First, let me remind you that scientists, for the most part, objectively study the physical universe. They do not subjectively
study it. Despite many right wing talker's claims, I just don't understand this. The scientific community is interested only in the truth, they don't have an agenda. (there are specific examples where this is false, but this holds true for the vast majority of scientific institutions)
I strongly believe that the scientists that are always appearing in the public often have an agenda. I believe that sometimes people want to prove something so bad, that they look for something and exxagerate its importance by also disregarding other evidence out there. Everyone is human and you simply can't get past personal bias. It just seems like the ones that always appear in the public spotlight have an agenda in what they want to prove.
Second, I was waiting for the "volcano" argument, Limbaugh's favorite. I'm calling you out here: You haven't done your homework. (Its not your fault. This argument originated from a right wing talking point, and everyone uses it. I know you didn't come up with this volcano theory yourself)
While I believe Limbaugh has used the Volcano argument, that is not where I got it. Believe it or not, I believe I got that one from watching a National Geographic Special several years ago while I still had cable TV. They were doing a special on I believe Mt. Pinatubo(sp???) and mentioned that detail. I believe they also talked about how this single volcano alone manages to output more CO2 than anything else in nature. While I agree with some points Limbaugh makes, I have not watched or listened to him since I had my Mercury Marauder, so its been at least 4 years. I lost respect for him after he got busted abusing prescription meds especially after how he so vehemently was against drug use.
Let me give you the rundown on volcanoes and global warming:
First, some fact correcting: "The biggest source of CO2 emissions are natural and especially from volcanic sources." You are implying that Volcanoes have more of an impact on global warming than we do by way of their CO2 emissions. False. Current CO2 emissions from subaerial and submarine volcanoes have been estimated at 4 x 10^12 moles/year. Man made CO2 emissions are at least 150 times this estimate.
Second, Volcanos have a net cooling effect.
I am aware of the netcooling effect as atmospheric sulfer is extremely reflective. However, the point remains that a serious amount of CO2 is being dumepd into the atmosphere. I read and interest take on this constant drive to lower sulfer petrol and diesel(especially clean diesel) as while it will reduce the potential for damaging acid rain, this move could actually aide global warming. Mt. Pinatubo was especially an interesting volcano although I don't think I would care to live so close to it.
This information is out there, you just have to do objective research. I'll tell you how this works too. Volcanoes emit sulfur dioxide into the stratosphere, where it is converted into sulferic acid aerosols. These aerosols reflect radiation, both solar and infrared. But there is a net loss of energy by this process, between 5-10% reduction in energy. The largest eruption in the past 100 years, Mt Pinatubo in 1991, resulted in a .5 degree C net decrease
in surface temperature over the next year or two.
Maybe you'll make the Chlorine argument, that volcanoes spew more chlorine into the atmosphere than we do, and they eat away at the ozone layer, not us.
Chlorine never occurred to me, but it is always nice to know something new. CFC's is definately us and I agree with you on that. It still apalls me that some countries refuse to admit how damaging these particles are as they act as catalysts and are not themselves consumed in the decay(destruction) reaction of Ozone. *cough* China *cough* India i'm talking to you! This is another reason why I was so opposed to the Kyoto Treaty as this was a treaty that literally punished the economies of the developed world while giving powers like China and India a free pass to do what the hell they wanted for the next 35 years or whenever they are fully developed. This is where my motives become selfish, as I do not like legislation that create an unfair balance in favor of other nations at our expense and well being.
Wrong. Natural chlorine, like the chlorine produced from volcanoes, is water soluble, and it gets rained out before ever reaching the stratosphere. Chloroflorocarbons, or CFC's, that we produce, are INsoluble, and they make it all the way to the stratosphere to dump their chlorine. Furthermore, chlorine found in the stratosphere is ALWAYS accompanied by other remnants of CFC's, and NOT of natural chlorine. Its us, not the volcanoes.
You brought up CO2, not me. Its a combination of a lot of different things. There are many causes to these climate changes, and there are many solutions.
I brought up CO2 as I was arguing with someone over that detail earlier today and it was in my head. I keep saying that i'm going to avoid politics and stay out of it, but I think I get stimulated by it as I can't seem to escape it after I quit being a political activist.
Your reasoning here is flawed. First, it is completely irrational and unreasonable to say that we should "cope" instead of making some simple legislative and lifestyle changes.
What I am saying is that you cannot underestimate what humans can do when they work together for the common good. Humans have shown their better side every once in a while in history and things have gotten done. I realize that coastlines would be in trouble, but people really arn't that smart to be building their dream houses on an unsturdy foundation of sand, are they? Now I understand that the loss of coastline will be much more severe than that, but we will manage somehow. If anything, people will simply be forced to adapt to a new way of life. I subscribe to the thought that we are powerless against what may happen(blame much of that on my religious beliefs) as some things are out of our control. If history has shown that climatic shifts have happened in the past, then perhaps it is time for people to spend as much energy preparing for the inevitable outcome. Same deal with those who built their houses on the hillsides in California despite the geological danger associated to the composition of those hillsides that showed their danger not too long ago.
