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PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2004 1:31 pm 
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http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=s ... nvironment

:twisted:

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<i>The very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. They don't alter their views to fit the facts. They alter the facts to fit their views. Which can be uncomfortable if you happen to be one of the facts that needs altering.</i>


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2004 2:38 pm 
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All right, is it okay to put my head back in the sand, now?


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2004 3:38 pm 
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Sam, you're back! Missed you.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2004 4:02 pm 
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The original Observer article is here:
http://observer.guardian.co.uk/internat ... 13,00.html

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2004 4:19 pm 
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The British article states: 'The findings will prove humiliating to the
Bush admin, which has repeatedly denied that climate
change even exists.'

Here is the voice of the government on climate change,
the U. S. Enviromental Protection Agency:

Climate

An Introduction
According to the National Academy of Sciences, the Earth's surface temperature has risen by about 1 degree Fahrenheit in the past century, with accelerated warming during the past two decades. There is new and stronger evidence that most of the warming over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities. Human activities have altered the chemical composition of the atmosphere through the buildup of greenhouse gases ? primarily carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide. The heat-trapping property of these gases is undisputed although uncertainties exist about exactly how earth's climate responds to them. Go to the Emissions section for much more on greenhouse gases.
Our Changing Atmosphere

Energy from the sun drives the earth's weather and climate, and heats the earth's surface; in turn, the earth radiates energy back into space. Atmospheric greenhouse gases (water vapor, carbon dioxide, and other gases) trap some of the outgoing energy, retaining heat somewhat like the glass panels of a greenhouse.
[Information on how the greenhouse affect effects the earth.] Without this natural "greenhouse effect," temperatures would be much lower than they are now, and life as known today would not be possible. Instead, thanks to greenhouse gases, the earth's average temperature is a more hospitable 60°F. However, problems may arise when the atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases increases.

Since the beginning of the industrial revolution, atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide have increased nearly 30%, methane concentrations have more than doubled, and nitrous oxide concentrations have risen by about 15%. These increases have enhanced the heat-trapping capability of the earth's atmosphere. Sulfate aerosols, a common air pollutant, cool the atmosphere by reflecting light back into space; however, sulfates are short-lived in the atmosphere and vary regionally.

Why are greenhouse gas concentrations increasing? Scientists generally believe that the combustion of fossil fuels and other human activities are the primary reason for the increased concentration of carbon dioxide. Plant respiration and the decomposition of organic matter release more than 10 times the CO2 released by human activities; but these releases have generally been in balance during the centuries leading up to the industrial revolution with carbon dioxide absorbed by terrestrial vegetation and the oceans.

What has changed in the last few hundred years is the additional release of carbon dioxide by human activities. Fossil fuels burned to run cars and trucks, heat homes and businesses, and power factories are responsible for about 98% of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions, 24% of methane emissions, and 18% of nitrous oxide emissions. Increased agriculture, deforestation, landfills, industrial production, and mining also contribute a significant share of emissions. In 1997, the United States emitted about one-fifth of total global greenhouse gases.

Estimating future emissions is difficult, because it depends on demographic, economic, technological, policy, and institutional developments. Several emissions scenarios have been developed based on differing projections of these underlying factors. For example, by 2100, in the absence of emissions control policies, carbon dioxide concentrations are projected to be 30-150% higher than today's levels.
Changing Climate

Global mean surface temperatures have increased 0.5-1.0° F since the late 19th century. The 20th century's 10 warmest years all occurred in the last 15 years of the century. Of these, 1998 was the warmest year on record. The snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere and floating ice in the Arctic Ocean have decreased. Globally, sea level has risen 4-8 inches over the past century. Worldwide precipitation over land has increased by about one percent. The frequency of extreme rainfall events has increased throughout much of the United States.

[Graph of Global Temperature Changes 1880 - 2000.]

Increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases are likely to accelerate the rate of climate change. Scientists expect that the average global surface temperature could rise 1-4.5°F (0.6-2.5°C) in the next fifty years, and 2.2-10°F (1.4-5.8° C) in the next century, with significant regional variation. Evaporation will increase as the climate warms, which will increase average global precipitation. Soil moisture is likely to decline in many regions, and intense rainstorms are likely to become more frequent. Sea level is likely to rise two feet along most of the U.S. coast.

Calculations of climate change for specific areas are much less reliable than global ones, and it is unclear whether regional climate will become more variable.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2004 4:33 pm 
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P. S. Antennae up, lads and lassies!


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2004 5:20 pm 
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I keep my camping gear and folding kayak in my twenthieth floor condo, I ready to go! Sunscreen & muklucks which ever comes first!

