to cut emissions. In India and China, this mostly requires buying more expensive foreign technology, which will destroy local suppliers and take away jobs at home. Why would a politician want to implement restrictions on the free market that cuts jobs and reduces wealth in his constituency? Either the carrot or the stick (or both) will have to grow much bigger before there is the stomach for this in the developing world.
 
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  • #19
Astronuc
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Why would a politician want to implement restrictions on the free market that cuts jobs and reduces wealth in his constituency?
Because the pollution is killing some of his consitutents. On the other hand, may be politicians hope people will not notice the premature and unnecessary deaths. :rolleyes: :yuck:

There are such things as technology exchange.
 
  • #20
Evo
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Everyone has the option to cut emissions. In India and China, this mostly requires buying more expensive foreign technology, which will destroy local suppliers and take away jobs at home. Why would a politician want to implement restrictions on the free market that cuts jobs and reduces wealth in his constituency? Either the carrot or the stick (or both) will have to grow much bigger before there is the stomach for this in the developing world.

Because the pollution is killing some of his consitutents. On the other hand, may be politicians hope people will not notice the premature and unnecessary deaths. :rolleyes: :yuck:

There are such things as technology exchange.
The NY Times article goes into these issues. If politicians in the Western world are really concerned about Global Warming, why aren't we pushing more to help countries like China and India get the newer technology? Not only is it important for the environment, but it's important for the health of the populace of these countries.

From the article -

"Aware of the country's growing reliance on coal and of the dangers from burning so much of it, China's leaders have vowed to improve the nation's energy efficiency. No one thinks that effort will be enough. To make a big improvement in emissions of global-warming gases and other pollutants, the country must install the most modern equipment — equipment that for the time being must come from other nations.

Industrialized countries could help by providing loans or grants, as the Japanese government and the World Bank have done, or by sharing technology. But Chinese utilities have in the past preferred to buy cheap but often-antiquated equipment from well connected domestic suppliers instead of importing costlier gear from the West.

The Chinese government has been reluctant to approve the extra spending. Asking customers to shoulder the bill would set back the government's efforts to protect consumers from inflation and to create jobs and social stability.

But each year China defers buying advanced technology, older equipment goes into scores of new coal-fired plants with a lifespan of up to 75 years.

"This is the great challenge they have to face," said David Moskovitz, an energy consultant who advises the Chinese government. "How can they continue their rapid growth without plunging the environment into the abyss?"
 
  • #21
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1) How come on the PhysicsForums almost no one says “global warming” instead they say “anthropogenic global warming”

AGW is the only one that we have the ability to influence. I have a gut feeling that the big energy companies are working like crazy on versions of artificial photosynthesis. They have a lot more money than the DOE does.
 
  • #22
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Is there not another approach to this issue besides cutting CO2 emissions which will most likely come in some form of costing us more money?

It seems like to me that if we cut CO2 emissions it would be for “symbolism” in hopes of other countries jumping on this band wagon. Until these other countries jump on the band wagon nothing much would change would it? And if all the countries did join in, there is still no guarantee that this would solve the global warming issue right? It may or may not work right?

Instead of spending additional money on alternative energies couldn’t we spend this money on relocating the people that would be effected the most from AGW? For instance, we could calculate the cost to move people from the Florida and New York coastlines a bit inland.

I assume this has already been discussed and shot down by the experts…I’m just curious of the reasoning why they shot it down. In my humble opinion it seems it would be easier, more cost effective, and more of a guaranteed-solution to allocate our efforts towards adapting to AGW rather than trying to eliminate it
 
  • #23
Skyhunter
Is there not another approach to this issue besides cutting CO2 emissions which will most likely come in some form of costing us more money?

It seems like to me that if we cut CO2 emissions it would be for “symbolism” in hopes of other countries jumping on this band wagon. Until these other countries jump on the band wagon nothing much would change would it? And if all the countries did join in, there is still no guarantee that this would solve the global warming issue right? It may or may not work right?

Instead of spending additional money on alternative energies couldn’t we spend this money on relocating the people that would be effected the most from AGW? For instance, we could calculate the cost to move people from the Florida and New York coastlines a bit inland.

I assume this has already been discussed and shot down by the experts…I’m just curious of the reasoning why they shot it down. In my humble opinion it seems it would be easier, more cost effective, and more of a guaranteed-solution to allocate our efforts towards adapting to AGW rather than trying to eliminate it

Working Group 3, of the IPCC Fourth Assessment report will address mitigation.

http://www.ipcc.ch/SPM6avr07.pdf [Broken] just released covers impacts, adaptations and vulnerability.

