Climate change

1,843 posts in this topic

 

I think the problem with this 'debate' is that there are really two facets:

 

1) Is Global Warming happening?

2) Is it caused by man?

Correct. Climate Change is in all probabilty happening. The Gulf stream has allready stopped once in the last decade. Gepgraphy 101 says that means we will have great skiing if that became a permenate global feature. Ice caps are melting, glaciers are in certain places retreating and the weather patterns are more energised and erratic. And as wheel says quiet correctly this has happened before a thousand times, and sometimes shockingly within a human generation time frame.

 

The big debate is are we humans the cause or a compounding factor in this? As some scientist pointed out in the 60's, pumping a couple of hundred million years of stored CO2 into the atmosphere in only two hundred is one heck of a climatic experiment. The jury is out on that question, but I look at it all this way.

 

1) We're wrong and man has nothing to do with this. But by cutting our usage of finite resources we have conserved energy usage and accelerated the development of alternative renewable energy WHICH WE WILL NEED ANYWAY as we're going to reach Oil Peak in approximatley 2012 and who knows how long with natural gas and coal.

 

Either way we win on that, both personaly, through money saved through lower energy bills (I recon that I've roughly saved a thousand euros a year through certain choices - less car usage, no air conditioning, no tumble dryer, and dont keep the heating on so high that you can comfortably wear nothing in the house when it's -20 outside), and enviromentaly.

 

2) We're right and man did do it, and increasing denial and procastination causes irreperable damadge to our enviroment and human existance.

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This is the crux of the matter - climate change is a people problem and not really an "earth" problem. Although proponents of climate change awareness will have us believe that they are looking out for all of us this is not true. An extrapolation of current climate change policy will show that in the next few decades it will be more costly and difficult for developing nations to initialise industrialisation thus leaving them (as always) at the mercy of the developed countries.

S we should rather leave China and India to pump tons of shit into the atmosphere? You sound as bad as the third world countries themselves. I suppose its all our fault that Africa and to a lesser extent Asia are poorer than us because we force emission control on them? Money-grabbing dictators, endless wars, famine and disease couldn't be the cause. No, it's those evil bastard environmentalists in the northern hemisphere!

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Forcing emission controls will bring development to a dead stop. In fact it has come to an almost complete stop in large parts of the world. Why do you think so many Africans are trying to come to Europe? Because they like the weather?

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Very few people will benefit from a rerun of the industrial revolution, look into its history, it was not very pleasant for the vast majority of those involved and most of the benefits that most of us now enjoy were hard won. It is much cheaper not to pollute than to pay for the clean up afterwards.

 

Also are you saying that vested interests in the developed world won't benefit from the cheap and nasty industrialisation of the developing world?

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But not developing is devastating already. Look at Niger or Mauritania, or Sudan. These are fucked places to be living in for the majority.

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Forcing emission controls will bring development to a dead stop.

And not forcing them isn't an option.

 

You disapprove? Well, too bad! We're in this for the species, boys and girls. (always wanted to use that line...)

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Forcing emission controls will bring development to a dead stop. In fact it has come to an almost complete stop in large parts of the world. Why do you think so many Africans are trying to come to Europe? Because they like the weather?

If we use emission controls and they do too, then the playing field is level in that respect. The lack of jobs in the 3rd world has nothing to do with the environment and everything to do with lack of accountability of their governments.

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Little sidenote. Has anyone been reading all the articles in the papers about how great it is to use Energy Saving Bulbs? Australia has already passed a law to ban regular bulbs in the next few years. It is all over the German and UK newspapers.

 

Energy Saving Bulbs are around 4 times more efficient in converting power to light. So a 32Watt energy efficient bulb produces the same light as a 130W regular bulb. I know 'cos I sell them.

 

However what you don't know...

 

The European Parliament has a special extra anti-dumping duty of 66.1% on imports of these bulbs. This is to protect European manufacturers and stop cheaper bulbs coming in from China and Korea. So everyone pays 66.1% higher prices than they should, and the governments scoop the extra cash. It is bloody outrageous.

