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Thread: Climate Change & Global Warming

  1. #31
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    Re: Climate, Global Warming & World Taxation

    Over 30 years ago in junior high school, I was taught in social studies (not science) that the Earth's climate was cooling off. During the 70s there were some colder than average winters. Because of the nonsense I was taught when I was 14, I am reluctant to believe in global warming. The weather has been warmer over the last 20 years than it was in the 60s & 70s but weather fluctuations over time are normal. The climate around 1000 AD when the Norse settled in Greenland & Iceland was probably similar to what the Earth has experienced over the last twenty years. What human activity cause that global warming? Then around 1300 the climate entered a "Little Ice Age" lasting until about 1850. Since then it has been on a warming trend. There are many forces of nature beyond the control of man & the weather is one of them. If the climate is truely warming we will just have to adjust. For some counties like the Maldives or Bangladesh it could be a disaster but for others such as Canada it could be a blessing. Personally I will not be surprised if the climate is cooler in 30 years than it is today.
    Last edited by Madoc; Thursday, November 2nd, 2006 at 09:48 PM.

  2. #32
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    Sad Re: Climate, Global Warming & World Taxation

    update today:

    Analysts here have now argued that the situation as already outlined requires even more capital investment than was expected in order to meet the costs of the plans so far proposed.

    It is very hard to made sense of all these claims and counterclaims. It is even more difficult to see how some smaller countries ( guess who!) can make any significant changes in world CO2 level when various other major countries (eg. the US, Australia ,China ) are , for their own reasons, not on board! In fact , it would be fair to say that the entire exercise would prove to be pointless. Even so, it still really does look as though we shall be subjected to yet higher environmental taxes to pay for more and more imaginative eco-schemes.

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    Exclamation Re: Climate, Global Warming & World Taxation

    I cannot resist commenting on the interesting news this evening of a large Pan African - Chinese Conference in China. The Chinese are very willing to help Africa --asking no questions about Africa's "progress " toward Democracy or Human Rights. These questions are considered quite irrelevant in the context of their joint national advancements! In fact, various African spokesmen made the point that Europeans were being arrogant with their interference and continual demandings & expectations.

    So, they therefore look forward to increasing trade , selling their oil for industrial development. Not one word did I hear about the Emission of CO2 or global warming - this subject presumably being absent from the agendas! And yet, to labour the point, we will still be taxed all the same to assist the third world with their eco-friendly development.Is this right? Is this justified in the circumstances? Is America about the leap forward with similar assistance??

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    Sv: Climate, Global Warming & World Taxation

    Quote Originally Posted by tinman View Post
    The planet has went through warm and cold periods before. They weren't a result of human activity then and I'm not sure they are now.

    But then, I think we should move beyond fossil fuels because we can.
    I agree.

    I don't believe there is enough proof that the current warming is 1) as big as some claim, 2) unique for our time and 3) caused by humans. Even if these were true, we still need to have a debate about what price we're ready to pay to make the huge adaptations required to combat these presumed climate changes.

    Also, if we're sure the climate is changing, we should prepare for measures of adaptation, people might for instance not be able to live on small islands or in lowlands, but instead we might be able to colonize the Siberian tundra, etc.

    We shouldn't spew out waste just because of this though, it's obvious that for instance car pollution in cities is a proven health hazard for people, and our industries must of course be heavily regulated to control poison from reaching the nature.

    Have being interested in these issues for quite a while, I've collected alot of interesting links, here are a few recent ones:

    The dodgy numbers behind the latest warming scare.
    Björn Lomborg, OpinionJournal - Stern Review

    Climate chaos? Don't believe it
    By Christopher Monckton, Sunday Telegraph

    Chaotic world of climate truth
    BBC VIEWPOINT
    By Mike Hulme - Director, Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research

    Kyoto protocol: Adapt or fry
    New Scientist

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    Re: Sv: Climate, Global Warming & World Taxation

    The Science is clearly still argued about!

