Originally Posted by JimSmith
It seems the difference between natural sources of CO2 and manmade sources of CO2 being added to the environment is that man can do something to control the manmade sources, while man can do nothing to control the natural sources and this difference is being overlooked by the hurling of "facts" mixed with aspersions as the two sides debate the issue. When boiled down to its essence, the argument that is being posed by the global warming doubters is that because we cannot control the natural sources we should ignore the fact that we can control the manmade ones. I, and many of those who find the case presented that humans are contributing to global warming, and therefore should do something about it because we can, find the opposing argument uniquely short sighted.
As the population grows and more people make more sources, without control the theory postulates, the man made sources will begin to hurry up the process of climate change. Ignoring the question of "when will that point in time arrive?" for the moment, Bruce, do you deny that the effects of CO2 emissions are as the theory proposes? That when the buffering mechanisms can no longer keep up with rate of emissions being pumped into the atmosphere, that the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere will increase and the higher CO2 concentration will contribute to a change in the earth's albedo, such that more of the engergy from the sun will remain trapped by the atmosphere? And, that such a change will increase the not only the air temperature but also the water temperature of the oceans? And then, more CO2 that is presently dissolved in the earth's oceans will be forced out of solution by the increased temperature? And that the breaking down of one of the greater mechanisms for buffering the atmospheric CO2 content will then cause the rate of climate change to increase?
The problem is difficult to understand, as it is very complex. There could be some flaws in the present theory of how all these buffering mechanisms are linked, however, the present consensus of scientists studying the phenomena related to the rate of climate change is that industrialization has led to much improved standards of living for humans, which is extending life expectancy and lowering mortality rates from diseases and accidents and so on, resulting in a very rapid growth in the earth's population. This rapid growth is accompanied by more industrialization, leading to more rapid population growth and, more industrialization liabilities. One of them is CO2 emissions. There are many others. The issue at hand is complicated by our survival instinct, which rates things like a tiger running at you to eat you as a much more urgent problem to address than, say, global warming that may or may not cause you any real stress in the remainder of your life. So, the tendency is not to let global warming concerns intrude on the daily struggle to survive. That does not mean global warming, and the controllable contribution by humans to the rate of global warming, should be ignored. Jim
I find this to be very well put...untarnished by prejudice, straightforward, and doing justice to the case brought by those concerned about the environment in general and climate change specifically.
I'd like to distance myself here from those who believe that A) the Earth's climate isn't changing, and B) there is nothing humanity can do which would be of significant value to the ecology of our planet.
That said, I will continue to push back on people who offer half-cocked, "feel good" plans for things we should all be doing under the guise of one man's ability to affect global climate change. Replacing every bulb in the world with a fluorescent isn't going to make a dent in the problem. Replacing every car in the world with an electric model isn't going to make a dent in the problem either, at least not for quite a long time away. We're sifting through pepper in a search for fly shit with discussions like these.
Humanity needs to be conscientious, and refrain from reckless behavior on grand scales. That's the low hanging fruit. Whether or not cleaning up factories and adopting nuclear power will help global warming one lick isn't at issue, they remain the right things to do. Let's not confuse the two, or use one as a lever to force the other. Furthermore, let's not engage in fascist, scare-mongering tactics in an effort to force compliance of thought with those who cannot detach themselves emotionally from beliefs which do not stand to the scrutiny of dissenting opinion. This is exactly the type of practice being alleged and bemoaned of our Presidential administration. If one is to curse those tactics as fascist, then they would do well themselves to not engage in them. Coercion isn't a strategy for long term success in any venture.