Is there any point in trying to save the environment?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 04, 2010 11:27 PM GMT
    I’ve thought for awhile it’s far too late:
    “The research results, published in the March 5 edition of the journal Science, show that the permafrost under the East Siberian Arctic Shelf, long thought to be an impermeable barrier sealing in methane, is perforated and is leaking large amounts of methane into the atmosphere. Release of even a fraction of the methane stored in the shelf could trigger abrupt climate warming.”

    I was big on environmental activism in college, but I gave it up as I kept reading about how much we have to overcome. I really don’t think averting catastrophic climate change is achievable anymore.
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    Mar 05, 2010 1:13 AM GMT
    Satyricon331 said
    I’ve thought for awhile it’s far too late:
    “The research results, published in the March 5 edition of the journal Science, show that the permafrost under the East Siberian Arctic Shelf, long thought to be an impermeable barrier sealing in methane, is perforated and is leaking large amounts of methane into the atmosphere. Release of even a fraction of the methane stored in the shelf could trigger abrupt climate warming.”

    I was big on environmental activism in college, but I gave it up as I kept reading about how much we have to overcome. I really don’t think averting catastrophic climate change is achievable anymore.


    Fatalism is totally unnecessary - geoengineering is always an option of last resort. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=geoengineering-how-to-cool-earth. While I'm one of those people who wavers between believing AGW is likely or not, the cheaper option almost certainly is figuring out how we can adapt. Besides, start reading too much about supervolcanoes and you can stop worrying about practically everything.
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    Mar 05, 2010 1:20 AM GMT
    riddler78 saidFatalism is totally unnecessary - geoengineering is always an option of last resort. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=geoengineering-how-to-cool-earth. While I'm one of those people who wavers between believing AGW is likely or not, the cheaper option almost certainly is figuring out how we can adapt. Besides, start reading too much about supervolcanoes and you can stop worrying about practically everything.


    Yet SciAm also says geoengineering would not be the cheaper option.
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    Mar 05, 2010 1:25 AM GMT
    Well, just keep telling yourself that US Republicans are correct, and global warming is a phony liberal conspiracy, that will just go away. Our own southbeach1500 will assure you of that, and all the Republicans in the US Congress. What better assurance do you need than that? So don't lose any sleep over it. icon_biggrin.gif
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    Mar 05, 2010 1:25 AM GMT
    Satyricon331 said
    I’ve thought for awhile it’s far too late:
    “The research results, published in the March 5 edition of the journal Science, show that the permafrost under the East Siberian Arctic Shelf, long thought to be an impermeable barrier sealing in methane, is perforated and is leaking large amounts of methane into the atmosphere. Release of even a fraction of the methane stored in the shelf could trigger abrupt climate warming.”

    I was big on environmental activism in college, but I gave it up as I kept reading about how much we have to overcome. I really don’t think averting catastrophic climate change is achievable anymore.


    Not only is there too much to overcome, but businesses won't care either (except for in LA because "go green" is a trend). Our technology is developing at such an exponential rate over the past 200 years that whatever we end up doing to the Earth it'll be so sudden it'll probably be too late to reverse. Not only that but anyone who cares is to poor and has no voice, and anyone who is rich and has power won't give a shit.

    I'm just waiting for something disasterous to happen unrelated to us, i.e. December 21st (or was it the 12th?) 2012. When the sun alligns with the black hole in the center of the universe, I'm betting the black hole will spark some huge solar flare headed straight towards Earth (it's happened before from the sun plenty of times) and it'll bust up all our technology in several hours.
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    Mar 05, 2010 1:28 AM GMT
    We may as well sit back and enjoy ourselves as much as we can pending the fin du monde.
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    Mar 05, 2010 1:36 AM GMT
    Satyricon331 said
    riddler78 saidFatalism is totally unnecessary - geoengineering is always an option of last resort. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=geoengineering-how-to-cool-earth. While I'm one of those people who wavers between believing AGW is likely or not, the cheaper option almost certainly is figuring out how we can adapt. Besides, start reading too much about supervolcanoes and you can stop worrying about practically everything.


    Yet SciAm also says geoengineering would not be the cheaper option.


