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Author Topic: Behaviour modification/Global warming  (Read 5911 times)
niznai
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« Reply #40 on: November 30, 2012, 02:51:02 AM »
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And at that moment all commerce will stop, people in the cities will starve, and people will be unable to watch their favorite TV programs. There's no way a politician would be dumb enough to do this, even though when you look at politicians you'd find that hard to believe.


There's no need to tax fossil fuels in one go. You can "phase them out" over a reasonable period.


All true, and all irrelevant. Data on yearly energy from the sun is interesting but meaningless unless you have an effective way to trap it. Neither windmills nor solar panels fill the bill, and putting a windmill on your car seems, at best, unlikely to be effective. Heat in the bowels of the earth probably could keep us all warm until the sun novas, but nobody's figured out how to tap that source either. Presumably, tapping it would require a much smaller surface footprint than would windmills or solar panels. All we need is a tap that doesn't dissolve instantly when installed.


Nah, if you check those numbers, they are about 3 orders of magnitude apart. I think our solar panels are up to about 30% now so we can harvest enough solar energy to satisfy everybody. Like I said, a bit difficult to do it at night, but there's workarounds.

Geothermal is best harvested directly as radioactive fuel and used in nuclear powerplants in my opinion. Sure, there's sources of heat we'll never get access to (as in be able to mine the radioactive materials giving off the heat) but we won't really need to.


But on this we don't. Most of what DOESN'T happen is due to government intervention, my friend, and neither Europe nor California has a clue "what is best for the global future." Yes, some people need a paradigm shift, and considering where we are at the moment it's clear they'll soon get it, good and hard.


Probably. The point is most of the world keeps going on like nothing's happening. At least some are trying.
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NikoJorj
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« Reply #41 on: November 30, 2012, 03:15:28 AM »
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These guys cheat, really! Wink Their crust is much thinner than almost anywhere else, and therefore "deep" doesn't have the same meaning.
This project seeks 400-600C at 4-5km, whereas temperatures get only to 150-200C or so in a normal continental location - that changes much of the economical and energetical balance of such an energy source.

Here in Europe, there has been research to tap into nearer geothermal sources in the Rhein graben, among other locations near Basel and... it banged into side effects. Read http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/11/science/earth/11basel.html or http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Induced_seismicity_in_Basel eg.
That doesn't discount geothermal energy on the whole of course, and there are still other research projects more to the north (in Alsace eg) that didn't trigger so much seismicity. But Iceland is a quite special case, being seated on a rift, and not easily applicable to somewhere else.

There is no silver bullet and to the date, every energy source has side effects and costs (dam failure risk for hydraulic energy eg : following the Tohuku earthquake, a dam failure made more fatalities than the Fukushima nuclear disaster so far).
So this is the choice of a lesser evil, or more likely several lesser ones not to be hit too hard when one of them goes wrong.
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Nicolas from Grenoble
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« Reply #42 on: November 30, 2012, 05:57:05 AM »
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And at that moment all commerce will stop, people in the cities will starve, and people will be unable to watch their favorite TV programs. There's no way a politician would be dumb enough to do this, even though when you look at politicians you'd find that hard to believe.


This is an interesting dilemma. To some extent I agree with you, Russ, that Government employees are not the most efficient, insightful and innovative class of workers. I suspect that many politicians get elected because they are very talented at persuading people that they know what they are talking about, but not because they actually do know what they are talking about, the difference being that a successful business is successful because it actually does know what it is doing.

Nevertheless, I feel that governments do have an essential role to play with regard to the shift from fossil fuels to renewables, which the private sector may not be able to handle in a smooth manner which can avoid economic catastrophe.

As we all should know, governments need taxes to provide the services that they can best provide, such as roads, essential infrastructure, armies, police and judiciary etc.

But just how they raise such taxes is a subject for debate. There's an overall principle that taxes should be fair and equitable, the burden shared equally. But taxation is also used as a means of changing human behaviour.

We put a high tax on products that we know are unhealthy, such as cigarettes and highly-alcoholic drinks, in order to discourage their consumption, but at some point the economic logic breaks down. Instead of placing an even higher tax on cocaine and heroin etc, to discourage their use, most governemtns hand the business over to gangsters, thus depriving themselves of a considerable amount of revenue, and at the same time incurring the great additional expense of combating the gangsters in a very inefficient manner to stop the trade of illicit drugs, as well as providing free board and lodging, with very expensive security arrangements, for all convicted drug addicts and traffickers.

