Climate change talk tonight at Steamboat library

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Past Event

Climate Change in Colorado event

  • Thursday, March 31, 2011, 7 p.m.
  • Bud Werner Memorial Library, 1289 Lincoln Ave., Steamboat Springs
  • All ages / Free

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— When Tom Easley lived in Routt County from 1975 to 1983, he loved to hike and cross-country ski in the hills surrounding Steamboat Springs.

Tonight, he returns to talk about how the nature of those very activities could be changing along with the local and global climate.

Now director of programs for the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization, Easley will appear at 7 p.m. today at Library Hall at Bud Werner Memorial Library in conjunction with Transition Steamboat to present the talk about climate change in our area.

Rocky Mountain Climate Organization is a nonprofit group that partners with local governments — the city of Steamboat Springs included — and Colorado companies to find solutions to climate disruption.

“When a lot of people think of climate change, they think of something that’s happening somewhere else,” Easley said. “But it’s happening in our own backyards.”

Specifically, Easley said to­­night’s talk will concern the water cycle. He said U.S. Forest Service data show a trend of winter shortening by about two weeks from 20 to 30 years ago.

That means snowmelt is happening earlier, as is peak runoff.

The implications of that trend range from affecting the tourism and ski industries to disrupting forest ecosystems.

To work toward a change, Easley said outreach and education, like this presentation, are key.

“The reason it is so important to us is even though folks around the country say they would like to do things like have clean energy and reduce carbon emissions, when it gets right down to the debate over climate change, it’s become such a polarized issue people have a hard time sorting out what is real,” Easley said.

Transition Steamboat member John Spezia said people can decide on their own how to digest the data, but Transition Steamboat hopes for a new energy model for the area that can help mitigate harmful effects on the environment.

“We now have a real clear picture of how change in climate is affecting our local water needs,” he said. “They have got data — it’s not partisan data — and we can see what’s going on. It’s called climate change, and it’s called being more energy efficient.”

Spezia is a friend of Easley’s and helped bring him here for the talk.

He said nonpartisan, educational events like this one can provide a forum for new ideas.

“In conversations like this, you want to get people to the table and tell them first to leave their baggage outside the door and think about the community first,” he said. “The whole community.”

— To reach Nicole Inglis, call 970-871-4204 or email ninglis@SteamboatToday.com

Comments

Fred Duckels 3 years ago

John, If you require baggage left at the door, you will be precluded from participation. Sounds like a progressive indoctrination, sorry to rain on your parade.

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sledneck 3 years ago

Thats basically a way of saying: "Don't come to our church if you don't agree with our religion". I agree that it is quite possible that the climate is changing. However, thats not where these folks end the worship service. No, they preach several further points. First, that it is my (mans) fault that the climate is changing. Even though the climate has changed for thousands of years before man. Second, that man can manipulate the climate of the planet and is duty bound to do so at almost any cost. I don't know how a species who can't keep beetles from killing a forest is supposed to have the intelligence, resources or power to affect GLOBAL ATMOSPHERIC CHANGE but no matter, they're gonna do it! And third, if I disagree with the first 2 then I deserve condemnation to the environmental equivalent of hell for all eternity.

Did I miss anything?

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sledneck 3 years ago

Hee Hee Hee, Brilliant rebuttal. I thought perhaps someone would use facts, data or the trusty quote "it's a settled science" but instead a church member cunningly went right to the typical argument used by religious zealots who have no science behind them... ridiculing non-believers.

It's a religion. Just like all religions its believers excercise faith wherever they lack proof.

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seeuski 3 years ago

And we have the proof of East Anglia's Climategate to show that this is all a hoax meant to take the wealth of Americans through, as Obama put it, "necessarily skyrocketing energy prices" and give it to his Muslim causes worldwide like Mosque building and even using NASA to promote such stuff. We are now funding Hamas and other terrorist groups like the Muslim Brotherhood. All part of the Elitist desires of those like George Soros and their desires for Global Governance.

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Scott Wedel 3 years ago

Sled, Look at Seesuki's post if there is any doubt that it is pointless to try to argue with facts or data. We have played the game of arguing facts before, but when all facts are dismissed as part of the Grand Conspiracy then there is no point continuing the discussion.

It is truly ironic to complain about religious zealots when it is the deniers that have the unshakeable belief of their position and deny all facts that would contradict that belief.

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hereandthere 3 years ago

Great analogy Housepoor. Can just imagine the informed conversation going on at YVB's firepit when that alcohol starts flowing. "look at me Ma, I'm on top of the world!"

