Green Religion

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Green Religion

 In another post I made a comment about radical greens approaching religion and thought I  should probably expand a little on what I meant. I consider myself to be an environmentalist and support doing what we can to reduce pollution but the modern green movement has removed rational thought. They listen to their leaders and take whatever they say as fact without even a basic understanding of the environment. So I thought I would run through some of the views held by most radical greens accept on faith but when considered rationally are dead wrong.

 

Exhibit A: Organic farming

Many greenies and organic farmers love to talk about how organic farming is going to save the world from evil pesticides and fertilizer. Even if you grant the pollutants and buy into the dangers of pesticides (as and avid hunter I those pesticide filled fields are the first place I look for birds and deer) organic farming on a massive scale would destroy our environment. Why? Because it takes more land to produce the same amount of food. We already put a substantial amount of land towards food production, I am currently in a county that is 97% farmed, that is a lot of prairie and forest that has been destroyed to create farm fields. While that would make deer and birds happy many cute little critters would see their homes destroyed. The prairie was almost eradicated once in the US precisely because of the amount of farming necessary to feed our nation and is just now starting to make a comeback because we don't use as much land as we used to. 

Additionally, organic farming still needs fertilizer, they use manure which generally comes from cows. Currently, we do not have nearly enough cows to produce enough manure to support a 100% conversion to organic farming. So in addition to the all the extra land you need just for farming you need even more for all the cows (you can't put the cow on the same piece of land they would trample your beans and eat your corn) And if you buy into the methane gas causes global warming, which I am still in the air on but most greenies take it as gospel, then you have a whole new can of worms there. 

The bottom line is that modern pesticides and fertilizers are relatively safe. I walk around farm fields all day every day for my job and have yet to see any animals dead from modern farming other than the ones that get hit by a car.  I drink the water and eat fish out of ponds right next to farm fields. Can we find ways to make the chemicals even safer? Maybe, I'll leave that to chemists who know a lot more than me. But would massive scale organic farming cause less damage to the environment? No. In the end you are trading the negligible air and perhaps water pollution to completely eradicate habitat outright, how does that make sense? Seems to me like cutting off your head to prevent a cold. Be a real environmentalist and support ways to make farming even more efficient so we can eat AND bring back more natural habitat.

I have more examples but have to get to work. But later I will address other bs greenies take as gospel like recycling, oil drilling, electric cars and anti-hunting.


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Go the backyard vege patch

 

Saves a fortune if you can keep the birds and bugs off. I tend to support the grow local thing and luckily I can walk or cycle to work.

Humerously, I have a compost bin directly under my mail box (all the real mail goes to a PO). Works a treat. 

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The whole farming business

The whole farming business is messed up. As far as organic farming goes, you would have to dedicate large swaths of land to the deal in order to make it really work (California has some but nowhere near enough to get the economy of scale needed to make sure the price at the register is anything but premium produce for arrogant twits with more cash than brains).

 

Since that mostly does not happen, a farmer who is doing organic work can be downwind/downstream of other farmers who do not and he will get the chemicals by default.

 

As far as manure goes, the whole east coast has a huge issue dealing with chicken shit. The whole industry has fractured into so many sub-divisions that no one corporation holds title to the birds during their active poo production.

 

Basically, the egg industry spins off a portion of production to the chick industry. Then the chick industry sells to the poultry farmers who sell grown birds back to Tyson/Perdue and similar huge corporations. Thus the poo is the responsibility of the farmers and not the corporations who end up getting the bulk of the cash at both ends. It tends to end up in lakes and rivers, thus causing pollution from what could be used as fertilizer if it was sold on the open market.

 

However, since poultry farmers tend to shove chicks in one end of a factory barn and pull grown hens out the other end, they have neither the level of organization nor the capital to develop the markets to do that. If you go on youtube and search for “factory farm” you would be quite shocked to see just what goes on behind closed doors. Even a huge operation can have an actual throughput that is not much better than raising birds the old fashioned way.

 

But even producing 5% more total birds is 5% more. All of this happens in a barn a quarter mile long which continuously produces manure down the length. In many operations, the chickens are kept in open cages stacked to the rafters, so the ones on the bottom tier are only fit for pet food.

 

OK, I will stop for now.

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 Yeah I've seen chicken

 Yeah I've seen chicken farms (and smelled them), I don't eat chicken and you really shouldn't either and if you insist on eating it NEVER visit a poultry farm. Hogs are not much better but I really like bacon. From an organic standpoint most greenies would be shocked to see the conditions the more expensive "free range" chickens are raised in. They are not any better than your tyson foods factory chicken. Maybe there are a few farms out there that raise a limited number of chickens and give them space but I haven't seen them. Maybe somebody has done a study of free range chicken farms but I haven't seen it so I can't quote any solid stats. My guess is that "free range" chickens are just a marketing gimmick to charge more money but fortunately where I live we don't have many chicken farms so I am pretty ignorant in that area. 

