Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by CardJoe, 8 Jan 2010.
Umm, the term "eco-unfriendly" doesn't refer just to CO2, it refers to all practices which are damaging to the environment, and the companies' overall attitude towards the environment. Moreover, you seem to be neglecting the fact that CO2 concentrations of 50000ppm (5%) are directly toxic to human beings and may cause unconsciousness or death. Even at 10000ppm (1%) people are likely to feel drowsy under prolonged exposure. I think that we are in danger of letting our disdain of "tree hugging" cloud our judgement of the bigger picture, which is that we need to be much more aware of our environmental impact.
what is e-waste anyway?
I honestly hope that you are kidding...
I would prefer to do something, and if it doesn't work, yes we might of wasted a lot of money.. but at least we tried rather than sitting on our hands.
Its a bit like having a suitcase underneath you, you know its ticking, but you don't know when it goes off. May cost alot to open it, but as soon as you do you know if its a clock or a bomb about to go off, you can find a way to solve it/defuse it. And thats where I personally stand on the environment.
we are currently just shy of about 600 ppm co2. i doubt we can get to 10000 ppm short of mining Jupiter moon Titan for oil. and even if we got close to 10000ppm the plant life would be consuming so much and growing so fast and so big that we may not be able to actually push past it. look at all those greenhouses that actually enrich their atmosphere with co2. you can get double and triple "natural" growth rates with as low as 5000ppm, depending on the species. if you do not maintain those levels the plants can get that concentration down to close to normal levels in a few days, with corresponding reductions in growth rates.
in short, co2 concentrations are just not worth worrying about, as they are no threat to humans, and actually benefit the biosphere as a whole.
and just so you get me correctly, i am not advocating pollution. i think it is important to keep certain thing out of the water, air and ground. that is just proper conservation and care. but it is just flat out retarded to call co2 pollution when it is an essential trace gas that benefits the environment in higher concentrations.
the other point is that Greenpeace's "eco-friendly" label does not take into account the wider ramifications of those policies. take soy and corn based plastics for example. they are more unfriendly to the environment than normal petrol plastics. why? a huge list of reasons, but lets start at the top. first off, that soy and corn takes a lot of land to grow, which eats up land that could otherwise be "natural." second is that the plastic is inferior, requiring it to be replaced on a more regular basis. this eats up energy that could otherwise go to something else. the bio-plastic production chain also has a lot more wast involved, and while that may change (as it did with the early oil based chain) that has not happened yet, and at the rate of current development i may never. which, by the way, is fine with me, as the bio based chain is inferior in every respect.
what about "organic" food production? it is inferior as well, since it takes 2 to 3 times the space of regular food production (space that could otherwise be "natural"). and since farmers have figured out that fertilizer and pesticide runoff basically equals money runoff that problem has declined sharply, becoming a nonissue in recent times as well. as the spraying technology gets better it will be even less of an issue. and with the advent of hearty, high yield crops certain kinds of spraying may become obsolete entirely. that is unless those types of crops are banned by the eco-greenies for political reasons. i would not put it past them.
to sum up, Greenpeace activists are ignorant about the natural order of things, and ignorant about humans interaction and participation in that natural order. they seem to be proud of that fact. that is why you should not listen to a thing that they say. instead i would talk to someone who actually know about the situation and has something constructive to say.
The only reason controlled forest/foliage burns are sanctioned is so nature doesn't take it's course and kill a bunch of campers who are impeding on a natural forest habitat. I'm sure Yosemite has burned several times before man became concerned with it as a tourist attraction. For someone who claims to be in tune with forest nature, you seem rather oblivious to the fact that a forest catching fire, burning out, and regrowing is part of nature.
I'm pretty sure the amount of corn and soy products fed to livestock that winds up being the meat we consume at the dinner table is more than enough to fuel a couple hundred-thousand biodiesel vehicles (not to mention animals fed on their actual natural diet, [which is not corn and soy products, by the way] produce leaner, healthier meat, and they are significantly less likely to produce meat contaminated with bacteria). Oil is full of harmful carbonates. If you don't believe me, here's an experiment you can try at home: Turn your car on, sit behind the tailpipe while it's running, and breathe deeply. Let me know how that works out for you.
