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-   -   The Sixth Extinction (http://www.adkforum.com/showthread.php?t=19851)

HappyHiker 03-04-2014 08:28 AM

We have a perfect model for the future of our planet if we keep on burning fossil fuels.

It's called Venus!

It has the densest atmosphere of the four terrestrial planets, consisting of more than 96% carbon dioxide. The atmospheric pressure at the planet's surface is 92 times that of Earth's. With a mean surface temperature of 735 K (462 C; 863 F), Venus is by far the hottest planet in the Solar System.

cityboy 03-04-2014 08:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by redhawk (Post 214408)
So I have two questions.

Is it possible to keep putting all the byproducts of burning fossil fuel in increasing volume into the atmosphere and not cause climate change?

Redhawk, the answer to your questions is that it doesn't matter. We will never see a Global agreement encompassing more than 50% of nations to cut CO2 in our lifetime.
Here is a link to the bad news.
http://www.thegwpf.org/carbon-wars-lost/ (I wish I could just post the Graph for Global CO2 emissions by country but I don't know how).

Initially the Kyoto agreement only included 32% of all global CO2 emissions.
With recent dropouts its down to less than 12%.

In my opinion the only possible way to reduce CO2 is for the world to follow the US in fracking shale deposits. From what I see that may not be possible due the difficulty of where the deposits are and to environmental opposition to fracking itself.
So the future looks bleak.

Neil 03-04-2014 09:31 AM

I believe we will burn off every last ounce of fossil fuels. King Coal, tar sands oil, texas sweet crude, fracked, you name it. Until it's 100% picked clean and converted back into Co2 we're living an orgy of energy release.

At Thanksgivings there was bad weather that grounded a lotof flights. On TV the announcer said that 90,000,000 Americans were traveling by air that weekend. 90,000,000. That's just a drop in the bucket. I have an acquaintance who is a pilot of a container ship, goes all over the world. He told me the number of vessels on the seas at any given moment and their daily oil consumption, which of course was a staggering figure. Then he said compared to air travel that is was nothing.

Now how much impact do you think you are having by slowing your pickup or SUV down by 10 mph on the freeway?

redhawk 03-04-2014 09:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cityboy (Post 214416)
Redhawk, the answer to your questions is that it doesn't matter. We will never see a Global agreement encompassing more than 50% of nations to cut CO2 in our lifetime.
Here is a link to the bad news.
http://www.thegwpf.org/carbon-wars-lost/ (I wish I could just post the Graph for Global CO2 emissions by country but I don't know how).

Initially the Kyoto agreement only included 32% of all global CO2 emissions.
With recent dropouts its down to less than 12%.

In my opinion the only possible way to reduce CO2 is for the world to follow the US in fracking shale deposits. From what I see that may not be possible due the difficulty of where the deposits are and to environmental opposition to fracking itself.
So the future looks bleak.

Actually it DOES matter. Because something won't happen in OUR lifetime it doesn't matter? What about our lineal descendents if not humanity in general?

IMHO it's that kind of thinking (not in my lifetime) that allows people to look at only the short term and base their ecisions on creature comforts rather then sound reasoning. Americans in particular seem make decisions based only on how it affects them personally, short term. That may seem harsh but I have interacted with people on 4 continents and that's my assessment ,

It's too bad that we won't be around to be recognized as the generation that had a chance to change the course, but chose comfort and convenience instead.

As far as Kyoto and it's dropouts, the US didn't set an example. The United States signed the agreement but did not ratify it. One of only 4 U.N. Members out of 191 and the European Union. And lets see, cutting back 1/3 of global emissions is an "only"?!! WOW!!

l'oiseau 03-04-2014 10:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Neil (Post 214421)
I believe we will burn off every last ounce of fossil fuels. King Coal, tar sands oil, texas sweet crude, fracked, you name it. Until it's 100% picked clean and converted back into Co2 we're living an orgy of energy release.

At Thanksgivings there was bad weather that grounded a lotof flights. On TV the announcer said that 90,000,000 Americans were traveling by air that weekend. 90,000,000. That's just a drop in the bucket. I have an acquaintance who is a pilot of a container ship, goes all over the world. He told me the number of vessels on the seas at any given moment and their daily oil consumption, which of course was a staggering figure. Then he said compared to air travel that is was nothing.

Now how much impact do you think you are having by slowing your pickup or SUV down by 10 mph on the freeway?

I refuse to fly. It is sickening.

I also live near an airport and get the lovely smell of jet fuel wafting by. I hope to move before I develop lung cancer.

The amount of energy it takes to fly is ridiculous as well. As we are just buzzing all over, with no regard to the massive amount of energy it takes to fly one of those behemoths, and fly at 550 mph (It would be less efficient if there were lots of individual planes, but that would be unlikely due to economics).

Also, being in the industry on the automotive transport side I can assure you that IC engines are not going away anytime soon. I can also assure you that no one is going to give up their A/C and sat nav to get an extra 5% fuel economy.