Do you live near a coast? Because there are sections of glaciers threatening to drop into the ocean that would flood enough land to leave hundreds of millions of people as refugees. You think we should just "cope" with hundreds of millions of refugees instead of using paper bags at the grocery store? Think about your logic here. We can fix this. If you care about our planet, and you get one other person to care about it, then they will get one person to care about it, and sooner or later, everyone cares about it. This isn't a right wing or left wing issue. This is something that everyone should care about. Why? Because if enough people care, then we don't have to lift a finger: the government or (according to libertarian economics) the free market will set standards that will decrease our emission levels to the point where they are not affecting our planet. I do not believe that we will ever be able to achieve that goal of reducing emissions to a level that will never affect our planet. We disturbed the balance just by our existence on this planet. Steps should be taken, but they have to be economically and fiscally feasible or it will never happen. Notice I said that I am a pseudo-neo-libertarian. I am often at odds with hardcore libertarians as they often border on anarchy. What I believe is that solutions to the problem need to be economically responsible. One can make the argument that the free market already doing a good job of regulating the market as demand for trucks and SUV's are significantly down due to the cost of petrol and diesel. The government didn't even step in, yet people are reacting to the market and making various choices. At the same time, I firmly believe that research into alternative fuels is something that needs to be accelerated. This is where the government steps in as they already have started by offering incentives for the purchase of alternative fuel vehicles like hybrids.
But when people continually spread this disinformation, the problem only gets worse. Why not fix it before it is a terrible problem?
Quote from Thom Hartmann's book: "Here's a bit of wisdom on which "left" and "right" can easily agree: If you let things go, you'll have to pay for it eventually; and the longer you don't deal with it, the more you'll have to pay. Wait long enough, and you'll pay dearly - when you could have done the right thing all along and at little cost."
Think about that. You seem like a reasonable person, albeit, slightly misdirected on some issues. Its funny you mention that you're studying fiscal conservativism and economics. I started my collegiate career studying economics from a conservative standpoint. I was all for it, until I realized the disaster that is the unregulated free market.
Conservative economics isn't about putting profits before people. It is about efficiency and I will agree that it may not be the most socially equal form. I have the opposite view from you as I believe that it is overregulation that is leading us to a disaster. Being a conservative doesn't go hand in hand with giving buisnesses the green light and blank check to do whatever they need to do. That is why i'm not a traditional libertarian as legislation is sometimes required. Yet, I believe that nothing will happen unless something becomes financially attractive for any consumer. This is where some scientists come in as I believe that the solution may not need to boil down to doing something cold turkey and killing an economy. I believe that people should be allowed to choose what they wish and that since people will always choose what makes fiscal sense to them, things need to be aimed at making solutions that might make fiscal sense to people. This is what a capitalistic economy is based on, which is freedom to choose and vote using your dollars. A balance obviously needs to be struck.
(Putting profit before people) The more I learn, the more liberal I become on most all areas, economics especially. These same libertarian free market flaws are the reason why this global warming issue has gone this far. Businesses are allowed to put profits before people (and our planet) and they have no interests in preserving either. A business has one interest: profit. The Libertarians will tell you that if people want greener products, the free market will deliver it. But we have a system that is so deeply intertwined with each other, the fact that businesses have a political voice, blocks the truth from ever hitting the consumer!
I am a huge fan of cutting down on both corporate collusion, and political corruption. This of course will never happen as corruption runs deep with all major and fringe political parties.
So how can a free market work if we have incomplete consumer information?! If businesses had no legal rights as an individual, and could not play any role in politics, then we would have less corrupt politicians who vote the way their funders want them to, and we would have less disinformation about important subjects. I agree that a free market can work in many cases, but not ours, not now.
I believe the free market can and will work if given the chance. However, I believe far more needs to be done past what has already been reformed with that McCain bill.
The above rant explains exactly how this global warming crisis got where it is today. Businesses don't want to change to greener methods, because change costs money. Businesses get politicians elected by campaign contributions, television ads, radio ads, etc, under the condition that they don't impose legislation that makes the business change. The politician needs to have the support of his constituents, so he publicly challenges global warming.
With good reason sometimes, as I do not believe there is much that can be done. Some scientists have even stated that even if we stopped manmade CO2 emissions tomarrow, it would not significantly impact global warming and would likely just slow down it's occurance. This has occurred before in the world's history even before humans walked. The other problem here is that some huge nations are going through their industrial revolution and this presents a challenge as they are quickly becoming one of the biggest polluters of greenhouse and other toxic gases into the atmosphere. How do you get them on board? Keep in mind that China is a country that likely doesn't give a care based on their environmental record. I believe that we should take some steps to work on the CO2 problem, but investigate and find ways to deal with other sources of our accelerated climatic shift.
Media supporters of this party defend the politician's stance on global warming, even though inaccurate and fraudulent. Then you have conservatives who don't believe in global warming, and liberals who do. And this all started because businesses don't have a conscience; they think "profit," not "people." Only when the people get complete information will the free market truly function in their interest.
Arguably it is profit that is the motivator that has caused so much innovation and has made the world it is today. If there was no profit incentive, we would very likely have no innovation. If a firm can find a way to make profit in green technology, then it will happen as that is what a buisness does. I simply believe there are other bigger problems to worry about than CO2 emissions at this time. A big one I believe is the degradation of the water quality of our oceans due to some countries.
Did you know that the scientific community is in almost 100% agreement on global warming? Only one scientific establishment does not agree, and that is the "American Association of Petroleum Geologists." Petroleum Geologists. I wonder where their funding comes from?