You, sir, obviously didn't do well in elementary school science... or biology... or chemistry... or health class... come to think of it: Did you make it out of elementary school?
Like controlled burns, hunting eliminates wildlife that naturally occurs. Were there no humans where wildlife occurs, there wouldn't be a problem. Wildlife population is controlled because, again, they're 'impeding' on what we humans are doing to their environment. (Remind me again why this is considered conservation?) By the way: I grew up in Philadelphia... y'know, which means I know nothing about how a forest works... not like I can't leave or anything and spend several days in a forest near the Appalachian mountains, the Chesapeake Bay, or upstate New York like I have... no, no, just not possible.
Seems to me you grew up in a rural suburb full of uneducated ignorant hicks. Congratulations on your ability to create cohesive sentences. I'm sure environmental groups hate you and your narrow-minded view of the world, too.
CO2 concentration varies by area. If you live in an area near a factory that pushes out tons of CO2, you should probably be concerned. And, again, while I may have grown up in "The Big City," I'm pretty sure plants consume more than just CO2 in order to survive, like nutrients from the soil and water (which could also be polluted when you chuck your Wii into a landfill and all the harmful chemicals leak out), never mind the fact polluted air carries more than just one lethal compound that might hinder plant growth. Looking at Google Earth and just randomly spinning the globe, I've noticed that most of the earth isn't covered in foliage. I've also noticed there isn't a lot of foliage near those big cities that produce all of the pollution you don't seem so worried about.
So you a Wii an environmentally conscious purchase, considering how much waste was produced to get it into your hands and how much harm it will cause when you throw it away? And we're supposed to take you seriously how?
I'm not sure if you've heard of this invention from the 20th century called 'recycled plastic'. I hear it's just like plastic, only previously used. You're arguing about the virtues of Greenpeace with the inadequacies of biodegradable plastic?
See, last I checked 'organic' food involved no pesticides or chemical fertilizer. Organic farms grow more crops because it's cheap to maintain. Not that I would know anything about that, growing up in Philadelphia near where the Amish have been producing high-yield organic crops for a few hundred years (organic food tastes better, too).
I encourage you to keep talking. You're certainly amusing me.
nilesfoundglory : your ad hominem attack against my character are certainly amusing, but i note that you fail to respond to a few of my key premises.
lets take it step by step shall we?
1. co2 is a naturally and "artificially" produced gas that is produced by respiration of biological organisms, as well as by the combustion of carbon based compounds, among other sources. the oxidation of carbon into co2 liberates energy, which organisms need to live, and which produces heat in combustion.
2. plants use this co2, in a process called photosynthesis, in case you were wondering, to build simple sugar molecules (c6h12o6 to be precise, in most cases). this also liberates o2, a molecule needed both for respiration and combustion, incidentaly. the more co2 available to the plant the faster it can preform this reaction, and the more sugar it can make.
i would like to draw your attention at this time to the fact that the plant does not care where it gets its co2 from. weather or not it came from the last breath you just exhaled or the tailpipe of a car is irrelevant. co2 is co2, chemically speaking.
and while you assertion that co2 levels do vary by location is true, the variation is insignificant, and poses no threat to humans. to date the highest recorded concentration of co2 in a city that i can find is 388ppm, which is well below the approximately 10000ppm needed for humans to even notice. (this may or may not speak ill of my google fu. if someone can find higher they are welcome to point it out to me. )
and while you claim that plants need nutrition other than co2 is also correct, this nutrition is only a limiting factor in the most dire of circumstances, such as potted plants that have not been artificially fertilized and overused and abused farmland (a rare occurrence in most industrialized nations, fallow ground produces no cash). in most agricultural and natural situations co2 is more of a limiting factor than nitrogen/nutrient content of the soil.
here is a link to a co2 systems provider for greenhouses. i am sure you can find the research behind the claims should you be so inclined: http://homeharvest.com/carbondioxideenrichment.htm
her is a pertanant quote from the borcure
"Research has shown that in most cases rate of plant growth under otherwise identical growing conditions is directly related to carbon dioxide concentration."
search for that quote to find a wealth of more detailed info.