The more successful a government may be in thwarting the illicit drug smugglers, the higher the price of the drug becomes, and the greater the incentive for the smugglers to outsmart the authorities.

So to some extent, Russ, I agree with you. Governments may simply not have the nous, the rationality and the intelligence to assist that necessary transition from fossil fuels to renewables.

Theoretically, the concept of shifting the tax burden from personal income tax and corporate tax to a fossil fuel tax has great merit. The increased energy bills for individuals and companies that would result could be offset by the reduced taxation in other areas, whilst simultaneously promoting the development of tax-free renewables.

Unfortunately, getting that balance right so that no group feels particularly disadvantaged by the change in the taxation policy, is a task which is probably beyond the capabilities of most governments, so I feel a bit pessimistic in this regard.

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niznai
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« Reply #43 on: November 30, 2012, 07:33:34 AM »
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These guys cheat, really! Wink Their crust is much thinner than almost anywhere else, and therefore "deep" doesn't have the same meaning.

[...]


Not only that but they sit directly above a hot spot not too dissimilar to the Hawaiian one.
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HSakols
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« Reply #44 on: November 30, 2012, 09:01:10 AM »
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Global climate change is not a fact, but there is some very strong evidence supporting this theory.  True scientific theories are backed with evidence and our generally not weak.  Here in Yosemite we have seen dramatic changes since the early 1900's that are well documented.  Now is this global climate change or just Huh I believe all ecosystems are in a constant state of change.   Still we cannot ignore the fact that in just the last 100 years there has been a significant increase emissions.  What is more troubling is the increase of emissions in Asia where more and more people are owning cars.  Walk on the street of any city in China and you will see that maybe there is something to this crazy theory.
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Isaac
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« Reply #45 on: November 30, 2012, 11:29:02 AM »
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These guys cheat, really! Wink Their crust is much thinner than almost anywhere else, and therefore "deep" doesn't have the same meaning.
Pick the low hanging fruit first.

it banged into side effects
The response to "side effects" varies -- How Fracking Disposal Wells Are Causing Earthquakes in Dallas-Fort Worth

But Iceland is a quite special case, being seated on a rift, and not easily applicable to somewhere else.
More low hanging fruit.

every energy source has side effects and costs
Indeed.
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Isaac
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« Reply #46 on: November 30, 2012, 11:42:17 AM »
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I suspect that many politicians get elected because they are very talented at persuading people that they know what they are talking about, but not because they actually do know what they are talking about, the difference being that a successful business is successful because it actually does know what it is doing.

Perhaps the slight equivocation makes this more confusing than need be -- once we change that to "a successful [business person] is successful because [they] actually do know what [they are] doing" I start to think that a business person can be successful by persuading people that they know what they are talking about and then cashing-out before failure becomes undeniable.
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niznai
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« Reply #47 on: December 01, 2012, 01:46:18 AM »
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Perhaps the slight equivocation makes this more confusing than need be -- once we change that to "a successful [business person] is successful because [they] actually do know what [they are] doing" I start to think that a business person can be successful by persuading people that they know what they are talking about and then cashing-out before failure becomes undeniable.

Meh. Looking around I would say politicians are elected because people don't want the other bloke (or sheila, as the case may be).
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Justinr
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« Reply #48 on: December 01, 2012, 06:00:20 AM »
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The UN report regularly on the a country's green credentials and here is their latest table -

http://epi.yale.edu/dataexplorer/tableofmainresults

Some interesting trends with relatively affluent countries doing well as are those who have good natural energy resources or have yet to develop a large industrial base. Interesting to note that Switzerland, which is the clear leader and takes the environment very seriously, has risen only very slightly in the last decade, does this indicate a ceiling of just how green a country can be?  Is there a limit to which behaviour can be modified to protect the environment without too great a change to the way we in which the west generally manages society?

