Europe is burning in this summer

Discussion in 'Earth Science' started by Saint, Jul 19, 2022.

  1. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    Isn't it like arguing that because the oven often gets up to 200F that we don't need to be concerned when the rest of the kitchen does?

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  3. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    Yep. But until it affects some people directly and immediately, they won't care. Unfortunately.
     
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  5. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    This one has seen new circulation in the last year, or so:

    Science Notes and News: Coal Consumption Affecting Climate

    The furnaces of the world are now burning about 2,000,000,000 tons of coal a year. When this is burned, uniting with oxygen, it adds about 7,000,000 tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere yearly. This tends to make the air a more effective blanket for the earth and to raise its temperature. The effect may be considerable in a few centuries.

    But if the numbers seem a little strange, well, true, it's the Rodney and Otamatea Times for 14 August 1912. It's been running around Twitter for the last week or so, but, yeah. There's also a Popular Mechanics article from March 1912 that discusses coal, CO₂, and climate warming.

    And, to be more precise, the Industrial Revolution demanded increasing coal consumption since the late 1700s.
     
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  7. sculptor Valued Senior Member

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    Geo politics and such
    King coal is back in Europe
     
  8. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    I only discovered in the last few months, on another more active science forum, that it was Arrhenius, of chemical kinetics fame, who first wrote a paper on the greenhouse effect of CO2, way back in 1895. There's a contemporary newspaper article based on it, here: https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1086/121158/pdf

    So he was onto it already, over a century ago, predicting it would have an effect in the future. Which has now duly arrived...........

    So it's not that surprising to find other publications picking up the idea in the following years.
     
  9. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    Creeping normality.
    That's an issue that the world has to face when trying to get governments to deal with climate change. It's the idea that significant changes become accepted by the majority because they happen too slowly to really be noticed within the individual's memory span. So if the average climate changes by 1-degree in a person's life, well, so what. That 1-degree change is not difficult to deal with, on a personal level, so it becomes an accepted part of their later reality, and not something they need to be unduly concerned about. They simply accept it as normal.
    So I fear it's going to be with the increase in weather extremes. Those growing up at the moment will get used to a higher frequency of freak weather than we older folk were ever used to, and they will, in time, consider it "normal". Even if it actually gets worse, there is the danger they compare the worsening to an already worsened situation.
     
  10. Saint Valued Senior Member

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    EU should not sanction Russia's oil, do not cooperate with US, US is cunning, drag EU to fight Russia.
     
  11. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    As inaccurate and as blinkered as that sentiment is, what, if anything, has it to do with the subject of this thread (a thread that you started)???
     
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  12. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    My experience is the opposite. Most of the young people I know have their eyes out on stalks over climate change. And I think events like the current drought in Europe and the fires in Australia and California are making people realise this is real, not just some theoretical future risk.

    The problem, I think, is the disconnect between realising the problem is real and acknowledging the cost of dealing with it. There is s still a tendency to blame a suitably distant "other" for it all, e.g. oil companies [boo hiss], as if that obviates the need for people to do anything themselves - like stop driving a fossil-fuelled car, or stop burning gas for central heating, which everyone merrily carries on doing. It's not like tobacco: people don't buy petrol because an evil oil company has made them addicts or sold them on a lifestyle. Henry Ford, Rudolph Diesel and Nicolaus Otto are as much "to blame" as anyone, but that doesn't help anyone either. It's a whole way of life.

    The missing piece is political leadership, to get people to join the dots and realise the collective effort required. We can do collective effort, as the pandemic showed. We need just leadership and a plan.
     
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  13. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    Nat's been raised from the dead???!!?!?!??!!