3. regarding your assertion about breathing from a tailpipe, i agree that this would indeed be bad for your health, but not for the reasons you seem to imply. the emissions from a tailpipe will be noticeably lacking in o2. you will not be so much poisoned as asphyxiated. the fact that there will also be a noticeable level of co will also be of immediate concern to you, as that will speed you suffocation. the co will not last to bother others, however, as it has a tendency to oxidize into co2 on its own in the atmosphere. modern cars burning modern fuels produce little else but h2o and co2. the use of catalytic converters and more pure fuel has reduce most other actual pollutants to manageable levels in most cases, and us emissions regulations are known to be quite strict. this of course does not hold true for developing countries, where there are little pollution control measures. work here to control the emission of nitrogen and sulfur oxides is still important.
4. your observation that the planet is more blue than green speaks wonders for you ability to point out the obvious, but does little to convince me of you inductive reasoning abilities. should you have paid attention to you high school biology class you you'd know that the vast majority of this planets photosynthesis takes place in the oceans. the plants that performs this needed service take the form of single celled plant life called alge. these are little plants form the basis of the oceans food web, and like their land bound counterparts also benefit highly form increased co2.
to conclude this portion of the argument, co2 is not a pollution. production of co2 is desirable for the planet. Greenpeace is stupid for asserting that it is a pollutant.
to address a few more missed point not related to the above, in no particular order:
as to the burning of Yosemite, you do know the difference between a crown fire and a brush fire right? apparently not.
let me lay it out for you. brush fires are a natural phenomena that typically occurs during the dry season, and any given area will burn every other year on average. they benefit forests because they burn grass and fallen branches, returning nutrients to the soil and carbon to the air. in a typical brush fire trees are not usually harmed, as the detritus on the ground is not prevalent enough to ignite the lager live wood.
now for the history lesson: starting in the 70s, according to locals, activist from the flatland's (that is the central valley and the bay area) would drive up to see the beautiful park. these visitors objected to seeing smoke (i would assume) from control burns (artificially started brush fires, in the tradition of the natives). coupled with a rather large influx of new homes built among the trees the forestry department started a policy of very tight fire suppression during the fire season, typically with large control burns at the start of the off season. apparently this was not enough, as the greenies who visited the park during the late autumn still objected to the smoke. or something. I'm an not sure what the stated reasons were, as the signs in the photos simply stated "don't burn the park."
anyway this was enough to convince the California Department of Forest not to do control burns anymore. for about 20 years. for those counting that is about 10 times the amount of detritus on the ground than would be expected in a manged or natural forest. when the tinderbox finally went up there was enough kindling on the ground to easily ignite even the largest trees. that is called a crown fire. they are not very natural, and typically only happen in isolated areas that were unlucky enough to not burn for a number of years. natural crown fire will rarely burn more than a few acres. in this case half of Yosemite burned. it looked just like it was clear cut, only black. no treas, no bushes, only charred stumps. not a typical natural fire at all. it took the park a decade to recover, and you can still tell when you are travailing to the old burn area today.
control burns are now strictly enforced. and the environmentalists keep their mouths shut. the park is recovering, nature always does, but it is a lesson to remember.
be mindful that the above is firs and second hand knowledge. i lived up there when the Yosemite fire happened, and remember discussing the history with the older locals. they are the ones with the photos. take the testimony for what it is worth.
of course the enviro-nuts don't keep their mouths shut about my next topic, which is wildlife management. specifically those damn, yet tasty deer.