However, I can explain why poultry farmers haven't done anything to try to sell the excess manure. The problem with chicken and hog manure is that its nitrogen content is too high to be an effective fertilizer without being composted first. The composting process takes one to two months and would have to be done in separate batches. Quite simply it is too expensive for anyone to go through the effort of collecting and composting the manure and letting it sit for a couple of months then shipping it to where it is needed when you can just collect it from the nearest cow. Most places that have premium soil for growing crops also offer great pastures so you are far more likely to be near cattle than chickens or hogs. 

 

Even if you were somehow able to make chicken and hog manure available for organic farmers I would doubt you have enough to sustain a large organic market (say if th US tried to be 75% organic, currently we are 1-2%). Also I would like to highlight your point about the manure causing water pollution, manure while "organic" can really make a mess of the water system and can transmit more diseases than chemicals. There is more than one way to pollute. 


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OK, shall we do electric

OK, shall we do electric cars next?

 

First up is just where do they think the electricity is coming from in the first place? If anyone answered “the same place all the other electricity comes from” then they win a prize. Electric cars just shift the problems into another domain. That and they add all of the normal line loss and other inefficiencies. Ever hear power line humming in the summer time? Care to guess what causes that?

 

Then there are the batteries. They require large amounts of nickle. Well, hybrids can get away with a fairly small battery but they still need enough of the stuff to partially offset any gains from using hybrid technology.

 

Of course nickle is strip mined. That and it generates nickle tetracarbonyl as a byproduct of processing. Nickle tetracarbonyl is comparably as toxic as the methylisocyanate that Union Carbide accidentally dumped in Bhopal India 26 years ago but with a much lower vapor temperature. UC is still dealing with shit from that industrial accident today.

 

You could use gel cell batteries but they are heavy enough to cut any car's maximum range and acceleration by a good bit.

 

 

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 Actually in most of the

 Actually in most of the country the electricity wouldn't be able to come from  “the same place all the other electricity comes from" because we are running low on electric production ability and if a massive number of people started charging their cars it would tax the system even more. When I lived in San Diego we had regular rolling brownouts because there wasn't enough electricity. Ironically, Californians will probably be the first ones in line to buy electric cars while at the same time doing everything they can to prevent new power plants from being built.

On the issue of power plants, does anyone seriously believe that the old power plants we have pollute less than brand new power plants would? I'm not really an expert here but I'm quite confident the power industry has new technology available that wasn't around 50 years ago to cut back on pollution. Come out come out wherever you are greenies and explain to me why new power plants are so evil while electric cars are our savior from oil. I know you are there. 

 


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Allow me to qualify my last

Allow me to qualify my last post. When I said the same as, I had the fuel in mind. You still need to burn all of that fossil fuel and probably more due to waste in the electrical delivery system.

 

You are of course right on as far as the idea that we can barely get enough electricity out to people in general today. If we want to have a large investment in electric cars, we are going to have to accompany that with a large investment in the electrical grid.

 

As far as the pollution from those new plants, it bears in mind that we have had strong rules in place for about 30 years now on the allowable pollution from power plants. Yes, newer power plants will benefit from all the research that has happened since the first stack scrubbers were installed. However, stack scrubbers only sequester pollutants before they escape out the flue. You still end up with many tons of contaminated chemicals that need to be dealt with at the end of the process.

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 Skyzersdad wrote:Depends

 

Skyzersdad wrote:

Depends on where you are.  Lived in Tucson.  It has two growing seasons -spring and fall - both too short to grow any commercial crops.  Some crops will not produce unless it freezes hard for long enough to tell the crops there has been a winter.  Some crops won't pollinate unless it stays below a certain temp at night , cj has said more.  Good that you are having a great year in Ohio.  Heard the other day that Russia has cancelled all grain exports this year because of severe drought.  Major upset to the NGOs in Asia.  American grain is more expensive and costs more to ship.  Storm damage to ports will do as much to disrupt food shipments.

See my reply to cj. Crops failing isn't new. 

Skyzersdad wrote:

Rise in sea level - three points.  1. Glaciers/ice caps melting.  No change from sea ice, rise comes from melting of land ice.  I cannot remember how many feet (3 I think) from simple loss from land ice alone. 

Do you realize how big the oceans are? There isn't that much glacial ice left. Also you have to account that not all glaciers melt directly into the ocean. They often form lakes. Any legitimate scientist I have talked to says the ocean is currently rising at a level of millimeters per year the number I hear is 3-4 mm. That means 1 foot of rise over one hundred years if that trend continues.  

Skyzersdad wrote:
 

3. Ice weighs a lot.  As the ice comes off of Greenland and Antarctica, the land mass rises - along with the adjacent sea floor - which displaces ocean water.   Total expansion is the sum of all three.

 

It doesn't matter how much ice weighs. Yes, ice melting into the ocean causes more water no one is disputing that. What I am disputing are the exaggerated claims that somehow all this ice melting is going to give me oceanfront property in Ohio.  

Skyzersdad wrote:

Actually they have been getting both a combination of stronger and more frequent over the last 100 years.  Total amount of energy transferred is way up.  SeeThe Weather Makers by Tim Flannery published 2006.  And just wait until all of the ice is gone from the poles. Melting that ice requires a huge amount of energy.  No more ice to melt, and the temperature rises faster yet.

