View Full Version : The [more terrifying than ever] Global Warming Thread

08-16-2012, 04:00 PM
If the earth sees a six degree rise, we will probably all die. This is what the new studies are predicting.

Rolling Stone recently published an article that will probably give me nightmares.

"Which is exactly why this new number, 2,795 gigatons, is such a big deal. Think of two degrees Celsius as the legal drinking limit – equivalent to the 0.08 blood-alcohol level below which you might get away with driving home. The 565 gigatons is how many drinks you could have and still stay below that limit – the six beers, say, you might consume in an evening. And the 2,795 gigatons? That's the three 12-packs the fossil-fuel industry has on the table, already opened and ready to pour.

We have five times as much oil and coal and gas on the books as climate scientists think is safe to burn. We'd have to keep 80 percent of those reserves locked away underground to avoid that fate. Before we knew those numbers, our fate had been likely. Now, barring some massive intervention, it seems certain.

Yes, this coal and gas and oil is still technically in the soil. But it's already economically aboveground – it's figured into share prices, companies are borrowing money against it, nations are basing their budgets on the presumed returns from their patrimony. It explains why the big fossil-fuel companies have fought so hard to prevent the regulation of carbon dioxide – those reserves are their primary asset, the holding that gives their companies their value. It's why they've worked so hard these past years to figure out how to unlock the oil in Canada's tar sands, or how to drill miles beneath the sea, or how to frack the Appalachians."

Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/global-warmings-terrifying-new-math-20120719#ixzz23k07txrw

08-16-2012, 04:14 PM
Yeah its been feeling more relevant than ever. What with the huuuge drought, the crazy hot weather.

Pretty depressing. Humanity is definitely not about to save its own skin either.

08-19-2012, 10:17 AM
It's funny how people are willing to accept the cold, hard truth of global warming only when faced with empirical evidence. Record high temperatures in summer? Must be global warming! Record snowfall across New England? Must be global warming!

Cat Mom
08-19-2012, 11:49 AM
It's not called "global warming," anymore; it's called "climate change."



08-19-2012, 04:22 PM
So when are they gonna stop making Humvees? Or better yet 12.5oz bottles of coca-cola?

08-19-2012, 06:44 PM
Two things:
1) GM stopped production of the Hummer two years ago.
2) I have no idea what correlation you're trying to make between climate change and Coca-Cola.

But hey, you want to know what the biggest reason is for climate change? Factory farming. (http://www.fao.org/docrep/010/a0701e/a0701e00.HTM)

08-20-2012, 12:00 PM
I apologize if I come off sounding like a dick, but it's the year 2012 and we still have those who refuse to give groups of people their basic human rights. Does anyone here really think mankind could pull together to save a planet?

08-20-2012, 12:17 PM
The planet's going to be safe no matter what (Gaia will redress the balance); we're the ones that are fucked.

08-20-2012, 12:29 PM
The planet's going to be safe no matter what (Gaia will redress the balance); we're the ones that are fucked.

Maybe that's for the best.

08-21-2012, 10:58 PM
What i meant about the coke bottles is that do we need an extra .5oz container in a plastic (oil based product) bottle to add to all the other plastic bottles? It shows the mass ignorance of how wasteful we are. Same with individually wrapped hotdogs all the way up to hummers. Like I said in the last thread on this its this continuing apparent need to make shit purposefully that is going to be garbage in 6 months. I'm sure everyone recycles their cell batteries right? All this may seem rather elementary but again i think it shows the ignorance of seemingly everyone.

It's like this steel factory owner i saw talking about how he makes those giant windmills, and though they may a green form of energy he very much uses coal to melt all that steel that they then use to make those turbines. I think i now see what Gore was doing, trying to sell those carbon offset thingy's, he tried to bring some kind of profit base to the environmental cause, because until someone finds a way to make money of rectifying this mess, companies will continue to pay whatever fines they may have to pay for pollution assuming they are in a country that at least trys to enforce such laws. And to again echo what i said last time, we are most likely fucked, but yes, Gia will make it right once were all dead.

It's been fun, sort of... I think the saddest thing about all this is the seeming lack of interest in any of it. I mean shit censor the internets and we all join together, (while they sneak in a law that makes US citizens officially qualified for indefinite containment, though the patriot act did that already) but when it comes to saving the fucking planet we live on all you can get out of most people is a real life version of those internet memes stating, "....I give no fucks." Not to mention they now say they have found even more oil out west (ND) and that most of the state has oil they can leak out of the rocks. I don't see this trend stopping any time soon.

08-21-2012, 11:55 PM
Yes plastics are a huge deal actually. Some large portion ends up in the ocean no matter what we do and the consequences are prettu deep. There was an entire exhibit about it at a museum ibdid some work for. Theres actually a texas sized island made exclusively of trash collecting out in the pacific.

The county recently passed laws banning plastic cups and bags, and taxijg people who dont hring their own shopping bag... its a start but doesnt deal with all the bottles, straws, etc.

Just one chunk of the bigger picture.