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sledneck 3 years ago

I'm not denying that the climate is changing. In fact I would bet on it.

But why should I be alarmed by the continuing occurrance of something that has, without any doubt, been happening for millennia. The Earth has ALWAYS changed; and just ONE good volcanic eruption will have all mankind BEGGING for global warming!

My heart is no more alarmed by climate change than by the changing of the seasons. And who's to say a slightly warmer planet is not benificial for feeding a growing world population?

The religion of choice for todays urban atheists in the western hemisphere is environmentalism. It is a carbon copy of other religions. There's the original state of "Eden", a perfect ,clean environment. The "fall from grace" into a state of "pollution" (replaces sin). All men are energy "sinners" who must seek "sustainability". Sustainability replaces "salvation" in the Church of the Holy Environment. It has everything the Baptists have, including a faith that is unshakeable, even in the face of "facts".

And I am not so sure Seeuski's observation is totally without merit. Anyone familiar with the Hegelian dialectic must admit that "climate change" makes one hell-of-a problem just waiting for a pre-determined state "solution".

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seeuski 3 years ago

I posted facts on the Chicago Climate Exchange and the connection to big Corporations like BP and Goldman Sachs along with George Soros and Maurice Strong a year ago but apparently Scott Wedel only likes facts that come from his man made Global Warming Bible. I have looked at the scientific evidence Scott and I am sorry but when scientists conclude that even if all man made CO2 was ended we would not even lower global temps by 1 degree I have to punt on the proven fudged data that believers like yourself cling to. Maybe I should find the audios and videos of the AGW players in their own words which prove their intentions at wealth redistribution from us to the globe. http://www.globalclimatescam.com/ http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/11/the_evidence_of_climate_fraud.html http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=PressRoom.PressReleases&ContentRecord_id=E58DFF04-5A65-42A4-9F82-87381DE894CD http://www.examiner.com/orange-county-conservative-in-orlando/scandal-obama-gore-goldman-joyce-foundation-ccx-partners-to-fleece-usa

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seeuski 3 years ago

I am all for protecting the air and water and for keeping our communities and land free from pollution but when Chuck McConnell sent a letter into the Pilot about the terrible destruction of raw land at the AZ border caused by illegals these same climate mongers took a completely opposite position, Hypocrites? I think so, and I think it partly proves my contention that this thing is about wealth redistribution and not the climate or the health of the earth.

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the_Lizard 3 years ago

Not to worry everybody, the RMCO is also going to be hosting Steve McIntyre to rebut Tom Easley and offer a more balanced view of AGW. Spezia, Easley's friend, wants this to be a nopartisan, truly educational event. Dontchaknow LOL After all it is April Fools.

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kathy foos 3 years ago

The Union of Concerned Sceintist's believe that there is global warming,I would think it strange if our planet wasn't changing in some way,just as sledneck said.It always changes and we go along on the ride.The tip of the axis is more immediate problem ,but that is an unknown also. I respect anyone that is concerned for the planet,even if that means that I should respect their"unconcerned attitude",which I personally do not hold.The truth is in the middle?We need to change the way things are headed and protect that clean water that YVBoy will drink in the a.m. when he is all hung over.I think that like me and you he has a big case of cabin fever,nothing a few fish and a campfire wont help.(Gosh YVBoy ,you talk of a campfire like its Japans nuclear plants burning)."Your campfire and bear hunting are O.K. with me,just give the creatures a break,there are better issues needing attention than a couple of bears running for their lives(they are cute)but I know they can chew you apart and YVBoy doesnt like to see that either.

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exduffer 3 years ago

Do you suppose if all the naysayers, environmentalists, politicians and Al Gore held their breath for an entire day, that it would help alleviate climate change?

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Fred Duckels 3 years ago

One of the cofounders of Greenpiece left the organizaation because of all the "nuts" it was attracting. I don't know the truth, but the AGW cause was sabotaged by all the propaganda that was debunked. Any true scientist would not be associated with the hoax Al and the boys had going. Much like some religions it is hard to argue with those claiming to have spoken to God. Steve, you have yet to explain the Medievil warming period to me and I understand that you have an old hockey stick for sale. The cap and trade is dead and now the EPA is carrying the torch through biodiversity. Notice the sudden concern lately for Sage Grouse? This will hamper drilling and locally you see gravel pits destroying their habitat. These ideologues will continue to creep into every aspect of our lives, defeat at the polls only whets their appetites.