    But even if it is agreed that CO2 is rising "out of control" as a direct result of man's over burning of Carbon-based fossil fuels, for a few smaller countries to cripple themselves with absurd levels of taxation (in order to "save the planet and help out the third world") will achieve next to nothing in terms of global CO2 levels. If America , India, China and whoever are not on board ( for whatever reason - they may also conclude that it is all pointless in reality) , then whatever sacrifice is made by the smaller nations ( eg Britain) will have no meaningful impact whatsoever! It would therefore seem to be an unhelpful course of action for such nations.

    However I do agree that all nations should work to improve their own energy sources - and that clearly includes a greater research effort towards energy diversification.

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    Re: Climate, Global Warming & World Taxation

    Quote Originally Posted by tinman View Post
    The planet has went through warm and cold periods before. They weren't a result of human activity then and I'm not sure they are now.
    This is actually contained in Enlil's article-link "Climate Chaos? Don't believe it". There are many research papers which indicate a significant warm period in the middle ages ( hence its name) after around the year 1000. The temperature increased for about 200 years and then slowly fell to levels significantly below the average. This could not have been man made or industrial.But there is evidence of interest. During the earlier warm period, the Vikings established thriving farms in Greenland but, as we know, when the conditions deteriorated, these became impossible to maintain. Significant warming and then cooling again - seemingly a natural phenomenon.Where the farms once were, there is now permafrost! These temperature variations were surely not man made but entirely natural, probably cyclic events.

    Pity us if tax money is squandered because of misguided science.

  7. #37

    Exclamation Disappearing World: Global Warming Claims Tropical Island

    By Geoffrey Lean


    For the first time, an inhabited island has disappeared beneath rising seas. Rising seas, caused by global warming, have for the first time washed an inhabited island off the face of the Earth. The obliteration of Lohachara island, in India's part of the Sundarbans where the Ganges and the Brahmaputra rivers empty into the Bay of Bengal, marks the moment when one of the most apocalyptic predictions of environmentalists and climate scientists has started coming true.

    As the seas continue to swell, they will swallow whole island nations, from the Maldives to the Marshall Islands, inundate vast areas of countries from Bangladesh to Egypt, and submerge parts of scores of coastal cities.

    Eight years ago, as exclusively reported in The Independent on Sunday, the first uninhabited islands - in the Pacific atoll nation of Kiribati - vanished beneath the waves. The people of low-lying islands in Vanuatu, also in the Pacific, have been evacuated as a precaution, but the land still juts above the sea. The disappearance of Lohachara, once home to 10,000 people, is unprecedented.

    It has been officially recorded in a six-year study of the Sunderbans by researchers at Calcutta's Jadavpur University. So remote is the island that the researchers first learned of its submergence, and that of an uninhabited neighbouring island, Suparibhanga, when they saw they had vanished from satellite pictures.

    Two-thirds of nearby populated island Ghoramara has also been permanently inundated. Dr Sugata Hazra, director of the university's School of Oceanographic Studies, says "it is only a matter of some years" before it is swallowed up too. Dr Hazra says there are now a dozen "vanishing islands" in India's part of the delta. The area's 400 tigers are also in danger.

    Until now the Carteret Islands off Papua New Guinea were expected to be the first populated ones to disappear, in about eight years' time, but Lohachara has beaten them to the dubious distinction.

    Refugees from the vanished Lohachara island and the disappearing Ghoramara island have fled to Sagar, but this island has already lost 7,500 acres of land to the sea. In all, a dozen islands, home to 70,000 people, are in danger of being submerged by the rising seas.

  8. #38
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    Climate change will transform the face of the continent

    Europe, the richest and most fertile continent and the model for the modern world, will be devastated by climate change, the European Union predicts today.

    The ecosystems that have underpinned all European societies from Ancient Greece and Rome to present-day Britain and France, and which helped European civilisation gain global pre-eminence, will be disabled by remorselessly rising temperatures, EU scientists forecast in a remarkable report which is as ominous as it is detailed.

