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Up Next?: Climate Change. Should we be concerned? How to respond?

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  • Up Next?: Climate Change. Should we be concerned? How to respond?

    So considering how long the gun topic went I think it'd be nice to move onto a different less divisive topic. This one will be the issue that I feel is the most important issue of our modern society.

    A couple things I'd like to address:

    1. Who are you willing to believe is doing accurate research on the subject?
    2. Is a changing climate something that the whole country should be worried about?
    3. What is the best way to respond?

    Edit: Unlike the gun debate, which is very clearly a debate with many sides to be heard, Climate Change is not a debate. The very science of Greenhouse effect is a crucial part of our planet and the life on it.

    I don't want to parse between the catchphrases of "Alarmists" or "Denialists", such terms only serve to polarize an issue that really can't be polarized. The point of this discussion is more on the effect Climate Change can have on our policy not whether or not you should believe a NASA Scientist or an Economist who grabs a few fringe papers.
    Last edited by Ytman; 11-13-2012, 12:31 PM.

  • #2
    Re: Up Next?: Climate Change. Should we be concerned? How to respond?

    Without question, how climate impacts our country is important and we need to do more research. At the forefront, in my opinion, is the need for better short range forecasting.

    My biggest concern is the agenda of scientists (both sides of the debate). Like politics, it is too polarized and needs to have more true science and less science for dollars.

    We need to chuck a few more satellites into orbit to replace the aging and failing ones we have right now. There is a big risk of gaps in our ability to observe our atmosphere.
    sigpic

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    • #3
      Re: Up Next?: Climate Change. Should we be concerned? How to respond?

      ---Snip--- I already broke the rule in my first post ---snip---

      An interesting graphic from the EPA:



      It show the expected progression of climate change for ---Connecticut--- [edit.New Hampshire!]. Quite troubling is that there is significant change even in the "Best Case" scenario. Even more troubling is that this is our North East...

      Edit:

      PBS is going to show a documentary about the Dustbowl which is largely considered the worst ecological disaster of late. Spoiler Alert: It was man made.

      Last edited by Ytman; 11-13-2012, 08:05 PM.

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      • #4
        Re: Up Next?: Climate Change. Should we be concerned? How to respond?

        You sure that is Connecticut?
        sigpic

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        • #5
          Re: Up Next?: Climate Change. Should we be concerned? How to respond?

          Originally posted by Spur View Post
          You sure that is Connecticut?
          Most people around here call it New Hampshire. :)
          Diplomacy is the art of saying "good doggie" while looking for a bigger stick.

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          • #6
            Re: Up Next?: Climate Change. Should we be concerned? How to respond?

            I have written and rewritten a response several times as ideas in my head change. You have asked a really wide ranging question.

            Can we narrow this down some or get more specific on what your looking for. Is our climate changing due to man or nature? Followed by some if, then statements?

            If man, then what? As a Country, change. How?
            ---If too late to change, then? Change faster? How much are we willing to loose as consumers? Cars? coal? hairspray? plastic? rubber?
            ---War to obtain more resources? Iraq anyone?

            If Nature, then what? Can we change nature?

            Just some thoughts in my own head about this

            |TG-IRR|

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            • #7
              Re: Up Next?: Climate Change. Should we be concerned? How to respond?

              1. Who are you willing to believe is doing accurate research on the subject?
              All of the scientists that publish their findings for peer review and are supported by other scientists working independently who verify their data. Pretty much everyone other than industry shills, and the consensus is overwhelming that climate change is affected significantly by people.

              2. Is a changing climate something that the whole country should be worried about?
              Yes, but for a variety of reasons. The biggest is that warming trends aren't just a few degrees change overall but also accompanied by more severe weather and possibly shifting coastlines in some areas and the fallout is higher costs for affected areas.

              3. What is the best way to respond?
              If by respond you mean what should society do, then it should be addressed with the following changes:
              Government regulation that is based on substantiated findings to minimize industries that have a significant impact on climate change. Remember smog in cities? Regulation fixed that based on sound regulations and it can be done for climate change as well.
              Individuals should be educated on pollution and behaviors that they can do that will have an impact as well, but individuals should not be required to make arbitrary changes in behavior such as rationed electricity or other things that don't really have a large impact.
              |TG-6th|Snooggums

              Just because everyone does something does not mean that it is right to do.

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              • #8
                Re: Up Next?: Climate Change. Should we be concerned? How to respond?

                Originally posted by Beinseth View Post
                I have written and rewritten a response several times as ideas in my head change. You have asked a really wide ranging question.

                Can we narrow this down some or get more specific on what your looking for. Is our climate changing due to man or nature? Followed by some if, then statements?

