A different thought on Global Warming... - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-06-2007, 06:06 PM Thread Starter
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A different thought on Global Warming...

So here are the premises for this post. I'm trying to get past all the initial arguments to what I think may be the ulimate issue.


A. Assume that global warming is a fact and that it is indeed caused by humans, fossil fuels, etc. In other words, the current state of rising temperatures is not a natural planetary phenomenon for this globe.

B. Assume -- as many scientists say -- that if we TERMINATED -- not just reduced -- all human contributory factors, as of today, then it would still take 10-15-20 years for the planet to stabilize, much less reverse this trend.

Okay, with those premises, then:

1. Who would be willing/able to immediately dump all vehicles powered by fossil fuels?

2. Who would be willing/able to turn off all air conditioners, which contribute further heat to the atmosphere directly as well as through fossil fuel power plants?

3. How many other "necessities" and "comforts" would people in developed nations be willing to give up to be able to eliminate fossil fuel power plants?


Now changing premise B to REDUCING instead of terminating:

1. Who would be willing/able to curtail driving by 25-50% in fossil fuel vehicles?

2. Who would be willing to set their A/C thermostats at 85 or even higher in the hot, humid summer months?

3. What else would you give up or cut back on?

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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-06-2007, 07:01 PM
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Originally Posted by gregs210
So here are the premises for this post. I'm trying to get past all the initial arguments to what I think may be the ulimate issue.


A. Assume that global warming is a fact and that it is indeed caused by humans, fossil fuels, etc. In other words, the current state of rising temperatures is not a natural planetary phenomenon for this globe.

B. Assume -- as many scientists say -- that if we TERMINATED -- not just reduced -- all human contributory factors, as of today, then it would still take 10-15-20 years for the planet to stabilize, much less reverse this trend.

Okay, with those premises, then:

1. Who would be willing/able to immediately dump all vehicles powered by fossil fuels?

2. Who would be willing/able to turn off all air conditioners, which contribute further heat to the atmosphere directly as well as through fossil fuel power plants?

3. How many other "necessities" and "comforts" would people in developed nations be willing to give up to be able to eliminate fossil fuel power plants?


Now changing premise B to REDUCING instead of terminating:

1. Who would be willing/able to curtail driving by 25-50% in fossil fuel vehicles?

2. Who would be willing to set their A/C thermostats at 85 or even higher in the hot, humid summer months?

3. What else would you give up or cut back on?
I think the notable part of this is that no one has ever, at any point suggested that any of the developed countries "give up" anything. All that has ever been proposed has been your modified Premise B - REDUCING the usage of those items that contribute most to the problem.

Air Conditioning is certainly one aspect that needs addressed. You can already see many changes that look at reducing AC usage such as Programmable Thermostats, Triple Pane Windows, New Technology AC Units, higher efficiency filtration – all products of the Cabal of Conspiracy out only to take citizen’s money. There has also been a Slipstreaming of the change of coolant type from R12 to R134a in both Auto and Home/Commercial that has provided a level of assistance. As businesses learn that it saves them money to also be energy efficient, more businesses are building better, smarter buildings that are exponentially more efficient than 25 years ago. All part of that Cabal of Conspiracy.

As for cars, Auto manufacturers have been building more fuel efficient cars over the past decade. Unfortunately SUVs and Pickup Trucks have been left out of efficiency standards so their development in efficiency is lagging. Note that the Birth of the SUV coincided directly with the dropping of the large family station wagon which WAS counted in CAFÉ standards. Automakers CAFÉ numbers jumped 8% immediately with that change. Coincidence?

As for reduction of driving, some studies have shown that people are starting to batch their errands now, instead of the former impulse errands. That habit change will make a significant difference. Also, telecommuting is starting to make an impact on individual budgets [although home energy costs go up]

Most studies show that people are willing to either spend money [insulation, more efficient car, new windows, shade trees] or learn to economize [change from standard light bulbs, tune up more often, batch errands, reduce vacations, raise temp of AC] in an effort to both save money and contribute to the overall environment.

Now for a Climate Change paradox, today 6pm:

McBear,
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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-06-2007, 07:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregs210
So here are the premises for this post. I'm trying to get past all the initial arguments to what I think may be the ulimate issue.


A. Assume that global warming is a fact and that it is indeed caused by humans, fossil fuels, etc. In other words, the current state of rising temperatures is not a natural planetary phenomenon for this globe.

B. Assume -- as many scientists say -- that if we TERMINATED -- not just reduced -- all human contributory factors, as of today, then it would still take 10-15-20 years for the planet to stabilize, much less reverse this trend.

