Please turn on javascript in your browser to play chess.
Debates Forum

Debates Forum

  1. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    03 Dec '09 17:45
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/dec/02/copenhagen-climate-change-james-hansen

    Although this fellow is obviously a climate change alarmist, which I'm not quite sure I buy to the full extent, he essentially is saying the same thing I've been preaching:

    All this picking and prodding about quotas and carbon credits and allowance of per capita emissions for developing countries may be a good way to achieve quasi-socialist side objectives, but it's not going to solve the problem (if, in fact, there is one).

    IF there is a major impending climate catastrophe, then the ONLY answer is for EVERYONE to get off their duffs and build and use clean technologies starting NOW and, of course to reduce consumption (as uzless will no doubt tell us). A mild and loophole filled cap and trade, which will serve to do little more than transfer wealth from developed nations to developing nations, is a half-assed solution, at best (more like a one tenth-assed solution).

    If the politicians are all convinced that climate change is going to kill our grandchildren (and unlike Shav, they believe this to be a bad thing), then go to Copenhagen and agree to:

    1) Commit enormous resources to building electric cars and insist that oil consuming cars be off the roads by 2020.

    2) Phase out most fossil fuel generated electricity, to be replaced by clean technologies

    3) Get used to the idea that this will destroy the World economy; or at least set is back 100 years. Get used to the fact that millions will die of starvation and disease because of the crumbling World economy. Deal with it.

    4) Get ALL relevant countries to agree with these principles.

    As it stands, Copenhagen will just be another Kyoto. If "successful," it will hurt the economies of developed countries but do little to stop climate change. I sure hope the politicians get some nice photo-ops though. Maybe they'll even win a group Nobel Peace Prize.
  2. Standard member Palynka
    Upward Spiral
    03 Dec '09 17:55
    Originally posted by sh76
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/dec/02/copenhagen-climate-change-james-hansen

    Although this fellow is obviously a climate change alarmist, which I'm not quite sure I buy to the full extent, he essentially is saying the same thing I've been preaching:

    All this picking and prodding about quotas and carbon credits and allowance of per capita emiss ...[text shortened]... iticians get some nice photo-ops though. Maybe they'll even win a group Nobel Peace Prize.
    You can't have it both ways. If you think this guy is an "alarmist" because he overstates the dangers then you cannot agree with his conclusion that we "cannot compromise" on a percentage of reductions of 50 or 40%. What the hell does he want? 0% starting now?

    That's insane. At least, it would lead to massive food shortages as all the distribution of food today would almost entirely collapse.

    If you think he's being alarmist and overstating the problem, then a more progressive reduction would do the trick. Moreover, his approach ignores the fact that it's much easier to be factual about how much needs to be reduced AFTER an initial agreement has been done than striving for a perfect deal from the outset.
  3. 03 Dec '09 18:12
    he's, like, the father of global warming alarmism.
  4. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    03 Dec '09 19:17
    Originally posted by Palynka
    You can't have it both ways. If you think this guy is an "alarmist" because he overstates the dangers then you cannot agree with his conclusion that we "cannot compromise" on a percentage of reductions of 50 or 40%. What the hell does he want? 0% starting now?

    That's insane. At least, it would lead to massive food shortages as all the distribution of food ...[text shortened]... TER an initial agreement has been done than striving for a perfect deal from the outset.
    By alarmist, I meant that he's alarmed by the problem, not necessarily that he's overstating it.

    I don't know whether he's overstating it or not; I'm not a scientist. My point is that claiming to believe everything the IPCC says then then blandly supporting ineffective half-assed measured is internally inconsistent.
  5. Standard member finnegan
    GENS UNA SUMUS
    03 Dec '09 19:19 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by sh76
    [b]http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/dec/02/copenhagen-climate-change-james-hansen


    3) Get used to the idea that this will destroy the World economy; or at least set is back 100 years. Get used to the fact that millions will die of starvation and disease because of the crumbling World economy. Deal with it.
    You could approach rational thinking at times, but instead leap off into this astonishing and unfounded claim that the action required to combat global warming would have this effect:
    3) Get used to the idea that this will destroy the World economy; or at least set us back 100 years. Get used to the fact that millions will die of starvation and disease because of the crumbling World economy. Deal with it.