Corvus T. Cosmonaut
08-22-2012, 05:35 AM
Theres actually a texas sized island made exclusively of trash collecting out in the pacific.
Eh, not really. I kind of hate the way this thing has been characterized. A little pet peeve. It's certainly taken the American imagination by storm, but I don't see that this has been very effective in motivating more people to be careful and aware consumers that wouldn't be otherwise.

And the Pacific isn't the only one. Each of the five major oceanic gyres hosts its own collection of plastic debris.

The Patch is characterized by exceptionally high concentrations of pelagic plastics, chemical sludge, and other debris that have been trapped by the currents of the North Pacific Gyre.[2] Despite its size and density, the patch is not visible from satellite photography, since it consists primarily of suspended particulates in the upper water column. Since plastics break down to even smaller polymers, concentrations of submerged particles are not visible from space, nor do they appear as a continuous debris field. Instead, the patch is defined as an area in which the mass of plastic debris in the upper water column is significantly higher than average.

The “garbage patch,” as referred to in the media, is an area of marine debris concentration in the North Pacific Ocean. The name “garbage patch” has led many to believe that this area is a large and continuous patch of easily visible marine debris items such as bottles and other litter—akin to a literal blanket of trash that should be visible with satellite or aerial photographs. This is simply not true. While litter items can be found in this area, along with other debris such as derelict fishing nets, much of the debris mentioned in the media these days refers to small bits of floatable plastic debris. These plastic pieces are quite small and not immediately evident to the naked eye.

Myth: The Pacific Garbage Patch is twice the size of Texas.
Fact: It is impossible to measure the exact size of a gyre because it is a fluid system that moves constantly. But the fact remains that huge amounts of man-made debris accumulate there.

Myth: The Pacific Garbage Patch is like a big island of floating trash.
Fact: No vast island or blanket of garbage is visible in the North Pacific in aerial photographs or satellite images; the accumulation of trash here is like a chunky soup rather than a solid island of garbage you could walk across. Varying concentrations of debris occur in different places at different times; there are at least three separate spots in the North Pacific where currents cause large accumulations of trash. While rubber rain boots, toothbrushes, and food containers can be seen, much of the debris has been broken down by wind, sun, and wave action into tiny pieces that are harder to see, many of them plastic. Scientists skimming the water with fine mesh nets have discovered that in some parts of the Garbage Patch, while tiny marine life called plankton is still more abundant than plastic fragments in terms of numbers, plastic outweighs plankton six to one.

08-27-2012, 03:17 PM
Right, i realize that its not EXACTLY island like, nonetheless a giant floating mass of trash and crap is pretty disturbing.

08-31-2012, 06:42 PM
Wired just ran an interesting article on their front cover called, Apocalypse Not (http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/08/ff_apocalypsenot/all/), which basically runs through some of the major end of the world/pandemic scares we've gone through in recent years. It's a less alarmist approach to all the problems we're facing, and I thought it might generate some interesting debate. It's also not totally global warming (only a little, in fact), but it's chock full of end of the world scenarios.

So, should we worry or not about the warming climate? It is far too binary a question. The lesson of failed past predictions of ecological apocalypse is not that nothing was happening but that the middle-ground possibilities were too frequently excluded from consideration. In the climate debate, we hear a lot from those who think disaster is inexorable if not inevitable, and a lot from those who think it is all a hoax. We hardly ever allow the moderate “lukewarmers” a voice: those who suspect that the net positive feedbacks from water vapor in the atmosphere are low, so that we face only 1 to 2 degrees Celsius of warming this century; that the Greenland ice sheet may melt but no faster than its current rate of less than 1 percent per century; that net increases in rainfall (and carbon dioxide concentration) may improve agricultural productivity; that ecosystems have survived sudden temperature lurches before; and that adaptation to gradual change may be both cheaper and less ecologically damaging than a rapid and brutal decision to give up fossil fuels cold turkey.

Cat Mom
09-14-2012, 09:22 PM
I saw a really interesting guest lecturer in college who taught risk management. He gave a bunch of fascinating examples about the differences between real, genuine risk and perceived risk and how there can be a lot of money in pushing something as high risk -- more donations, grants, Federal subsidies, corporate research, etc. -- and zero funds toward something that has genuine risk. One big example he gave was climate change vs. world-wide child immunization; that, currently, millions of children die every year from malaria or other totally preventable diseases, yet climate change is on the front page and is getting far more money thrown at it; that, for pennies a day, we could actually stop children from dying, but people aren't aware that this is an actual risk or problem. Very interesting stuff, similar to to the above article about middle-of-the-road being blown up into doom and gloom.

09-18-2012, 07:55 PM
We're fucked. (http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/sep/17/arctic-collapse-sea-ice?intcmp=122)

Cat Mom
09-18-2012, 08:50 PM
I saw a more in-depth (and less hype) story that said that this is compared to the data they've been collecting from satellites since 1979. Which isn't a very long time as far as climates go. We'll see. My climatology professor taught us not to automatically trust the data we see on this subject.