Global Warming or Cooling

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Re: Global Warming or Cooling

Postby MichaelB » Wed Oct 28, 2009 3:56 pm

There's "evidence" to prove climate change
There's "evidence" to disprove it.

Actually, there's so much "evidence" around it's hard to arrive at a solid conclusion. Conspiracy is a charge made by both sides of the fence. We all cherry pick the "facts" to suit our own agenda and beliefs, me included.

I could set about debating some of the points raised in this thread - but to what end? That would result in to and fro with neither party "winning"; probably create some bad feeling as emotions start getting in the way and attract all sorts of trolls (both for and against) to the thread. Then we get back to what I mentioned in my last post. If folks want that sort of thing, there's plenty of places to find it online - believe me, the "anti" still have a very strong presence, deep pockets and a very loud voice; it's just often a dressed up as "pro" which really makes things confusing.

For example, the coal industry and "clean coal". They love the idea - because it takes more coal to make "clean coal". They aren't talking about clean coal as an exit strategy, it's to keep the industry going for as long as the stuff can be mined profitably. And as for the term "clean coal", it's quite an oxymoron. Low emissions coal is more accurate, but it's certainly not no-emissions coal.

One of the interesting points I see raised in relation to the climate change issue is how we all don't really question the need for insuring our homes even though it's expensive and the chance of our house burning down is really small. I've never made a claim on my insurance and it's cost me thousands, but what if...

So as with insurance and based on all this "evidence" I guess it's the issue of weighing up the ramifications of action vs. inaction.

We take action and climate change is proved beyond a doubt to be a crock - oops, how embarassing. The "anti" side gets a hat tip and people such as myself mumble our apologies and head out the door to go and live in caves.

We don't take action and things go the way that many scientist believe - even bigger oops - but this time there's no egos involved, just corpses. "We told you so" just won't cut it.

However, thankfully nature doesn't give a rats bum about what we mere mortals think. It will do what it needs to address the problem if it exists, if we do nothing. Might even take care of that pesky overpopulation thing. :)

The Earth will go on quite nicely with or without us, although I don't foresee us being wiped out - but then again, nature doesn't care what I think either last time I checked with her :).
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Re: Global Warming or Cooling

Postby dude » Wed Oct 28, 2009 4:11 pm

Hi guys,

In the past, the earth's temperatures have been much hotter and colder than they are now. It's whether or not we are causing it that is important and wether we can/will do anything about it.

For those that don't care about global warming, the most appealing thing about solar power should be that it requires no natural resources. (after the equipment)

Hope the graph below clarifies things in regard to global warming. ;)

Image

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Re: Global Warming or Cooling

Postby EnergyMatters » Wed Oct 28, 2009 4:17 pm

nice one dude :)

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Re: Global Warming or Cooling

Postby zzsstt » Thu Oct 29, 2009 10:18 am

If anybody has any sources of evidence, I for one would be interested to see them. However please be aware that when I say evidence, I mean EVIDENCE and not marketing.

1/ Anything that looks at data for the last few years in isolation is not evidence. The earth has been here for millions of years, so a sample size of a few decades is not relevant. It is the equivalent of trying to predict the future of a person based on what they are doing in a single second. Or, as another example, I went out this morning and found my dog was moulting - does this mean he will be bald tomorrow?

2/ Anything that is easily dismissed is not evidence. For example, a graph in the Climate Insitute paper here http://www.climateinstitute.org.au/images/stories/CI056_EACC_Report_v1.pdf is interpreted as showing an increasing rate of warming. However, the "best fit line" is quite clearly best fit only in mathematical terms, in practical terms it is not a fit at all (the wonders of statistics!). An important point, apparently, from the graph is that the rate of temperature increase is "proven" to be increasing, and yet clearly the rate of increase (and the increasing rate of increase) between 1910 and 1940 was as high or higher than the current rate. This is not mentioned, however. It is also wise to note that in any graphically represented change from a decrease to an increase (we call them curves, where I come from), there is a flat bit, then a slight slope, then more of a slope, etc. Tangents drawn to that curve will show an increasing gradient (rate) until the maximum rate of change, then the gradients will decline. The same increasing rate would be demonstrated if tangents were drawn on any of the areas of the graph where a cooling period was followed by a warming period.

3/ Anything that does not follow set scientific principles is questionable. Referring to the graph mentioned above, on first glance it suggests a "massive" rise in temperature. Now look again..... the vertical axis is "estimated actual global mean temperature". ESTIMATED. Hmmm.... Last time I checked, "estimates" were not classed as facts. They are a device to be used only in the absence of factual data....

