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PostPosted: September 28th, 2010, 10:04 am 
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Hiker Neil wrote:
..... it my associate said in all seriousness, "That would be great, I hate the cold". This is a person with 8 years of post-secondary education.



Obviously educated way beyond his intelligence!! :lol:

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PostPosted: September 28th, 2010, 10:53 am 
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wotrock wrote:
Obviously educated way beyond his intelligence!! :lol:

Thing is, I bet a lot of people feel the same way.

What we're looking at is not a loss of all life on Earth but rather a huge potential change in our species' living conditions. AGW or not, climate change and other changes seems to be the "status quo" around this neck of the universe. Trouble is, we don't do change very well nowadays.

Back to the OP, regarding the IPCC, will any of us here ever "really" know the truth? It's kinda like the Bastarache commission only a wee bit more complex.


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PostPosted: September 28th, 2010, 12:15 pm 
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Will we, as one of earth's dominant life forms, be able to change our ways to stop and even reverse the climate trends?


Actually, Erhard, bacteria are the earth's dominant life form, far more than humans... at least from what I've read from bigger-picture heavies like Stephen Jay Gould, Richard Dawkins, Carl Sagan, Lynn Margulis.

If the world's dominant life forms could be gathered together and weighed, there would more bacteria than any other life form. The total weight of humans would be vanishingly small by comparison along with other dominants - forests, aquatic algae, other green plants, invertebrates.

Bacteria have held dominance over the world for almost four billion years, while complex multi-celled organisms have been around for only 500 million. Humans have only been around for a measly million or so at the most.

Bacteria really don't give a damn whether humans thrive or die out, in fact if bacteria could think collectively, they'd probably be writing op-ed pieces saying, please, please, give us climate warming so we can grow faster and multiply and evolve faster. And so would marine algae and the world's forests and everything green on the world's surface... please, puh-leeze... more CO2, puh-leeze... bring back the good old days when things were a lot warmer so we can absorb that good, good CO2 and grow vigorously like we used to!

It's a pity that the IPCC doesn't consider the needs of the most dominant bacteria and green plants. Humans are all they ever seem to think about. That's conceit for you. On the plus side, Gaia is a tough old bitch (re. Lynn Margulis) and in the long run everything will be fine.

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PostPosted: September 28th, 2010, 12:29 pm 
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Great post FT!

I recently read, "bacteria are a big part of us but we're not a big part of them."

Was it not the Archea who produced so much O2 that they just about went extinct in such a toxic O2-rich environment? Is there a lesson there?


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PostPosted: September 28th, 2010, 12:34 pm 
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Eh, you guys are walking all over my post :o :wink:

And I didn't even say that we are the dominant life form....

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PostPosted: September 28th, 2010, 12:44 pm 
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Erhard wrote:
Eh, you guys are walking all over my post :o :wink:
You'll get over it. :wink:

Erhard wrote:
And I didn't even say that we are the dominant life form....
True.

Quote:
as one of earth's dominant life forms
.

Pretty safe bet to say that H. sapiens has played a role in the shaping of the chemical constitution of the atmosphere, the ground water, freshwater and the oceans and has left a visual imprint on a significant portion of the Earth's surface. We can also take credit for the odd species extinction and habitat destruction.


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PostPosted: September 28th, 2010, 12:46 pm 
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Unfortunately one can easily see the cause / effect Krusty mentions.
Energy conservation has been encouraged for years; we dip into a recession, demand goes down 10+ percent. The utilities all raised rates to meet costs.
I doubt anyone thinks the rate will go down when demand returns?

Scott


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PostPosted: September 28th, 2010, 12:51 pm 
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ScottT wrote:
Unfortunately one can easily see the cause / effect Krusty mentions.

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By conserving we are keeping the global price down, making it possible for that old factory in Indonesia that uses a smoky old 2-banger of an engine to buy and burn more fuel. Better for the planet to burn that fuel in your super-clean spanking new SUV.

...and why would we pretend there is no solution to problems that span different jurisdictions? :o
If you can't see one, let's just state that we need such solutions, rather than wasting earth's resources.

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PostPosted: September 28th, 2010, 12:53 pm 
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Neil,

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Was it not the Archea who produced so much O2 that they just about went extinct in such a toxic O2-rich environment? Is there a lesson there?


Carl Sagan would be capable of describing how many bazillions of tons of oxygen were produced, millions upon millions of years ago... me?

I'm not worthy!


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PostPosted: September 29th, 2010, 5:08 am 
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kingfisher wrote:
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The more an idea challenges our basic belief structure the more likely we are to consider it farceful.

Krusty you're challenging my basic belief structure with your choice of words.
It was a play back to the ironic-ful post that said that if someone doesn't think that the IPCC is a farce it's because they ".. will only consider evidence that suits their biased conclusions". To discount the work of zillions of researchers because a handful of people screwed-up seems to be a way to only consider evidence that suits a biased conclusion. Hence the ironicful-ness of the post.