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Clearsky 3 years ago

It is extremely difficult for stupid people to understand smart people. Sorry for the uneducated cruel stupid people in this world who support the destruction of the only place we call home in this universe instead of trying to make changes for our survival. Global warming has been happening since man first began burning carbon based fuel. It's just lately there are more people and more burning. Exponentially. If the Oxygen cycle were a balanced cycle then there would be no build up of CO2. SIMPLE! The count down is less than 60 years at our present rate of consumption of O2 and the carbon based fuels. Revering Photosynthesis is combustion. Again simple. We need the molecular O2 to provide the Ozone. The absorption of UV radiation is performed by O2 then O3. That is how it works. Peace

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Clearsky 3 years ago

As our atmosphere thins more intensity of the sun's energy will pass through and cause significant damage to all life forms as we know them including ourselves. You old people probably don't care because you will be gone soon. The rest of the human population will be faced with a catastrophe that will have no solution other than going to another planet. Life on Earth will end up like it was before there was sufficient O2 in the atmosphere for life as we know it. Our future is worse than anyone can imagine if we continue burning "fossil" fuels. See what temperature records will be set this summer. See how many more cases of skin cancer will be reported this year. What spf will you be buying this summer? I am using spf100 now.

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Clearsky 3 years ago

Genetic studies indicate that today's human population arose from the Africa area between 100,000 and 160,000 years ago (See Genetic Journey of Man). More genetic testing indicates that we all came from ONE FATHER< based on the marker found in the male chromosome and NINE MOTHERS based on the presence of nine types of Mitochondrial DNA that is distributed throughout our population. That time period coincides with the beginning of the"end" of the Ice Age. Come on people. Photosynthesis is equal to combustion in how many carbons and how many molecular Oxygen are used and produced. It is a balanced process. O2 is what absorbs UV energy and becomes Ozone which absorbs UV at a slightly different wavelength. Use up the O2 and there is less available to become O3. That is why Ozone forms at ground level when it did not 50 years ago.
Support the changes necessary for our survival.

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Scott Wedel 3 years ago

Clearsky, There is no threat about a lack of O2 to make ozone. There is way too much oxygen in the atmosphere for human activity to make any detectable difference. The threat to ozone are CFCs and such that break down ozone.

But when atmospheric levels of CO2 is measured in the Parts Per Million then when burn so much fossil fuels it is entirely expected that atmospheric levels of CO2 are noticeably increasing from 300 PPM towards 400 PPM and if nothing is done then easily 500 PPM. China went from near zero to now emitting more than the USA.

Now the ignorant might say atmospheric gases in the PPM cannot have an effect, but the ozone layer is also measured by PPM (2 to 8 PPM in the ozone layer). Low concentrations of gases can have a big effect because different gases absorb different wavelengths of light. So the ozone layer absorbs well over 99.9% of the UV-B radiation reaching the upper atmosphere prior to it reaching the ground.

Since CO2 absorbs light in the infrared part of the spectrum then increased levels of CO2 is going to trap more heat in the atmosphere. It was calculated before computers that if the atmosphere was only nitrogen and oxygen that global temperatures would average around -40C cooler. It is a relatively straightforward calculation and confirmed by more detailed computer models as well. Thus, the effect of greenhouse gases making our climate above freezing was well accepted before people started worrying about global warming or global climate change.

The tricky part is then trying to predict the actual climate change resulting from the increased level of CO2. Is it a positive feedback loop where CO2 warming causes more water vapor in the atmosphere and further increases the warming? Warmer water can hold less dissolved O2 and how does that affect sea life? We know locally that if the Yampa River flows are too low and hence get too warm that it is very bad for the trout. Or does melting the ice at the poles lead to other effects that tends to stabilize the climate change?

Trouble is that the credible models that show the new climate equilibrium is not that difference also show that sea levels rise and that affects all coastal areas.

Tricky part about specific predictions is that jungles and deserts are both hot places. So are we going to get more deserts or more jungles?

Regardless, it is a lower risk strategy to aspire to emit less CO2.

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exduffer 3 years ago

Uh, would that be ice age #12 or 13 Clearsky?

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sledneck 3 years ago

I have been reading Clearskys doomsday predictions for 2 years. I have yet to be able to get a "clear answer" out of him/her on the following:

  1. What is the exact perfect temperature of Earth? Perhaps it's 2 degrees hotter than the current temp, who knows? Until someone can offer irrefutable proof that global warming is bad then why should I go off half-cocked?