It is not just a matter of moving people from the coast. Droughts and floods will be more common. Whole ecosystems will be destroyed or altered. Adaptation may not be easy or inexpensive.

There are now aphids at 8000 feet in the Andes eating the potato crop. The people who live there have never seen an aphid. Because of the GH effect of GW the nights don't get as cold anymore at these elevations. The warmer nights allow the aphids to survive overnight.

The nations of the world need to address this and a myriad other environmental issues in a comprehensive manner. Another Kyoto, or Montreal treaty that is not comprehensive will be useless and expensive.
 
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  • #24
jamie4w
1. global warming is an accepted fact it is anthropogenic influence that is debated. so we use the term "anthropogenic global warming" when talking abouts mans effect on the climate. The media uses the term "global warming" as it is a more recognised term as well as highlighting more areas of concern. It also arouses more concern in the public eye.

2. either way prices in the future will saw, it is inevitable. innovation is needed but that will only come with development
 
  • #25
BillJx
Is there not another approach to this issue besides cutting CO2 emissions which will most likely come in some form of costing us more money?


It seems to me we need to do both. We can say that CO2 is the main cause of global warming with as much certainty as we can say anything. We'd rather that wasn't the case, because our way of life depends on CO2 emissions, not only for electricty and transportation but for just about anything we do on a large scale. Reducing CO2 emissions enough to do any good will do a lot more than just cost us more money. It needs to be done gradually enough to allow new technologies to be adapted, but even so it will completely change our world.
We do need to adapt. But adaptation will also require CO2 emissions. The first step in making cement is using heat to drive CO2 out of limestone. The first step in making steel is to remove the oxygen from the oxide ore by turning it into carbon dioxide. There's not much that heavy industry can do without churning out CO2. We're in a tough situation, and there's not much doubt that it's going to cost us.

It's not surprising that certain individuals and corporations want to delay implementation of necessary measures. It may be short-sighted in the extreme, but that just teaches us something about human nature.
 
  • #26
ShawnD
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It's not surprising that certain individuals and corporations want to delay implementation of necessary measures. It may be short-sighted in the extreme, but that just teaches us something about human nature.

People like myself want to delay rash decisions because we've been burned so many times in the past by doing stupid things before knowing the whole story.
For example, nuclear power is a huge taboo because we had 1 nuclear accident in the history of nuclear power, and it was due to typical shoddy soviet workmanship. Suddenly people forget the fact that we have literally millions of years worth of nuclear fuel we can use in fast breeder reactors which produce next to no carbon emissions.

The same environmental jerks who jumped on nuclear power are now claiming that coal and oil power are bad because they release carbon dioxide. Make up your friggin minds, retards. Pick one or the other. You can't just say both are bad and that we should live in the stone age forever.
Very few things in the world piss me off. Hippies are one of them. :mad:
 
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  • #27
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People like myself want to delay rash decisions because we've been burned so many times in the past by doing stupid things before knowing the whole story.
For example, nuclear power is a huge taboo because we had 1 nuclear accident in the history of nuclear power, and it was due to typical shoddy soviet workmanship. Suddenly people forget the fact that we have literally millions of years worth of nuclear fuel we can use in fast breeder reactors which produce next to no carbon emissions.

The same environmental jerks who jumped on nuclear power are now claiming that coal and oil power are bad because they release carbon dioxide. Make up your friggin minds, retards. Pick one or the other. You can't just say both are bad and that we should live in the stone age forever.
Very few things in the world piss me off. Hippies are one of them. :mad:

How soon we forget TMI was close to meltdown? I'm a hippy, get angry redneck! :biggrin:
 
  • #28
ShawnD
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I'm a redneck environmentalist while you hippies support global warming with your archaic power generation methods :wink:

Even if you include TMI, the risk of nuclear power is less than coal and oil power. Coal power plants throw more radiation into the air than nuclear plants. Coal plants release more carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide. Coal is a viable power option for something like 800 years (I think that's USA only) while nuclear is capable of supporting the entire world's energy demands for literally millions of years. 1, or 2 failures in your opinion, don't seem like all that much when you consider that there are many large nuclear plants operating without a problem, and most submarines and aircraft carriers made in the last 40 years have been using nuclear power and none of them have had a meltdown.
 
