# Climate change: The Critical Decade

Discussion in 'Earth Science' started by James R, May 23, 2011.

1. ### James RJust this guy, you know?Staff Member

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The Australian Climate Commission, newly formed this year, has just published its first report. It is available here:

This summarises the current conclusions from the science of global warming. At 72 pages, it's a much easier read than the last major IPCC report (which was 2007, I believe).

The Climate Commission is a government body which is tasked with giving independent and unbiased advice to the Australian government, as well as with informing the public about issues surrounding climate change.

As the report says, basically there is no scientific debate about the fact of global warming, or that human carbon emissions are largely to blame for the current warming trend. The science has now moved on from such matters. The question that governments must now face is whether to do anything about the warming, and if so, what.

3. ### Me-Ki-GalBannedBanned

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We better do something about economic systems don't you think James. I mean consumption-ism and growth to maintain economic stability don't quite go hand in hand with saving the planet. Well maybe depressions coupled with hyper-inflation of commodities does. Which I might add could lead to civil unrest we have bot seen yet . I know one thing I am pretty sure of. Cronyism is going to be looked down on more and more as time goes on. I know what some of the kids want and it don't look to good for the old farts. Funny thing about kids ! They grow up and take over

5. ### sofiarunnerRegistered Member

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i guess governments can not do any thing because it is responsibility of every human being to save the planet

7. ### AsguardKiss my dark sideValued Senior Member

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James you know that nothing will happen, the old men who run countries know its not in there own best interests, I actually herd one economist state that the correct responce to global warming is to earn as much money as possible doing whatever the country can to increase GDP so that more money could be left in the treasury for the next generation to use to fix the problem. Never mind that its not possible to fix runaway global warming, that prevention is better and cheeper than cure. Those leading and those "experts" they lission to (lawyers and economists) have little stake in the situation because they wont live to see the full impact (ironically a lot of them will die because of increased heatwaves)

And that's just here, even if it was a problem Australia could fix in its own borders by itself I am cynical it would happen. But when you look at the US which consitutionally ENSURES that the leaders have no personal stake and China there isn't a hope in hell. Maybe if it was just the UK and eroupe maybe but even then its unlikly. One of the things I dread most is having to look at my future child and explain to them why the baby boomers especially but x and y too let the planet be destroyed while they spent billions propping up the stockmarket

If that church is really interested in a worlds end they will get it within one generation, two at most

8. ### chimpkinC'mon, get happy!Registered Senior Member

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I sort of look at global warming, and the economic impacts of peak production of oil, as a one-two punch.
The only question is, how far down will we get knocked?
Not sure how serious the potential third and fourth blows could be: soil depletion and ocean acidification.

It's like watching a train wreck at glacial speed.
And I'm powerless to do anything to stop it.

Not reproducing, I shall stick to my cat-children.

9. ### John99BannedBanned

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Asguard,

That is so ridiculous. You have to realize, we get more critical data now than ever before so these things are hard to gauge and compare over centuries that we would use for comparison. Of course that does not stop people from making assumptions as to what the climate was like 100s-10000s of years ago.

That said, if there were a problem what makes you think:

A) humans can even fix it.
B) humans caused it.

etc.

I am all for humans changing nature, but is that really possible?

10. ### James RJust this guy, you know?Staff Member

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I'm not sure that economic growth is incompatible with saving the planet. Consumption without care for the environmental impact certainly is, though.

Yes. Already there's a generational divide over the importance of tackling climate change. It's the young people who will inherit the world that the current powers that be leave them. Denial is not a luxury they can afford like the old who won't be alive to see the havok they wrought.

Human beings elect governments.

It's in the interests of their children. Currently, in Australia the situation is abysmal, though. Neither the governments nor the opposition seem capable of looking past the next election. And both are poll-driven with no real vision for the future.

China is actually doing quite a lot to address climate change. They seem to be taking the issue seriously. They have the luxury of not having to pander to popular opinion, of course.

The Prime Minister of the UK recently pledged to cut emissions significantly. I'm not sure, but I think there may even be bipartisan support for action there.

I'm not quite as pessimistic. I think we'll get this one sorted eventually, but people need to wake up and smell the coffee. A fair portion of the general public has actually bought the climate denier line that there's nothing we can do about global warming because it's not due to human activity. Their publicity machine has not been countered effectively enough.

11. ### James RJust this guy, you know?Staff Member

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John99:

Why would you reject a consensus on the matter shared by over 95% of scientific experts?

Scientists don't make assumptions about that kind of thing. They go out and look for evidence.

The scientific consensus.

It's happening already. The challenge is to reverse the changes.

12. ### John99BannedBanned

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And what evidence is that?

How do they find it?

13. ### adoucetteCaca OccursValued Senior Member

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This HAS to be in jest.

If not, please explain what China is doing to Address climate change.