  2. What would have happened if we had tried to ward-off the ice-age that was predicted in the '70's? I know Clearsky is younger (and far smarter) than all us "old" and "stupid" people so he/she does not remember the "70's. Scientists back then told us it was a "sure thing" that another ice age was upon us! What if we had acted on the information that we "KNEW" back then and gone in the exact wrong direction?

  3. If scientists know so much about the future why are so many of them poor? If Iknew the future I would be on Wall st. making billions to contribute to reasearch on how to prevent...

  4. Is it not at least POSSIBLE that global warming is propaganda being used to manipulate the people of earth into surrenderring massive ammounts of wealth, freedom and autonomy to an elite few? Of course its possible.

  5. With all the old dumb people dying and all the young smart people growing up why are we farther in debt than we were when the really old-dumb people were around? Why does the youngest and smartest President ever, elected by the youngest and smartest and most peaceful voters ever, waste our resources on more war? Why hasn't their leader closed Gitmo, dispatched with the wars and entanglements and concentrated on fixing the climate? Why have the smartest, most altruistic voters ever, allowed 2-1/2 years to pass still using fossil fuels, still using forests for homes and still buying oil from religious fanatics? And why, oh why hasn't Clearsky disavowed a heated home, running water, lighting, ski-lifts, fossil powered transportation, etc???

  6. Where can we get some spf 300?

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Clearsky 3 years ago

Photosynthesis produced the O2 and the carbon based fuel we are burning. Combustion is the reversal of Photosynthesis. We are reversing Photosynthesis faster than today's Photosynthesis can keep up. That is why CO2 is building up in our atmosphere. Less O2 less available to become Ozone in the upper atmosphere. Less to absorb UV energy. More damage to DNA of susceptible life forms. Simple chemical equation. How much O2 does a tree produce? As much as it uses up when it decomposes and or burns.

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Scott Wedel 3 years ago

Clearsky, There is no shortage of oxygen to make ozone. There is still 21% oxygen in the atmosphere. CO2 is in the parts per million. So increasing CO2 concentrations to 500 PPM is going to reduce oxygen concentration by .001% which is insignificant compared to the 21% oxygen in the atmosphere.

Please go to Wiki or just about anyplace and learn about these topics.

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sledneck 3 years ago

Clearsky is the High Priest of the Steamboat Springs chapter of the Curch of the Holy Environment.

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the_Lizard 3 years ago

Good humour everyone, great for Sunday morning reading. Clearsky, seriously, terrific comedic timing. All the young, educated, non cruel people still alive in 60 years will be forced to go to another planet unless something is done. I mean, that is really good stuff. Thanks all! ;-)

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Fred Duckels 3 years ago

I'm still waiting for an explanation of the medieval warm period. Self promotion of one's genius is fine but let's back it up. How about it Scott, anyone?

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seeuski 3 years ago

Maybe it's Godfathers pizza that is heating things up? Or the Godfather himself. This just might be the man to end the reign of the Usurper in Chief and cool the planet from the intense heat and trouble that the fake POTUS has caused.

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Scott Wedel 3 years ago

Sledneck, 1) Climate change is almost certainly bad for coastal areas that will need to spend money on tidal barriers and such. It is hard to know if climate change would be "good" or "bad". But an awful lot of money in developed countries has been invested based upon current climate conditions. Air conditioners and heaters are sized based upon current requirements. Cities like Phoenix or Vegas could be far harder to live if they had regular sustained 120+ heat waves.

So the question is not whether climate change is good or bad overall because the bigger concern is that the change will be expensive to deal with.

2) The ice age fear of the 70s was a short lived media hyped story. It was one theory by a few scientists that lacked depth of research and was refuted by further research. Might as well bring up "Cold Fusion", Piltdown man or Loch Ness monster.

Global climate change has been around long enough that there is a wealth of scientific research backing the general theory. It is not a one off media hype.

3) Maybe people drawn to science care more about knowledge than money. If money was the determinant of knowledge and wisdom then you worship at the feet of Buffet and Gates while ignoring monks or priests?

Regardless, money can subsidize research and hype a theory, but eventually the facts win out.

4) Sure there is propaganda regarding global climate change. But there is also the science (all the research papers based upon facts). A reasonably intelligent person can look at the science to determine what is propaganda.

Fred, So yes, scientists recognize there was a medieval warm period that appears to have been followed by a mini ice age. That the root causes are not well understood demonstrates that scientists do not fully understand climate.

But that sort of valid criticism regarding the limits of current knowledge does not mean that science lacks the knowledge to predict that increasing atmospheric CO2 will lead to global climate changes.