Okay, with those premises, then:

1. Who would be willing/able to immediately dump all vehicles powered by fossil fuels?

2. Who would be willing/able to turn off all air conditioners, which contribute further heat to the atmosphere directly as well as through fossil fuel power plants?

3. How many other "necessities" and "comforts" would people in developed nations be willing to give up to be able to eliminate fossil fuel power plants?


Now changing premise B to REDUCING instead of terminating:

1. Who would be willing/able to curtail driving by 25-50% in fossil fuel vehicles?

2. Who would be willing to set their A/C thermostats at 85 or even higher in the hot, humid summer months?

3. What else would you give up or cut back on?
I appreciate your question, but I bet this thread turns into yet another discussion about causes rather than solutions.

That being said, if the theory were proven, I can't see a significant number of humans giving up the things you list (that have them). The industrialization of other countries will escalate the issue further. As long as we keep making so many people (adding industry to make them stuff, ripping down trees to build them houses, etc), escalation continues.

What you would see is legislation that would increase the costs associated with your list to the point where the population that could afford them would shrink considerably. Of course, this legislation wouldn't kick in until after a number of years, because elected officials don't like to do things that piss people off. If the developing nations don't play, we won't have our stuff and it'll still get warmer. However, we are an innovative people, technology improves, we adapt, we'll survive.

For me, I'll likely pay and drive.

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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-06-2007, 07:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcbear
I think the notable part of this is that no one has ever, at any point suggested that any of the developed countries "give up" anything. All that has ever been proposed has been your modified Premise B - REDUCING the usage of those items that contribute most to the problem.

Air Conditioning is certainly one aspect that needs addressed. You can already see many changes that look at reducing AC usage such as Programmable Thermostats, Triple Pane Windows, New Technology AC Units, higher efficiency filtration – all products of the Cabal of Conspiracy out only to take citizen’s money. There has also been a Slipstreaming of the change of coolant type from R12 to R134a in both Auto and Home/Commercial that has provided a level of assistance. As businesses learn that it saves them money to also be energy efficient, more businesses are building better, smarter buildings that are exponentially more efficient than 25 years ago. All part of that Cabal of Conspiracy.

As for cars, Auto manufacturers have been building more fuel efficient cars over the past decade. Unfortunately SUVs and Pickup Trucks have been left out of efficiency standards so their development in efficiency is lagging. Note that the Birth of the SUV coincided directly with the dropping of the large family station wagon which WAS counted in CAFÉ standards. Automakers CAFÉ numbers jumped 8% immediately with that change. Coincidence?

As for reduction of driving, some studies have shown that people are starting to batch their errands now, instead of the former impulse errands. That habit change will make a significant difference. Also, telecommuting is starting to make an impact on individual budgets [although home energy costs go up]

Most studies show that people are willing to either spend money [insulation, more efficient car, new windows, shade trees] or learn to economize [change from standard light bulbs, tune up more often, batch errands, reduce vacations, raise temp of AC] in an effort to both save money and contribute to the overall environment.

Now for a Climate Change paradox, today 6pm:
Cars and buildings and home air conditioners are indeed becoming more efficient, but they're getting more numerous. Power demand continues to increase, so these things are a decrease to the increase to the emissions. Not disputing your point, Bear, the things you list are true and are not bad things to do, some even pay to do with today's power costs.

Doing those things aren't close to the doomsday scenario that began this thread, though, way easier to screw in a light bulb than give up your car. The question was whether we'd be willing to do that.

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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-06-2007, 09:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregs210
So here are the premises for this post. I'm trying to get past all the initial arguments to what I think may be the ulimate issue.


A. Assume that global warming is a fact and that it is indeed caused by humans, fossil fuels, etc. In other words, the current state of rising temperatures is not a natural planetary phenomenon for this globe.

B. Assume -- as many scientists say -- that if we TERMINATED -- not just reduced -- all human contributory factors, as of today, then it would still take 10-15-20 years for the planet to stabilize, much less reverse this trend.

Okay, with those premises, then:

1. Who would be willing/able to immediately dump all vehicles powered by fossil fuels?

2. Who would be willing/able to turn off all air conditioners, which contribute further heat to the atmosphere directly as well as through fossil fuel power plants?

3. How many other "necessities" and "comforts" would people in developed nations be willing to give up to be able to eliminate fossil fuel power plants?
1. Not me.

