Get your fill of sci-fi, science, and mockery of stupid people
* FAQ    * Search   * Register   * Login 
Want to support this site? Click

Quote of the Week: "History teaches us that men and nations behave wisely once they have exhausted all other alternatives." - Abba Eban, Israeli statesman (1915-2002)


All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 127 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: 50 months to avoid climate disaster PostPosted: 2012-10-01 03:15pm
Offline
Sith Marauder
User avatar

Joined: 2010-06-21 11:05am
Posts: 3776
Location: In Transit
The Guardian

Quote:
"One or other of us will have to go," Oscar Wilde is supposed to have said on his deathbed to the hated wallpaper in his room. The perilous acceleration of Arctic ice loss, and the imminent threat of irreversible climate change poses a similar ultimatum to the economic system that is pushing us over the brink. For society's sake I hope this time we redecorate.

Fortunately, many people are queuing up to propose better designs, rather than just cursing the interiors, as you can read about here.

Monday 1 October marks the halfway point in a 100-month countdown to a game of climate roulette.

On a very conservative estimate, 50 months from now, the dice become loaded against us in terms of keeping under a 2C temperature rise. This level matters because beyond it an environmental "domino effect" is likely to operate. In a volatile and unpredictable dynamic, things like melting ice, and the release of carbon from the planet's surface are set to feed off each other, accelerating and reinforcing the warming effect.

The time frame follows an estimate of risk of rising greenhouse gas concentrations from the world's leading authority on climate change, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), that passed a certain point, it will no longer be "likely" that we stay the right side of the line. Some consider even a 2C rise too much, but it is the limit that the EU and others have signed up to.

Extraordinarily, however, in spite of the stakes, the issue has receded from the political frontline like a wave shrinking down a beach. This could, though, merely be a prelude to it returning with a vengeance. Politicians may have turned their backs, others have not.

Here's what a broad selection of groups and individuals who range from the Women's Institute to Oxfam and Margaret Thatcher's former environmental adviser, say in an open letter published in the Guardian today to the coalition government and opposition:

"This year has seen the record loss of sea ice, and greenhouse gas concentrations above the Arctic at their highest point for possibly 800,000 years. Crop-wrecking droughts and record temperatures have scorched the American Mid-West."

But, to our dismay, climate change and the weather volatility it fuels have fallen far down the political agenda when it needs to be at the top. It remains, however, one of the greatest threats to human progress, and tackling it is a huge economic opportunity

They call on both the coalition and Labour to spell out what they will do differently in the next 50 months to prevent a climate catastrophe.

Individually some go further. James Gustave Speth, the former head of the United Nations Development Programme appeals for mass, non-violent protest.

The climate scientist Prof Kevin Anderson says it is too late for rich countries to "grow" their way out of the problem and must find a new way to run their economies. He says everyone, including climate scientists, must reduce their emissions and he commits to lowering his own.

Barbara Stocking, chief executive of Oxfam also says it's time for lifestyle change in the wealthy world, especially if we are to tackle global poverty.

Sir Crispin Tickell, former UK permanent representative to the UN and the man credited with persuading Margaret Thatcher as prime inister to acknowledge and act on global warming, calls for a World Environment Organisation to simplify and make effective the wide range of international treaties and agreements.

Many more people describe the huge opportunities for economic recovery and better lives that could come from a great transition to a low-carbon, high well-being economy, but which are currently going begging.

Change is in the air, in spite of the current official blind spot and attempt to return to business as usual, or even go "backwards" as today's joint letter of concern warns. Why, for example, do we encourage the oil industry with tax breaks, when we know that to avoid runaway climate change we can only afford to burn around a fifth of the fossil fuels left in the ground, making it unburnable?

The ideas from our 50 contributors are just a taste of the creativity and innovation available. The failure to act "appears both reckless and short sighted" they write. Yet in the government, the situation appears to be like the old joke about the shopkeeper. When a customer asks for a new product, the shopkeeper replies, "No, sorry mate, people keep asking me for that and I keep telling them, there's just no call for it."

Whether it was rebuilding Europe after the second world war, or action to protect the ozone layer, we know it is possible to put aside narrow self-interest. Leadership like that goes down in history.

