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  #21  
Old 15.02.2007, 15:55
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Re: Planet Earth..standing room only

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irish_famine is an interesting read.
A fantastic 20 times potatoes are mentioned in the article...!
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  #22  
Old 16.02.2007, 10:39
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Re: Planet Earth..standing room only

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We are due something to wipe out a large chunk of civilisation - black plague was the last decent culling nature managed.
.
.
.

We will bring about the end of the world - the question is how and of course when.

And I don't see how it could be avoided.
Tell you what - how about a friendly wager ? I'll pay you 100 CHF in 5 years if 30% of earth's popultaion is wiped out in a plague/global warming/technological meltdown (nuclear war not included). otherwise you pay me 100 CHF.

deal ?
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  #23  
Old 16.02.2007, 10:54
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there was never a famine in a country with free press.
"Let them eat newspaper."

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I'll pay you 100 CHF in 5 years
So you're asking him to bet on when, even though he said in the post that you quoted that nobody knows?

Last edited by evilshell; 16.02.2007 at 11:13. Reason: merged consecutive posts
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  #24  
Old 16.02.2007, 11:31
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Re: Planet Earth..standing room only

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"Let them eat newspaper."

So you're asking him to bet on when, even though he said in the post that you quoted that nobody knows?
you want in ?
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  #25  
Old 09.03.2007, 20:23
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Re: Planet Earth..standing room only

Did any of you watch that channel 4 documentary last night called "The Great Global Warming Swindle"? (well those of you with satellite that is...)

My mate said that he found a torrent for it here.

I'd be interested to hear some comments from people who have actually watched this (as opposed to those that read about it, heard about it from their friend, won't watch it because they disagree with it, etc).

I was initially irritated when it first appeared on the screen. I thought to myself - "how dare they, this stuff is pretty much accepted scientific fact". But I watched it and found many of the arguments seemed to make perfect sense.

A word of caution - even if climate change is not man-made, the climate is still changing regardless - which means an impact to our planet.

There are still plenty of other man-made problems to fret about though - the collapse of our ocean's fish stocks in the near future, our reliance on fossil fuels (which aren't unlimited) and the very seldom reported fact that our world-wide fresh water reserves only have about 30 years before the dry up.

Comments about the documentary are welcome.
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  #26  
Old 09.03.2007, 20:32
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Re: Planet Earth..standing room only

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Did any of you watch that channel 4 documentary last night called "The Great Global Warming Swindle"? (well those of you with satellite that is...)

snip
I've read several articles on this.

Have you ever tried to discuss it sensibly with anyone though?
As you say, it's pretty much accepted as a universal truth.

Note that sea levels didn't rise and temps didn't rise anwhere near as high as the boffins suggested at the end of the 20th century.

And they grew grapes for wine in Scotland in Viking times.
Speaking of Vikings, how do you think they travelled to Greenland etc. Better weather back then, y'know
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  #27  
Old 09.03.2007, 20:36
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Re: Planet Earth..standing room only [climate change discussion]

Found this on a motoring forum.

Very long thread, but more posts since the documentary.
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  #28  
Old 10.03.2007, 15:16
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Re: Planet Earth..standing room only

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My mate said that he found a torrent for it here.
I watched it this morning.

For me, the new information was

1. That CO2 concentration lags temperature by 800 years. I have not been able to find these data on the Net yet. I'd like to see the curves with the uncertainties in time and temperature and CO2 concentration plotted. It might be that the apparent lag is within experimental error.

2. Weather baloon and satellite tropospheric warming data directly contradict the predictions of the greenhouse effect. On this point no graphs were shown. It would be nice to see some graphs of the original data with uncertainties.

3. According to standard meteorology, the main source of weather is the temperature difference between the tropics and the poles. So a warming world would lead to less extreme weather.

Climate change science and the rest of meteorology and climatology are based on the same assumptions (dogma?). Therefore if either of the effects in 1 and 2 above are real (in the scientific sense), then all the climate change models are wrong.

The solar activity explanation for climate change does seem to hold together better than the greenhouse warming one. Of course, it might also be wrong.

Both theories can of course be wrong. But if the IPCC "consensus" is so wrong, I think it must have huge implications for the human race, even wider than those explored in the programme.

Last edited by BeastOfBodmin; 10.03.2007 at 18:15. Reason: %s/meterology/meteorology/g
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  #29  
Old 10.03.2007, 18:08
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Re: Planet Earth..standing room only [climate change discussion]

Yes it was interesting and seemed well argued.

It was a pity there were no supporters of the "conventional wisdom" commenting on the theories expounded.

There were a few weaknesses, for example that without electricity africa was reduced to subsitence existence for ever.

Certainly there is a zealotry about the current flavour of debate over global warming which is scary... esp in the UK right now.