                If man, then what? As a Country, change. How?
                ---If too late to change, then? Change faster? How much are we willing to loose as consumers? Cars? coal? hairspray? plastic? rubber?
                ---War to obtain more resources? Iraq anyone?

                If Nature, then what? Can we change nature?

                Just some thoughts in my own head about this
                Assuming that we are willing to believe the general scientific community (as abstract as that is) I'd really like to talk about how we respond as individuals, as business owners, as consumers, and as people who can influence our public representatives and if rights can be sacrificed from our industry and ourselves (if that is morally justifiable).

                Beyond that I'd like to discuss what, if any, planning you are willing to do to adapt to the coming changes for you, and more specifically your children. This is specifically for the southern states where warming climate can get accelerated by natural 'feedback' effects. Worse, even, to consider is what wars will occur when places, like Egypt feel the squeeze of higher food costs and water scarcity.

                I personally am unable to sustain a low impact life style. I try to moderate my energy consumption and my travel and how much 'product' I throw away. But as a suburbanite its hard and in the case of making a home energy efficient costly.

                I don't have high hopes today and that is affecting many decisions including starting a family. If worse gets to worse I'll be buying some freshly thawed land in Canada and living off grid by 2030 :D


                ======
                Edit:

                Some suggestions that I think will need to be considered are:

                Taxing throwaway goods in proportion to the waste they produce and impact of the production methods. An example would be: Bottled Beverages, with a HUGE tax on bottled water.

                How much devotion are we willing to put in Alternative Infrastructure? I'm not even suggesting that it'll be on par with what we can do today with the same amount money with say Coal/Cement/Combustible Engines. Should it be a slow boil? Should we go gung ho?

                Even if WE get our act together, the burgeoning nations with massive populations would impact the environment even more than we do now. If they refuse to comply with our standards do we go to war to stop them? Will their be sanctions placed on India in 2050 because its still using Coal Power Plants?

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                • #9
                  Re: Up Next?: Climate Change. Should we be concerned? How to respond?

                  As a physics student, I would love it if governments were to increase the funding for research into nuclear energy (either cleaner & more efficient fission reactors, or trying to get a fusion reactor up and running). Partly because I like not being underwater, and partly because I'd like a job when I graduate. :)

                  Without wishing to sound harsh, I think it is, or will soon be time to give serious thought to population control. We're pretty much at seven billion, and it's speeding up all the time. When fossil fuels run out, literally billions will die (industrialised agricultural systems require oil, both to power machinery and in the production of some fertilisers). Better provision of contraceptives to the developing world (and indeed the developed world) is needed if strict family size limits are to be avoided.
                  |TG-Irr| westyfield

                  Sig pic by Sonic, avatar by Chalcas. Thanks!
                  Irregular since 2007.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Up Next?: Climate Change. Should we be concerned? How to respond?

                    Population control will need to be considered. Not for the developed nations, those populations have stabilized, but the developing nations. Before fossil fuels run out millions will die with the poor crops, coastal flooding, storm surging, and war. A large reason why Tunisia and Egypt revolted was due to food prices surging. In 1950 Pakistan's population was 55 million. Now? 170 Million.

                    Climate Change is going to occur and as a result the developing world will be in dire circumstances. The irony is that they weren't the ones who caused the changes but they will suffer the most.

                    Nuclear Energy is an interesting proposition but in the wake of a lot of the old plants deteriorating (and Fukushima) the cost of Nuclear Energy needs to be considered. Especially with consideration taken into what effects climate change would have to their security.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Up Next?: Climate Change. Should we be concerned? How to respond?

                      Originally posted by Ytman View Post
                      Population control will need to be considered. Not for the developed nations, those populations have stabilized, but the developing nations. Before fossil fuels run out millions will die with the poor crops, coastal flooding, storm surging, and war. A large reason why Tunisia and Egypt revolted was due to food prices surging. In 1950 Pakistan's population was 55 million. Now? 170 Million.

                      Climate Change is going to occur and as a result the developing world will be in dire circumstances.
                      I thought this thread was not supposed to be about alarmist fearmongering and denial, or did I read the OP wrong?

                      Originally posted by ytman
                      I don't want to parse between the catchphrases of "Alarmists" or "Denialists", such terms only serve to polarize an issue that really can't be polarized. The point of this discussion is more on the effect Climate Change can have on our policy not whether or not you should believe a NASA Scientist or an Economist who grabs a few fringe papers.
                      |TG-6th|Snooggums

                      Just because everyone does something does not mean that it is right to do.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Up Next?: Climate Change. Should we be concerned? How to respond?