MarkB

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2004 5:58 pm 
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I've thought that flint knapping might be worthwhile to learn, what with all this glass around, just waiting to become spear points....


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2004 6:04 pm 
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There's a great book about this, Earth Abides, about
a geologist from UC Berkeley who goes off into the mountains doing
research and comes out to find that almost everybody in
the world
has died of plague. He and a few survivors begin
a community in the Berkeley hills, which gradually
devolves, by the time his grandchildren are adults,
into a Neolithic tribe. Bertrand Russell wrote the
introduction. Anyhow it's somehow an inviting
fantasy--as long as it stays only a fantasy! Best


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2004 6:24 pm 
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Quote:
Plant respiration and the decomposition of organic matter release more than 10 times the CO2 released by human activities


So, we just cut down all the trees and that gives us the head room we need to keep on burning dead dinosaurs, right? :-? :boggle: :o

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"If you keep asking questions.... You keep getting answers." - Miss Frizzle - The Magic School Bus


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2004 6:36 pm 
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If I may ask something of people,
entirely optional, of course.
We're in an election year and there will be
various incendiary revelations published
in unexpected places.

'Kerry Found Nude With Platypus'
and so on.
The pace of these is likely to quicken as we
get closer to November. Some of these may be
true, but there's the real possibility that some
will be propaganda.
We can't debunk 'em all; we'll do nothing else.
So might people be alive to the possibility
that they are reading propaganda, especially when the story
is blasting a candidate you oppose?
That doesn't mean dismissing it as false,
of course, but maintaining a healthy
skepticism. As in, not necessarily posting
everything that blasts whomever, or the
next incendiary revelation, or the interview with
the long-suffering platypus. Critical stuff
is OK, and maybe we can be critical ourselves
and go for stuff that's really worth the trouble.
Best to all


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2004 6:42 pm 
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Jim, WHAT on earth is it about you and these recurring references to platypi (platypuses? platypoi? platypice?)? Your posts are becoming increasingly rather sinister. :wink:


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2004 6:44 pm 
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jim stone wrote:
The pace of these is likely to quicken as we
get closer to November. Some of these may be
true, but there's the real possibility that some
will be propaganda.


November? Election? I knew there was a real advantage to living on a Welsh hillside with no television and no newspapers.

Just music and nature and the world goes on quite rockily enough without a global perspective, thank you... :boggle:

Trisha


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2004 6:55 pm 
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I never saw the playtpus before.
I didn't know her name.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2004 7:07 pm 
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This is a weird article. It's hard to reconcile some of its statements. Check this out:
Quote:
'Disruption and conflict will be endemic features of life,' concludes the Pentagon analysis. 'Once again, warfare would define human life.'

The findings will prove humiliating to the Bush administration, which has repeatedly denied that climate change even exists. Experts said that they will also make unsettling reading for a President who has insisted national defence is a priority.

Now, if "warfare would define human life," how would the findings prove humiliating to an administration that "has insisted national defence is a priority." Seems to me that if warfare is gonna define human life (and death, too, I suppose), then national defense sure as hell is a national priority.

Am I missing something there?

Now look at this.

Quote:
A secret report, suppressed by US defence chiefs and obtained by The Observer, warns that major European cities will be sunk beneath rising seas as Britain is plunged into a 'Siberian' climate by 2020. Nuclear conflict, mega-droughts, famine and widespread rioting will erupt across the world.


Quote:
By 2020 'catastrophic' shortages of water and energy supply will become increasingly harder to overcome, plunging the planet into war. They warn that 8,200 years ago climatic conditions brought widespread crop failure, famine, disease and mass migration of populations that could soon be repeated.


So, which is it? Will we drown first or will we die of thirst? In the second paragraph the author seems to be placing the blame on overpopulation, causing shortages of water. He doesn't really tie in the shortages of water to the climate changes. And does anyone know what he's referring to in the last sentence? I've read some anthropological stuff debunking the whole idea of mass migrations as inherently impossible from a logistical standpoint. I'm not so sure of his facts, here.

Here's another thing to consider: when you factor in nuclear warfare, mega-drought and famine you have to figure that the widespread rioting will be relatively short lived. If we keep our nukes handy, we should get through this in fairly good shape. But there again, I'm trying to picture this scenario: I'm dying of hunger and thirst, but I have nukes. My neighbor has plenty of food and water that he won't share. So I nuke him. Then what?

As for the energy shortages I've been told by a guy I bumped into on the street that that we can generate all the clean energy we could possibly want by using thermal turnover of ocean waters to generate electricity.

edited to add emoticon:

:party:

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