Not wasting more money on another one of your books until I read the last one you recommended. Go get Collapse by Jared Diamond, it is a book that studies how and why civilizations have collapsed. It is amazing how many collapsed due to climate change thousands of years ago.

I am at best a casual observer when it comes to storms. However, I do recognize that are recorded history weather is merely a blip in the history of the world. The amount of solid data we have seems too insignificant to be drawing radical conclusions. Especially when people make these radical predictions and when the time arrives nothing happens. Remember, all these same geniuses were convinced we were headed for another ice age in the 70's. Although, I have heard serious discussion (without random doomsday predictions) among scientists that the Earth is nearing the peak of a warming cycle and will begin cooling down. I am not qualified to really have an opinion one way or the other. 

Skyzersdad wrote:

Don't need 80% casualties from disease - Make people sick, they become more susceptible to other killers.  Tropical diseases are controlled by temperature, either directly or through their intermediate hosts.  And there are no vaccines for stuff like Malaria.  Loss of vitality and productiveness can be as big a killer over time as any disease.

And areas with Malaria are already struggling with it. There are already so many damn bugs in the tropics more heat isn't going to make a substantial difference. People die from malaria today and arrogant pricks in the "enlightened" first world countries flip out when they clear out trees and vegetation to keep bugs away from where they live and don't even talk about spraying pesticides around where they live. Even while here in America we chop down trees to have pretty golf course lawn and mosquito fogging is common in urban areas and we don't even need it in the US, we have drugs to treat malaria readily available. That is what really pisses me off about the green movement. They are totally oblivious to the number of people who are dieing every year because of their crazy ideas while they sit in comfort and ignore their own preachings. (Not necessarily throwing you in the arrogant prick category don't know you well enough yet, I would say Al Gore is a good example) 

Skyzersdad wrote:

And we people have been mining the rain forests for decades.  They are down to something like 20% of their historic size.  Species look to be disappearing faster than we can discover them.  Photosynthetic production falls off over about 25 degrees celsius.  Rainfall is the driver for rain forests.  And rain forests alter their local weather to produce that heavy daily rainfall.  What is expanding are the deserts.

Do you have any evidence whatsoever? 20%? Thats a BS number even the crazies haven't gotten to yet. Trees are a renewable resource. They grow back. And in the rain forest they grow back quickly. For people who live there, it is a constant battle to fight back the jungle. So, you are arguing that we are going to have more storms and rainfall but less rainfall. Good way to hedge your bet. Go visit the Amazon and then tell me how we are chopping the whole place down.   

Skyzersdad wrote:

The numbers I have seen indicate that we are running up on the highest annual temperatures in human history.  They are being driven up by the highest global atmospheric levels since the last ice age.  Because of the lag in the system, we have not even seen what is already in the pipeline.  Unless you have some magic in your pocket, it will not get cooler very soon.

We don't have temperature information for all of human history. Basically we know what happened in the 20th century, not even a decent sample size compared to human history let alone the history of the world. And, as you so graciously pointed out, we had an ice age, that means it has been warming for all of human history. Why is it suddenly a problem when it hasn't been for 20000 years?

Skyzersdad wrote:

Not much point.  If I live the normal span for my family, I will die around 2050 if not earlier.  Maybe you can work a deal with my grandson.  He is the one I am worried about.

Yeah, I would be pretty old too. I notice the guy who made the crazy prediction is almost 100 himself. How convenient, he will be dead before he is proven wrong. 

Skyzersdad wrote:

I don't think anyone truly grasps how dependent we are on our infrastructure or how little it will take to trip it up.  I think it was first brought home to me by the first of the "Connections" series by James Burke.  I think it was the last video in the first series.  You are right, few will die from the warming alone.  How many will die in Pakistan when the glaciers are gone from the Himalayas?  Pakistan has no fresh water of its own.  It depends on what India chooses to send it.  When the rivers flowing into India begin to fail, what is the likelihood India will continue to send water to Pakistan?  And remember both parties have nukes.  Even a limited exchange between the two would have large effects. I think it was Scientific American recently had an article about that.

I don't think most people truly grasp how tough our world is. Mother nature will kick our ass any day of the week. Now if you want to argue that at some point in the next couple hundred years there will be a worldwide nuclear war that will kill a lot of humans I would find that plausible. Although, it is far more likely it will be caused by religious zealots than anything else. Might there be situations where water and food distribution become challenging? Yes, there already are. People die on this planet every day because of lack of food and good drinking water. Are they challenges that will lead to the near destruction of the human race? No.  

 


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Y2K

I had to think about this one.

 

Remember Y2K?  I sure do.  I started 1999 working for a county health department and finished 1999 working at a small private company.  I was sole IT support at both, they were about the same size - 50 employees give or take and 2 Novel servers, early internet access.  Being the only IT person around, I was not only responsible for assessing and ensuring the local network was going to make it into the new century, I was also considered the font of all Y2K information about the IRS, the local electricity company, and so on.