Just like we do not know enough about earthquakes to know a 8.9 quake would strike Japan on March 11, 2011, but we do know enough to say that because of plate tectonics that Japan gets more quakes than Colorado.

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George Hresko 3 years ago

This appears to be a relatively civil dialog, so----

My very limited understanding is that buring fossil fuels causes increased CO2 in the atmosphere, and that increased CO2 causes earth temperatures to increase.

What does the current theory say about other effects of increased CO2? Does increased CO2 have beneficial effects, for example promoting faster / increased plant growth? Does current theory contemplate these other effects or is it primarily / only concerned with temperature increases--and of course the effects of those? If the theory doesn't deal with those, why not? For the temperature increases predicted by the theory, how much of an extrapolation is that from current knowledge / experience of the effects of CO2?

Anyone?

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sledneck 3 years ago

Scott, 1. Sure, costal areas will suffer. But places like Vegas need to stop developing anyway. They don't have water. The point was that this is a question similar to the one I posed to you on economics. There are alternate locations that will benifit. And since the benifit in place "A" might equal or even surpass the suffering in place"B" why spend trillions of bucks to fight something that you probably can't prevent anyway.

  1. You admit that global climate change has been around a while. Why not admit that it has been around far longer than humans and their co2 activities?

  2. Buffett and Gates have done far more for mankind than anybody in Washington DC or any extremist environmentalist. Sceintific reasearch takes money.

  3. I have already fully acknowledged that climate change is likely occurring. The gulf between us is not on this issue but the leap from that FACT to the assumptions that: a. man is largely or completely to blame b. man has the power to effect GLOBAL ATMOSPHERIC CHANGE even though he can't stop pine beetles. c. the move to conservation will be fruitful een without the cooperation of most of the developing nations of the world. d. one average geologic event (such as a volcano) won't change the entire picture.

I'm sorry; I am just not willing to volunteer more of my lifes work in the form of taxes, etc for a promise from people who are demonstrble liars that I can save the earth.

George, There is link between heightened co2 and increased plant growth but I am, in no way knowledgeable enough to say what the ratios are. My guess is that different vegetation responds differently. Some of the aspiring new "cultivators" could probably confirm that there is a definite jump in vegetative growth associated with increased co2. In fact, lots of growers pump co2 into their greenhouses for that reason. (and I don't mean just pot growers but all kinds of greenhouses)

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Scott Wedel 3 years ago

George, I think it would be fair to say the greatest effect of increased CO2 is atmospheric warming. It looks like people have looked at the other effects and they do not appear to be that significant.

Plant growth appears to rarely be constrained by CO2. Things like water, sunlight, temperature all are normally far more important. In a sense it is like oxygen and fires, even though there is less oxygen at our altitude does not mean forest fires burn softly.

For the temperature increases predicted by the theory, how much of an extrapolation is that from current knowledge / experience of the effects of CO2?

Well, that is the question at the center of research. It is a heck of a challenge to accurately determine rapid changes in CO2 levels over a few decades in the historical record and determine the resulting worldwide climate change at that time.

The medieval warming period has temperature measurements from around Europe so it is clear enough that part had warming. But it is far from clear whether it was worldwide. Ocean currents may have been stronger moving warmth from equatorial regions to northern regions since some ocean temps declined during this period.

It is also very hard to extrapolate based upon the historical record because this is the only time known to us in which CO2 levels increased by 100 PPM in a century. So to understand the current situations makes us dependent upon ever more sophisticated computer models. Which creates the need for more research to validate aspects of the model because it is pretty clear that modestly different ways of calculating this or that effect can have huge changes in the predictions. So much of climate is feedback loops, some which tend to magnify changes and some which minimize changes.

But the great majority of climatologists agree that human activity is causing atmospheric warming and global climate change. There is simply too much data for them to ignore what is going on.

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seeuski 3 years ago

Keep your eyes open for a scientific paper in the coming months on a years long intensive study on the pine beetle kill by a woman scientist from the front range. I learned from her directly that the event is natural and in no way connected to the nonsense known as AGW or man made global warming which has been debunked. All of the data that has been deemed true and not tampered with indicates that the globe has been in a slight cooling trend over the last 12 years. We are experiencing nothing more than natural climate fluctuations and humans have no power to create or alleviate these phenomena.

The answer to Slednecks question of the perfect temperature for the earth is..... The earths temperatures have been effected by the activities of numerous events over the course of history and there is NO perfect temperature. We are only here for a blink in the life of the earth and its planetary brethren. Anyone who prays at the alter of man caused global warming after all the proof otherwise is one of two things, either ignorant or a part of the global governance conspiracy. Thank you, thank you.