                        No you didn't. Maybe I overstepped again in this thread. This time I'm not sure that I did. Its widely considered that drought and poor climate conditions have created conflict throughout history. I'm not saying the correlation is proven but some statistics have implicated that Climate Change will effect more than just... Climate. I'm not saying its going to be doom/gloom right now but I think its something that needs to be considered as well.

                        The point of the thread is to consider what effects are we expecting and what reasonable solutions are we willing to discuss. If I was going too far we don't need to worry about those assumed impacts.

                        I think its a profound philosophical/moral quandary for us if we assume Anthropogenic Climate Change will directly and indirectly influence hardships of the entire planet and billions of people let alone just the climate. Especially if we are considering if we are willing to sacrifice a little (or a lot, or not at all) to minimize the damages.

                        Edit:

                        I'm not sure if I understand what was fear mongering.
                        Last edited by Ytman; 11-14-2012, 12:57 AM.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Up Next?: Climate Change. Should we be concerned? How to respond?

                          The parts in the quotes that I made bold were fear mongering.
                          |TG-6th|Snooggums

                          Just because everyone does something does not mean that it is right to do.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Up Next?: Climate Change. Should we be concerned? How to respond?

                            Well let me back pedal a little and fully state the reasoning;

                            I don't know if its fear mongering to suggest conflict will arise due to resource scarcity and high populations. The population boom of many poorer nations was the result of better agriculture and a global economy that better distributes excess foodstuffs (cheap food always helps). Coming off of a year when in the US our farmers have been hit incredibly hard and a global 'bacon shortage' (as trivial as that sounds) is expected to result from the bad years. UN population estimates from 2002 expect humans to reach between 7.5 billion to 12 billion people by 2050. Already we are on track to go past the 7.5 mark within two decades of their estimate.

                            Again many climate models suggest that temperate lands will become more and more arid resulting in decreased crop yields and less water. No matter what its considered, which I guess we can move on if this is too radical of a statement, there is a philosophical/moral line to be considered with our own national security in the future.

                            Furthermore, I'm not suggesting our own population control and I'm hardly validating what China has done. However, as there has been very little progress on creating a net zero impact society populations will always take more than can be sustainable.

                            ====Edit====

                            I do see a veering of the topic. If someone wants to get it back on track that'd be great.

                            Edit#2: http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=14682&page=1

                            CIA apparently has a Climate Change division and has just released the above report. Its the first report officially tied to the organization which until now has been denied to exist to my understanding.

                            I think the above report will offer some great subjects to talk about.
                            Last edited by Ytman; 11-14-2012, 05:21 PM.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Up Next?: Climate Change. Should we be concerned? How to respond?

                              Originally posted by Ytman View Post
                              I don't know if its fear mongering to suggest conflict will arise due to resource scarcity and high populations.
                              No, any economic stress is likely to cause conflicts or violence, it was the specific inclusion of a very high number of possible deaths, 'millions dying', in the quote. If the idea that it will be likely to cause conflict can be agreed upon, the discussion could focus on how to avoid or handle that effect.

                              Originally posted by ytman
                              CIA apparently has a Climate Change division and has just released the above report. Its the first report officially tied to the organization which until now has been denied to exist to my understanding.
                              Are you saying that the Climate Change division was denied to exist? It was announced by the CIA in 2009: https://www.cia.gov/news-information...-security.html

                              Its charter is not the science of climate change, but the national security impact of phenomena such as desertification, rising sea levels, population shifts, and heightened competition for natural resources. The Center will provide support to American policymakers as they negotiate, implement, and verify international agreements on environmental issues. That is something the CIA has done for years. “Decision makers need information and analysis on the effects climate change can have on security. The CIA is well positioned to deliver that intelligence,” said Director Leon Panetta.
                              I know that this seems like going off track again, but if you want a quality debate, inserting speculation that could be checked in 5 seconds (yes, that was found by googling 'CIA Climate Change division') isn't going to help.

                              --------------------------------------------------------------

                              So, some items that are likely to skew the conversation off track:
                              The 'hockey stick' graph. There is too much misinformation around this item, all that is needed is an agreement that warming will go up.

                              Population control - Anything that limits peoples behavior, especially in the case of reproduction, is going to go over like a lead balloon. Promoting the availability of birth control to allow the population to make their own decisions is something that changes the approach from enforcement to volunteering and much more likely to be received. Plus, the way to improve societies that 'take more than they give' is to enable economic success. Note that some states in the US are comparable to these countries in that they soak in the federal funds wile giving less. These states are most of the 'red' states as well.

                              Any kind of worst case scenario isn't likely to sway people. Pointing out the increased chance of storm damage is more likely to sway than speculation on wars in third world countries.
                              |TG-6th|Snooggums

                              Just because everyone does something does not mean that it is right to do.

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