And then Y2K was a bust - nothing happened.  The electricity continued to work, Social Security checks arrived on time, the servers didn't even hiccup.  Why?  Because a lot of IT people worked their asses off.  I didn't write any of the patches, but I researched and applied and tested and read vendor web sites searching for any information about yet another patch that needed to be applied before 12:01 Jan 1, 2000.  I didn't need to, but I knew IT people who stayed at work until after midnight on that Jan 1.  Checking and rechecking systems to ensure all was correct and no one would have problems the next day.  And very few people had problems.

It really could have been the big deal some people were making it out to potentially be.  If those patches had not been created, distributed, implemented, the servers would have crashed.  The lights would have gone off.  It was not an exaggeration.  Not ever.  The gloom and doom people were correct.  Those patches were critical and it could have been a hell of a mess.  Go back to paper invoices and receipts?  Most companies had got rid of them years ago.  The health department I worked at had one typewriter and it was electric.  Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) owns and operates almost every dam on the Columbia River - and they are all controlled by computer anymore.  The banks?  Hah, just try to make a transaction of any sort without computers now a days.  Would we have survived?  Yes.  Would it have been a disaster? You bet.

Personally, I like to avoid disaster whenever I can.  Better to figure out how to avoid it if at all possible and then do that to avoid it.  We have passed that point on global climate change.  There is no avoiding it now.  So let's try to figure out what we can do to survive.  What are the worst cases and how do we anticipate and mitigate the problems.  If we do it right, most people will say, "ah, it wasn't really necessary to do all that - look, everything is okay."  Just like Y2K.

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

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 Yes, but with Y2k you had

 Yes, but with Y2k you had a very specific describable problem with very specific fixes. With global warming you have audacious claims pulled out of thin air (kind of like god). If what Skyzersdad believes is true, that 80% of us will be dead within the next 80 to 90 years it is too late for us to do anything anyways. Right now it seems that most global warming theorists believe global warming is caused by CO2. Humans only create 3-5% of CO2 emissions on the planet. If things are so far gone and warming creates more warming as they say it is too late. Even if we stopped existing. So we might as well enjoy our last century. Personally I think it is BS and put it in the same list as all the religious nuts who have been saying judgement day is coming. 

Again, I go back to the most obvious answer that global warming is happening. We know for a cold hard fact that the globe warming is not a new phenomenon. It has been happening for 20000 years. It seems unlikely to me that our activity over a few hundred years has made a measurable difference. Even if we could stop global warming, should we? If the planet is going through a natural cycle of warming and cooling as we know it has done in the past, what kind of a mess could we make if we successfully interrupted that cycle?

Then when the supporters of the doomsday scenario throw out statements that are demonstrably false like the rainforest is 20% its historical size  or the deserts are expanding or this years hurricane season will be the worst ever then are mysteriously silent when it doesn't happen. Then when some weather incident happens the jump up and down and say it is only because of global warming when we know similar weather events have happened throughout history. Well, it makes me question their credibility. 


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Beyond Saving wrote: Yes,

Beyond Saving wrote:

 Yes, but with Y2k you had a very specific describable problem with very specific fixes. With global warming you have audacious claims pulled out of thin air (kind of like god). If what Skyzersdad believes is true, that 80% of us will be dead within the next 80 to 90 years it is too late for us to do anything anyways. Right now it seems that most global warming theorists believe global warming is caused by CO2. Humans only create 3-5% of CO2 emissions on the planet. If things are so far gone and warming creates more warming as they say it is too late. Even if we stopped existing. So we might as well enjoy our last century. Personally I think it is BS and put it in the same list as all the religious nuts who have been saying judgement day is coming. 

Again, I go back to the most obvious answer that global warming is happening. We know for a cold hard fact that the globe warming is not a new phenomenon. It has been happening for 20000 years. It seems unlikely to me that our activity over a few hundred years has made a measurable difference. Even if we could stop global warming, should we? If the planet is going through a natural cycle of warming and cooling as we know it has done in the past, what kind of a mess could we make if we successfully interrupted that cycle?

Then when the supporters of the doomsday scenario throw out statements that are demonstrably false like the rainforest is 20% its historical size  or the deserts are expanding or this years hurricane season will be the worst ever then are mysteriously silent when it doesn't happen. Then when some weather incident happens the jump up and down and say it is only because of global warming when we know similar weather events have happened throughout history. Well, it makes me question their credibility. 

 

Well, the number I found is 60% of the world's rain forests have been destroyed, leaving 40%.  The problem is compounded in that the forests are not being replanted but are burned out then crops are planted.  No new trees allowed.  http://www.nature.org/rainforests/explore/facts.html

(I am well aware Nature Conservancy has an agenda.  I did check more than one site and they all say the same thing.  Some by percentages, some by acreage - which I'm guessing they pulled off of satellite data, though I couldn't find any original data.)

Another point is that trees may not grow even if replanted.  I was told that when forest biologists out west examined second growth forests, that you might get some regrowth every 20-25 years.  That is, young trees are unable to grow every year.  The weather conditions have to be just so as do the soil conditions.  I read in the local newspaper how very important soil organisms are to tree growth and health and logging disturbs the soil enough to retard forest recovery.  I think about my own garden and how I will sometimes have to try two - three - more - different varieties of plant in order to find one that will actually grow in a particular spot in the yard.  So I have no problem believing that trees will not just sprout up every year in every area.