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George Hresko 3 years ago

Sled and Scott-

Thank you for the responses. Sled's comments on CO2 is a bit closer to what I would expect as a mental model. I would think that higher CO2 levels would lead to greater plant growth, but would be very hard to demonstrate in any relatively short-term period, and as Scott said, other factors probably are more important, so their effects would have to be zeroed out..

Scott, I think what you are saying is that all current theory is based on knowledge at much lower levels of CO2 concentrations and mathematical models 'extrapolate' that data to a future concentrations as projections of both temperature rise, and then the consequences of temperature rise--again as extrapolated models. IOW the scientists are trying to take what knowledge we may have and use that to model potential futures--well beyond the level of the existing data. Scott describes the models as sophisticated, and I think complex is the term I would use, with not obvious feedback loops leading to second and third order effects.

Do I have it about right? How many of those complexities in the models have hard data points to anchor them in reality, and how much of those again are significant extrapolations? Maybe a better way of asking is how much is based on experimentally detected cause and effect and how much is simply correlations?

Again, thanks for the responses. My questions are an attempt to understand, not to bait--as may happen from time to time on these blogs:)

Cheers

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sledneck 3 years ago

George's final point kind of gets at what I wish more people understood. How deep and therefore accurate are the studies that tell of this potential problem?

As humans we face a number of threats. Volcanoes, earthquakes, tsunami''s ,etc. But we also fear things that are not worthy of our fear. We have to decide daily which ones are real and which "solutions" we are offered will actually work.

I submit to you all that a number of the things we are told are problems are not real AND the solutions are unnecessary. I believe we are constantly presented with "boogeymen" by those who wish to manipulate. Sadam Hussein, global warming, sea level rise, Moahmar Kadahfi, tobacco, energy drinks, poverty, housing shortage, world population growth, food supply, etc. The list of things we are told to fear is endless.

I wish people would be more skeptical, careful and educated before reacting rashly on the advice of others. Instead, my fellow Americans act like a bunch of "chicken littles" scared that any moment the sky will fall. Whats worse, they seem always ready to believe that governments, regulations and forfeiture of autonomy can cure society's ills even after centuries of evidence to the contrary.

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Scott Wedel 3 years ago

George, Well, I have to see anyone deny the basic calculation that the planet would be 40C cooler if there were no greenhouse gasses. Treating the earth as a simple hunk of rock getting solar radiation and losing heat on the dark side was calculated prior to computers and the answer was verified by computers.

Global climate change from the burning of fossil fuels has been an active part of climatology since the 60s. We have reacted to issues where the science was less proven. The proof that resulted in the banning of CFCs was not as well established. CFCs were banned prior to knowing the science of ozone holes and so on. Nor was it exactly known how the ban would affect the rate of decline of the ozone layer or exactly when it would start recovering. But it is widely accepted that banning CFCs was the right thing to do and that it has helped the ozone layer.

And in many ways the problem is already worse than predicted. Most models did not expect China's CO2 emissions to grow so quickly and expected the rest of the world to do more.

And now some look at the cost of reducing CO2 emissions as being too great so they say that climate change has happened before and all we should do is adjust. That is like saying that living things die so murder should be legal and people should adjust.

The trouble is that the cost of adjusting keeps increasing the longer we do nothing. The coal power plants that are built are not going to have a normal long lifetime because the CO2 emissions are not going to remain free.

The future is wind and solar. Unlike many countries, we have the locations to install both. Unfortunately, we lack the political will to run power lines to these places. So now we are installing windmills in less windy places that are near transmission lines. But we do have the political will to give tax breaks for people to install solar in places that are not that sunny.

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seeuski 3 years ago

"The fundamental question that green energy proponents must answer is this: if green energy is so inevitable and such a great investment, why do we need to subsidize it? If and when renewable energy makes economic sense, profit-hungry investors will build all that we need for us without government needing to lift a finger. But if it doesn't make economic sense, all of the subsidies in the world won't change that fact."

http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=12922

All for a hoax.

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kathy foos 3 years ago

Dont the oil companys get tax breaks,or they used to?If anyone was capable of making money enough to profit without help it would be them.Alternative energy must start up and compete with them?With no tax break or incentives?It will never happen untill the people want it and demand it(pay for it)Peak oil is over,we are on the down hill side now and its no time to ramp up oil production,its time to reserve the remaining supply for truly necessary things in the future and run the car on something else.Straight up,no excuses,going to natural gas in any way just feeds the" out of oil frenzy" to a faster pace.