Code:
CO2 emissions MMT 2005	2009	% Growth global %
World		28366	30313	6.9%
China		5513	7707	39.8%	25.4%
Australia	397	418	5.2%	1.4%
Europe		4677	4307	-7.9%	14.2%
United States	5991	5425	-9.5%	17.9%
http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/cfapps/ipdbproject/IEDIndex3.cfm?tid=90&pid=44&aid=8

Last edited: May 23, 2011
14. ### adoucetteCaca OccursValued Senior Member

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Except that's partly due to bogus accounting.

The UK is ever more a low carbon service based economy and manufactures less and less but imports significant amount of high carbon products from around the world.

See previous post on China's emissions, they are up 40% in 5 years, exceeding the Global growth over that period.

But much of that CO2 actually is created making products for others outside China, but of course is left off of those country's CO2 books.

The ONLY number that is important is that Global Number.

But the only accord reached on CO2 emissions so far left China out, which is why it was opposed by the US.

Arthur

Last edited: May 23, 2011
15. ### James RJust this guy, you know?Staff Member

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Read the report I linked in the opening post. Or, if you prefer, the 2007 IPCC report.

Are you asking me how geologists, meteorologists, paleontologists and so on go about their work? That's a huge question about how science is done. Do you really have no idea?

16. ### billvonValued Senior Member

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Ice cores, tree growth rings, actual written (instrumental) records, fossil records, sediment layers, terminal moraines, things like that.

Through research and a lot of field work.

17. ### Me-Ki-GalBannedBanned

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See this is the myth spinning that James fell for . I have heard this before at the same time my dad got back from China were he first hand witnessed the extent of pollution in China . So Yeah Me was politically engaged and well Janet from "America speaks" just happen to be on Me Neighborhood council ( I don't how that happens , the way a dirt bagger like Me ends up engaged with big shots . A freak of nature I guess, Me not you) Anyway you know Dr. Janet is influential in the way of spinning marching orders for it is one of the original N.G.O.'s partnered with government ( I know all you fuckers put Me there because instinctively you all know I am a bad ass f--cking killer that cares) So we get in this battle at the neighborhood picnic and the progressives start in on this holier than now attitude about how china is leadung the way and we need to be more like China . Oh fuck me in the ass I come un hinged . ( similar to the way I did with Birch when I first met her) People if you build green technology with people that make 5 dollars a day do you really want to be like China. It is a false dream you will be chasing . I just don't know why people are so friggin gullible . I get blamed a lot for being gullible and criticized about seeing the future . Fuck hole too" IT IS A DEVELOPERS BUSINESS TO SEE THE FUTURE , WE SPEED COuNtLESS HOURS FIGURING WHICH WAY THE WIND BLOWS BECAUSE OUR BUSINESS DEPENDS ON IT!! We are developers and take risk way out in the future . IT is the "nature"of the business because it takes many many years to bring a development from planning stage to completion . Fuck is it Me am I stupid

Anyway China is planning on capturing market share in green technology and is investing in foreign countries. They are out to bury us . In there own leaders words I present( I heard the guy say it ) The exact words were " WE will own Wal-mart We will own you . We will bury you . I don't know how smart a person has to be to understand what that means . So any back to spin that James gullibiled down like a seagull does a fish. Me mates on the neighborhood cancel said with angry red faces and in a loud voice. WE GOT to BE LIke China and get with the program . There getting all the green technology market share, we need to pour government money in to it and catch up and be more like China ( my name is poncho I live on a Rancho , make 5 dollars a day, go visit Lucy play with her pussy , She take my 5 dollors away ) If that is what you all want go for it . I can't stop you . I dropped out , why , I SEE THE FUTURE . I AM A FUCKING DEVELOPER , FROM A DEVELOPER FAMILY > MY First fathers surveyed America in the 1700 . The Name Greathouse should give you a dead give away . Fuck people are stupid . Is it Me . Fuck I must be stupid
God please don't let me be misunderstood

18. ### sofiarunnerRegistered Member

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the environment have to pay for the development

19. ### madanthonywayneMorning in AmericaRegistered Senior Member

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Are you on this ridiculous kick again? Give it a rest. You sound like some drugged out hippy from the sixties yelling "Don't trust anyone over 30!". Of course, all those idiots are now well over thirty and feeling pretty stupid about their previous ignorant arrogance.
Sounds better than impoverishing ourselves in what amounts to symbolic gestures that cost hundreds of billions but have next to no effect on the environment.
Says who? Geoengineering is way cheaper than cutting carbon and can have an almost immediate effect upon global temperature. Significantly cutting our carbon emissions, on the other hand, would likely cost upward of one trillion dollars per year and still not prevent the earth from continuing to warm.

Geo-engineering, on the other hand, can quickly decrease global temperature at a cost that is trivial compared to the costs of carbon reduction.