    Just for ONE counter example, the technology for heavy goods vehicles to run on batteries is already with us. The main development suggested now is for stations at which to exchange used batteries for fully charged ones, not a massive task once it is decided on. This is a change that would not result in mass starvation outside of the sheltered walls of our oil companies.

    Where there is evidence for a risk of mass starvation and social upheaval on a gigantic scale is in the effects of global warming. Again, one example would have to be that Pakistan is highly likely to lose much of its water supply in coming decades and there is a huge population for whom the resulting future is bleak. Just one country, not the biggest, facing grim prospects from climate change regardless of its other challenges.
  6. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    03 Dec '09 19:27
    Originally posted by finnegan
    You could approach rational thinking at times, but instead leap off into this astonishing and unfounded claim that the action required to combat global warming would have this effect:
    3) Get used to the idea that this will destroy the World economy; or at least set us back 100 years. Get used to the fact that millions will die of starvation and disease be ...[text shortened]... , not the biggest, facing grim prospects from climate change regardless of its other challenges.
    Good. Great. So, the effects aren't that bad. Then let's do it. All the more reason not to resort to the nonsense that the delegates will likely resort to.

    Unless, of course, perhaps, just perhaps, some of the global warming alarmists don't *really* believe that global warming is such an imminent thread and may be using the global warming problem to achieve other political ends.

    You think that might be a factor with some people?
  7. Standard member DrKF
    incipit parodia
    03 Dec '09 19:29
    Originally posted by sh76
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/dec/02/copenhagen-climate-change-james-hansen

    Although this fellow is obviously a climate change alarmist, which I'm not quite sure I buy to the full extent, he essentially is saying the same thing I've been preaching:

    All this picking and prodding about quotas and carbon credits and allowance of per capita emiss ...[text shortened]... iticians get some nice photo-ops though. Maybe they'll even win a group Nobel Peace Prize.
    I pretty much agree with the thrust of your argument, here and in the other thread, I think. If I get what you are saying, it's that, if the most pessimistic assessments of MMGW are correct, then we simply do not, globally, have the luxury of trying to make equitable adjustments. Rather, the need is so urgent to reduce emissions that politicking over who does what and when, arguing over who deserves to be able to actually increase their emissions (or at the very least curb their emissions to the least degree possible) and slipping in geopolitical arguments (that will surely mean very little if the most pessimistic assessments are correct) is all so much wasted time - and, since it becomes a Dutch auction of sorts, ultimately futile since everyone is, in effect, trying to maximise their emissions. I'm not sure there's a serious argument to be made against that.

    If the problems are not as grave as the most alarming projections, we have more time and, ahem, energy to devote to arguing about strictly political matters. Although, of course, in that case the impetus to action will decrease...
  8. 03 Dec '09 19:39
    it's easy to PROPOSE an entire new infrastructure. napkins are cheap.
  9. 03 Dec '09 19:53 / 3 edits
    In 1957, the Soviets launched Sputnik. Within 12 years, the US put a man on the moon despite having 1960's electronics technology. When there's a real sense of urgency, it's amazing how rapidly "impossible things" can be achieved.

    If in 2009, everyone realized that the world really needs to be carbon-emissions free in 12 years, I wouldn't be surprised to see to the "impossible" get done.

    But without that sense of urgency, we'll be spending decades having nice little conferences where everyone agrees to wrap everything in green tissue paper (biodegradable recycled tissue paper of course) and declare they're doing something good for the planet.
  10. 03 Dec '09 19:58
    those are really good examples of why we're going to blow through trillions of dollars if the copenhagen summiters are not dislodged from their dunghills.

    don't know about sputnik, but the Apollo missions were built by large, focused teams, aiming toward a fixed goal.

    that ain't gonna happen with climate control.
  11. Standard member DrKF
    incipit parodia
    03 Dec '09 20:08 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Melanerpes
    In 1957, the Soviets launched Sputnik. Within 12 years, the US put a man on the moon despite having 1960's electronics technology. When there's a real sense of urgency, it's amazing how rapidly "impossible things" can be achieved.