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seeuski 3 years ago

I would suggest Kathy, that you investigate the truth behind the so called peak oil claims and the true supplies of reserves in just the USA before you fall for the global governance strategy. And as far as tax breaks to oil companies, that is a lot different than our government charging you and me taxes so they can create companies on our dime that fail. These green ideas will stand on their own if and when those technologies produce actual usable energy that can replace fossil fuels, but until then we need fossil fuels to survive.

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seeuski 3 years ago

Here is what truth is up against in the supposed study of the climate.

"But it's a discussion that even the club's members say is meant to be one-sided."

http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2011/04/05/google-wades-global-warming-debate/

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Scott Wedel 3 years ago

Seesuki, if green energy is so inevitable and such a great investment, why do we need to subsidize it?

Um, how about to make it happen sooner. Like if tech is so inevitable then why did government fund arpa-net, the first generation of the internet?

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Fred Duckels 3 years ago

Scott, . A professional fro MIT stated that top science talent avoid this field because the field is loaded with ideologues. I want to know the truth but this crowd has put out a program that is impossible to comprehend and loaded with inconsistencies. The Medievil warming period failed to show on the hockey stick graph and a Canadian mathmetician pointed the error of the calculations for the whole project. I was born at night but it wasn't last night, give me something besides condecension that I can take to the bank.

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seeuski 3 years ago

Uh DUH! Scott, Computer technology showed great promise and if we didn't do it we would have lost out to the other Countries that were moving in that direction. As for green technology that you seem to think the taxpayers need to subsidize without any evidence of value, we have plenty of evidence of utter failure. Spain for example lost 3 jobs for every 1 job they claimed to create while spending their money on green energy. Here is just one story of our money being thrown down the sewer for your euphoric idealism. How much do we need to waste before reality hits you over the skull my friend? This is a scam and if this kind of energy is viable it will be developed by the private sector, not corrupt spread the wealth scams run by people like Communist Van Jones. http://hotair.com/archives/2010/07/10/obama-touts-400m-loan-to-solar-company-run-by-corrupt-congressmans-nephew/

http://www.examiner.com/conservative-politics-in-national/van-jones-green-jobs-czar-a-self-described-communist-arrested-during-rodney-king-riots

I am not blind, I can see the scam and the agenda. Save the USA, vote out the Progressives in 2012. Please.

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George Hresko 3 years ago

Sled-You've added a bit more texture to the question I was asking. Thanks.

Scott-You are helping improve my understanding of the modelling process. I had not thought about the CFC / Ozone issue in this context. I had thought it was a more simple process, easier to explain / model than global warming, even if the science was less well understood.

On the connection between warming and greenhouse gases, I believe you are saying that the 40C proof was basically the difference between two steady state heat balance models, one with and one without greenhouse gases. Is that correct? If that is, then I understand the problem with extrapolation--implies lots of assumptions vis a vis increments of greenhouse gases. And by assumptions I mean that there are only best guesses as to how these may interact as concentrations increase. I also would think that the models would need to get away from steady state input / output and become dynamic in the sense that heat inputs vary widely, and the second and third order effects have feedback loops to the greenhouse effect.

With respect to alternative energies, I would think that there are so many arguments vis a vis subsidization-think ethanol from corn for a minute-and to the extent that subsidization reduces the consumption of fossil fuels, it reduces the price for them, and thus delays reaching the breakeven point vis a vis alterrnatives--so I am inclined to be somewhat agnostic and silent.

Again, thank you for the replies.

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Scott Wedel 3 years ago

George, CFC/ozone is easier to model than global warming but US banned CFCs in aerosol cans in 1978 which was 7 years before the ozone hole over Antarctica was reported. And the ozone hole was discovered shortly after the first international ban had been adopted by developed countries. Turns out the ozone hole is mostly due to the extreme cold and is not related to CFCs. But modelling ozone and CFCs is still a challenge because it is not easy to determine how much CFCs (or bromides) were released into the air any particular year. So CFCs were banned when the science of ozone depletion had more unknowns that the science of global warming of today.

Yep, you got the 40C modelling issue. Though, first came the model of the earth as land, water and ice being 40C colder than measured climate. Later with early computers came the steady state greenhouse gases calculation that got pretty close to measured climate. That pretty much coincided with initial concerns of global warming because it is pretty obvious that if global temp calculations are affected by atmospheric CO2 and humans are emitting all this CO2 then that would imply future warming. And so people have been trying to develop good dynamic models for 50 years.