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I doubt that any country should follow history of industrialisation in western Europe (pollution, exploitation, etc.). The developing world has an opportunity to lean from the mistakes of others, although it is doubtful if they will take it.

Ah yes - a much better plan would be for 3rd world countries to sell their resources (and labour) very cheaply to large international companies. Then they could borrow large sums to buy the finished products back at hugely inflated prices. This way 3rd world countries can avoid messy industrialisation and maintain the status quo of poverty.

 

 

You sound as bad as the third world countries themselves. I suppose its all our fault that Africa and to a lesser extent Asia are poorer than us because we force emission control on them? Money-grabbing dictators, endless wars, famine and disease couldn't be the cause. No, it's those evil bastard environmentalists in the northern hemisphere!

I am a 3rd Worlder. Strange thing is that most of those dictators, wars and famines are a direct result of colonialisation which only came to an end a few decades ago (60s to 80s). Rwanda is a perfect example of a genocide resulting from a earlier colonial policy. The Tutsi minority were put in power by the Belgians post WWI as means to have Native government that was completely reliant on the colonial power. When the colonial power disappeared decades of ill feelings led to the worst genocide the continent had ever seen. This same policy was practiced by the Germans, Portugese, English, Spanish and Belgiums with varying results in Africa, S. America and Asia.

 

Famines (in 3rd world countries) to a large part, are the direct result of the implementation of a economic model not suited to an area. The result is that due to a currency system, land ownership, taxes etc. people can no longer exist on sub-sistence farming and are thus forced to plant a cash crop to make money. Often this cash crop is not sustainable and thus in 10 to 20 years famines result when the land is completely depleted.

 

 

Very few people will benefit from a rerun of the industrial revolution, look into its history, it was not very pleasant for the vast majority of those involved and most of the benefits that most of us now enjoy were hard won. It is much cheaper not to pollute than to pay for the clean up afterwards.

 

Also are you saying that vested interests in the developed world won't benefit from the cheap and nasty industrialisation of the developing world?

I think some people will benefit from energy at affordable local prices that at least has some built in resistance to currency fluctuations. This can only happen if these countries produce a portion of their own energy as their currencies are usually very volatile. I am not saying that developing countries need make all the same mistakes made during the industrial revolution BUT selling their carbon points and providing trash dumps for 1st world waste is not a sustainable development plan.

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If we use emission controls and they do too, then the playing field is level in that respect. The lack of jobs in the 3rd world has nothing to do with the environment and everything to do with lack of accountability of their governments.

To build a green fields plant in the 3rd world according to suggested environmental policy costs roughly what it would cost to build it according to the environmental policies of the 80s. Current policies make it almost impossible for 3rd world companies/countries to build their own plants thus the need for an international (Shell, BP, Chevron, Exxon) partner who then gets the resources at super cheap prices (refer to above). In this way "emmissions control" policy is a really clever plan for the already dominant international energy corporations to make sure that they get their slice of the developing energy industry.

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Ah yes - a much better plan would be for 3rd world countries to sell their resources (and labour) very cheaply to large international companies. Then they could borrow large sums to buy the finished products back at hugely inflated prices. This way 3rd world countries can avoid messy industrialisation and maintain the status quo of poverty.

I was actually hoping that developing countries would be a little less one dimensional. Large corporation will be more than happy to take a slice of the industrialisation pie and reap profits from poor working conditions and bad environmental practices.

 

You seem to castigate the developed world for its attitude to the developing world while at the same time constrained by its mindset.

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You seem to castigate the developed world for its attitude to the developing world while at the same time constrained by its mindset.

I agree that from an ideological standpoint my argument is pretty week. Ideologically it would be great if developing nations could through off the mindsets of developed nations and come up with their own policies and models. Sadly, we all know that this is not going to happen. Realistically, development is going to require the sacrifice of some principles for the sake of getting as much done in the shortest possible time. The problem is, is to make sure that these countries don't get screwed again like they did in the past. During colonial times they screwed over by "do-gooders" in the guise of missionaries who destroyed their belief systems, family structures, economic policies and communities and thus made them easy pickings for entrepneurs who followed. This time round the "do-gooders" are disguised as "environmentalists".

