The real purpose of global warming?

Discussion in 'Politics & Religion' started by jeafl, Jul 28, 2006.

  1. jeafl

    jeafl

    Would any of these things help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and thus work towards reversing global warming?

    1. Adoption of organic farming on a commercial scale by having the government at all levels mandate that a certain percentage of the foodstuffs and fiber purchased for the military, prisons and school lunch programs be produced without using petroleum-based fertilizer, pesticides, herbicides, feed additives etcetera.

    2. Widespread use of biodiesel fuel in government and commercial vehicles.

    3. Eliminating urban sprawl and the corporate power that fosters it in order to reduce the need for and use of personal automobiles: New Urbanism, reduce business hours and maybe implement Blue Laws so large stores like Super Wal-Mart and Home Depot won’t be as profitable as they can be operating 24-7.

    4. Adoption of waste disposal technologies that generate biogas/biomethane so the carbon that biomass and organic waste materials would put into the air anyway as they decay could be cycled through energy extraction processes.

    5. Nationwide semi-public mass transportation system using trains and buses to provide transportation between and within urban centers that have populations of at least 5,000 people.


    If any of these things would work to reverse global warming, why is it I have never encountered any environmentalist on any internet forum that is willing to accept them when they learn that I do not believe that global warming is a bona fide scientific fact?

    I have a bachelor’s degree in biology from Emory University, so I know something about the scientific method. I am aware that for any hypothesis to be scientifically valid it must be tested through a controlled experiment. Since we do not have a duplicate of the earth to serve as a control group in an experiment, we cannot test the hypothesis that global warming is caused by manmade greenhouse gases. We don’t have an earth that is without manmade greenhouse gases, so we have no way of knowing what effect manmade greenhouse gases have on the earth we do have.

    Furthermore, I am not convinced that the earth is truly getting any warmer as a whole. It is true that the air over urban centers has gotten warmer over the past 20 years or so, but there is some indication that the air over non-urban centers has shown no change in temperature over the past 50 years or so. Any increase in temperature measurements likely is due to the fact over the past 40, and especially the past 20, years, land-based weather monitoring stations have been overtaken by urban sprawl. Since urban surfaces (roads, buildings, parking lots) trap more heat than woodland or farmland or water does, it is only natural that recorded temperatures have gone up. But, since this stored heat has not traveled to non-urban areas, it does not add up to global warming.

    I support the 5 options I have outlined here, but I do so to achieve goals other than combating global warming. I support these things in order to promote national security by reducing our dependence on oil imports from hostile countries, save money by harnessing nature to do what we now have petroleum and manmade chemicals do, promote local economic self-reliance and improve societal cohesion by promoting neighborhoods and communities rather than suburbs. But, because I don’t accept the left’s global warming dogma, I get nothing but hostility from left-leaning environmentalists. This tells me that the true goal of left-leaning environmentalists is not the saving of the environment, but rather the destruction of America through the worshipping of nature.
     
  2. 1. Adoption of organic farming on a commercial scale by having the government at all levels mandate that a certain percentage of the foodstuffs and fiber purchased for the military, prisons and school lunch programs be produced without using petroleum-based fertilizer, pesticides, herbicides, feed additives etcetera.

    No.

    2. Widespread use of biodiesel fuel in government and commercial vehicles.

    No.

    3. Eliminating urban sprawl and the corporate power that fosters it in order to reduce the need for and use of personal automobiles: New Urbanism, reduce business hours and maybe implement Blue Laws so large stores like Super Wal-Mart and Home Depot won’t be as profitable as they can be operating 24-7.

    Yes.

    4. Adoption of waste disposal technologies that generate biogas/biomethane so the carbon that biomass and organic waste materials would put into the air anyway as they decay could be cycled through energy extraction processes.

    Maybe.

    5. Nationwide semi-public mass transportation system using trains and buses to provide transportation between and within urban centers that have populations of at least 5,000 people.

    Yes.

    If any of these things would work to reverse global warming, why is it I have never encountered any environmentalist on any internet forum that is willing to accept them when they learn that I do not believe that global warming is a bona fide scientific fact?