4/ Scientific papers, and I have read many, when discussing data and facts, do not use words like "may". Statements are made that are clear and unambiguous. It is only when the author ventures away from what has been categorically proven, and into the realm of theory and postulation that words like "may" appear. Hence: the moon affects the tides of the earths oceans (stated, proven fact) and MAY also have an influence on the growth of plants (postulation, theory). Now, go to that climate Institute report and start reading. There are very few sentences that do not contain words like "may" or "estimated".

As has been said, we cherry pick our data to show whatever we want to show, but I believe we should as individuals take the time to look at what is being said. Climate change is real, the climate has always been changing. But if it is becuase of what we are doing, then such changes will not have happened before. Unfortunately, as far as I have yet found, there is nothing that is happening now that has not happened many times in the past.

Does this mean we should do nothing? Absolutely not. The flagrant wase of resources that we currently see is ridiculous. Solar power is a good thing, as is increasing our efficiency and reducing our wastage. But should we allow an unproven fear to drive us to make changes that will have negative affects on society? Shound we endanger, for example, our future supply of food simply to balance an unproven equation. I think not.

Referring to the graph posted by "dude", perhaps we should also consider government grants for people wishing to take up piracy? On a similar note, has anyone plotted the rise in sea levels in relation to the increasing whale population since we (largely) stopped whaling? And the apparent reduction in fish yields from the worlds oceans? Presumably such graphs would clearly demonstrate that whales are a problem? God bless the Japanese for seeing this problem and trying to do something about it..... ;)

[edit: spelling]
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Re: Global Warming or Cooling

Postby Tracker » Fri Oct 30, 2009 6:33 am

MichaelB Said "There's "evidence" to prove climate change -- There's"evidence" to disprove it.
We don't take action and things go the way that many scientist believe - even bigger oops - but this time there's no egos involved, just corpses. "We told you so" just won't cut it."

Sorry Michael - There is only evidence that there IS CLIMATE CHANGE

The only problem with this thought is that THERE IS global warming, and Cooling, and hence Change, but - IF it is being caused by the SUN, and it's natural cycle, then despite CO2 and H2O etc. , the climate WILL continue to change until such time as the Sun-Cycle goes the other way.

IS climate change caused by the SUN.. IS the Solar Cycle on the rise. Is it getting hotter
YES-YES-YES
IS the change caused by CO2 - NO --- By the SUN

In the meantime, IF Mr. C.Rudd and the Bankers have their way at Copenhagen, then banks and Governments will have destroyed so much of private enterprise, and it/s wealth will be redistributed from the POOR to the rich. You have already reported that the Stock Exchange will soon the trading REC certificates.

There is NO ARGUMENT that we should be doing the Good Things to help the environment that WE are doing.. The only thing that we should NOT be doing is the wealth Re-Distribution that is being proposed.

Can we not do the good things without all suffering the bad crap?

PS - ZZSSTT - you are spot on - there is no point in my saying any more !
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Re: Global Warming or Cooling

Postby MichaelB » Fri Oct 30, 2009 11:41 am

Hmmm.. to continue the debate or not to continue.. that is the question :).

It's rather tempting, but I think I'll refrain for reasons previously stated, but something I fully agree with is what zzsstt mentioned:

"I believe we should as individuals take the time to look at what is being said".

People should indeed consider both sides of the issue, but unfortunately, so much is being said "for" and "against" the concept of anthropogenic greenhouse gas release causing global warming, and also in relation to the sun theory that tracker mentioned. Lay people, politicians and scientists alike.

However, it's encouraging that we all agree on one thing - that we need to look after our planet.

After careful consideration of the information available to us that we can understand at our own level, it boils down to each, his/her own I guess. The only complicating factor there this isn't the outcome of a football game we're debating where the end result doesn't really matter. It's a little bigger than that.

Interesting times ahead.
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Re: Global Warming or Cooling

Postby Tracker » Fri Oct 30, 2009 1:26 pm

MichaelB, don't be afraid to raise your thoughts.. They are as valid as anyone elses..

Ironically, I think that we ALL think the same way.. we just don't know what the future holds.

We all know that there is CHANGE, but don't know how far that change will go.
We all believe that we need to do our own bit for the Planet, and we are trying.

There are forces at play , that we have NO IDEA about..

http://www.2gb.com/index2.php?option=com_podcasting&task=playaudio&id=2&f=13&Itemid=0

I hope that this link works -- Please -- ALL -- Have a listen
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Re: Global Warming or Cooling

Postby Joey » Fri Oct 30, 2009 3:10 pm

It's great to see that quite a few members here's motivation for renewable energy is one of economics and independence than thinking it's about changing the climate.

Sure I can see from the very short historical data that the climate changes , but unless we have historical data going back to when the earth was created how can anyone possibly claim to know it's not normal.
If earth is warming or cooling compared to what ? a hundred years of historical weather records , yet the humble human race credits it'self with the ability to change something we cant even comprehend the making off.