What we do in the next 50 months is not a choice between what we have done in the past and what we are doing today. It is an invitation to embark on the most extraordinary, exhilarating and challenging adventure our society has yet faced, learning how to thrive without disastrously destabilising the climate on which we depend. Every step matters, and it matters most that we start walking.


Interactive list of people's ideas here. Though "ideas" is being generous, frankly; "pious, buzzword-laden platitudes" is more like it. Not that it'd make any damn difference if they did have some solid suggestions at this stage.



There are hardly any excesses of the most crazed psychopath that cannot easily be duplicated by a normal kindly family man who just comes in to work every day and has a job to do.
-- (Terry Pratchett, Small Gods)


IReplace "ginger" with "n*gger," and suddenly it become a lot less funny, doesn't it?
-- fgalkin


My tea cosy has a mohawk. Your argument is invalid.

Top
 Profile  
 Post subject: Re: 50 months to avoid climate disaster PostPosted: 2012-10-01 07:28pm
Offline
Jedi Council Member
User avatar

Joined: 2006-05-17 05:05pm
Posts: 1846
Location: New Jersey, USA
Nuclear power. Next question?

Oh - that's probably insufficiently left-friendly for these folks. Hmmmm.

Nuclear power and socialism!



Image

Top
 Profile  
 Post subject: Re: 50 months to avoid climate disaster PostPosted: 2012-10-01 08:33pm
Offline
Sith Marauder
User avatar

Joined: 2010-06-21 11:05am
Posts: 3776
Location: In Transit
There's actually some legitimate objections to going nuclear without, if not socialism per se, at least a drastic shift in attitudes to the role of the private sector in providing essential services. I can't find the thread on the Japanese government's investigation of the Fukushima disaster right now, but the gist of it was that TEPCO senior management were cutting corners on safety every way they could because it made their quarterly profit reports look better.

Not that a majority of the environmentalist movement seems to understand the distinction between "people who think short-term financial gain is worth wilfully endangering tens of thousands of lives shouldn't be entrusted with nuclear reactors" and "nukes bad", but oh well.



There are hardly any excesses of the most crazed psychopath that cannot easily be duplicated by a normal kindly family man who just comes in to work every day and has a job to do.
-- (Terry Pratchett, Small Gods)


IReplace "ginger" with "n*gger," and suddenly it become a lot less funny, doesn't it?
-- fgalkin


My tea cosy has a mohawk. Your argument is invalid.

Top
 Profile  
 Post subject: Re: 50 months to avoid climate disaster PostPosted: 2012-10-01 10:01pm
Offline
Gözde
User avatar

Joined: 2002-09-18 01:06am
Posts: 14353
Location: Exiled in the Pale of Settlement.
We could have for the price of the stimulus and bank bailout in the USA alone conservatively built about 875 x 1 GWe reactors worldwide, which would have been sufficient to eliminate all coal-fired power plants in the United States and People's Republic of China. Coal fired electricity in the PRC and USA, the world's two biggest sources of carbon dioxide emissions, are such a huge portion of our total carbon dioxide emissions that building those 875 x 1 GWe reactors would have eliminated 16% of all manmade carbon dioxide production world-wide.

That is for the exact same price as the bailout that we just engaged in, assuming the reactors are built by the government without financing costs.

The problem is all about political will.

Frankly the risks of nuclear reactors are predictable and manageable, whereas the risks of global warming are not, so how can it even be a choice? For around 8 trillion dollars we could eliminate 40% of all manmade carbon dioxide release in the world by mass production of nuclear reactors.



The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth. -- Wikipedia's No Original Research policy page.

In 1966 the Soviets find something on the dark side of the Moon. In 2104 they come back. -- Red Banner / White Star, a nBSG continuation story. Updated to Chapter 4.0 -- 14 January 2013.

Top
 Profile  
 Post subject: Re: 50 months to avoid climate disaster PostPosted: 2012-10-02 05:58am
Offline
Jedi Master
User avatar

Joined: 2005-06-29 11:31am
Posts: 1126
Location: Londinium
The Duchess of Zeon wrote:
Frankly the risks of nuclear reactors are predictable and manageable, whereas the risks of global warming are not, so how can it even be a choice? For around 8 trillion dollars we could eliminate 40% of all manmade carbon dioxide release in the world by mass production of nuclear reactors.