    You're making too many turns here and I'm confused. :D

    I have a bachelor’s degree in biology from Emory University, so I know something about the scientific method. I am aware that for any hypothesis to be scientifically valid it must be tested through a controlled experiment. Since we do not have a duplicate of the earth to serve as a control group in an experiment, we cannot test the hypothesis that global warming is caused by manmade greenhouse gases. We don’t have an earth that is without manmade greenhouse gases, so we have no way of knowing what effect manmade greenhouse gases have on the earth we do have.

    This is an incorrect understanding of science. In many biological experiments (for example, clinical trials) control groups are needed because there are too many unknown factors that cannot be otherwise properly eliminated from the experiment. OTOH, very rarely in a physics experiment control groups are needed. This is because in physics experiments usually one can design the experiment to eliminate unwanted factors with relative ease if the experiment is well-designed.

    Not all science comes from experiments. Direct observations of nature can also yield great science. Big Bang is a well-tested and valid scientific theory. AFAIK, no experiment has ever been done on Big Bang (let alone control groups)! You also don't need to have control groups to know that tides are due to the gravity forces from the sun and the moon. Do we need to see what tides would look like on a planet without the sun and the moon?

    Furthermore, I am not convinced that the earth is truly getting any warmer as a whole. It is true that the air over urban centers has gotten warmer over the past 20 years or so, but there is some indication that the air over non-urban centers has shown no change in temperature over the past 50 years or so. Any increase in temperature measurements likely is due to the fact over the past 40, and especially the past 20, years, land-based weather monitoring stations have been overtaken by urban sprawl. Since urban surfaces (roads, buildings, parking lots) trap more heat than woodland or farmland or water does, it is only natural that recorded temperatures have gone up. But, since this stored heat has not traveled to non-urban areas, it does not add up to global warming.

    This is also incorrect. The science of global climate change is well-established. Factors such as how to take the data, how reliable the data are, and whether factors such as what you mentioned can skew the data have all been carefully examined. The prefered places for temperature measurements, for example, are usually deep in the ocean or under the icecap of glaciers. You would be amazed by all the things that scientists do to ensure their data's reliability. If you are really interested in this, read a few of the real science articles instead of just listen to news stories. I've posted a few links in some other threads. If you like I can dig them up for you.

    I support the 5 options I have outlined here, but I do so to achieve goals other than combating global warming. I support these things in order to promote national security by reducing our dependence on oil imports from hostile countries, save money by harnessing nature to do what we now have petroleum and manmade chemicals do, promote local economic self-reliance and improve societal cohesion by promoting neighborhoods and communities rather than suburbs. But, because I don’t accept the left’s global warming dogma, I get nothing but hostility from left-leaning environmentalists. This tells me that the true goal of left-leaning environmentalists is not the saving of the environment, but rather the destruction of America through the worshipping of nature.
    This is going too far. What kind of America would it be if its "destruction" can be brought about by "worshipping nature?" You jumped to conclusions because of your incorrect understanding of the science. So be a little more patient and try to read on some of the science. Maybe that will help you to have a more open mind.
     
  3. jeafl

    jeafl



    How so? Conventional farming is highly energy intensive due to the machinery that is used. But, many organic growers make a point of avoiding petroleum-based fuels in favor of wind, solar and other alternatives.

    How so? Organic waste materials are going to put carbon-dioxide into the atmosphere anyway when they decompose. If we can extract energy from them before their carbon is released, then that much less carbon will come from fossil fuels.

    See above. If we grow things for the purpose of making biofuels, then we would have a net increase in carbon emissions. But, if we recycle biomass materials we are going to have anyway (crop residue, manure, sewage, leaf and lawn wastes), we would get a fuel value from carbon that currently yields no fuel value.

    I’ve never encountered a global warmonger on the net who wants to do anything to combat global warming except restrict business and industry. The things I propose would also reduce carbon emissions, but none of these so-called environmentalists are interested because they are not really interested in reducing carbon emissions.

