Poll

[POLL] Is AGW a sure thing?

Yes, no doubt at all.
46 (34.1%)
No, something smells fishy.
39 (28.9%)
The IPCC's "very likely" 90% scenario sounds about right.
50 (37%)

Total Members Voted: 132

Author Topic: [POLL] AGW, let's find out if there's a 97% consensus among engineers  (Read 35303 times)

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Offline nctnico

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Firstly, although I have seen the evidence of global warming, I am not 100% certain that mankind is the source. Secondly, we know that there has been a warm Earth in the past, and our climate may therefore be cyclical in nature.
It is. Based on information from ice drillings it has been determined that there is a sharp rise and fall (needle shaped spike in the graph) of CO2 levels every 40000 years or so. Currently we are inside such a peak. Add the additional CO2 due to burning of fossil fuel to that and it is no wonder that CO2 levels are as high as they are at the moment.

What worries me more however is the fossil fuels running out quickly due to increased wellfare in general (oil consumption isn't getting lower). IMHO this is already leading to geopolitical instability which makes it urgent to switch over to sustainable energy sources. AGW is at the very least a good doom scenario to get the general public to reduce energy consumption and invest in sustainable energy sources.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline GeorgeOfTheJungle

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What worries me more however is the fossil fuels running out quickly due to increased wellfare in general

Me too. And I don't see how can we rob 140.000 TWh (aprox. global energy use) from the sun with the current technology, even though it's ~ 7800x as much. Covering the entire planet with PVs surely isn't a good idea, nor even possible. If we ever begin to run out of our current best ever source of cheap and abundant energy (oil) we're going to have to reconsider nuclear power, it seems to me, perhaps.
int main (void) { while (1) fork(); }
 

Offline mtdoc

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Covering the entire planet with PVs surely isn't a good idea, nor even possible.

That's not even close. Physicist Tom Murphy did an excellent overview of alternative energy sources a few years ago on his excellent Do The Math Blog.

By his calculations, Covering only 0.5% of land area with 15% efficient PV panels provides the annual energy needs of our society.

Of course the issue is solar PV's intermittency and the necessary storage.
 
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Offline Marco

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Add to that PV panels can very likely get so cheap their cost will become irrelevant (I'd say as likely as the next generation fast reactors being commercially viable). The amount of silicon truly necessary is very little and there's the Perovskites, also we don't really need silver or ITO (nickel nanowire mesh) or even glass (3M has a polymer barrier material they say will last 3 decades). The biggest challenge will be to reduce the costs of high cycle energy storage by an order of magnitude over the current state of the art.

All in all I think Nuclear will have a hard time competing in a couple of decades, assuming technological civilization doesn't collapse. Which I don't consider entirely unlikely either.
 

Offline mtdoc

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assuming technological civilization doesn't collapse. Which I don't consider entirely unlikely either.

Nor do I. It may be a  "tail risk"  as traders say, but so is a house fire. I find it fascinating that more people don't consider it.
 

Offline GeorgeOfTheJungle

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Covering only 0.5% of land area

Think a little more about what that "only" in your sentence really means.
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Offline Fungus

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Firstly, although I have seen the evidence of global warming, I am not 100% certain that mankind is the source.

The effect of CO2 in the atmosphere isn't hard to understand.

Secondly, we know that there has been a warm Earth in the past, and our climate may therefore be cyclical in nature.

How does that justify dumping billions of tons of CO2 into the air today?
 

Offline GeorgeOfTheJungle

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The effect of CO2 in the atmosphere isn't hard to understand.

Nor that after a glaciation t rises and the ice disappears.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2017, 11:05:14 pm by GeorgeOfTheJungle »
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Offline GeorgeOfTheJungle

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How does that justify dumping billions of tons of CO2 into the air today?

Have you used your car today? Or a bus? Or any electricity? Have you eaten any food? Did you take a shower today? These are the reasons why.
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Offline nctnico

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Secondly, we know that there has been a warm Earth in the past, and our climate may therefore be cyclical in nature.
How does that justify dumping billions of tons of CO2 into the air today?
And where did that CO2 come from?
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline Marco

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Nor that after a glaciation t rises and the ice disappears.

Or if the sentence order implied their temporal order, after the glaciation the ice disappears and it rises.
 

Online Brumby

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I can support the replacement of fossil fuels with renewable alternatives on the basis of pollution alone, closely followed by the need to establish power sources that do not rely on a finite supply (at least on a million year timeline).

This is just common sense and can help make everyone happier, if done in a socially considerate way.
 