I don't think anyone on here would dispute much of that. The problem is that even though the risks are known, they are can be ignored by Governments or private companies trying to save money by cutting corners. We've seen the results of both of these over the years.

Rather than simply pooh-poohing people's fears, it would be much more effective to put in place measures to properly mitigate the risks of nuclear reactors - this shouldn't be difficult; after all they are 'predictable and manageable'.



What is WRONG with you people

Top
 Profile  
 Post subject: Re: 50 months to avoid climate disaster PostPosted: 2012-10-02 06:15am
Offline
Emperor's Hand

Joined: 2009-05-23 07:29pm
Posts: 20977
Doing this would take little or no more political will than building the reactors in the first place. The will would have to be sustained, but it wouldn't be impossible.

The big problem here is a perspective gap. Suppose I say "we can control the risks by building modern reactors and managing them competently," and you say "you should be properly mitigating the risks, not pooh-poohing my fears!"

What am I supposed to say now? That is how I would plan to mitigate the risks, I am being quite serious. I could go into more detail if I were a nuclear engineer, but that's still what it boils down to. If that counts as pooh-poohing someone's concerns instead of addressing them, I don't know what addressing them would look like.



Eleventh Century Remnant wrote:
What is this 'favourite character' you speak of? I have walls lined with bookshelves, having a single favourite character would be like having a favourite brick.
-Story of my literary tastes.

Top
 Profile  
 Post subject: Re: 50 months to avoid climate disaster PostPosted: 2012-10-02 06:36am
Offline
Jedi Master
User avatar

Joined: 2005-06-29 11:31am
Posts: 1126
Location: Londinium
Simon_Jester wrote:
The big problem here is a perspective gap. Suppose I say "we can control the risks by building modern reactors and managing them competently," and you say "you should be properly mitigating the risks, not pooh-poohing my fears!"

That's not what the Dutchess said though. She simply said that the risks were "predictable and manageable" and left it at that. This is not going to convince people that Chernobyl and Fukoshima are a thing of the past and will not happen here (wherever here happens to be).

Simon_Jester wrote:
What am I supposed to say now? That is how I would plan to mitigate the risks, I am being quite serious. I could go into more detail if I were a nuclear engineer, but that's still what it boils down to. If that counts as pooh-poohing someone's concerns instead of addressing them, I don't know what addressing them would look like.

Yes, that's what needs to happen and I have no idea how you read into my post that I would consider this pooh-poohing the public's concerns.

Governments need to be able to come up with ways of ensuring (as far as is humanly possible) that procedures are in place to stop companies endangering the public by lowering standards. They then have the much trickier task of convincing the public that this will work and the danger has been minimised. I didn't say it would be easy, but I see no other way of getting the numbers of nuclear plants that we require to be built in democratic countries.



What is WRONG with you people

Top
 Profile  
 Post subject: Re: 50 months to avoid climate disaster PostPosted: 2012-10-02 07:12am
Offline
Emperor's Hand
User avatar

Joined: 2004-01-02 08:04pm
Posts: 21152
Location: Industrial armpit of the US Midwest
Frankly, I think we've already passed the point of no return. Build reactors? How fast could you actually build that number of reactors? Between supply of necessary materials to sufficiently trained and competent builders I just don't think there's enough to get the job done for this deadline. It's not just about money, it's about the means to actually get stuff done.

No, climate change is coming (actually, it's already here). It's irrational to speaking of stopping it, what we need is to come up with a strategy to adapt to it.



Now I did a job. I got nothing but trouble since I did it, not to mention more than a few unkind words as regard to my character so let me make this abundantly clear. I do the job. And then I get paid. - Malcolm Reynolds, Captain of Serenity, which sums up my feelings regarding the lawsuit discussed here.

If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich. - John F. Kennedy

Sam Vimes Theory of Economic Injustice

Top
 Profile  
 Post subject: Re: 50 months to avoid climate disaster PostPosted: 2012-10-02 07:23am
Offline
Jedi Master
User avatar

Joined: 2005-06-29 11:31am
Posts: 1126
Location: Londinium
Broomstick wrote:
No, climate change is coming (actually, it's already here). It's irrational to speaking of stopping it, what we need is to come up with a strategy to adapt to it.