    No. Controlled experiments are part and parcel of the scientific method regardless of the branch of science. Climatologists have reason to believe that the earth’s climate and temperature has fluctuated widely throughout the earth’s history. The earth has warmed and cooled before even without any appreciable human activity. Without a controlled experiment we have no way of knowing that human activity is responsible for any warming that may be taking place.

    Without experimentation you have speculation and superstition. We can verify fact through observation, but any explanation has to be supported by experimental evidence.

    Furthermore, I am not convinced that the earth is truly getting any warmer as a whole. It is true that the air over urban centers has gotten warmer over the past 20 years or so, but there is some indication that the air over non-urban centers has shown no change in temperature over the past 50 years or so. Any increase in temperature measurements likely is due to the fact over the past 40, and especially the past 20, years, land-based weather monitoring stations have been overtaken by urban sprawl. Since urban surfaces (roads, buildings, parking lots) trap more heat than woodland or farmland or water does, it is only natural that recorded temperatures have gone up. But, since this stored heat has not traveled to non-urban areas, it does not add up to global warming.

    This is also incorrect. The science of global climate change is well-established.[/quote]

    I rest my case. I must accept your global warming dogma in order to be acceptable to you. Since I don’t accept your dogma, you refuse to accept my proposals.
     
  4. pattersb

    pattersb Guest

    easiest short-term solution ... go completely nuclear, completely electric


    some of your points, while understandable, disregard market effects.

    #1 would cause skyrocketing food prices. although, it would be very wise to continue and increase research in expanded use of green technology in agriculture. Kind of a "Duh" comment.

    #2 still combustion, increased energy usage to simply produce another energy source. skyrocketing energy prices (This isn't socialist Venezuela)

    #3 again, the market will drive this. technology now allows many people to work from home.

    #4 if revenues exceeds costs than its a winner. bring a product to market that can accomplish this, and make millions of dollars.

    #5 as gas prices rise and traffic congestion increases, ridership also will rise. again, market driven. You can't force people into trains. plan for the future, but avoid dumping money into public transit boondoggles.

    What I find somewhat humorous is the "Planet is Melting Crowd" is also screaming about high gas prices. If you believe the planet is melting as a result of man's use of fossil fuels you should be praying for $10/gallon gas prices.

    As far as eliminating our dependence on the Middle East for crude.... Yeah I'm all for that. Let those people fight their own petty wars for the next 1000 years.
     
  5. jeafl

    jeafl

    Prove it. There have been many studies that show that organic farming can be as productive as conventional means if not more so. There is no reason to automatically assume that organic farming will mean higher food costs. Quite often organic farming methods are less costly than conventional methods. With more organic producers in the market, they will have to actually lower retail prices to stay in business.

    Read my previous post. If we extract fuel from biomass wastes that are going to produce carbon-dioxide anyway, we would have a net decrease in carbon emissions.

    Mere market forces may take too long. Furthermore, retail activity drives an awful lot of urban sprawl, i.e., building superstores and shopping malls along interstate and other highways far away from existing urban centers. Under existing zoning laws it is often illegal for people to live in commercial zones, i.e., you cannot live above the store anymore. Part of new urbanism is being able to buy your daily necessities without making a half-hour road trip.

    The government could spark a market demand for these things by subsidizing R&D for the technology and also by enacting more stringent environmental protection laws. There was an interest in these types of waste-recovery technologies in the 1970s; pilot facilities were even built in some places. But, when cheap oil returned in the 1980s the government subsidies were eliminated. But, if these technologies had been continued, we may not be facing $3 a gallon gas now.

    Ridership will not rise if service does not improve. The government operated public mass transit system where I live can take an hour to make a one-way trip that you could make in your own car in less than a half-hour. And if you have to make a transfer, your travel time will easily be doubled. Compound this with triple digit humitures for most of the year along with driving rainstorms and bus stops without shelters and few people will ride the bus regardless of the cost of gas.
     
  6. First things first-hemp fibre was banned under pressure form agri -chemical conglomerates, the dow organisation chief among them.

    All well and good-huge productivity and yield increases, new and stronger strains and all the rest, wheat, cotton, etc.

    Only trouble is, a lot of this food/cloth has questionable nutritional/functional value, and even if it was good, modern processing destroys it anyway. Assuming their is a link between efficiency and global warming, its the waste factor that ultimately leads the production/consumption curve.