For discussions on CO2 and climate change, I find this site to be very informative:  http://www.realclimate.org/ 

I am not an expert on the subject, refuse to pretend to be, and the contributors to Real Climate do climate modeling for their day jobs.  Feel free to argue with them about CO2, the source of the current CO2 increases, and the effects there of. 

Briefly - Scientists analyzed the carbon isotopes in the atmosphere which indicate the extra carbon is from fossil fuels.  http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2004/12/how-do-we-know-that-recent-cosub2sub-increases-are-due-to-human-activities-u...

Scientists use ocean sediments, ice cores, tree rings, corals, paleo-pollen, and so on to supplement their data on paleoclimatic conditions.  http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006/04/addendum-to-a-mistake-with-repercussions/#more-289

What you are not getting with the comparison to Y2K is that the problem was incredibly messy - not all internal hardware clocks compute the date the same way.  Not all operating systems compute the date the same way.  Not all applications compute the date the same way as the internal clock, the operating system or other applications.  Yeah, you had a day for a target - and then your work was mostly done - except Microsoft Excel which they put off fixing until after they had taken care of Y2K.  (Excel was good until 2035.)

We can do something.  We can anticipate problems.  We can get off of fossil fuels.  We can look at our own lifestyle and see what we can do for ourselves and for the planet.  It is less expensive - if you use less gasoline, you are spending less money.  If you are drying clothes on a clothesline instead of in a dryer, it is less expensive.  I know you can't in your present situation.  And I can't every day of the year - not in Portland, OR.  But you do what you can.  One foot in front of the other.

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

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Personally, my instincts are green

 

But I think humans will not make an effort to change until we are personally threatened. Then we'll be smugly running about with flaxen shopping bags, using friction to keep warm and

riding to work on our penny farthings like the pack of total wankers that we are.

 

 

 

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Atheistextremist wrote:But I

Atheistextremist wrote:

But I think humans will not make an effort to change until we are personally threatened. Then we'll be smugly running about with flaxen shopping bags, using friction to keep warm and

riding to work on our penny farthings like the pack of total wankers that we are. 

 

Very like Y2K.  Organizations did not get off their duffs and spend money on fixes until 1995 - and later.  A few didn't have fixes out until mid-late 99.  The general public were not all panicked about it until mid 99.  I figure climate change will be similar unless we can convince people it is in their own best selfish interest to go green.

It does cost less to have a more fuel efficient vehicle.  And appliances, and insulation, and windows, and etc......  It's an open market for alternative energy sources.  Get out there and get entrepreneuring - you too, could make a young fortune. 

There are lots of ideas out there now - some won't make it, some will.  I think the solar panels that cover open parking lots with connections so electric vehicles can plug into the cover to recharge is a great idea.  But the solar panel road ways - ummmm - maybe not.  Maybe I'll be proven wrong.

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.


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I agree this green stuff is doable

 

Younger bro and I have a classic wattle and daub farm house built 1830s with rainwater tanks, wet back stove that heats house and hotwater, wraparound verandahs, shutters and all the rest of the sensible stuff. It's oddly cool in summer - up to 15 degrees cooler than the outside air - and stays warm once it is warm. A garden, a greenhouse and a few hoggets and a calf and you could battle by. Funnily, the fundamentals of the place are virtually identical to olden times with the exception of electricity for light, modern electrical appliances and water pressure from a Davey. We even use the original, underground, brick and mortar water tank. We think solar panels and 4 or 6 deep cycles would manage our long weekend needs. It's nearly worth it now. Power in country Australia is expensive given the huge distances with nothing in between. Trouble is in Oz everything is silly expensive. A proper solar/wind system is 25k-plus - and up to 40k if you want to run a modern house in the normal way. You need to recycle batteries, of course. And you need a solar powered glider to get around in.

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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cj wrote: Well, the number

cj wrote:

 Well, the number I found is 60% of the world's rain forests have been destroyed, leaving 40%.  The problem is compounded in that the forests are not being replanted but are burned out then crops are planted.  No new trees allowed.  http://www.nature.org/rainforests/explore/facts.html

(I am well aware Nature Conservancy has an agenda.  I did check more than one site and they all say the same thing.  Some by percentages, some by acreage - which I'm guessing they pulled off of satellite data, though I couldn't find any original data.)

Finding real data when it comes to the rainforest is ridiculously difficult. If 60% was destroyed, exactly which country was it destroyed in? If that much destruction has actually taken place it should be pretty easy to point somewhere and say "Look, this whole area used to be rainforest." As someone who has traveled the Amazon, what I was told my entire life simply doesn't add up. It is still rather sparsely populated and the clear cutting is nothing other than people trying to make a living. In the US, we cut down a lot of trees in the 19th century for our needs and to fuel the economy. Then we turn around and tell these 3rd world countries they can't do the same thing? Because we somehow believe that them cutting down trees is going to destroy the world? Simply put, if we successfully stopped them those people would die. And that is where the $%^#& Green movement really starts to piss me off.

cj wrote:
 

Another point is that trees may not grow even if replanted.  I was told that when forest biologists out west examined second growth forests, that you might get some regrowth every 20-25 years.  That is, young trees are unable to grow every year.  The weather conditions have to be just so as do the soil conditions.  I read in the local newspaper how very important soil organisms are to tree growth and health and logging disturbs the soil enough to retard forest recovery.  I think about my own garden and how I will sometimes have to try two - three - more - different varieties of plant in order to find one that will actually grow in a particular spot in the yard.  So I have no problem believing that trees will not just sprout up every year in every area.