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  14. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    For the majority they also need an economic incentive to change habits. In the UK, for example, they're promoting heat pumps as a means to reduce dependency on heating via fuel, yet the cost is nowhere near where it needs to be to offer something the average Joe will take up. I mean, GBP 15k, then a 5k grant from the government, so 10k outlay... only the affluent will be able to afford that. This might save you up to 25% of your bill, so maybe GBP 800 a year, which means 12+ year payback... that's not something the average Joe is going to consider.
    So what is needed is not just the political leadership but the willingness of the population to suck up the bill that the green agenda will rack up. Everyone might say that the government has to pay, but ultimately the government is funded by taxation. And raising taxes to the required extent will not get you elected. Thus the government don't even consider it.
    In that regard it's not like the pandemic, really, as that was a short sharp shock, the cost of which we are now all bearing through increased inflation, and massive increases in government debts - that future generations will have to pay. And when interest rates go up, that reduces the money governments can use for services since more has to go to service the debt (increase in debt and increase in rate). The pandemic was an immediate "do this or more will die in the next few months" type of deal. The green agenda is more a case of "do this or more will die... in the next 50 years or so"... i.e. it's not as immediate a threat, partly due to the creeping normality and advances in other areas that help mitigate the impact... at least to an extent, until the cliff is reached, by which time it will be too late. Something like that.
    So while the collective effort is there for the immediate issues, it's definitely not there for the longer-term issue, especially while half the country probably doesn't see it as an issue, or do but have no willing to disrupt their wealth-gathering to help address it. The truth is, when possible future governments push a "collective effort" agenda, they're not elected. People prefer to listen to the "nothing to see here, your immediate wealth or financial assistance is our prime concern" parties.

    Young people, though... there's a side of me, cynical admittedly, that thinks that they would protest anything that the older generation don't like, or are used to. So if the older generation were all into the green agenda, they'd be protesting the lack of petrol/diesel for their V8 muscle cars or some such.
    Yeah, that's probably just me.

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    More wine!!!
     
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  15. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    That's what I mean about leadership, to get the public to accept the taxation, constraints via new housing regulations etc, needed to effect the changes. To do that you need a proper plan, one which delivers some early benefits to keep everyone on-side but also achieves the longer term goal, so people can see what they are getting in exchange for the sacrifice.

    The heat pump thing is a shocker. Nobody in government is grasping the nettle of domestic heating AT ALL. We need a mix of insulation grants (surely an easier sell with astronomical gas bills?), heat pump subsidy and/or a plan to make, supply and mix into the gas supply 25% hydrogen. We're going to need hydrogen anyway for large vehicles, so let's get on and sponsor a few hydrogen plants jointly with industry (Shell? British Gas?British Oxygen?) and test the technology at scale. Fcuk me, we haven't got long to bugger about.
     
  16. sculptor Valued Senior Member

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    Nat's
    ?
     
  17. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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  18. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Now, if he were to mean: "..... 'king coal", I would have to agree with the sentiment.

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  19. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    ...and I guess record breaking summers year after year are to be considered the new norm as well...
    The news coming out of China is not good. Both severe drought and flood happening at the same time.
     
  20. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    Time for new technology to move the floods to more convenient locations.

    (I have a book by Willy Ley called Engineers' Dreams. One of the more grandiose schemes was to dam up the Strait of Gibralter and evaporate the Mediterranean. No chance of unforseen environmental consequences there.)
     
  21. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    Not yet, but they undoubtedly will be if they continue for a few years. People will start to anticipate a hotter summer, or more extreme weather more often.
    This is actually quite common already, and not just in China. When you have prolonged dry periods followed by heavy downpours you tend to get flash floods, as the ground is so dry that it can't actually absorb the rain quickly enough, so just runs off the hard surface. The ideal rainfall for the ground is light but prolonged.
     
  22. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    I think the point I was attempting to make was that it is not only Europe that is or was caught up with extreme weather events. ( Northern H summer)
    The situation in China is currently be under stated I feel.
    The massive flooding in Pakistan ( 30% land mass,over 1100 fatalities, and massive population displacement 60million of 220 million effected seriously)
    Heat waves through India and USA
    and so on...
    2022 could yet be deemed a watershed/thresh-hold year. I hope not, but it isn't lookin' good IMO
     
  23. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    9,812
    But since you are both a doomsayer and a sensationalist, I'm not sure your opinion means a great deal to me.
     

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