    Much of the continent's age-old fertility, which gave the world the vine and the olive and now produces mountains of grain and dairy products, will not survive the climate change forecast for the coming century, the scientists say, and its wildlife will be devastated.

    Europe's modern lifestyles, from summer package tours to winter skiing trips, will go the same way, they say, as the Mediterranean becomes too hot for holidays and snow and ice disappear from mountain ranges such as the Alps - with enormous economic consequences. The social consequences will also be felt as heat-related deaths rise and extreme weather events, such as storms and floods, become more violent.

    The report, stark and uncompromising, marks a step change in Europe's own role in pushing for international action to combat climate change, as it will be used in a bid to commit the EU to ambitious new targets for cutting emissions of greenhouse gases.

    The European Commission wants to hold back the rise in global temperatures to 2C above the pre-industrial level (at present, the level is 0.6C). To do that, it wants member states to commit to cutting back emissions of carbon dioxide, the principal greenhouse gas, to 30 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020, as long as other developed countries agree to do the same.

    Failing that, the EU would observe a unilateral target of a 20 per cent cut.

    The Commission president, José Manuel Barroso, gave US President George Bush a preview of the new policy during a visit to the White House this week.

    The force of today's report lies in its setting out of the scale of the continent-wide threat to Europe's "ecosystem services".

    That is a relatively new but powerful concept, which recognises essential elements of civilised life - such as food, water, wood and fuel - which may generally be taken for granted, are all ultimately dependent on the proper functioning of ecosystems in the natural world. Historians have recognised that Europe was particularly lucky in this respect from the start, compared to Africa or pre-Columbian America - and this was a major reason for Europe's rise to global pre-eminence.

    "Climate change will alter the supply of European ecosystem services over the next century," the report says. "While it will result in enhancement of some ecosystem services, a large portion will be adversely impacted because of drought, reduced soil fertility, fire, and other climate change-driven factors.

    "Europe can expect a decline in arable land, a decline in Mediterranean forest areas, a decline in the terrestrial carbon sink and soil fertility, and an increase in the number of basins with water scarcity. It will increase the loss of biodiversity."

    The report predicts there will be some European "winners" from climate change, at least initially. In the north of the continent, agricultural yields will increase with a lengthened growing season and a longer frost-free period. Tourism may become more popular on the beaches of the North Sea and the Baltic as the Mediterranean becomes too hot, and deaths and diseases related to winter cold will fall.

    But the negative effects will far outweigh the advantages. Take tourism. The report says "the zone with excellent weather conditions, currently located around the Mediterranean (in particular for beach tourism) will shift towards the north". And it spells out the consequences.

    "The annual migration of northern Europeans to the countries of the Mediterranean in search of the traditional summer 'sun, sand and sea' holiday is the single largest flow of tourists across the globe, accounting for one-sixth of all tourist trips in 2000. This large group of tourists, totalling about 100 million per annum, spends an estimated €100bn (£67bn) per year. Any climate-induced change in these flows of tourists and money would have very large implications for the destinations involved."

    While they are losing their tourists, the countries of the Med may also be losing their agriculture. Crop yields may drop sharply as drought conditions, exacerbated by more frequent forest fires, make farming ever more difficult. And that is not the only threat to Europe's food supplies. Some stocks of coldwater fish in areas such as the North Sea will move northwards as the water warms.

    There are many more direct threats, the report says. The cost of taking action to cope with sea-level rise will run into billions of euros. Furthermore, "for the coming decades, it is predicted the magnitude and frequency of extreme weather events will increase, and floods will likely be more frequent and severe in many areas across Europe."

    The number of people affected by severe flooding in the Upper Danube area is projected to increase by 242,000 in a more extreme 3C temperature rise scenario, and by 135,000 in the case of a 2.2C rise. The total cost of damage would rise from €47.5bn to €66bn in the event of a 3C increase.

    Although fewer people would die of cold in the north, that would be more than offset by increased mortality in the south. Under the more extreme scenario of a 3C increase in 2071-2100 relative to 1961-1990, there would be 86,000 additional deaths.


    Source
    Lík börn leika best.