I also can't see people giving up their personal freedom for a bus ride. The solution has never been to make the roads narrower... they just get wider, and still we have traffic jams.

Also we have the internet to thank for more wasteful consumption. I can order almost anything and have truck deliver it to my door within a few days. In some cases it went on a plane as well. When I was kid we could mail order stuff, but more often than not it was out of a catalog and it took a bit longer - most of our stuff came from a local source.

And there really is no stopping it. It's a global economy... that's the answer I always get when I ask if we can make something locally instead of in China. People keep fearing for their jobs and the top keeps seeing dollar signs.

As for the Adirondacks... I'm not too worried about them. They have been through ice ages, thaws, storms, volcanic activity. Everything that shaped them into what they are today. They will come back even if humans aren't around to enjoy them, they may look different, and they may have different fishes in the waters, but life is persistent, and and what discovery has shown us is as long as there is liquid water and a source of energy, life will exist on this planet...

l'oiseau 03-04-2014 10:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by vtflyfish (Post 214395)
As I said in the OP, climate change is only one of three afoot influencing the mix of species on this planet. The question is, through climate change, spreading invasives and killing off other species have we created a situation that leads to our own destruction?

It could very well be. And if it is, so be it, if we are too ignorant to try to stop it. We'll just roll with the punches and see how it goes just like every other mass extinction. I'm pretty sure the dinosaurs weren't arguing with each other about what was going to cause their demise.

I'm not a gambling man, and I don't like gambling with the earth. Whether you believe the models or not, think about that... "Do you feel lucky?... well do ya punk?"

cityboy 03-04-2014 11:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by redhawk (Post 214422)
As far as Kyoto and it's dropouts, the US didn't set an example. The United States signed the agreement but did not ratify it. One of only 4 U.N. Members out of 191 and the European Union. And lets see, cutting back 1/3 of global emissions is an "only"?!! WOW!!

The US is not the problem. If you will recall our President told us in the State of the Union that over the last 5 years we lead the world in CO2 reduction. We are no longer number 1.
China is the problem followed by India and the rest of the developing nations who not only refuse to sign on but insist on reparations.
You say US should lead and we have. If you are referring to coercion that has not worked too well for the Ukraine, North Korea and Iran. The US has very little influence today.
If you had read the link you would seen that I was being conservative. Actually there will never be an agreement. Ever.

Hobbitling 03-04-2014 01:19 PM

Our reduction in CO2 emissions in the past 5 years is almost entirely economic. It wasn't because of any environmenal policy, or any intentional change in behavior by the American people. People burn less fuel during a recession. Unemployed and poor people drive less and they buy less stuff, so companies require less energy to make and ship it. You can't burn fuel if you can't afford it. If the economy were to recover, fuel consumption and fuel prices would rise again. That would harm the economy, which would reduce fuel consumption, which would lower prices, until the cycle repeats again. And each time the cycle repeats, the price ratchets up a little bit.

That pattern marks the beginning of the end of the oil age. We won't burn it all, and it won't run out, but oil will get more and more expensive as we deplete the easy/cheap oil and move to the difficult/expensive oil. The last of the oil will be so expensive to extract we'll never be able to afford it. At that point we'll have no choice but to wean ourselves off, if we can still afford to develop alternatives. The sooner we start the better, because if we wait until it's too late, we won't have the energy or capital to make the transition.

If you have half an hour, watch this rather grim little animated documentary.
http://youtu.be/VOMWzjrRiBg

l'oiseau 03-04-2014 01:39 PM

I think maybe the view that the consumers 'won't be able to afford it' is a bit naive. Oil will continue to be an industry as long as money can be made by those heading the industry.

The automotive industry is no different. If the powers that be could make money selling green cars then they'd be everywhere. With the new regulations coming out, everyone is scrambling to figure out how to meet the doubling of the fuel economy. The ones that win are going to be the ones that put the most money in pockets of the investors.

You can believe whatever you want but I've seen it first hand. Inventions that can make a real difference are thrown away because there is no money to be made with them.

I should add to my previous rants that is one big difference between engineers and scientists - scientists study things to better the understanding for the community. Engineers study things so they can make investors rich.

cityboy 03-04-2014 02:41 PM

Professor, as you know it was a worldwide recession. Despite that, the US reduced CO2 more than any country in the world. The price of electric and natural gas is much higher in Europe than the US by a factor of 2 to 3. By your affordability statement the poor of Europe should have significantly reduced use and therefore European emissions should have been reduced much more than the US. Just the opposite occurred.

Peak oil has been predicted many times over the years and yet new reserves are found or new drilling techniques invented to prolong output.

Without public subsidies renewables can't compete. That free money is the reason why gas and electric is so expensive in Europe. The index for renewable companies dropped by 90% from 2008 to 2012. Numerous countries (Spain, Britain, Germany, Australia, etc...) are reducing subsidies not increasing.
And then there is coal. Its increased its share worldwide. Its not going away. In fact I predict that any new energy future innovation will be in a cleaner burning coal.