It's not just climate change though, we actually need the electricity production to keep up with increasing demand. And, yes, climate change is here and is happening but slowing down the rate of change is still possible and still desirable.



What is WRONG with you people

Top
 Profile  
 Post subject: Re: 50 months to avoid climate disaster PostPosted: 2012-10-02 07:34am
Offline
Emperor's Hand
User avatar

Joined: 2004-01-02 08:04pm
Posts: 21152
Location: Industrial armpit of the US Midwest
True, there is merit in reducing our various emissions and it should be done, but too often I hear about "stopping" climate change. The horse has left the barn, folks. It's happening.



Now I did a job. I got nothing but trouble since I did it, not to mention more than a few unkind words as regard to my character so let me make this abundantly clear. I do the job. And then I get paid. - Malcolm Reynolds, Captain of Serenity, which sums up my feelings regarding the lawsuit discussed here.

If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich. - John F. Kennedy

Sam Vimes Theory of Economic Injustice

Top
 Profile  
 Post subject: Re: 50 months to avoid climate disaster PostPosted: 2012-10-02 11:11am
Offline
Gözde
User avatar

Joined: 2002-09-18 01:06am
Posts: 14353
Location: Exiled in the Pale of Settlement.
I assumed 50 months was the deadline for implementing the policy, not actually achieving anything. If it's the later, then forget about it, nothing can be done whatsoever.



The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth. -- Wikipedia's No Original Research policy page.

In 1966 the Soviets find something on the dark side of the Moon. In 2104 they come back. -- Red Banner / White Star, a nBSG continuation story. Updated to Chapter 4.0 -- 14 January 2013.

Top
 Profile  
 Post subject: Re: 50 months to avoid climate disaster PostPosted: 2012-10-02 12:03pm
Offline
Jedi Council Member
User avatar

Joined: 2006-09-10 10:16pm
Posts: 1664
Location: Research Triangle, NC
How reliable is this 50 month figure? What is it based off of/how did they calculate it? Color me skeptical that any model exists that can accurately predict complex weather phenomenon with such precision.



"Spare me your space age technobabble, Atilla the Hun." -Zap Brannagan

Begin shameless self-promotion: read my blog! You might find it mildly interesting.
Bobcat Territory
End shameless self-promotion

Top
 Profile  
 Post subject: Re: 50 months to avoid climate disaster PostPosted: 2012-10-03 12:49am
Offline
Sith Marauder
User avatar

Joined: 2010-06-21 11:05am
Posts: 3776
Location: In Transit
Broomstick wrote:
No, climate change is coming (actually, it's already here). It's irrational to speaking of stopping it, what we need is to come up with a strategy to adapt to it.

I think the reason nobody wants to talk about what to do about surviving a post-climate change world is simple. In order to progress to that point, we have to admit to ourselves that tens of millions, maybe hundreds of millions of people are now as good as dead. And not only do we have to accept that, we have to start making choices about who is to be saved and who isn't. Very few people are comfortable with thinking in those terms, and most people who are tend not to be attracted to supposedly left-wing causes like environmentalism.



There are hardly any excesses of the most crazed psychopath that cannot easily be duplicated by a normal kindly family man who just comes in to work every day and has a job to do.
-- (Terry Pratchett, Small Gods)


IReplace "ginger" with "n*gger," and suddenly it become a lot less funny, doesn't it?
-- fgalkin


My tea cosy has a mohawk. Your argument is invalid.

Top
 Profile  
 Post subject: Re: 50 months to avoid climate disaster PostPosted: 2012-10-03 07:47am
Offline
Emperor's Hand
User avatar

Joined: 2004-01-02 08:04pm
Posts: 21152
Location: Industrial armpit of the US Midwest
I question the notion that the death toll from such a thing MUST be in the "tens of millions". Yeah, it certainly could, but that's like saying we could have WWIII start in the next year. It's possible, but not inevitable. How we react does matter



Now I did a job. I got nothing but trouble since I did it, not to mention more than a few unkind words as regard to my character so let me make this abundantly clear. I do the job. And then I get paid. - Malcolm Reynolds, Captain of Serenity, which sums up my feelings regarding the lawsuit discussed here.