Agreed, and new growth forests can be very different from old growth which is not always bad. You get different plants and different types of animal habitat. Some animals prefer new growth witch tends to be denser and contain more brush, while others prefer more mature forests. Every forest and jungle left unmaintained goes through a cycle. Often, natural forest fires burn down huge sections and certain plants will only start growing after a good fire. These massive fires also create a heck of a lot of CO2.

I didn't really want to get into an argument on CO2 levels because like you I am far from an expert and people a heck of a lot smarter than me carry on arguments that I barely understand. It is more of a question of which scientist are you going to believe? The side that says it is a natural process simply makes a lot more sense to me. And when the side claiming we are causing global warming tends to use wild predictions that don't come true I am less inclined to trust them. 

cj wrote:

We can do something.  We can anticipate problems.  We can get off of fossil fuels.  We can look at our own lifestyle and see what we can do for ourselves and for the planet.  It is less expensive - if you use less gasoline, you are spending less money.  If you are drying clothes on a clothesline instead of in a dryer, it is less expensive.  I know you can't in your present situation.  And I can't every day of the year - not in Portland, OR.  But you do what you can.  One foot in front of the other.

Sure, and I am all for using less gas. Who isn't? If you can give me the same car and it gets 70 mpg instead of 20 mpg I'm going for the 70. Who wouldn't? And actually I clean my clothes by hand every week, mostly because the washers and driers in hotels are extremely rough on clothes. I got sick of buying new clothes all the time. If for no other reason, economics encourages people to use less energy. At the end of the day, we are not going to get 100% off of fossil fuels. We are not going to stop producing CO2. You produce it when you breathe. I don't really have any problem with people wanting to pollute less. I would argue that air and water pollution is a far more immediate problem than global warming but either way less pollution is good. Let's build more nuclear power plants. Lets build newer power plants that pollute less. Remove the safety regulations that have made cars heavier and thus less gas efficient. So even though I doubt the global warming wackos, I still support polluting less and live a life with a smaller impact than all those hypocrites on tv telling me to pollute less.  


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 Just a quick little

 Just a quick little humorous side note, the most common crop that the Amazon is being cut down to grow is soybeans. 

Yep, Tofu the food of greenies everywhere. Save the rainforests, eat beef from Kansas. It is especially fun to notify a greenie of this little factoid while they are eating their soy burger. 


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Beyond Saving wrote: Just a

Beyond Saving wrote:

 Just a quick little humorous side note, the most common crop that the Amazon is being cut down to grow is soybeans. 

Yep, Tofu the food of greenies everywhere. Save the rainforests, eat beef from Kansas. It is especially fun to notify a greenie of this little factoid while they are eating their soy burger. 

 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

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Beyond Saving wrote: See my

Beyond Saving wrote:


See my reply to cj. Crops failing isn't new.

Crops failing is not a new phenomena - neither are famines.  Widespread crop failures coupled with a breakdown in transport infrastructure and a normal amount of competitive urge to run up profits and you have famines.  We haven't had any here (U.S.) but famines kill a lot of people when/where they do occur.  Moreover, brain damage to the survivors - children esp - reduces the ability of the survivors to recover.

Skyzersdad wrote:

Rise in sea level - three points.  1. Glaciers/ice caps melting.  No change from sea ice, rise comes from melting of land ice.  I cannot remember how many feet (3 I think) from simple loss from land ice alone. 

Beyond Saving wrote:
Do you realize how big the oceans are? There isn't that much glacial ice left. Also you have to account that not all glaciers melt directly into the ocean. They often form lakes. Any legitimate scientist I have talked to says the ocean is currently rising at a level of millimeters per year the number I hear is 3-4 mm. That means 1 foot of rise over one hundred years if that trend continues. 

Yes I realize how big the oceans are.  That is why even a small amount of thermal expansion (.00015 cm/degree C between 15 to 16 degrees C) results in a large rise in sea level.  Yes we are losing/have lost middle and low latitude glaciers at a rapid rate.  Greenland still has most of its ice - as much as three miles thick in the middle - though the melt rate there has speeded up dramatically of late.  Ice melt in Antarctica has yet to increase in the interior although melting of sea ice on the western half has increased.  Yes, especially on interior glaciers, the melt water forms lakes.  Which proceed to melt through the underlying ice and drain under the glaciers to the sea.  Thereby speeding up the movement of the glaciers to the sea - where they break off and melt.

Skyzersdad wrote:
 

3. Ice weighs a lot.  As the ice comes off of Greenland and Antarctica, the land mass rises - along with the adjacent sea floor - which displaces ocean water.   Total expansion is the sum of all three.