2. Not me.

3. Zero.



Quote:
Now changing premise B to REDUCING instead of terminating:

1. Who would be willing/able to curtail driving by 25-50% in fossil fuel vehicles?

2. Who would be willing to set their A/C thermostats at 85 or even higher in the hot, humid summer months?

3. What else would you give up or cut back on?
1. Not me.

2. Not me.

3. Nothing.

Last edited by maine_coon; 04-06-2007 at 09:11 PM.
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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-06-2007, 09:19 PM
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Originally Posted by edfreeman
Doing those things aren't close to the doomsday scenario that began this thread, though, way easier to screw in a light bulb than give up your car. The question was whether we'd be willing to do that.
I understand. My point was that there is not a need for the Doomsday scenario.

Here is a quote from the Chairman of the Kentucky Public Service Commission. He is about as NeoCon Republican as you can get. I have also known him since he was in the fourth grade. It is a thought that I believe shows a reality that there is no need to look at Draconian solutions when the power of everyone working together can provide balanced solutions that address the part of this Climate problem that man affects.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chairman, KY PSC
It does not matter whether or not one believes that the earth is getting warmer. It is irrelevant whether you believe that global warming is a serious problem. It makes no difference what view one has of the role of fossil fuel combustion in producing global climate change.

In one sense, it’s even not all that important that the scientific consensus is undeniably in support of all three of those propositions.

That is because what really counts is that the POLITICAL and POLICY realities are
moving in the direction of reducing, controlling or restricting carbon emissions created by the use of coal to generate electricity. Any view that we can simply continue into the indefinite future relying almost entirely on conventional coal-fired power plants – albeit ones with enhanced pollution controls – is simply unrealistic.

That realization is beginning to take hold in the utility industry, even in a state as heavily dependent on coal as Kentucky. Since 2004, the chief executive officers of all three the investor-owned utilities operating in Kentucky – EON US, Duke Energy and American Electric Power – have, much to their credit, acknowledged the scientific, political and policy realties of global climate change and have positioned their companies among the private and public entities that are looking for new and better ways to continue using coal.
http://psc.ky.gov/agencies/psc/speec...100506Goss.pdf

Kentucky Public Service Commission

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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-06-2007, 09:58 PM
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Here is my binary decision tree:

Assume that global warming is in some part, anthropogenic.
1. What are the costs and consequences of assuming no human input and doing nothing?
2. What are the costs and consequences of assuming a human input and doing something?

Assuming that global is in no significant sense, anthropogenic
1. What are the costs and consequences of assuming no human input and doing nothing?
2. What are the costs and consequences of assuming a human input and doing something?

By following this tree, I believe we voters can better address our concerns on election day.
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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-06-2007, 10:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Botnst
Here is my binary decision tree:

Assume that global warming is in some part, anthropogenic.
1. What are the costs and consequences of assuming no human input and doing nothing?
2. What are the costs and consequences of assuming a human input and doing something?

Assuming that global is in no significant sense, anthropogenic
1. What are the costs and consequences of assuming no human input and doing nothing?
2. What are the costs and consequences of assuming a human input and doing something?

By following this tree, I believe we voters can better address our concerns on election day.
Of course, because we want voters to be the ones to decide complex scientific concepts. Exactly what do you wish the voters to vote on?

The primary things the government has to do on Climate Change are to write or tighten regulations on emissions which allow industry to have guidelines to follow and to increase funding for some research that is lagging in emerging fields [new fuels, NewGen, etc].

It would be really, really nice if government would envision a far reaching technical goal to push industry, ala Moon Shot, but I fear we have far too few politicians who have mind of a generation vision and too many who change their mind daily, depending on polling.

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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-06-2007, 10:19 PM
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Originally Posted by mcbear
Of course, because we want voters to be the ones to decide complex scientific concepts. Exactly what do you wish the voters to vote on?

The primary things the government has to do on Climate Change are to write or tighten regulations on emissions which allow industry to have guidelines to follow and to increase funding for some research that is lagging in emerging fields [new fuels, NewGen, etc].

It would be really, really nice if government would envision a far reaching technical goal to push industry, ala Moon Shot, but I fear we have far too few politicians who have mind of a generation vision and too many who change their mind daily, depending on polling.
I won't be bothered.

I have no children and I am old enough not to see any impact in my remaining future.
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-06-2007, 10:19 PM
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Originally Posted by mcbear
Of course, because we want voters to be the ones to decide complex scientific concepts. Exactly what do you wish the voters to vote on?
....
By golly, I hope that we never, ever let some priesthood or aristocracy of the mind replace democratic polity.
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