    Not the cheapest option compared to simply adapting but it is a worst case scenario option.
  • barriehomeboy

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    Mar 05, 2010 1:38 AM GMT
    The scientists have been telling the politicians this for years: even if all sources of greenhouse gasses were turned off abruptly today, it would take 1,000 years for the greenhouse gasses to drop down to the level where they began to accelerate global warming. The politicians know this, but they know that we don't. That's what all the babble about the Kioto Accord has been about. Making us vote for them. The planet is basically fucked because of our species' activities on it. Come back in a billion years, and Earth will look like Mars.
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    Mar 05, 2010 1:40 AM GMT
    JakeBenson said
    Satyricon331 said
    I’ve thought for awhile it’s far too late:
    “The research results, published in the March 5 edition of the journal Science, show that the permafrost under the East Siberian Arctic Shelf, long thought to be an impermeable barrier sealing in methane, is perforated and is leaking large amounts of methane into the atmosphere. Release of even a fraction of the methane stored in the shelf could trigger abrupt climate warming.”

    I was big on environmental activism in college, but I gave it up as I kept reading about how much we have to overcome. I really don’t think averting catastrophic climate change is achievable anymore.


    Not only is there too much to overcome, but businesses won't care either (except for in LA because "go green" is a trend). Our technology is developing at such an exponential rate over the past 200 years that whatever we end up doing to the Earth it'll be so sudden it'll probably be too late to reverse. Not only that but anyone who cares is to poor and has no voice, and anyone who is rich and has power won't give a shit.

    I'm just waiting for something disasterous to happen unrelated to us, i.e. December 21st (or was it the 12th?) 2012. When the sun alligns with the black hole in the center of the universe, I'm betting the black hole will spark some huge solar flare headed straight towards Earth (it's happened before from the sun plenty of times) and it'll bust up all our technology in several hours.


    I think you're talking about something like this: http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20127001.300-space-storm-alert-90-seconds-from-catastrophe.html?full=true which is something that is quite frightening - since a solar storm could cause our electricity infrastructure to collapse for months. Imagine that, no electricity for months! That we don't look to harden our infrastructure from these events and worry about the effects of global warming decades from now seems like moving the chairs around as the Titanic sinks.
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    Mar 05, 2010 1:58 AM GMT
    That's the way, just give up.
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    Mar 05, 2010 2:16 AM GMT
    OH NO, NOT AGAIN!!!!....I remember the last time...what a mess! ... dead rotting bodies all over the place...the stench!...and THE FLIES! ...OMG! so many flies!!!!!

    Gorgon: The Monsters That Ruled the Planet Before Dinosaurs and How They Died in the Greatest Catastrophe in Earth's History

    Product Description
    Millions of years before the Age of Dinosaurs, an environmental cataclysm annihilated 90 percent of all plant and animal life on the planet. In this lost world that was swept away 250 million years ago, the ferocious lizard-like Gorgon was the T. rex of its day. In this remarkable journey of discovery deep into Earth’s history, Peter D. Ward, one of the world’s most recognized authorities on mass extinctions, examines the strange and mysterious fate of this little-known prehistoric animal and its contemporaries—the ancestors of the turtle, the crocodile, the lizard, and eventually the dinosaur. Based on more than a decade’s research in South Africa’s Karoo Desert, Ward’s groundbreaking work offers provocative theories on the mass extinctions of the past and confronts the startling implications they hold for humanity’s future on the planet.

    gorgon.jpg
  • barriehomeboy

    Posts: 2475

    Mar 05, 2010 2:17 AM GMT
    It`s not giving up, it`s managing the death of the planet. Stop listening to the politicians, and start letting the scientists control our choices.
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    Mar 05, 2010 2:46 AM GMT
    barriehomeboy saidIt`s not giving up, it`s managing the death of the planet. Stop listening to the politicians, and start letting the scientists control our choices.


    The reason why we shouldn't is because they're often wrong and they often disagree with each other. As much as I hate to say it, political choices should be made primarily by politicians presuming some level of democracy.

    e.g. http://blogs.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/timblair/index.php/dailytelegraph/comments/things_scientists_say_ix/
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    Mar 05, 2010 3:06 AM GMT

    Some once said that " The best way to predict the future is to invent it."
    I think it was some guy named Kay.

    So here's an invention: increasing OH in the atmosphere, for example, that can remedy the problem. OH (hydroxyl) is a free radical that's also know as the 'atmosphere cleanser'. It breaks down methane.


    Conversely, here's what can happen with too little methane.

    "But, according to a report in Discovery News, rapid destruction of methane suggests that the planet’s environment may be too hostile to support life.