 

Beyond Saving wrote:
It doesn't matter how much ice weighs. Yes, ice melting into the ocean causes more water no one is disputing that. What I am disputing are the exaggerated claims that somehow all this ice melting is going to give me oceanfront property in Ohio.
 

It very much matters how much ice weighs.  Melt five kilometers of ice cap off of a major land mass like Greenland or Antarctica and the land bobs up, along with the surrounding sea bottom.  That displaces the water over it and the sea level globally goes up.  I haven't heard it discussed, but I expect there will be some geological popping and creaking associated with this process, with attendant tsunami activity through the North Atlantic and Southern Oceans.

No, I haven't seen anything to indicate new oceanfront in Ohio, but I certainly wouldn't be surprised at new sea bottom in Florida and Bangladesh. 

Beyond Saving wrote:

Not wasting more money on another one of your books until I read the last one you recommended. Go get Collapse by Jared Diamond, it is a book that studies how and why civilizations have collapsed. It is amazing how many collapsed due to climate change thousands of years ago.

 

Your choice to buy.  cj had some good suggestions about how to use your library systems.  Read Collapse some time back.  My recollection was that a few societies collapsed due to climate change (Vikings in Greenland) but most of them collapsed due to human driven environmental damage.

Beyond Saving wrote:

I am at best a casual observer when it comes to storms. However, I do recognize that are recorded history weather is merely a blip in the history of the world. The amount of solid data we have seems too insignificant to be drawing radical conclusions. Especially when people make these radical predictions and when the time arrives nothing happens. Remember, all these same geniuses were convinced we were headed for another ice age in the 70's. Although, I have heard serious discussion (without random doomsday predictions) among scientists that the Earth is nearing the peak of a warming cycle and will begin cooling down. I am not qualified to really have an opinion one way or the other.

It is called proxy data.  Compare the data you do have with longer scale data - like tree rings, ice cores, geophysical data - and you can extend the time-line out a long ways with reasonable confidence.  The radical predictions are happening.  Part of it is happening in places that you don't go to very often and part of it is that it is happening slowly enough you don't notice it personally.  It is sort of like boiling a frog.  I remember the predictions of another ice age back in the 70's.  I also remember that the number of computers capable of running detailed climate models were non-existent in the 70's too.


Beyond Saving wrote:

And areas with Malaria are already struggling with it. There are already so many damn bugs in the tropics more heat isn't going to make a substantial difference. People die from malaria today and arrogant pricks in the "enlightened" first world countries flip out when they clear out trees and vegetation to keep bugs away from where they live and don't even talk about spraying pesticides around where they live. Even while here in America we chop down trees to have pretty golf course lawn and mosquito fogging is common in urban areas and we don't even need it in the US, we have drugs to treat malaria readily available. That is what really pisses me off about the green movement. They are totally oblivious to the number of people who are dieing every year because of their crazy ideas while they sit in comfort and ignore their own preachings. (Not necessarily throwing you in the arrogant prick category don't know you well enough yet, I would say Al Gore is a good example)

I am not talking about tropical diseases expanding in the tropics, I am talking about them spreading into the temperate regions.  Last I heard there are significant efforts to distribute DDT impregnated mosquito nets in areas with Malaria.  They look to be effective while using the absolute minimum of pesticide.  I agree with you entirely about the rest of this section.

Beyond Saving wrote:

Do you have any evidence whatsoever? 20%? Thats a BS number even the crazies haven't gotten to yet. Trees are a renewable resource. They grow back. And in the rain forest they grow back quickly. For people who live there, it is a constant battle to fight back the jungle. So, you are arguing that we are going to have more storms and rainfall but less rainfall. Good way to hedge your bet. Go visit the Amazon and then tell me how we are chopping the whole place down.  

I stand corrected - 40%.  Much of it badly fragmented, but 40%.  Trees are a renewable resource - if you make the effort.  Clear cutting and converting the forests to grass land or annual crops does not regrow the trees.  Rainforest trees do recover quickly if the logging is select cutting or small openings as for small scale slash and burn agriculture.  Even temperate rain forests don't recover from clear cutting and the attendant loss of soil fertility.  I have not visited the Amazon, but I have visited what was and now used to be temperate rainforest in the Pacific Northwest.  And yes, to a large part, we have cut almost the whole place down.  Trees are replanted here (usually) but only the species the loggers think will be marketable when they get big enough for the pulp mills.  Nothing like the balanced ecosystem that was there in the first place.

Skyzersdad wrote:

The numbers I have seen indicate that we are running up on the highest annual temperatures in human history.  They are being driven up by the highest global atmospheric levels since the last ice age.  Because of the lag in the system, we have not even seen what is already in the pipeline.  Unless you have some magic in your pocket, it will not get cooler very soon.

Beyond Saving wrote:

We don't have temperature information for all of human history. Basically we know what happened in the 20th century, not even a decent sample size compared to human history let alone the history of the world. And, as you so graciously pointed out, we had an ice age, that means it has been warming for all of human history. Why is it suddenly a problem when it hasn't been for 20000 years?

See proxy data above.  It is a problem because it is being driven by the human caused increase in green house gases and the long lag time in the response of the system.  Let me tell you a story to demonstrate. 