  9. #39

    Facing Global Warming, are People Like Frogs?

    Facing Global Warming, are People Like Frogs?


    Confronted by new evidence of global warming, will people react like frogs?


    According to an often-told story, a frog will try to jump out if you drop it into hot water but the hapless creature will stay, and eventually die, if you put it in a pan of cool water and slowly bring it to a boil.


    A United Nations report to be released in Paris on Feb. 2 will include the strongest warning yet that humans are stoking global warming that may cause colossal damage to nature if, like the doomed frog, they ignore rising temperatures.


    Ex-US Vice President Al Gore tells the story with croaking cartoon frogs in his movie 'An Inconvenient Truth' to urge more action to save the planet. In his version, a hand dips in and rescues a swooning frog just as the water starts to bubble.
    "It's important to rescue the frog," he says. And UN officials also sometimes mention the boiled frog as a cautionary tale of the dangers of human complacency about global warming.
    There is only one problem -- it's not true.
    "The 'boiled frog'...is definitely an urban myth," said Victor Hutchison, a professor emeritus at the zoology department at the University of Oklahoma in the United States.
    "I have investigated the thermal tolerance in reptiles and amphibians for many years. If one places the animal in a container and slowly heats it, the animal will at some point invariably try to escape," he told Reuters.

    FLOODS, HEATWAVES

    The UN report, by 2,500 scientists, will say there is at least a 90 percent chance that human activities led by burning fossil fuels are the main cause of warming in the past 50 years.


    The warming may cause ever more floods, heatwaves, droughts and rising sea levels by 2100.
    Strengthening the conclusions of a 2001 report that blamed humans for warming, it will guide governments seeking to extend the UN's Kyoto Protocol for fighting warming beyond 2012.
    Will the world's governments hop? If the much-maligned frog is smart enough to jump when the mercury rises, there must surely be hope for humans too?


    Scientists' warnings about the risks of carbon dioxide have often gone unheeded. Swedish scientist Svante Arrhenius, a Nobel chemistry laureate, first pointed to a likely link between warming and industrial carbon dioxide emissions a century ago.


    "This is a problem we have been aware of for a very long time and action on it is way overdue," said Naomi Oreskes, a history and science professor who specialises in climate change at the University of California in San Diego.
    She said she liked asking friends, colleagues and family which leading US politician said: "This generation has altered the composition of the atmosphere on a global scale through radioactive materials and a steady increase in carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels."

    1965
    "Almost invariably people guess Al Gore," she said. The right answer was President Lyndon Johnson, in a special message to Congress about pollution -- on Feb. 8, 1965.


    President George W. Bush, who acknowledges a link between rising temperatures and mounting carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, pulled out in 2001 from Kyoto under which most industrial nations have capped emissions.
    He said caps would curb economic growth and Kyoto wrongly excluded developing nations from its first phase, to 2012. He is instead investing heavily in new clean energy technologies, from biofuels to hydrogen.
    Kyoto obliges 35 developed nations to cut emissions of greenhouse gases -- from factories, power plants and vehicles -- by 5 percent of 1990 levels by 2008-12. The United States emits about a quarter of all industrial greenhouse gases.


    The UN climate panel's reports have spurred action in the past: the way to the 1997 Kyoto pact was paved by a 1995 report which concluded that the "balance of evidence" suggested humans were affecting the climate.
    Most Kyoto nations agree that tougher action is now needed.
    Yet in a world where millions of individuals are unable to quit smoking or avoid obesity, action to curb global warming seems a tall order, partly since it will affect future generations hardest.


    And, like the fabled boiled frog, people may find it hard to tackle an invisible threat.
    "Our evolutionary biology ... equips us to respond far more easily and naturally to a threat from a snake, or a fang, or a claw or a spider than from a threat that can only be understood by the use of abstract reasoning," Gore said in a presentation in Oslo in 2006.
    "It's not impossible, but it does take more time," he said.


    Story by Alister Doyle


    source

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    We are not frogs.

    I have given you the facts. Accept what you will.

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