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Offline meeder

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little brainfood/snack ;)
why is greenland called greenland ? and why it was inhabited and abandoned many times again and again in the distant past ? probably caused by re-occurring climate changes , so it was inhabited during warmer periods and abandoned during colder ones ?
we have only a century worth of temperature recordings, but many millennia of existence... probably it's not a bad idea to correlate with archaeological evidence. Also the small population of the very distant past must have been very advanced that they triggered a climate change to melt-down the ice-age :-DD
i'm not saying we're not contributing... we definitely do... but we're definitely not triggering the change !
Very simple. There are two possible explanations for the name. There is the legend and there is the simple misspelling.

http://ancientstandard.com/2010/12/17/how-greenland-got-its-name/

The name Greenland has nothing to do with it being green.
 

Offline nctnico

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I can support the replacement of fossil fuels with renewable alternatives on the basis of pollution alone,
This is a bit of a slippery slope argument because a lot of equipment (batteries, solar panels) involved in sustainable energy take a lot of energy and (toxic) materials to make. The pollution gets out of your back yard but it doesn't go away.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Online Brumby

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That's being a bit short-sighted, IMO.

The energy consideration is irrelevant, since the energy source will become a renewable one.

As for the toxicity issue, you can be sure RoHS and every other environment sensitive campaign will close in on any gaps.
 

Offline Kilrah

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I do also think that the pollution due to fuels with current filtering/cleaning technologies is actually minor compared to other more lasting and harmful pollution sources (that contaminate soils, water,...). It's just more visible, so of course it's used for its convenient advantage of allowing to divert all looks to it so the rest can be forgotten about.
 

Offline nctnico

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That's being a bit short-sighted, IMO.

The energy consideration is irrelevant, since the energy source will become a renewable one.

As for the toxicity issue, you can be sure RoHS and every other environment sensitive campaign will close in on any gaps.
That is assuming the country where the manufacturing takes place has any environmental protection laws which they enforce. Take China for example where that isn't happening.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2017, 08:28:34 am by nctnico »
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline GeorgeOfTheJungle

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Nor that after a glaciation t rises and the ice disappears.

Or if the sentence order implied their temporal order, after the glaciation the ice disappears and it rises.

LOL, t == temperature not "it".
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Offline Jeroen3

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That's being a bit short-sighted, IMO.

The energy consideration is irrelevant, since the energy source will become a renewable one.

As for the toxicity issue, you can be sure RoHS and every other environment sensitive campaign will close in on any gaps.
That is assuming the country where the manufacturing takes place has any environmental protection laws which they enforce. Take China for example where that isn't happening.
Yes. But you do have cheap pcb's due to the lack of Chinese environmental protections.
 

Offline daveyk

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[/quote]
Yes. But you do have cheap pcb's due to the lack of Chinese environmental protections.
[/quote]

We can enjoy the cheap products and still complain about Chinese destroying the environment. Out of sight and out of mind.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Offline Fungus

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I can support the replacement of fossil fuels with renewable alternatives on the basis of pollution alone,
This is a bit of a slippery slope argument because a lot of equipment (batteries, solar panels) involved in sustainable energy take a lot of energy and (toxic) materials to make.

The trick is to make/transport them using renewable energy. If you do that then the energy problem solves itself.
 

Offline Fungus

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That's being a bit short-sighted, IMO.

The energy consideration is irrelevant, since the energy source will become a renewable one.

As for the toxicity issue, you can be sure RoHS and every other environment sensitive campaign will close in on any gaps.
That is assuming the country where the manufacturing takes place has any environmental protection laws which they enforce. Take China for example where that isn't happening.

Give Trump a few more months and neither will the USA. This appears to be his plan for competing with China - remove all environmental protection and minimum wage laws.

 

Online james_s

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And where did that CO2 come from?

The CO2 is largely captured by plants and converted into other compounds, then the plants are burned or converted to other things such as fossil fuels and when those substances are burned the CO2 is released back into the atmosphere. The issue there is that the fossil fuels are like an enormous battery that has been charged up over millions of years and we are draining it at a rate orders of magnitude faster than it can be recharged. Eventually these substances will become so rare that it is cost prohibitive to burn them as fuel and we're going to have to make some big lifestyle adjustments. I'm not the least bit confident that we won't all wipe each other out fighting over whatever resources remain though.
 
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Offline mtdoc

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The issue there is that the fossil fuels are like an enormous battery that has been charged up over millions of years and we are draining it at a rate orders of magnitude faster than it can be recharged.

Yep.  As I've said before: It's as if humanity won the lottery when we discovered fossil fuels.  But instead of using our winnings wisely and modestly, focusing on investment for future generations and uses for which their is no known substitute, we've been on a 100 year spending binge - the equivalent of spending the bulk of our lottery winnings on "hookers and blow"  :'(
 
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Offline Fungus

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the equivalent of spending the bulk of our lottery winnings on "hookers and blow"  :'(

Sounds like quite a productive use for it.

 
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