The economic reality plus national interests will effectively prevent any international agreement on the reduction of CO2. The only hope is that China, Britain and Germany Frack and use gas instead of coal for electric production.

TCD 03-04-2014 03:21 PM

It's also worth noting that recent research show that soot, which China produces in abundance, amy be a more important factor than CO2 in accelerating glacial ice melt, due to reduced albedo. So that would be another benefit of moving China from coal to gas. US CO2 is a smaller and smaller part of the picture; but all the advocacy groups still focus there.

redhawk 03-04-2014 07:28 PM

Here's the problem. Pointing a finger at China, whom we have no control over should have nothing at all to do with whether this country and we "Superior" Americans take responsibility for cutting the co@, etc as much as we can.

My neighbor doesn't recycle, so by that line of reasoning, neither should I. Nor should I drive acar that is economical because most Americans want to drive SUV's or trucks. I shouldn't keep my thermostat at 65 during the day and 50 at night because most other people don't.

I just had a different upbringing. One of the things that I was taught was that true freedom is making decisions on what I think is right, not what other people do or don't do. and I was taught that the right decision is based on it's overall impact on everyone, not just my own self centered, self serving wishes.

But I guess that time is long past. However I will continue to base my actions on what I think is best for my progeny in the future.

randomscooter 03-04-2014 07:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Neil (Post 214384)
I'm gonna have to teach you guys how to use the quote function. You know if it comes out wrong you can edit your own posts, eh?

:rolling:
Tell ya what. You teach these guys how to use the quote function, and have Geoff add a thanks button so I don't have to post a reply like this the next time you say something hilarious.

St.Regis 03-05-2014 12:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ADKpikebuster (Post 214378)
only thing i'm certain of is that i'll be cracking a cold one in T-minus 5,4,3,2,1 ahhhh :dance:

Excellent! :boozing:

l'oiseau 03-05-2014 12:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by St.Regis (Post 214488)
Excellent! :boozing:

Cap that beer! It's releasing CO2 into the atmoshpere!

St.Regis 03-05-2014 12:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by l'oiseau (Post 214489)
Cap that beer! It's releasing CO2 into the atmoshpere!

:eek: :rolling:

Hobbitling 03-05-2014 05:36 PM

Nobody panic!! The CO2 from beer came from yeast, which produced it from sugars produced by plants, which produced the sugars from CO2 via photosynthesis. The carbon was in the atmosphere just a few short weeks or months earlier, it just took a detour through some plants and fungi.

So it's carbon neutral. You may continue drinking!

vtflyfish 03-05-2014 05:45 PM

Now this:

http://www.livescience.com/43859-roc...e-warming.html

Whether it's invasive or resurrected by global warming it's a big problem for our rivers and fish.

Hobbitling 03-05-2014 06:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cityboy (Post 214440)
Professor, as you know it was a worldwide recession. Despite that, the US reduced CO2 more than any country in the world. The price of electric and natural gas is much higher in Europe than the US by a factor of 2 to 3. By your affordability statement the poor of Europe should have significantly reduced use and therefore European emissions should have been reduced much more than the US. Just the opposite occurred.

The data I've seen shows decreases in oil/gas consumption and greenhouse gas emissions starting right around 2008, in both the US and EU. Do you have some data that says otherwise? please share if so.
But you are right that the US showed a greater decrease. Probably due to our lack of public transportation. Cars only get driven when people use them. Trains and public transportation keeps running at pretty much the same pace whether the trains are full or not. At least that's my hypothesis.


Quote:

Originally Posted by cityboy (Post 214440)
Peak oil has been predicted many times over the years and yet new reserves are found or new drilling techniques invented to prolong output.

And technology will continue to prolong output forever, and ever, and ever at the same price....:rolling:
http://www.theonion.com/articles/rep...tity-of,35422/
The idea that technology can solve any problem we face is a matter of faith, not facts. It's become the new dogma, an unquestionable belief in our own genius. It's our religion now.

redhawk 03-05-2014 07:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Professor Hobbit (Post 214515)
The data I've seen shows decreases in oil/gas consumption and greenhouse gas emissions starting right around 2008, in both the US and EU. Do you have some data that says otherwise? please share if so.
But you are right that the US showed a greater decrease. Probably due to our lack of public transportation. Cars only get driven when people use them. Trains and public transportation keeps running at pretty much the same pace whether the trains are full or not. At least that's my hypothesis.




And technology will continue to prolong output forever, and ever, and ever at the same price....:rolling:
http://www.theonion.com/articles/rep...tity-of,35422/
The idea that technology can solve any problem we face is a matter of faith, not facts. It's become the new dogma, an unquestionable belief in our own genius. It's our religion now.

The religion of Arrogance

I suspect that once supplies do start running low, super efficient engines and furnaces will come along to prolong the use of carbon based fuel at a much higher price of course. These will probably be developed by the energy industry as well as the transportation industry through cooperative R&D. In other words, profit will create the efficiency that the companies are currently saying is impossible.


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