California currently has a bit of a crisis brewing (no not the financial one). we have a sever deer overpopulation problem. currently the only predator the deer have are humans. hunters keep the population in check. over the last few years hunting has been curtailed by animal rights activists. less tags are given out and hunting seasons have been shortened. more sickly dear are taken, and herds are often thinned by forest rangers after the hunting season is over to reduce the populations even more. but it is not enough because the only dear that are allowed to be taken are MALE. shooting does is strictly prohibited.
if you don't see a problem with that i will let you in on a secret, bucks are pretty vigorous. it only takes one to get the whole herd of does preggers. hell, one buck is good enough for 10 herds i would imagine. needless to say, the ratio of buck to does is about as good as it can be from the bucks perspective. unfortunately that means that the does are the main overpopulation problem.
this is a big problem.
here is an old new article on the subject of CWD: http://whyfiles.org/156cwd_deer/index.html
on of the triggers for the disease is stress from overcrowding. i will let you come to your own conclusions.
i would talk about "organic" Amish farms, but i think i will just let you look up average output of true organic farms vs. regular farms, and i would also suggest you look up the U.S. food regulations regarding what is considered "organic." i trust you will find it quite. . . modern.
Electronic waste - i.e. left over circuit boards.
Jesus Christ. You're like a little kid who's done half a GCSE, watched Zeitgeist and assumed that he has all the facts to refute any claim thrown at you because you can, most of the time, spell photosynthesis correctly.
There are numerous holes in your arguments, not least of which is an apparently almost wilful ignorance of species co-dependance and the fact that you limit your world view to involving very few fuels without considering the possibilities and facts of new developments on top of the fact that plants need other unpolluted gases to complete photosynthesis. Also, don't forget that the level of plant life on the surface of the earth (the land, I mean) is most insufficient to sustain all biological life and that the majority of Earth's O2 creating plant life are in the form of sea-born algaes that are being steadily destroyed by increased drilling, whaling and fishing boats - all of which are closely tied to the expansion of the oil industries.
It's OK though, because I'm not going to bother lecturing you about this - there's none so blind as those who will not see, afterall.
You had a completely fine argument except... Why are the first two lines lines + the last one needed for your statement? They're just insults and have nothing to do with him and/or his arguments. He stays polite while everybody else is insulting him personally. Why?
Seems it's impossible to make a statement without being agressive...
Kinda sad, actually...
Sorry to be a pedant, but Titan is one of Saturn's moons.
Also, all of you seem to have missed the point regarding CO2 and the environment. Higher than current levels of CO2 wouldn't hugely affect people breathing and plants growing. The objection to high levels of CO2 is that it is a greenhouse gas and therefore contributes to climate change. A quick look at the amounts of energy involved shows how it works. If CO2 levels continue to rise, the 33PW and 26PW figures will get bigger. (33+26)/187=31.5% of solar energy absorbed by the atmosphere currently. If the CO2 levels rise by 50%, the amount of energy absorbed will rise pretty linearly (as most atmospheric absorptions are caused by CO2 and methane, but CO2 is much more prevalent), giving 47% of the sun's energy absorbed, which is an enormous amount.
Organic food holds no health or taste benefits and costs far more to produce than fertilized foods, and is unsustainable. If you wanted to feed the world with organic food, you'd have to kill billions of people.
As I have mentioned before, you seem to be totally stuck on CO2, while neglecting all the other ways in which human activity affects our environment. Manufacturing electronics under anything but the strictest conditions is a hugely damaging affair, as is the disposal of said devices. Now, some countries have legislation in place to limit the environmental impact of industry, and some countries don't. Even amongst those that do, the specifics vary greatly and not a single one is a definitive solution. Therefore it is up to companies to prove how much they care by doing more than they are strictly required to by law. As far as I am aware nobody is saying that nintendo should cease production, they are just making a point that it is possible to carry out its operations and be profitable in a much more responsible manner. We do not want to go back to living in caves, we want to continue developing in a sustainable manner. Putting short-term bottom line profits over the long term health of our entire planet is simply not sustainable. Put another way, when there were just a few thousand humans on the planet, it was ok for one to kill a buffalo, cut out its tongue for dinner and leave the rest. However, now that there are six billion of us, such an attitude will surely doom our entire planet.