Daniel
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  #30  
Old 10.03.2007, 20:32
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Re: Planet Earth..standing room only [climate change discussion]

George Monbiot, who has done a lot of research on global warming, had this to say about the program:

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So it’s the same old conspiracy theory that we’ve been hearing from the denial industry for the past ten years, and it carries as much scientific weight as the contention that the Twin Towers were brought down by missiles. The programme’s thesis revolves around the deniers’ favourite canard: that the “hockey-stick graph” showing rising global temperatures is based on a statistical mistake made in a paper by the scientists Michael Mann, Raymond Bradley and Malcolm Hughes(11). What it will not be showing is that their results have now been repeated several times by other scientists using different statistical methods(12); that the paper claiming to have exposed the mistake has been comprehensively debunked(13) and that the lines of evidence used by Mann, Bradley and Hughes are just a few among hundreds demonstrating that 20th century temperatures were anomalous.

The decision to commission this programme seems even odder when you discover who is making it. In 1997, the director, Martin Durkin, produced a very similar series for Channel 4 called “Against Nature”, which also maintained that global warming was a scam dreamt up by environmentalists. It was riddled with hilarious scientific howlers. More damagingly, the only way in which Durkin could sustain his thesis was to deceive the people he interviewed and to edit their answers to change their meaning. Following complaints by his interviewees, the Independent Television Commission found that “the views of the four complainants, as made clear to the interviewer, had been distorted by selective editing” and that they had been “misled as to the content and purpose of the programmes when they agreed to take part.”(14) Channel 4 was obliged to broadcast one of the most humiliating primetime apologies it has ever made. Are institutional memories really so short?
Given the huge weight of evidence in favour of the global warming theory it's worth being very sceptical about the, well, sceptics.

Not that I really care. I don't think global warming is going to be a problem. Why not? Well, Mark sez this:

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There are still plenty of other man-made problems to fret about though - the collapse of our ocean's fish stocks in the near future, our reliance on fossil fuels (which aren't unlimited) and the very seldom reported fact that our world-wide fresh water reserves only have about 30 years before the dry up.
Very true. There's actually an even closer deadline looming - we appear to be on the verge of being unable to pump enough oil to meet demand. Prices have tripled since 2003, quadrupled if you count last summer. Now Stuart Staniford has done a careful analysis and extrapolation of Saudi production (the backbone of world production) - the outcome doesn't look good:

http://www.theoildrum.com/node/2331
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  #31  
Old 10.03.2007, 22:16
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Re: Planet Earth..standing room only [climate change discussion]

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George Monbiot, who has done a lot of research on global warming, had this to say about the program:
There is comment about the programme here: Climate Science From Climate Scientists. Reading it now.
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  #32  
Old 11.03.2007, 10:58
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Re: Planet Earth..standing room only [climate change discussion]

Ah Peak Oil - now there's a totally separate can of worms, so much so that it probably does warrant its own thread if anyone wants to run with it. I'll avoid that for the moment because I wanted to share a few other things about aspects of the film.

[Edit - I split the posts concerning peak oil onto their own thread, you can continue peak oil discussions there.]

I haven't started the long and arduous task of googling for specific points to support or debunk certain aspects of that documentatary, but I just wanted to share a few observations that are within the realm of direct understanding (as opposed to most of it which I'd have to go and quote sources for).

Some time ago I was busy calculating my yearly CO2 emissions (so I could go and scold myself and think about ways to do something about it). I calculated around 3 tons of CO2 from the electricity use from my house, 2T from my car and around 4T from plane travel. So excluding the stuff which I can't calculate that was around 9 tons per year.

But then a thought occurred to me - what about my own breath? An average person at rest uses around 1 litre of O2 per minute, and expires 0.9L of CO2 in the same period. Since 1 litre of CO2 weighs 2g it's a fairly simple calculation to figure that my own breath contributes 1 ton of CO2 per year. So I should really revise my total to 10 tons. But what about the animals and fish, there are a LOT more of them than humans.

Now according to this wikipedia page in 2002 the amount of man-made emissions is 24 gigatons. The documentary stated that humans themselves produce 6 gigatons. This sounds reasonable and agrees with my calculations above (6 billion humans, 1 ton each). The documentary said animals account for 150 gigatons (can't verify this, but sounds reasonable based on the above). Then we've also got fish, volcanoes, rotting leaves, etc.

Of course I understand that this issue is a delicate balance and if we produce more CO2 than we can absorb (via forests, plant life, etc) then eventually CO2 levels will continue to rise. On the plus side - we are systematically removing ocean life from our planet, and since this is a huge source of CO2 generation, shouldn't this balance out some of the 24 gigatons we produce ourselves?