If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich. - John F. Kennedy

Sam Vimes Theory of Economic Injustice

Top
 Profile  
 Post subject: Re: 50 months to avoid climate disaster PostPosted: 2012-10-03 08:55am
Offline
Sith Marauder
User avatar

Joined: 2010-06-21 11:05am
Posts: 3776
Location: In Transit
I hope you'll forgive me if the reaction so far doesn't fill me with optimism.



There are hardly any excesses of the most crazed psychopath that cannot easily be duplicated by a normal kindly family man who just comes in to work every day and has a job to do.
-- (Terry Pratchett, Small Gods)


IReplace "ginger" with "n*gger," and suddenly it become a lot less funny, doesn't it?
-- fgalkin


My tea cosy has a mohawk. Your argument is invalid.

Top
 Profile  
 Post subject: Re: 50 months to avoid climate disaster PostPosted: 2012-10-03 09:56pm
Offline
Jedi Council Member
User avatar

Joined: 2006-09-19 03:12pm
Posts: 2392
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Broomstick wrote:
Frankly, I think we've already passed the point of no return. Build reactors? How fast could you actually build that number of reactors? Between supply of necessary materials to sufficiently trained and competent builders I just don't think there's enough to get the job done for this deadline. It's not just about money, it's about the means to actually get stuff done.

What we need is an energy source that is clean, reliable, enormously abundant, keeps getting cheaper and capable of being implemented extremely rapidly.



"Now let us be clear, my friends. The fruits of our science that you receive and the many millions of benefits that justify them, are a gift. Be grateful. Or be silent." -Modified Quote

Top
 Profile  
 Post subject: Re: 50 months to avoid climate disaster PostPosted: 2012-10-03 10:03pm
Offline
Emperor's Hand
User avatar

Joined: 2004-01-02 08:04pm
Posts: 21152
Location: Industrial armpit of the US Midwest
Great idea for a SF movie....

... now what are we going to do in real life?



Now I did a job. I got nothing but trouble since I did it, not to mention more than a few unkind words as regard to my character so let me make this abundantly clear. I do the job. And then I get paid. - Malcolm Reynolds, Captain of Serenity, which sums up my feelings regarding the lawsuit discussed here.

If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich. - John F. Kennedy

Sam Vimes Theory of Economic Injustice

Top
 Profile  
 Post subject: Re: 50 months to avoid climate disaster PostPosted: 2012-10-03 10:06pm
Offline
Jedi Council Member
User avatar

Joined: 2006-09-19 03:12pm
Posts: 2392
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Broomstick wrote:
Great idea for a SF movie....

... now what are we going to do in real life?

I was talking about real life. Those are factual aspects of solar power.



"Now let us be clear, my friends. The fruits of our science that you receive and the many millions of benefits that justify them, are a gift. Be grateful. Or be silent." -Modified Quote

Top
 Profile  
 Post subject: Re: 50 months to avoid climate disaster PostPosted: 2012-10-03 11:19pm
Offline
Emperor's Hand
User avatar

Joined: 2004-01-02 08:04pm
Posts: 21152
Location: Industrial armpit of the US Midwest
Kind of sucks if you live at high latitudes, though, when the time of the year you'll arguably need energy the most is the time you will have little or no solar, though.

And while solar power is "clean", production of the equipment to utilize it may or may not be.

Even so, when combined with much better efficiency of things like lighting it will certainly help.



Now I did a job. I got nothing but trouble since I did it, not to mention more than a few unkind words as regard to my character so let me make this abundantly clear. I do the job. And then I get paid. - Malcolm Reynolds, Captain of Serenity, which sums up my feelings regarding the lawsuit discussed here.

If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich. - John F. Kennedy

Sam Vimes Theory of Economic Injustice

Top
 Profile  
 Post subject: Re: 50 months to avoid climate disaster PostPosted: 2012-10-04 12:19am
Offline
Jedi Council Member
User avatar

Joined: 2006-09-19 03:12pm
Posts: 2392
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Broomstick wrote:
Kind of sucks if you live at high latitudes, though, when the time of the year you'll arguably need energy the most is the time you will have little or no solar, though.

'No solar' would mean pitch darkness and zero heat.
Quote:
And while solar power is "clean", production of the equipment to utilize it may or may not be.

As opposed to the squeaky clean manufacturing methods of current energy technologies that only contribute to pollution when they start feeding power into the grid?
Quote:
Even so, when combined with much better efficiency of things like lighting it will certainly help.