ad hominem attacks are for people who do not wish to address the meat of the argument. though i must admit that i get snippy as well. i do, however, try to keep my snide remarks directed at the argument, and not at the person. you may be the judge of how well i do on that, and feel free to call me out when i stray to far from the mark.
for clarity my assertion was that co2 is not a pollutant, and that Greenpeace is stupid for claiming it is. if anyone wishes to argue that point then we can continue the debate, but until you are willing to challenge that issue you will continually miss the point.
if you are willing to concede that co2 production is a non issue then i would pretty much agree with your point. there are a lot of nasty things in electronics. we may be in disagreement about what to do about that issue, but at least we would agree on the premise. if you still feel co2 is a pollutant then i am afraid we still disagree on the basic premise of the discussion. until we hash that out we will be unable to proceed further.
and finally @ ch424
you have finally brought us to the core of the "co2 is a pollutant" argument. if it was not for all the fuss about global warming no one would give a rat's @$$ about co2.
unfortunately your assertion that "If the CO2 levels rise by 50%, the amount of energy absorbed will rise pretty linearly (as most atmospheric absorptions are caused by CO2 and methane, but CO2 is much more prevalent), giving 47% of the sun's energy absorbed, which is an enormous amount." shows that you have not the slightest concept about how the theory of anthropogenic global warming is supposed to work.
get your notebook out, i will explain it to you.
the whole theory is founded on the principle that gasses are capable of absorbing electromagnetic radiation and either capturing or re-emitting that energy in another form. higher concentrations of a gas block more of its specific wavelengths in its absorption spectrum. the do not, however, do this in a linear fashion. in fact it is a inverse log function.
if you do not know what an inverse log is allow me to explain. say you have a window blind that blocks 50% of all visible light. if you hang this in front of a window, you will block 50% of the visible light energy entering the room from that window. now what happens if you hang another one of those blinds behind the first one? by your linear scale you would block 100% of the light energy entering the room. if that is your final answer then you fail, because the total blocked energy only equals 75% blocked. if you understand basic math you will know why. what happens if we double the number of blinds again to 4? how much energy are we blocking? grats to anyone who said 87.5%. the next doubling (were up to eight blinds now, for those who are counting. that is like octupling the concentration of a gas, or increasing the distance traveled through the same concentration of gas by eight) brings the total energy blockage to about 94%. you can see that each additional *doubling* is going to have less and less relative effect on the energy blockage, let alone the addition of a single blind.
with a gas, *the amount of energy absorbed is directly related to how much energy is already being absorbed.* to understand the amount of energy a certain gas in the atmosphere absorbs we need to first know the absorption spectrum of that gas, and we also need to know *how much of that spectrum is already being absorbed.*
to know that wee need to pull out a few charts.
here is a nice one:
http://www.iitap.iastate.edu/gccourse/forcing/images/image7.gif (sorry i cannot find a clearer one)
please note that this graph is a space to ground absorption spectrum. that is the one we are most interested in.
i want to draw your attention to the co2 portion of the graph. not that for the wavelengths co2 is most absorptive in are already at nearly full saturation already. this means that for a *doubling* of atmospheric co2 you can expect *at best* a 1 to 2% increase in absorbed long wave radiation from the planets surface. *double* that new concentration again and you will likely only get a fraction of a percent gain.
which brings us to the real theory of AGW: the positive feedback loop.
the theory states that this rather insignificant 1 to 2% increase in energy retention would cause an increase in atmospheric water vapor. for those of you who are new to this, atmospheric water vapor is the number one greenhouse gas on earth, ever and period. it is responsible for about 96 to 98% of the planets ability to keep in IR radiation. this increase in water vapor would retain even more heat, causing even more water vapor in the atmosphere, etc. etc.