In my opinion the whole argument of this documentary hinges on a single point - is CO2 the cause of global warming, or is it simply a side-effect? Is the cart pulling the horse? I think it's a very reasonable question. Nobody argues that the climate is getting warmer, but the question is what is the cause. The sun is without a doubt our source of heat (to state the bleeding obvious) and we all know that the sun is an ever-changing beast, spewing out solar flares, storms raging across its surface etc. Is it not beyond the realms of possibility that changes in the sun affect our climate?

Regarding the big chart in Al Gore's film. If there was a lag (say 800 years) between temperature and CO2 levels, then this lag becomes effectively invisible when you present the data over 650 million years. With this type of horizontal scale of course there will appear to be a correlation (which in itself doesn't prove that one causes the other or vice-versa).

I'll stop there and go into the points about the oceans acting as storage for CO2 in a future post...

Last edited by mark; 11.03.2007 at 11:23. Reason: Added link for new peak oil thread
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  #33  
Old 11.03.2007, 12:00
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Re: Planet Earth..standing room only [climate change discussion]

Peak Oil stuff deleted.

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I haven't started the long and arduous task of googling for specific points to support or debunk certain aspects of that documentatary,
This is a good starting point. Quite impartial in my opinion. Another excellent site for all-round science stuff is physorg.com

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but I just wanted to share a few observations that are within the realm of direct understanding (as opposed to most of it which I'd have to go and quote sources for).

[stuff snipped]

Of course I understand that this issue is a delicate balance and if we produce more CO2 than we can absorb (via forests, plant life, etc) then eventually CO2 levels will continue to rise. On the plus side - we are systematically removing ocean life from our planet, and since this is a huge source of CO2 generation, shouldn't this balance out some of the 24 gigatons we produce ourselves?
It's usually a bad idea to go around sterilising large parts of the planet.

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In my opinion the whole argument of this documentary hinges on a single point - is CO2 the cause of global warming, or is it simply a side-effect?
Indeed. The polemic seemed to go like this:

Debunk the greenhouse effect and therefore ACC.

Show that the climate has been here and worse before.

Invoke the solar radiation model as the real explanation for current warming.

Attack the environmental movement by trying to associate them with frustrated ex-Soviet Bloc activists, anti-industrialism, anti-globalisation and blame them for wanting to keep Africa from developing.

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Is the cart pulling the horse? I think it's a very reasonable question. Nobody argues that the climate is getting warmer, but the question is what is the cause. The sun is without a doubt our source of heat (to state the bleeding obvious) and we all know that the sun is an ever-changing beast, spewing out solar flares, storms raging across its surface etc. Is it not beyond the realms of possibility that changes in the sun affect our climate?
Reading around the solar-stuff-drives-weather issue, the orthodox rebuttal seems to be that the Sun's activity hasn't increased enough to account for the temperature changes. It's a factor, but a small one.

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Regarding the big chart in Al Gore's film. If there was a lag (say 800 years) between temperature and CO2 levels, then this lag becomes effectively invisible when you present the data over 650 million years. With this type of horizontal scale of course there will appear to be a correlation (which in itself doesn't prove that one causes the other or vice-versa).
Turns out this lag is tied in with [url=http://www.realclimate.org/index.php?p=13]ice age termination events[url] that occur every 100,000 years or so. In the present case, we know we are leading temperature change with CO2 levels. A related point was made in the film, namely that CO2 concentrations have been higher in the past. While that may be true, it's never been found that CO2 levels have increased so rapidly. Amongst other things, it may be overwhelming the oceans' ability to buffer the pH changes. Note the dates these were published: 02.07.2005 and 30.06.2005

The Acid Ocean – the Other Problem with CO2 Emission

Oceans turning to acid from rise in CO2

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I'll stop there and go into the points about the oceans acting as storage for CO2 in a future post...
Ocean acidifiction, anyone? Or what about carbon sequestration?
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  #34  
Old 11.03.2007, 14:26
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Re: Planet Earth..standing room only [climate change discussion]

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Oceans turning to acid from rise in CO2

Ocean acidifiction, anyone? Or what about carbon sequestration?
I read that article, and to be honest found it overly alarmist. I wonder what these scientists ate for lunch while they were writing this report? Fish. Their estimates for 2100 are based on the estimates of the IPCC which (according to the channel 4 documentary) are double those of this or previous decades (cumlative effect of 0.5% increase year-on-year compares to 1% means something completely different - 270% versus 160% over 100 years, and that's only man-made co2, NOT the total)

This is a classic example of assumptions being based on assumptions, which are based on assumptions. In the end people forget where these assumptions came from in the first place.