 

I don't want these developing countries to destroy every last remaining vestige of natural beauty but if they buy in to the current environmental policies they will be signing away their resources and wealth and in several decades they will still be "developüing" countries.

 

EDIT: I re-read this and it is getting dangerously close to conspiracy theory rubbish. I also like that word "castigate". It's my word of the day.

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Anyway, although this all smacks of the old conspiracy theorists arguments, I did a quick bit of googling last night and discovered some startling facts about 'the global warming myth'. Enough to make me go hmmmm! anyway.

If the majority of climate experts on the planet agree, on the basis of many years of sound academic research, that global warming is taking place, I'm not going to argue with them. Just as I'm not going to argue with a doctor who tells me that chemotherapy is more effective than carrot juice in fighting cancer.

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To build a green fields plant in the 3rd world according to suggested environmental policy costs roughly what it would cost to build it according to the environmental policies of the 80s. Current policies make it almost impossible for 3rd world companies/countries to build their own plants thus the need for an international (Shell, BP, Chevron, Exxon) partner who then gets the resources at super cheap prices (refer to above). In this way "emmissions control" policy is a really clever plan for the already dominant international energy corporations to make sure that they get their slice of the developing energy industry.

I don't see why it's such a problem to let the dominant energy corporations take care of it. They have the economies of scale and they have the money to invest. They provide jobs to the 3rd world and the 3rd world has ways and means of keeping the remittances in their countries. At the end of the day, a world with a few dominant firms is better than no world at all.

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There are two things which bother me - as well as the operatic cockerel next door which holds a very broad interpretation of "dawn" ...

 

If we are on a climate trend which is caused or facilitated by human activities, our political and economic systems are badly-suited to do anything about it. Pretty much any meaningful measures are going to be unpopular come election time, and no major government is going to embark on policies which screw their re-election chances. By the same token, the board of some multi-national is not going to tell its shareholders that they should expect really bad earnings in future because the company is going bright green. Short of a visit from some friendly aliens to say "this happened to us and you really should get your act together" if it's under way, we are going to sit and watch.

 

It seems beyond doubt that the amount of water locked up as ice is declining, since this is something which can be measured by a guy in warm clothes with a tape measure. Under what plans are the people of The Netherlands, Bangladesh etc - and for that matter all points east of Peterborough - going to be accomodated, when their chimney-pots finally become marks on a coastal chart ?

 

Yours, Bothered of Basingstoke

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If the majority of climate experts on the planet agree, on the basis of many years of sound academic research, that global warming is taking place, I'm not going to argue with them. Just as I'm not going to argue with a doctor who tells me that chemotherapy is more effective than carrot juice in fighting cancer.

There's no debate as to global warming taking place. The debate is whether we have anything to do with it. On that the scientists are split right down the middle.

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There are two things which bother me - as well as the operatic cockerel next door which holds a very broad interpretation of "dawn" ...

 

If we are on a climate trend which is caused or facilitated by human activities, our political and economic systems are badly-suited to do anything about it. Pretty much any meaningful measures are going to be unpopular come election time, and no major government is going to embark on policies which screw their re-election chances. By the same token, the board of some multi-national is not going to tell its shareholders that they should expect really bad earnings in future because the company is going bright green. Short of a visit from some friendly aliens to say "this happened to us and you really should get your act together" if it's under way, we are going to sit and watch.

 

It seems beyond doubt that the amount of water locked up as ice is declining, since this is something which can be measured by a guy in warm clothes with a tape measure. Under what plans are the people of The Netherlands, Bangladesh etc - and for that matter all points east of Peterborough - going to be accomodated, when their chimney-pots finally become marks on a coastal chart ?

 

Yours, Bothered of Basingstoke

Actually, it's in the interests of energy companies or any companies these days to be environmentally-friendly or at least seen to be as such, as a positive image in the eyes of the public often translates into a positive share price development. That's why companies have public relations officers and brand managers.

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