The Green Party in the UK once proposed that a national ID card system be used to control and monitor peoples energy use, not much has been heard of them since.
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NikoJorj
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« Reply #49 on: December 03, 2012, 02:55:28 PM »
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Another example with yet another cause : http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2FBF00879952 (directly above where I live Undecided ).
No free lunch, indeed.
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Nicolas from Grenoble
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« Reply #50 on: December 04, 2012, 07:52:45 AM »
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Whether it's coal, oil, shale oil, gas, LPG, gas from fracking etc, the production and/or the consumption of the final product produces lots of CO2 and is ultimately a diminishing resource.

Current increases in the production of these products are only temporary solutions.

A couple of solutions currently in the stage of development, which would go a long way to solving our energy problems, is Solar Paint and Lithium-Air batteries.

The solar-voltaic paint has obvious advantages because it can be applied to any paintable surface that receives sunlight, not only roofs, but entire walls, including windows where it acts as a sort of tinting.

The lithium-air battery holds the promise of being much more durable than current Lithium-Ion batteries, and having a much greater energy density and storage capacity. Here's what Wikipedia has to say on the topic.

"In a nearer future, proponents of the technology expect lithium-air batteries to replace the lithium-ion batteries currently powering portable electronic devices. Lithium-air batteries have the potential to have 5-15 times the energy density of current lithium-ion batteries. Thus even the most conservative estimates indicate that a modern-day lithium-ion battery may someday be replaced by a lithium-air battery 1/5 the size or a lithium-air battery with a lifespan 5 times as long. Whether lithium-air batteries lead to reduced battery sizes or longer lasting batteries, the potential for a vast reduction in price or a vast increase in vehicle range is an attractive consequence of developing such battery technology."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithium%E2%80%93air_battery

And here's some Australian research on Solar-voltaic paint. http://www.newcastle.edu.au/achievers/our-staff/something-new-under-the-sun.html

The exciting prospect mentioned in this article is summarised as follows: "Our research indicates that a roll of this sheeting on a typical-sized roof of about 150 square metres will provide enough electricity for an average household," Dastoor says.

"However, the installation cost could be approximately one-tenth of installing a silicon solar system that produces the same amount of electricity."

Now it's possible that these two projects, if successful, may not be sufficient to replace all fossil fuels, but Nuclear Fusion (as opposed to fission) may also eventually be a contender. When we've mastered that technology, you'll all be able to sleep soundly.  Grin

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2012/sep/16/nuclear-fusion-iter-jet-forshaw?CMP=twt_fd
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Deardorff
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« Reply #51 on: December 31, 2012, 12:15:09 PM »
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How about if we just have the Movie and TV industries quit blowing up and burning so many cars, buildings and whatnot? Could probably cut global warming 40% in a week without every car in a fender bender exploding and burning.
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RSL
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« Reply #52 on: December 31, 2012, 12:28:17 PM »
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Whether it's coal, oil, shale oil, gas, LPG, gas from fracking etc, the production and/or the consumption of the final product. . . is ultimately a diminishing resource.

Along with the sun and the earth.
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Ray
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« Reply #53 on: January 02, 2013, 07:19:26 PM »
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Along with the sun and the earth.

But on a vastly different time scale, Russ. One could rationally presume that the Earth and the Sun are very gradually cooling down on a long-term basis, over millions of years. But such gradual changes are insignificant compared with the cyclical changes in the amount of radiation emitted from the sun, that have been occurring every few hundred and few thousand years, (cycles within cycles), and other changes due to the Earth tilting on its axis, or moving closer or further from the Sun.

For example, during the Holocene Climate Optimum, which was another warm period which occurred about 9,000 to 5,000 years ago, the amount of radiation received by the Earth from the Sun increased by as much as 25% as a result of an axial tilt of 24 degrees during Northern Hemisphere summers.

Refer http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_variation

The speed with which we are depleting non-renewable energy resources, such as oil, gas and and coal, is also occuring on a vastly different time scale.

The success of Climate Change Alarmism in the public consciousness, in my view, is due entirely to the innate fear that most people harbour with regard to any change in their circumstances, unless such a change is an increase in their wealth or health, of course.

The reality is, change of any description, whether good or bad, is an unavoidable fact of life. The best we can do is deal with it and adapt. We cannot prevent it happening.

The Buddhists appear to understand this principle, which is why I have great respect for the Buddhist religion.
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