As for subsidization, there is smart and there is stupid subsidies. Stupid Spain promised to pay about 40 cents per kwh so the profit was obvious and a boom developed. Well, they ran out of money to pay that and halved the rate per kwh which is less than breakeven for most installs so cratered the industry.

The US tech industry has had booms and busts in chips, computers, video games, internet, optical fiber, linux, and so on. Just because it has boom and bust does not mean it will not be big in the future.

Government subsidies can encourage action to happen sooner than otherwise would have happened without being completely wasteful like Spain. West Texas and upper Midwest have so much wind that wind power is economical to install, but the power lines are not until there are thousands of installed windmills that at the very least takes years to build. Even T Boone Pickens doesn't have the resources to do both so he is buying windmills that are being installed where there are power lines. I'm guessing that once enough have been made that he'll build the power lines, move his and offer good rates for others to relocate where it is the windiest (and not far from cities with huge air conditioning loads).

But right now, China is offering subsidies to green industries so companies are moving there. So who is learning the tech and where will the companies expand?

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George Hresko 3 years ago

Scott-

Thanks again.

I am very reluctant to get into the alternate energy discussion, especially the aspect of subsidization. I have seen / experienced nuke, oil shale, tar sands, coal liquefaction, etc etc etc come and go as the price of oil went up and then down. As prices go up, more and more of formerly uneconomic oil reserves become economically producible.

You are correct to mention the need for wind and solar to connect to the grid and the departure of wind sources from energy demand locations, thus the grid. One interesting tangent is wind power use by data centers, obviating the need for grid connection.

You do not mention, however, that both solar and wind will require substantial duplicate investment in primary power generation, since neither can be depended upon as a constant power source.

For myself, conservation continues to have a great payout, I believe. I would prefer investment in conservation in all forms--i.e. continue making our economy less energy intensive!

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pitpoodle 3 years ago

Jeez, lighten up everyone. Don't forget, the world is ending in 2012. All are moot points.

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Clearsky 3 years ago

How do you measure O2 percent? It is the quantity! The quantity!!!! By the time the percentage changes by 1% we are talking an astronomical quantity of O2 that used to be above our heads absorbing UV before it got to the surface. QUANTITY not percentage.

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Clearsky 3 years ago

You can't expect to get something from nothing. Everything has a price and the price is our extinction for behaving in a unbelievably stupid mindset that is based on arguments instead of clear understanding of a simple vital chemical process called PHOTOSYNTHESIS and COMBUSTION.
The reagents equal the products. If you are using them up they are being used up. It is not a phase change like the water cycle. It is a chemical change. It is not a dilution issue, it is a consumption issue that will take a billion years to reverse if possible.

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Clearsky 3 years ago

And it isn't only a temperature issue, it is the increasing amounts of exposure to the intensity of the sun that allows higher levels of UV energy to the surface. UV energy happens to be the correct wavelength that DNA absorbs, that causes dimers to form in the nucleic acids that ends up becoming a mutation. The more mutations the more likely hood of developing cancer. That is what is happening. Skin cancer is on the rise. Ozone is forming at the surface where it did not years ago. Ozone is produced from the absorption of UV by O2 molecules. Can I make it any clearer? I'll say it again stupid or dumb people have a hard time understanding smart people. That is why there is school. Go learn chemistry and quantum physics, then you will know.

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seeuski 3 years ago

The box of chocolates is missing a nugget.

It is ironic that the person who in past forum posts has showed such an aversion towards the human race is now claiming worry for that race living in a dying climate. Spare me!

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exduffer 3 years ago

Clear, if O2 stays at 21% but the quantity is diminished and the CO2 is increasing what are we losing?

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Scott Wedel 3 years ago

Clearsky, Your continued ignorance of science is disappointing.

CO2 is measured parts per million and current CO2 is around 400 PPM. If humanity continues to increase consumption of fossil fuels then CO2 could reach 750 PPM by 2100, an increase of 350 PPM.

Oxygen in atmosphere is 209,460 ppm. So by 2100 then burning might have reduced it to 209,110 or a change from 20.946% to 20.911%. A very very minor change that is will be nothing compared to the effect of 750 ppm of CO2 on global warming.

Ground level ozone is not from the same process as the ozone layer. Ground level ozone is the result of various pollutants such as NO2 from combustion then reacting in the air and sunlight. Ground level ozone is not the result of a weak ozone layer.

BTW, I did take college chemistry including the upper division quantum physics class. Did you? Or, using your own words, am I just too smart for you to understand what I have written?

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