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  • #29
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After conversing with the folk in the back of my VW van, we dropped some acid and tried to grok on soolutien. we decided after much discouse and frequent intercourse, that coal sucks, Nukes suck, Nixon bites, and we need something besides what is offered above.
 
  • #30
drankin
Nuclear power is the way to go. What is the argument against it?
 
  • #31
Art
Nuclear power is the way to go. What is the argument against it?
Apart from the possible risk of catastrophic accidents or sabotage there is also the little matter of disposing of the nuclear waste byproducts.
Then there is also the cost. Although the nuclear process is a comparitively cheap method of producing electricity at the front end, the cost of decommissioning obsolete plants at the back end is astronomical, which is why many countries have opted to simply mothball old plants and leave the problem to future generations. Not a very environmentally friendly policy IMHO.
 
  • #32
961
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Only that Drs. Pons and Fleischmann appear to have misinterpreted their results and attemps at magnetic containment etc consume as much or more energy than the reactions release. Fusion remains the way to go and had we dumped the trillion or so that will go into Iraq before all is said and done, we'd likely be closer.

I can't get enthusiastic re fission. That is a stale promise that has never been fulfilled, and likely won't. Of course Iran seems to be on this path, underscoring one of many problems.
 
  • #33
russ_watters
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Apart from the possible risk of catastrophic accidents or sabotage there is also the little matter of disposing of the nuclear waste byproducts.
And since neither of those are legitimate issues, nuclear power is the way to go!

The risk of catastrophic accidents is so small as to be virtually nonexistant. With new designs (the pebble bed), it can actually be completely nonexistant.

Waste disposal is a smokescreen thrown up by nefarious environmentalists. It is like getting a fill-up at a gas station, using a gallon and pouring the other 11 gallons of perfectly useable fuel down the drain. If people had known when the environmentalists first banned reprocessing that they were outlawing recycling, they would have laughed. I don't know how the environmentalists were able to fool so many people.
Although the nuclear process is a comparitively cheap method of producing electricity at the front end, the cost of decommissioning obsolete plants at the back end is astronomical, which is why many countries have opted to simply mothball old plants and leave the problem to future generations. Not a very environmentally friendly policy IMHO.
Well, the solution to that is to not shut down power plants, but to update them! :uhh:

The French have some of the chepest energy in Europe.
 
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  • #34
russ_watters
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I can't get enthusiastic re fission. That is a stale promise that has never been fulfilled, and likely won't.
I'm not sure I follow: the US has a hundred nuclear plants and they are safe, work well, and produce clean, cheap electricity. What promise hasn't been fulfilled?
Of course Iran seems to be on this path, underscoring one of many problems.
I'm not sure I follow. What problems are associated with Iran using nuclear power that are relevant to whether we use it?
 
  • #35
BillJx
Shawn, we need more environmental rednecks. People have a problem with perception - - that "environmentalism" is a hippie dippie vegan-sandals- silly ponytail issue. Maybe it was. But now that the climatologists tells us we're in a crisis, we need to get past that. I can't blame people for dismissing the environmentalist movement in general. There've been too many distortions and foolish claims, too many idiotic demands made by chanting sign-wavers who don't know what they're talking about, and too much lumping together of unrelated issues.

In my city, there were plans to build a combined-cycle natural gas electrical plant. It was defeated by "environmentalists". Stupid, stupid, stupid. They made frankly dishonest arguments about emissions. Natural gas is the only fossil fuel that gets more than half its energy from hydrogen, and combined cycle plants can use less than half the fuel per KWH than regular thermal plants. Their real objections were more political than environmental. The plant was seen as a move toward privatization of a government-run industry. This is an example of confusing causes and values.

When I meet someone who's a leftist vegetarian environmentalist opposed to the fur trade, against gun ownership and in favor of unrestricted abortion, I'm bored already. I know as much about that person as I care to know. I'd rather see a redneck come to the realization that this is a global emergency of unknown proportions and we've @#$^ got to change the way we're doing things.

Maybe we do need nuclear power in the short term. We can't just stop using energy and it has to come from somewhere. Once global warming hits a critical level, we won't be able to build much of anything, because we won't be able to put out the greenhouse gasses from cement production, materials transport, etc. We have to do our preparations now. And everyone, the long-term environmentalists as well as the rednecks, need to give up their preconcieved ideas if they want to be more help than hindrance.
 

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