A much better approach, we conclude, is geoengineering. The scientific evidence suggests that either the stratoshield or increased oceanic clouds would have a large and immediate impact on cooling the Earth, unlike carbon-emission reductions. The cost of these solutions is trivial compared to the cost of lowering carbon emissions — literally thousands of times cheaper! Perhaps best of all, if something goes wrong and we decide we don’t like the results of the stratoshield or the oceanic clouds, we can stop the programs immediately and any effects will quickly disappear. These two geo-engineering solutions are completely reversible. Given the huge costs of global cataclysm and how cheap the solutions are, it would be crazy not to move forward with geoengineering research in order to have these solutions ready to go in case we decide we need to cool the Earth.

http://www.freakonomics.com/2009/10/23/the-superfreakonomics-global-warming-fact-quiz/
As noted above, cutting carbon significantly is really out of the question baring some major technological innovation such as fusion (cold or hot). With current technology, we can build more fission plants, consider switching to fuel cell or electric cars, build more solar, wind mills, etc. But it will be a long time before we can actually cut carbon enough to even make a dent in global warming projections.

So I say we do what we can for now: continue research into alternative energy; build more nuke plants, wind farms, and solar; work to improve energy efficiency, and hope for the best knowing that, in a pinch, we can always use geo-engineering (of course we should also continue to research geo-engineering)

20. ### James RJust this guy, you know?Staff Member

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What's a stratoshield? And how do they propose to increase oceanic clouds?

Did you read the report I linked in the OP? There are lots of nice graphs there that compare the do-nothing approach to the cutting emissions scenarios.

The only way to spur a move to a renewable energy economy is to put a price on carbon emissions. There are many ways that could be done, but if you don't do it then it's just business as usual for the big polluters.

21. ### Spud Emperorsolanaceous common taterRegistered Senior Member

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3,899

So, the Climate Commission advises the government and yet we have Tony Abbott and at least half the Liberal Party carrying on like it's all some big scam to stop progress!

I'm completely stunned, I'm gobsmacked and disgusted that someone like Abbott can continue to deny (in little Johnny's wake) that climate change is real and seemingly have half the population agree with him.

It's unbelievable. Simply unbelievable. That climate change deniers exist is no great mystery. That climate change deniers can't at least admit that if climate change turns out to be false, the cutting down of emissions will have done more good than harm is more bemusing. That a major political figure can fly in the face of overwhelming scientific opinion is completely reprehensible. It's a case where he should be forcibly removed from office for clear evidence of mental instability and conduct which is dangerous to the common good. The very reason which is presumably why he is in his current position in the first place (for the common good).

Why is it so goddamned hard for anyone to grasp that we stand on the cusp of saving the Earth from a serious cataclysm by embracing the free renewable energy which has kept the world running for a couple of billion years till now and not causing some huge huge amount of grief to anyone in the process.

The way to a clean future is staring us in the face, we can make the change in the space of ten years or so. The answer is belting over the head but it seems as a species we're too goddamned thick skulled to work it out.

How mind numbingly frustrating!

22. ### AsguardKiss my dark sideValued Senior Member

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Spud if you want to know why look up 2 posts, and if you think Australia is any better remember that Pauline Hanson almost won another seat in Parliament. There was an SG1 episode where a senitor was told that a spaceship was on the way to destroy the world and his responce was "God wouldn't let that happen", this is no different, some people can't handle the fact that they are responcible, some can't handle that there lives have to change and some just shy away from the size of the problem. Is much easier to believe its all a big conspiracy and that the scientists are lying than to face reality, especially when you wont be around to face the conquences. Look at mad's post and jame's. As James said there is a generaltional split between the young demanding action and the old resisting. Now sure the same thing is happerning in the gay debate and eventually the young will win that one but there isn't the time for the young to win this debate by atrician

23. ### adoucetteCaca OccursValued Senior Member

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But it does not address at all the ability to make those reductions.
Just shows the impact if they are made.

Ah, but the issue is how to do it on a GLOBAL basis, since it's not really feasible to be done unilaterally.

Indeed, the growth in the amount of CO2 produced by China was over 100 times the growth of CO2 in Australia over the same period.

As my previous chart showed, the US and Europe are cutting their emissions both in absolute numbers and by even larger per-capita values while China, India etc are growing their CO2 output at a substantial rate. But they were specifically left out of Kyoto.

Not sure what you mean by "big polluters".

In general the CO2 output is due to normal day to day activities and there are no big polluters. Well there are the few like Al Gore, but in general the problem is almost entirely due to the 4+ billion people living in the industrialized world with their need for food, clothing, transportation, along with boats, planes, tvs, air conditioners, hot water, heating, phones, stoves, ovens, grills, refrigerators, washing machines, dish washers, computers, internet, printers, stereos, lights etc etc etc.

Arthur