    More at : Rapid destruction of methane makes Martian environment too hostile to support life http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/health/rapid-destruction-of-methane-makes-martian-environment-too-hostile-to-support-life_100231763.html#ixzz0hGf1LhH9


    -Doug




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    Mar 05, 2010 3:17 AM GMT
    I think you all need to read Malthus, and then calm down a little. Geez. The solution he didn't envisage to hunger was technological innovation, which will likely do much the same for us and environmental change. So, if I were you, I would realize this problem is tractable and do some deep breathing. ;)

    Now the supervolcano? That scares me shitless.
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    Mar 05, 2010 3:48 AM GMT
    abelian0 saidI think you all need to read Malthus, and then calm down a little. Geez. The solution he didn't envisage to hunger was technological innovation, which will likely do much the same for us and environmental change. So, if I were you, I would realize this problem is tractable and do some deep breathing. ;)

    Now the supervolcano? That scares me shitless.


    Solar storms are pretty scary as well http://homelandsecuritynewswire.com/us-unprepared-severe-solar-storms. Not something that's really in our control if we get a direct hit within North America. If you thought the blackouts were bad on the eastern seaboard... that could be us for a few months because there's no easy way to fix transformers that have basically melted.
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    Mar 05, 2010 4:19 AM GMT
    Well to paraphrase Gilda Radner, There's always something, isn't there.

    In my earlier days, the world was convinced, convinced that we'd never make it to 1999. Thermonuclear global annihilation, guaranteed.


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    Mar 05, 2010 4:23 AM GMT
    I don't mind being more environmentally friendly as long as it isn't to the point of extremism or armed robbery to pay for it.
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    Mar 05, 2010 4:23 AM GMT
    Biggest pessimist award goes to.... Satryicon!!! There's always hope, bud.
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    Mar 05, 2010 4:30 AM GMT
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    Mar 05, 2010 4:41 AM GMT
    barriehomeboy saidThe scientists have been telling the politicians this for years: even if all sources of greenhouse gasses were turned off abruptly today, it would take 1,000 years for the greenhouse gasses to drop down to the level where they began to accelerate global warming. The politicians know this, but they know that we don't. That's what all the babble about the Kioto Accord has been about. Making us vote for them. The planet is basically fucked because of our species' activities on it. Come back in a billion years, and Earth will look like Mars.


    Err I think we will destroy ourselves far before we destroy Earth.
    I honestly think not everyone will die. There's gonna be a shit load of pain before it's over but humans will survive (I think).
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    Mar 05, 2010 4:59 AM GMT
    TrowelMonger said
    barriehomeboy saidThe scientists have been telling the politicians this for years: even if all sources of greenhouse gasses were turned off abruptly today, it would take 1,000 years for the greenhouse gasses to drop down to the level where they began to accelerate global warming. The politicians know this, but they know that we don't. That's what all the babble about the Kioto Accord has been about. Making us vote for them. The planet is basically fucked because of our species' activities on it. Come back in a billion years, and Earth will look like Mars.


    Err I think we will destroy ourselves far before we destroy Earth.
    I honestly think not everyone will die. There's gonna be a shit load of pain before it's over but humans will survive (I think).

    Anyway, I'm going into engineering and I wanna work towards sustainable building, or rapid transit systems or planning healthy cities. I think it's exciting and that we have a chance to change so much that is wrong with the world. The politics are the frustrating part...
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    Mar 05, 2010 4:59 AM GMT
    Who's that jackk ass above me who doesn't know how to write or use basic web interfaces... what an ass.
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    Mar 05, 2010 5:14 AM GMT
    This planet has recovered form massive volcanic eruptions and being hit by comes that caused great enviromental change so we know it is resilient. It will someday recover from the damage we have done, either with our help or without us.



    p.s. The doom and gloom of this thread is making me feel guilty for using my recycling bin as a free laundry basket from the city instead of for what it was to used.
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    Mar 05, 2010 5:16 AM GMT
    Carbonate-silicate cycle

    The carbonate-silicate geochemical cycle[1][2] is the naturally occurring reversible chemical reaction with summary equation CaSiO3+CO2<=>CaCO3+SiO2.

    Equilibrium of the carbonate-silicate reaction is generally shifted in the favor of carbonate formation under near surface temperature and pressure conditions, but shifts to silicate formation at temperatures above 300 °C. Therefore, at the Earth's surface silicates are converted to carbonate sediments, but these sediments are converted back to silicates during the subduction process.[3] This process is far from being a closed loop, in Earth history generally the formation of carbonates significantly outpaces formation of silicates, effectively dissipating primordial carbon dioxide rich atmosphere. The situation is opposite for Venus due to higher temperatures, so Venus now has a high-density carbon dioxide atmosphere.

    The carbonate-silicate cycle is suspected as a reason for the ice ages, because it can create negative feedback on the global temperature with a typical time scale of a few million years, which effectively counters water vapor and carbon dioxide short-term positive feedback.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbonate-silicate_cycle

    See, no reason to worry.