Years ago, shortly after the Boeing 727 was introduced there were a number of crashes of the 727.  They all were on final approach in clear air.  The planes just stalled and crashed short of the runway.  When they finally figured out the causes, it was a combination of three things.  1. Perfect wings.  The wings were highly efficient and would stall without giving the warning flutter of earlier aircraft.  2. Pilot error.  All of the pilots involved had barely passed their certification for the aircraft and when they could see the runway they quit looking at the instruments, let the airspeed bleed off and when the aircraft began to drop below the glide path, they raised the nose rather than look at the instruments and throttle up.  3. Lag time.  On that design, there was a 10 second lag between advancing the throttles and an increase in thrust.  By the time the pilot did look at the instruments, realized he was in a full stall and throttled up, it was too late.

We are doing much the same thing with climate change.  Early changes are subtle, our understanding is primitive and we aren't watching (or don't believe) the instruments and the lag time between realizing the problem and taking effective action may be enough for the system to crash.

Beyond Saving wrote:
Yeah, I would be pretty old too. I notice the guy who made the crazy prediction is almost 100 himself. How convenient, he will be dead before he is proven wrong.

I am guessing he would be delighted to be proven wrong.

Beyond Saving wrote:

I don't think most people truly grasp how tough our world is. Mother nature will kick our ass any day of the week. Now if you want to argue that at some point in the next couple hundred years there will be a worldwide nuclear war that will kill a lot of humans I would find that plausible. Although, it is far more likely it will be caused by religious zealots than anything else. Might there be situations where water and food distribution become challenging? Yes, there already are. People die on this planet every day because of lack of food and good drinking water. Are they challenges that will lead to the near destruction of the human race? No. 

Not worried about the earth surviving - or even life on earth.  Maybe even humans - in vastly reduced numbers.  Won't take a global nuclear war.  Even a "small" exchange - say between Pakistan and India would be a mess with global consequences.


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Skyzersdad wrote:It is

Skyzersdad wrote:

It is called proxy data.  Compare the data you do have with longer scale data - like tree rings, ice cores, geophysical data - and you can extend the time-line out a long ways with reasonable confidence.  The radical predictions are happening.  Part of it is happening in places that you don't go to very often and part of it is that it is happening slowly enough you don't notice it personally.  It is sort of like boiling a frog.  I remember the predictions of another ice age back in the 70's.  I also remember that the number of computers capable of running detailed climate models were non-existent in the 70's too. 

 And we know from that data that global warming and cooling has happened at extreme levels before several times. We know of at least five major ice ages and every time it has warmed back up. So if we know that it happened before what makes us think we could stop it now? Even if we are speeding it up a little we can't stop it. It is no different than if I told you we should stop rain because humans boiling water are causing more rain. And even if we could stop the rain we shouldn't. 

 The ecosystem changes drastically. You referred to the "balanced" ecosystem that is destroyed by logging. Ecosystems by their nature are never balanced in the sense that things remain the same. For example, the relationship between predators and prey is constantly in flux. A high number of predators causes depopulation of the prey. Once the prey is below sufficient numbers to feed the predators the predators die off thereby allowing the prey animals a chance to repopulate. The same dynamic happens between prey and vegetation. It also happens with the forest itself. A lot of dense growth increases the likelihood of forest fires which then turn around and burn everything. Everywhere in nature you can see the ecosystem bouncing back and forth between extremes. It is balanced only in that when one extreme is reached things turn around and start heading the other way. I don't see why the planet as a whole would be any different regardless of what we do.

Even if global warming does lead to all the problems you have stated (which I believe are greatly exaggerated. Florida might end up underwater but not in the next 100 years) We have the technology and intelligence to deal with them as they come. We can grow crops anywhere on the world and even on the moon if we wanted to, a few changes in the climate are not going to shut down farming. Same thing with water. We have the tech to take care of it, it is more a matter of assisting third world countries. But those countries already have a lot of people dieing because there problems run a lot deeper. And generally, the American greenie movement does things that prevent those countries from developing and being self sufficient in the name of stopping global warming or other greenie agenda items.

  

 


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The Greenies Strike Again

 And in other news the UN suggests we all start eating bugs.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/food/article-1301970/GOOD-GRUB-GUIDE-The-UN-says-eating-creepy-crawlies-save-planet---Our-girl-finds-hard-swallow.html

Somehow, this is supposed to save the world and probably stop global warming. No word on how exactly we would farm them at scales large enough to feed the population or what to do if some got free in new environments, bugs are notoriously hard to contain and when released as foreigners to a new environment can have large consequences to the ecosystem. But never fear, the UN is going to save the world since they have nothing to do after creating world peace for the last 50 years. 

Now ants actually taste pretty good, but I'm not willing to give up my steak, are you?


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Beyond Saving wrote: Just a

Beyond Saving wrote:

 Just a quick little humorous side note, the most common crop that the Amazon is being cut down to grow is soybeans. 

Yep, Tofu the food of greenies everywhere. Save the rainforests, eat beef from Kansas. It is especially fun to notify a greenie of this little factoid while they are eating their soy burger. 

That may be the most common crop, but cattle ranching probably takes the cakes as the largest destroyer of the rainforest.