    If in 2009, everyone realized that the world really needs to be carbon-emissions free in 12 years, I wouldn't be surprised ycled tissue paper of course) and declare they're doing something good for the planet.
    Exactly so, and it seems likely that political debates over the science and geopolitical manoeuvring would mean that 'everyone' - or even a sizeable enough majority - would be unwilling to take radical action until it is too late. The gulf between the rhetoric of panic and urgency and the timidity, posturing and positioning of the actual outcomes of these summits does nothing to help the environmental movement; it may well be hindering it.
  12. Standard member Bosse de Nage
    Zellulärer Automat
    03 Dec '09 20:13
    Originally posted by zeeblebot
    those are really good examples of why we're going to blow through trillions of dollars if the copenhagen summiters are not dislodged from their dunghills.

    don't know about sputnik, but the Apollo missions were built by large, focused teams, aiming toward a fixed goal.

    that ain't gonna happen with climate control.
    Someone will have to take charge. Not those disorganised hippy remnants, god damn it ... Someone with nerve.
  13. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    03 Dec '09 22:15
    Originally posted by DrKF
    I pretty much agree with the thrust of your argument, here and in the other thread, I think. If I get what you are saying, it's that, if the most pessimistic assessments of MMGW are correct, then we simply do not, globally, have the luxury of trying to make equitable adjustments. Rather, the need is so urgent to reduce emissions that politicking o ...[text shortened]... litical[/i] matters. Although, of course, in that case the impetus to action will decrease...
    Bingo!

    Nicely put.
  14. Subscriber kmax87
    You've got Kevin
    03 Dec '09 23:06 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by sh76
    IF there is a major impending climate catastrophe, then the ONLY answer is for EVERYONE to get off their duffs and build and use clean technologies starting NOW and, of course to reduce consumption (as uzless will no doubt tell us). A mild and loophole filled cap and trade, which will serve to do little more than transfer wealth from developed nations to developing nations, is a half-assed solution, at best (more like a one tenth-assed solution).
    You hitting on a variation on a theme that is being played down under by our right wing in politics.

    They agree there is a problem, but will not support the incumbent governments attempt to address the problem, claiming disingenuously that it does not go far enough, and that for the problem to be properly addressed we have to do more than the governments proposed reduction targets.

    Then almost without a pause they go on to argue that unless the rest of the world all sign up as one, its futile for us to sign on to any program that will have the scope to systematically address the problem and once in place can be adjusted to make a real difference. No they wont agree to that at all! No their solution, is to wait and do nothing and withdraw any support that attempts to put in place the mechanism that can actually start managing the problem. No their solution is to continually bitch from the sidelines as to how much more we should be doing.

    Its beyond insane. Their objection constitutes the biggest load of shortsighted cock ever being argued ever and yet they get away with it because a lot of people are stupid and are willing to swallow this argument hook line and sinker. And when we in the developed nations who wait till the last minute find that in attempting to avoid this inevitability it will actually cost our economies a lot more to adjust to the new global regulatory framework that will govern carbon consumption who they going to blame then. Its not what we lose now, its the potential of economic activity and advantage we will lose far into the future by not being at the forefront of this change, where as we lag on this issue others will exploit the opportunities presented to them.

    Check out the two links below and wrok out that the Chinese people themselves are absolutely only to aware of what high carbon emission can do to their quality of life and unacceptable damage to their environment. Anyone remember the Chinese Olympics and what their skyline looked like? Say no more right!

    What do you reckon will happen if China uses its manufacturing base and gets to take the lead on this and as we fall behind you find that their economic weight disadvantages us going forward.

    As ever as this becomes more and more political, the truth of it will hardly matter any more. Climate change deniers/skeptics will find themselves like Luddites trying to resist the onslaught to their way of life that industrialization threatened. Adapting to a low carbon future sooner rather than later will help segue us well into the future. Holding firm will only stave off the inevitable with disastrous consequences for the nations who believe they can stare down this coming change.


    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/commentary/on-climate-change-china-could-show-the-way/article1386582/

    http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2008/s2759116.htm
  15. Standard member finnegan
    GENS UNA SUMUS
    03 Dec '09 23:26 / 1 edit
    "As the saying goes, you cannot cross a chasm in two leaps."

    kmax87 gives a really neat and spot on link here which says what I wanted to say better than I could. Going carbon neutral requires a huge change. It is not logical to assume it means the destruction of our developed World as we know it, which sh76 implied above. But as that link says, the winners will be the ones to make that leap first.

    Also from that link, a very neat observation. Do we want to see China transfer its trillions in savings across to the OPEC producers to pay for the oil to fuel its economic explosion, or to see those trillions invested in new industries in China? I have to suggest that watching the way some of the OPEC countries use their oil wealth, it has to be worth looking for an alternative.