Erhard wrote:
Good observation, Neil!
Well, he seems to have picked-up the proper use of the word "farceful" but he missed the point of the post: if the fuel is going to be burned anyway it would be better AGW-wise to burn it in a low-emission motor than a high-emission one.


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PostPosted: September 29th, 2010, 10:28 am 
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Krusty wrote:
If the fuel is going to be burned anyway it would be better AGW-wise to burn it in a low-emission motor than a high-emission one.



Why? From a carbon input perspective, the atmosphere (assuming it's reacting to increased carbon) doesn't "care" how efficient the motor is; it only cares how much carbon input there is.

Now, it's better for ME if I burn that fuel instead of someone else; and it's a better use of energy if the same amount of carbon is used to produce more energy. But from a climate perspective, all that really matters is how much carbon is released.


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PostPosted: September 29th, 2010, 1:56 pm 
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Efficiency is nothing more than an optimal amount of work performed per unit of energy consumed. If better efficiency leads to greater fuel savings and thus lower cost, these savings can themselves be turned into into additional work, improved competitiveness and lower emissions (per unit of energy consumed). A win win as far as I see it.

But some, it seems, are not open to this argument? Why ... I am at a mystery to explain.


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PostPosted: September 29th, 2010, 2:50 pm 
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idylwyld wrote:
Efficiency is nothing more than an optimal amount of work performed per unit of energy consumed. If better efficiency leads to greater fuel savings and thus lower cost, these savings can themselves be turned into into additional work, improved competitiveness and lower emissions (per unit of energy consumed). A win win as far as I see it.

But some, it seems, are not open to this argument? Why ... I am at a mystery to explain.

I don't know if you lend credence to the guy from Toronto who wrote the book, Why your world is about to get a lot smaller but he pointed out that efficiency has led to paradoxical increases in consumption. Ie. along the lines of, if the newer motors are 25% more efficient we end up putting them in cars that are so big they consume 50% more energy. And, homes are better insulated so we build them proportionately much larger than the energy savings. And so on. I suppose we would be better off with clean- burning, state of the art, efficient sub-compact cars versus the same in SUV's.


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PostPosted: September 29th, 2010, 3:39 pm 
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Hiker Neil wrote:
I don't know if you lend credence to the guy from Toronto ...

Yep … Jeff Rubin is a regular contributor to liberal blogs like HuffPo … I've heard him on TV and read his stuff in Globe and Mail. He doesn't seem to be making an argument on the pros and cons of different technology … he's just saying price is king. And from an economist, this shouldn't be too surprising.

But there is far more that goes into price than strict supply and demand (particularly when it comes to oil and energy pricing). Actually, this is the sina qua non of energy markets … it's probably one of the most heavily subsidized sectors of modern economies. How could it not be when so much of everything else depends on it … and big energy plays require huge costs in advanced planing, infrastructure development, extremely high initial equipment costs, leasing of land, etc. Wanna make a real argument on the merits of different technologies … open up the books and look at all of the costs associated with energy production (development, mitigation, marketing, remediation, health impacts, securing non-renewable energy resources in unstable regions of world, etc.). Oil and gas have been leveraged and marketed for centuries (and are deeply engrained in our political and social fabric) … we're only a couple of quick decades into renewables and other technologies ... and already we're talking about them lowering the costs for all (as Krusty and others seem to be doing here).

If you're argument is that conservation, efficiency, renewable technologies will lead to cheaper energy costs for all in the long run ... and so we shouldn't do it. Well, I'm not sure what end of your mouth you are arguing from. You can always tax something to raise it's price ... we should have been doing this with oil and gas for decades.


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PostPosted: September 30th, 2010, 6:57 am 
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native brookie wrote:
Krusty wrote:
If the fuel is going to be burned anyway it would be better AGW-wise to burn it in a low-emission motor than a high-emission one.
Why?


The original comparison was about emissions between a new SUV's 4 stroke ICE and a "smoky old 2-banger". An old 2-stroke engine needs lots of oil added to the gas, adding to its carbon output. It also produces more NOx and CO, as well as other nasty pollutants resulting from the incomplete combustion of the gas/oil mix.

idylwyld, it's just hard to not be cynical. In fact there is nothing in your last post that I disagree with. Yes, conservation and efficiency are good things but, as you say, it's more complicated then that. Like the point Neil raised. Will that conserved gas just be burned somewhere else, probably somewhere with more lax environmental regulation than we have? And that gets us into the whole transfer of wealth thing that some say has to happened.

And no, we shouldn't let these and a myriad of other inconvienient truths be excuses to do nothing. We should conserve our resources and use them more efficiently. We have to find ways to price-in the cost of keeping our environment clean. We have to help those least able to afford to do this.

But by we, of course I mean someone else. The rich guys and businesses. And somewhere else too, certainly not in my back yard. :wink:


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