I do find it ironic that we will have destroyed the oceans long before we see any change in pH in the oceans, and due to factors that have absolutely nothing to do with climate change. Why wasn't that mentioned at all?
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  #35  
Old 11.03.2007, 16:44
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Re: Planet Earth..standing room only [climate change discussion]

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I read that article, and to be honest found it overly alarmist. I wonder what these scientists ate for lunch while they were writing this report? Fish. Their estimates for 2100 are based on the estimates of the IPCC which (according to the channel 4 documentary) are double those of this or previous decades (cumlative effect of 0.5% increase year-on-year compares to 1% means something completely different - 270% versus 160% over 100 years, and that's only man-made co2, NOT the total)
I didn't find it alarmist. Note the use of the word "could" in the abstract . I've been unable to find a simple answer to the question "how much CO2 emissions does a given scenario assume per year?". But I did stumble upon the official IS92 data in the form of an Excel spreadsheet.

I did some more checking. The article, which was published in 2005, refers to a Royal Society report published that same year. In the Royal Soc. report, fig. 5, page 10 refers to the IPCC IS92a scenario, which the IPCC itself says should not be used as a single scenario for modelling purposes.

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This is a classic example of assumptions being based on assumptions, which are based on assumptions. In the end people forget where these assumptions came from in the first place.

I do find it ironic that we will have destroyed the oceans long before we see any change in pH in the oceans, and due to factors that have absolutely nothing to do with climate change. Why wasn't that mentioned at all?
Possibly because the article was about acidification of the oceans.
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  #36  
Old 15.03.2007, 13:21
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Re: Planet Earth..standing room only [climate change discussion]

Sorry if any of the points have already been discussed, but I couldn't read thoroughly the whole thread.

I have watched the Channel 4 documentary yesterday and I have found it well made (one thing though, if you want to talk about science you better write CO2 in the correct way, with the "2" as a subscript and not as a superscript, but let's go on) and well argumented.

I have been working in energy research for a few years now, so I have a vague idea of what the numbers are. I have never been really convinced of the CO2=EVIL equation and the arguments presented in the doc made perfect sense to me.

What I didn't really like was the second part, more like a conspiracy theory that has probably some truth behind it but sounded just like all the crap about 9/11 and such (please let's not go OT though). I am not an environmentalist as such and I have never voted green parties, I am for nuclear energy and treehuggers make me sick, because it's easy to go and demonstrate when you know that back home you'll be able to watch yourself on telly nice and warm on the couch made in china.

That said, I DO believe that the battle for renewables is right and has to be fought. Fossil fuels *will* eventually run out and we are in desperate need of energy. It is completely unreal that a single energy source will replace fossil fuels, so we have to make every effort to diversify our energy supplies.

I'll give you a couple of numbers to think about:

1) World need for power is today around 13 TW. To obtain 13TW you need to take a nuclear power plant like the one in Leibstadt (AG), build a new one *every day* and after 27 years you will have such a power production.
2) Let's take a car that uses 6l/100km of fuel running at 100km/h on the motorway. In 10 minutes you'll use a liter of fuel. To produce this liter of gas, nature had to decompose 23tons of vegetal material for a few million years!

Now I have to run, but I hope we can discuss this topic later on. Hope there are no typos either
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  #37  
Old 15.03.2007, 13:27
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Re: Planet Earth..standing room only [climate change discussion]

A good analysis of that documentary:

http://www.medialens.org/alerts/07/0...aganda_the.php

Do also bare in mind that just a few years ago, those people simply denied there was any global warming, now they say there is but it due to the sun spots...
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  #38  
Old 15.03.2007, 21:03
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Re: Planet Earth..standing room only [climate change discussion]

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I have watched the Channel 4 documentary yesterday and I have found it well made (one thing though, if you want to talk about science you better write CO2 in the correct way, with the "2" as a subscript and not as a superscript, but let's go on) and well argumented.
I know, I know - but I couldn't work out how to do a subscript .

When I watched the programme, I took the word of the scientists at face value. It was only later, when looking for rebuttals that I discovered enough to convinve me the programme maker was being less than objective.

Ignoring the politics of the second half, and concentrating on the scientific facts and claims, there are a lot of inaccuracies and exaggerations. I have posted links to a couple of sites earlier.
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  #39  
Old 15.03.2007, 21:52
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Re: Planet Earth..standing room only [climate change discussion]

Haha I was referring to the cartoons in the doc

The link posted by ExoticLatic is very good, I didn't know about many of the facts wrote there.

Nonetheless, I think that having voices against the established theory are always a good thing, when it comes to science.
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  #40  
Old 16.03.2007, 14:41
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Re: Planet Earth..standing room only [climate change discussion]

Well I never, Durkin peppered his documentary on C4 with falsified data...



http://news.independent.co.uk/enviro...cle2355956.ece
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