Well, if some place like Alaska only used 1% of it's available landmass area, assuming only a yield of 0.1kWh per square meter per day, and solar harvesting efficiency of only 20%, then they would have an daily energy source equivalent to well over two million barrels of gasoline per day (over a tenth of US daily oil consumption as I recall). Not too shabby, considering that's a truly pessimistic assessment of solar for the US's most northern state.

For the rest of the United States, if one assumes a generously conservative low figure of 2kWh per square meter per day, the land mass of the US is receiving the equivalent of almost thirteen billion barrels of gasoline per day. Sure, that's raw available energy and you can't tap all of it at perfect efficiency. But then, humans do seem to think sailing out in the middle of the fucking ocean and drilling a hole kilometers deep is economical, but propping up solar panels on dry land, photovoltaic glass, plastics, steels, cloth, etc...isn't.



"Now let us be clear, my friends. The fruits of our science that you receive and the many millions of benefits that justify them, are a gift. Be grateful. Or be silent." -Modified Quote

Top
 Profile  
 Post subject: Re: 50 months to avoid climate disaster PostPosted: 2012-10-04 07:16am
Offline
Sith Marauder
User avatar

Joined: 2010-06-21 11:05am
Posts: 3776
Location: In Transit
SI, we've had this discussion several times. I'm entirely in agreement that solar power is an extremely important technology that we could be using a lot more effectively than we are at the moment, but it is not and almost certainly never will be a panacea. Its output is subject to too many variations based on things we cannot control, and we still have a massive bottleneck in terms of energy storage.

If digital quantum batteries or some other theoretical new technology turns out to be viable, then maybe we've got a shot at going 100% solar. But until then we're stuck with what we've got, and what we've got requires a Plan B in the event of several days of heavy cloud cover.



There are hardly any excesses of the most crazed psychopath that cannot easily be duplicated by a normal kindly family man who just comes in to work every day and has a job to do.
-- (Terry Pratchett, Small Gods)


IReplace "ginger" with "n*gger," and suddenly it become a lot less funny, doesn't it?
-- fgalkin


My tea cosy has a mohawk. Your argument is invalid.

Top
 Profile  
 Post subject: Re: 50 months to avoid climate disaster PostPosted: 2012-10-04 10:06am
Offline
Gözde
User avatar

Joined: 2002-09-18 01:06am
Posts: 14353
Location: Exiled in the Pale of Settlement.
We could of course use pumped storage on an utterly massive scale, but this requires a willingness to build the Three Gorges Dam hundreds of times, in all climatic regimes of the world. Sure, not having the water have to keep going, just needing two height-differential giant lakes, helps a lot, but that's still a huge amount of fresh water and it would need to be replenished due to evaporation and groundwater seepage. it is the only way to store the solar energy SI is going on about with our current technology in the amounts required.

Anyway, Broomstick, yes, tens of millions of people are going to die. I mean, that isn't even necessarily going to register anywhere in the world, though. Look at Bangladesh. Even the most moderate estimates of sea level rise are going to inundate the country, and how is India going to be able to help one hundred million refugees when they're trying to keep their own population alive? Bangladesh being fully submerged will entail tens of millions of starvation deaths in refugee camps as a matter of course, so pretty much any future outcome of this problem still results in tens of millions of deaths no matter what we do at this point. It would be ridiculous to think that if we can't head this off in advance that we're going to have the political will to even lay out the food to feed these people.



The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth. -- Wikipedia's No Original Research policy page.

In 1966 the Soviets find something on the dark side of the Moon. In 2104 they come back. -- Red Banner / White Star, a nBSG continuation story. Updated to Chapter 4.0 -- 14 January 2013.

Top
 Profile  
 Post subject: Re: 50 months to avoid climate disaster PostPosted: 2012-10-04 05:16pm
Offline
Jedi Knight
User avatar

Joined: 2005-04-12 10:01pm
Posts: 651
Location: Meh
The problems of private companies ignoring safety issues in nuclear power plants is not an argument against nuclear power plants. It's an argument against privately owned and run nuclear power plants. The obvious solution is to not let private companies run things like that.