    People dont want "sub-standard " produce (or at least the fda doesn't) , so it has to go somewhere-fed to feedlot animals, dumped or thrown away.
    Grow more=waste more, so the idea of mandated organic content, even for large consumers probably wouldn't help.
    Then again, i love army surplus.
     
  7. jeafl

    jeafl



    About a year or so ago I read that something like 25% of all fruits and vegetables grown in the U.S. never make it to the table because they are either not picked when they should be or are damaged or allowed to rot during storage or transport.

    As far as nutrition goes you are better off eating canned or frozen rather than fresh. Produce that is preserved by the food processing industry is usually picked when ripe and processed immediately. What is sold as fresh is usually picked when green and then transported long distances- meaning it never had the nutritional value it could have had and what it does have deteriorates before the produce is sold to consumers.
     
  8. Ok, so this is a maybe. There is no proof that organic farming has advantage in terms of energy efficiency over conventional farming. But if you insist I won't argue. The scientific evidence is not there either way.



    However, it takes energy to extract energy from such waste. When you add the total energy cost of collecting, transporting, and the energy cost of producing the chemicals needed for energy extraction, it's not really worth it.

    The only way this could work, is to return to the life styles of 1800's, and each family have their own methane gas light generated from their decomposed wastes. It's just not worth doing it on an industrial scale.


    I gave you two examples, big bang and tidal waves. How do you do a control experiment on tidal waves? I can give you more examples: plate tectonic, discovery of dinosaurs (and other extinct species), helical structure of DNA. Don't tell me that none of these examples is science. They all are. None of them required any control experiment to establish as science.

    Your insistence on control experiment is bordering on absurd. When people proved that the earth is round, all they needed to do was to go around the earth. To insist that the earth couldn't be round because there was no control experiment is sheer lunacy.


    You're confused. I said observation can substitute for experimentation. And that is certainly true throughout the history of science. How do you experiment a black hole? Are you claiming that black hole is speculation or superstition? You're only exposing your own ignorance.


    You don't have to. You can believe anything you want to. The scientific fact does not change whether you believe it or not. I suggested that you can read some of the real science articles but you seem to be uninterested in them. All I'm telling you is that you are setting up the wrong straw man to knock down. You can choose to remain ignorant on this subject but then you can't blame others when they treat you as such.
     
  9. pattersb

    pattersb Guest

     
  10. Nice ideas but I suspect their impact is so small that it will not really put a dent in the upward trend of emissions.

    Policies like Kyoto and the ideas you list above are pointless attempts to delay the inevitable. They aren't going to reverse the upward global co2 emission trend which is set to rise even more this century as china and india's industrial sectors kick online.

    Nothing short of stopping modern society in it's tracks is going to reduce carbon emissions to what they were 50 years ago, and that is not going to happen. No government is going to allow that.

    So my suggestion is that we should therefore bring it on. We should start deliberately pumping more co2 into the atmosphere, probably from some kind of chemical pumping stations. The warming spike this generates will pursuade everyone that yes increase co2 does cause warming. Also we will get to see the effects of that warming, for good or for bad, earlier and more suddenly than we might otherwise.

    You only need a control group for attribution if you don't know the mechanisms for causation. For example the hypothesis that the heater in my room is causing it to warm doesn't require me to provide a control room without a heater. I could instead work through the physics of the heater and show that it must cause my room to warm.

    This is similar to how the hypothesis that the recent co2 spike is man caused has been verified. We don't have a control earth on which we weren't emitting co2. But we do know how much co2 we have emitted in the last 150 years and see that it is more than the amount it has risen in that time. So that is very conclusive that we have caused the rise.

    For warming being attributed to greenhouse gas emissions it isn't so simple and there are a lot of factors, but the best of the knowledge available indicates that it can be accounted for by the recent co2 rise.

    The urban heat island effect is accounted for. There is a similar warming trend outside urban centers, not to mention ocean measurements confirming this. That the earth has warmed recently is scientifically beyond doubt.
     
    #10     Jul 29, 2006