Who cares if the polar ice caps are melting maybe they do that every 1000 years , Sure Water levels in man made storage dams gets depleted quicker as the population increases around them , but it has to be due to climate change right ? ( maybe I should be a scientist ) but I haven't seen anything that suggests the earth has any less or more water than it did when it was created , unless of course someone is claiming now to have put water markers out when earth was created.

Don't worry people we will always have enough of everything we really need , we can to a large extent have control over what we do ourselves , but thinking you can change something you are only guessing about makes you no better than people that claim they are god.

I am not doing anything for the environment although it would be a nice cliche to say I am ,because I honestly don't know what it needs, for lack of a better reason I do what I do for me and my family because truly that's all I really do know I can effect.
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Re: Global Warming or Cooling

Postby MichaelB » Fri Oct 30, 2009 3:43 pm

MichaelB, don't be afraid to raise your thoughts.. They are as valid as anyone elses..


Haha, thanks, but I'm not afraid at all, heck, I'm the forum moderator ;). It's more a time issue than anything - I could spend weeks batting back and forth in just this thread and I reckon that might displease my masters as I'd be doing it on their dime :).

I do encourage people to do their research though both "for" and "against", for sure - it's an incredibly important issue.

But the research process is not for the faint-of-heart or for those short on time.

There's thousands of these threads littering the Internet and like I said, they tend to start off friendly enough but as beliefs are challenged and "facts" are pitted against other "facts" and one man's "science" against another's, the debates tend to descend into a series of ad hominem attacks - even among the most civilized... it's just one of those incredibly emotional topics that tends to bring out the worst in people and attracts trolls.

As I can't see the issues being resolved in our humble forum and discretion being the better part of valour, I respectfully bow out of being drawn into further debate on the topic... in this arena anyway ;).

But guys, go for it.. I'll be interested to see how this thread turns out.

Play nice now y'all, y' hear? :mrgreen:
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Re: Global Warming or Cooling

Postby greg c » Fri Oct 30, 2009 10:16 pm

I read with interest the link on the first post, the normal pseudo-science that the climate deniers are peddling. Pseudo-science in this context can be defined as taking a random and irrelevant fact and putting it up against the climate change argument (eg temperature of one part of the ocean) or the related tactic of putting a window over data and only showing the bit that "proves" your point (eg claiming the world is cooling by using the first few years of this century).

Let me put forward some facts.

1. CO2 is a greenhouse gas. If there was none in the atmosphere the Earth would be too cold to support the life that has evolved on it. In fact life has, over time, been largely responsible for the composition of the atmosphere and the planet/biosphere has come to an equilibrium position. CO2 is not the only greenhouse gas but is the most important as it is the most abundant. If there is a higher concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere average temperature rises, if it is lower the average temp falls. Nobody can have an argument with this, it is a proven fact.


2. We know what the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere has been over the last million years or so from deep ice core studies in Antarctica and European glaciers. Several studies have been done and they all agree. In these studies they have been able to deduce the average temp as well using isotope concentrations. This shows that the average temp track the CO2 concentration quite closely. As you would expect. The salient point to get from these studies is the CO2 concentration has never gone above 280ppm in that time, except in the last 150 years. It is now at 387. What happened in the last 150 years to cause this. Answer: Homo Sapiens discovered fossil fuel and began burning it. Again there can be no argument with this either, proven scientific fact
Carbon_Dioxide_400kyr_Rev.png


3. Now we get into uncertainty. How sensitive is the planet to this elevated CO2 level. This has been the subject of much debate and study in the scientific community for the last 40 years. In that time computer models have been refined as more powerful computers have become available, and correlated with observations. It is common to criticise the model driven research but that is the only way to do it and a testament to the accuracy these models are getting now can be seen in the more accurate weather forecasting we have now. The ICCR has tried to correlate these studies and provide a prediction window. Every report has ramped up the prognosis and this is often used to debunk the studies for being innacurate or uncertain.
There is a very good reason for this, the very conservative nature of peer reviewed science. Nobody wants their paper to be shown to be wrong by their peers. (Remember the guys who 'discovered' cold fusion in the 1980s). Therefore there is a natural bias to conservative reporting of experimental data. What has happened is as more experiments are carried out, observations used to tweak the models have resulted in the updated predictions tracking the upper edge of the ICCR window. That is why every new report is saying things are worse than previously thought. They are not being cute, things are worse than were first thought. Even more worrying is they will continue to be more pessimistic as time goes by.

That is enough for me. Climate Change is a proven fact.
Last edited by greg c on Sat Oct 31, 2009 8:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
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