unfortunately for the AGW theory the water vapor spectrum is also nearly saturated. not much room for feedback there.
and then there is that overlooked issue that more water vapor typically leads to more clouds, which actually reflect a lot of EMR before it even gets to the ground(where it will be absorbed and turned into long wave IR when it is re-emitted, thus bringing co2 into play in the first place), so all that atmosphere between the cloud and the ground never even get the chance to absorb any energy at all. so in all likely hood we are looking at a *negative* feedback loop.
couple this with the fact that we did not run into runaway global warming when we left the last ice age, or had the medieval warm period for that matter, and the case for a positive feedback loop falls flat on its face. (for those not in the know, the medieval war period was warmer than today)
and now for everyone who is not so good at identifying the premise of an argument, if you wish to debate the issue yo will have to first establish that AGW theory does not rely on EMR absorption by the atmosphere, and does not rely on a positive feedback loop for said absorption, and that we are not talking about emitted long-wave radiation from the *ground*.
if you do admit that AGW theory is based on those premises, then AGW theory is trounced by logic and facts. and no amount of computer "modeling" is going to be able to change the simple facts either.
remember "lies, damn lies, and statistics" (hint: computer models are just statistics, cleverly disguised as "science." real science does not take place in the computer, it takes place in the real world. the computer is just a tool that can either help us or mislead us)
my special theory on why the earth has climate change? variation in solar output.
that would also explain the shrinking and growing ice caps on mars nicely too, incidentally.
Sorry, TL;DR. Most of your arguments, from what I read, all are based off the assumption that greenhouse gases are not going to increase the temperature.
Ergo, rise in CO2 conc = rise in temperatures = melting of poles = situation FUBAR.
Ah, that's interesting, thanks.
Apparently, when the dinosaurs were roaming the Earth, CO2 concentrations were ~100x what they are today. The dinosaurs didn't do that, and still managed to survive; perhaps the increased CO2 even caused the plants to grow fast enough to feed the larger dinosaurs? I personally am all for the conservation of natural resources, but I detest organisations such as Greenpeace putting anyone who does not comply with their diktats under the banner of 'ungreen' as though they have goat's feet and horns under the business suits. (I also disagree with Greenpeace on principle because they do not support the use of nuclear power, weapons etc but that's another story).
you really need to read my last post. co2 is not warming the planet in any way.
indeed, there is evidence of much higher co2 concentrations in the past. and yes that likely caused more plant growth. if you really want to get technical it looks like co2 levels follow the temperature. that is, when the temperature rises so do co2 levels. and while some of the co2 level rise today is undoubtedly human caused, in all likelihood a significant portion is natural. the earth, after all, has been warming since the 1600s and the end of the mini ice age.
Honestly, I had a commentary typed up already, but seeing your reaction to any and every argument, with your limited capacity to acknowledge that your information is perhaps, not perfect, I decided to just remove it. Arguing with you is like arguing with my mother - tiring, and ultimately pointless, for you never win, because the opponent never knows when to quit.
And another thing - oceanic acidity caused by CO2.
LucusLoC: While I whole heartedly agree that Greenpeace are a bunch of idiots who don't know a bloody thing about the environment, I can't agree with you that burning oil as a fuel is somehow good for the environment. You manage to contradict yourself by saying CO2 is good for plants because the Earth will be warmer and wetter due to the CO2 and then go right back and tell us that increasing CO2 will do nothing to change the environment. Not to mention that CO2 is hardly the only by-product of fossil fuels; the reality is that we are talking about burning coal rather than oil, which releases a lot more in the way of harmful compounds into the atmosphere.
In the end none of these arguments matter, the biosphere and the Earth itself are a lot more resilient than most people seem to give it credit for. The big issue is our own survival. In which case we do need new energy sources (LFTR type nuclear plants being the best current solution) and probably some geo-engineering to cool us off a degree or two. Both of those are independent of any concerns for the "well being of the planet".
Separate names with a comma.