Kill one man, you're a murderer. Kill a million, a king. Kill them all, a god. - Anonymous

Top
 Profile  
 Post subject: Re: 50 months to avoid climate disaster PostPosted: 2012-10-04 08:38pm
Offline
Emperor's Hand
User avatar

Joined: 2004-01-02 08:04pm
Posts: 21152
Location: Industrial armpit of the US Midwest
The Duchess of Zeon wrote:
Anyway, Broomstick, yes, tens of millions of people are going to die. I mean, that isn't even necessarily going to register anywhere in the world, though.

Right. As pointed out, tens of millions of people die every year in the normal course of events. When does "deaths from climate change" become large enough to show up against the background rate of deaths?

It's like determining deaths from something like Chernobyl's nuclear accident - how do you separate deaths from radiation over decades from the background level of deaths? How do you distinguish between leukemia induced by radiation and that which would have occurred anyway? When is a death due to climate change vs. "normal" famine or deaths from weather events that would have occurred anyway vs. those attributable to climate change?

Part of getting people to act on this is making them aware that people are dying from this but it's not a simple matter to tease out death from climate change from all the other ways people die every day and every year.

Quote:
Look at Bangladesh. Even the most moderate estimates of sea level rise are going to inundate the country, and how is India going to be able to help one hundred million refugees when they're trying to keep their own population alive? Bangladesh being fully submerged will entail tens of millions of starvation deaths in refugee camps as a matter of course, so pretty much any future outcome of this problem still results in tens of millions of deaths no matter what we do at this point. It would be ridiculous to think that if we can't head this off in advance that we're going to have the political will to even lay out the food to feed these people.

Bangladesh isn't going to sink beneath the sea in the course of a day. It will be a slow disaster, which makes it all the harder to get people interested or even to notice it. If it did submerge one afternoon, creating all those refugees, then the world would actually get involved to some degree as it seems inclined to do when sudden disaster hits. Slow disaster? Not so much. It will force X number of people off the land every year, kill Y number, create Z number of refugees but unless those numbers are sufficient to jump out from the background levels of those things that occur anyway no one will notice or care. Outside of those actually suffering, of course.



Now I did a job. I got nothing but trouble since I did it, not to mention more than a few unkind words as regard to my character so let me make this abundantly clear. I do the job. And then I get paid. - Malcolm Reynolds, Captain of Serenity, which sums up my feelings regarding the lawsuit discussed here.

If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich. - John F. Kennedy

Sam Vimes Theory of Economic Injustice

Top
 Profile  
 Post subject: Re: 50 months to avoid climate disaster PostPosted: 2012-10-04 09:44pm
Offline
Jedi Council Member
User avatar

Joined: 2006-09-19 03:12pm
Posts: 2392
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Zaune wrote:
SI, we've had this discussion several times. I'm entirely in agreement that solar power is an extremely important technology that we could be using a lot more effectively than we are at the moment, but it is not and almost certainly never will be a panacea. Its output is subject to too many variations based on things we cannot control,

Do you have specific objections? My previously cited example of Alaska utilizing solar power assumed a measly 0.1 kWh per square meter per day. The reality is actually somewhere between 8 to 12 times greater in yield even for the most northern points, like Point Barrow, Alaska 71°23′20″N 156°28′45″W.

Just how fucking conservative do I need to be here to demstrate the massive amounts of energy available?

Quote:
and we still have a massive bottleneck in terms of energy storage.

Never minding rapid progress in battery technologies, electrolysis of water would yield an excellent energy carrier called hydrogen which is a pollution free fuel. We certainly have no shortage of water on the planet.
Quote:
If digital quantum batteries or some other theoretical new technology turns out to be viable, then maybe we've got a shot at going 100% solar. But until then we're stuck with what we've got, and what we've got requires a Plan B in the event of several days of heavy cloud cover.

Right, so use the gargantuan excess of available solar energy to create large quantities of hydrogen fuel for those cloudy days where efficiency of direct solar energy harvesting is reduced in effectiveness (not absent as standard solar mythology tends to propagate). Hydrogen is a clean burning, excellent energy carrier that we can easily produce, given our planet is 78% covered in water.



"Now let us be clear, my friends. The fruits of our science that you receive and the many millions of benefits that justify them, are a gift. Be grateful. Or be silent." -Modified Quote

Top
 Profile  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 127 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6  Next

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Baidu [Spider] and 6 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group