Global Warming or Cooling

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Re: Global Warming or Cooling

Postby DoctorI » Fri Dec 11, 2009 8:06 am

One of the problems with determining whether our climate is changing or not is the way the temperature is measured.
In Australia formal measurements of air temperature have been made for the last 150 years at selected sites. Unfortunately these sites were close to the major towns that have since grown into major (sprawling) cities that have become heat islands. That is, due to the amount of concrete and steel, they hold more heat and re-radiate it at night which dramatically changes the temperatures recorded at these sites.
The sites that are not affected by this heat island effect are the ones that have not been recording for as long, typically 50 years. These sites, unfortunately, are not very useful when trying to prove or disprove climate change over 100 years.
Another problem is the accuracy to which these temperature records are made. I am not sure about the farenheit thermometers used in the early days but the manually read celcius thermometers used now are read to the nearest 0.1 degree but have an uncertainty in each reading of +/- 0.25 degrees. I am unsure of the reading accuracy of the digital thermometers used, but they are considered accurate if they are within +/- 0.5 degrees of the manually read thermometers.
In my reckoning (I have a PhD in Applied Physics) that gives us a noise level of about 1 degree which, not unsurprisingly, is about the same amount as the claimed global warming over the last 100 years.

Regardless of all the above. I still believe that we, as individuals and as a human race, should be reducing (a) our dependence on fossil fuels, (b) our use of Earth's resources generally, (c) our wasteful ways of just dumping rubbish on this planet.

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Re: Global Warming or Cooling

Postby zzsstt » Fri Dec 11, 2009 9:51 am

DoctorI wrote:Regardless of all the above. I still believe that we, as individuals and as a human race, should be reducing (a) our dependence on fossil fuels, (b) our use of Earth's resources generally, (c) our wasteful ways of just dumping rubbish on this planet.


You have 100% of my support on that!

But lets make sure that the approaches we take to achieve those aims are such that they will actually help, rather than just make money for somebody else! After reading everything I can find about the measures so far taken and proposed, unfortunately I have had to conclude that almost everything I have seen (including the CPRS/ETS and Copenhagen) has little to do with "saving the planet" and far more to do with "redistribution of wealth and power". There are a few exceptions to this, but they are almost always local or even personal schemes rather than corporate, national or international efforts.
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Re: Global Warming or Cooling

Postby Icarus » Fri Dec 11, 2009 9:09 pm

Well zzsstt , Id would agree with your last post except "that its an attempt to redistribute wealth and power" . to who is it going , the poor not likely , the wealthly yes , but they already can raise prices at their whims , how effective was the govt in stopping westpac or the other banks , and as far as taxation goes well we already pay tax on all carbon products ,excise on petrol , royalties on coal , ect all these could be raise without many people actually noticeing .
what I think ETS is , is a reaction to a electorate that paniced at short term weather anommalies IE droughts and falling dam levles , that were more likely cuased by more people trying to use the same amount of cacthment area . So both parties develope very similar ESTs at the last election both flawed , for many reasons, but as far as power goes well it lies in the hands of corparations and there govt lobbiests .

I was actually glad the ETS bill failed becuase it was so comprimised that it would cost the coal industry hardly anything they would still produce GHs and would jack up prices and blame Rudds ETS saying that they are close to ruiniation .
can anyone tell me why spell checker doesnt work here but works on my laptop ? Pls
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Re: Global Warming or Cooling

Postby zzsstt » Sat Dec 12, 2009 7:15 am

The ETS would create a means for the government and the financial institutions to cream a percentage off the top of a trading system that would not provide any "green" outcomes that I can see. All the costs would fall squarely on the two groups that cannot pass the costs on to anybody else, those being the consumer and the farmer. The consumer has no-one to pass costs on to, whilst the farmer - unlike the other industries involved - is a price taker with very little if any ability to influence his selling prices (partly due to the "auction" system used to sell most farm produce, but mostly due to the market being entirely controlled by the limited number of buyers). The ETS completely misses the point that to reduce emissions we must reduce consumption, which can only be achieved by educating the consumers and (slowly) changing both our lifestyles and our "stuff" to be less resource hungry. Consumption overall will not be reduced, and therefore neither will emissions, by increasing the profits of the banks and the tax revenue of the government to the cost of the consumer, especially whilst the consumer believes that they have no choice in the amount of energy they use because they have not been shown any alternative....

It is true, as you say, that the banks can raise their prices at a whim, but whilst that does increase their revenues a bit it is also newsworthy and gets bad press. But imagine if you could come up with a scheme that allowed you to leverage your existing trading arrangements and staff to create an entire new revenue stream that was actually encouraged and supported by both the media and the governments. They would do all the hard work for you, with the government going so far as to legislate that everybody, corporations and individuals alike, become your customers. Not only that, but somebody elses marketing budget would be used to persaude/terrify the population at large in to thinking it was necessary and that you were actually doing them a favour.........

Copenhagen, on the other hand, is far more to do with power. Money is also involved, in that the developing nations will be funded by the western world, or more accurately the rich and fortunate in those developing nations will be funded becuase I don't believe for one second that anything will filter down to "the masses". But what Copenhagen will achieve (if we are unfortunate enough that it achieves anything) is to promote the UN to a position where it has legal precedence over any of the countries that sign up. Knowing how the UN works, once it has achieved that position it will be a matter of moments before it starts to expand its powerbase. The UN, like any other institution, has within it groups that are driven by many different motives. I have no doubt that some of these groups and individuals (in whatever area they may be involved) a driven by a genuine desire to "help". Many of these groups and individuals, however, are driven by the desire to "help themselves". Indeed how can a person help their own country without helping themselves in the process? Equally, how does one define "helping"? Taking a portion of the GDP of the western nations as a "tax" to give to the developing nations could be seen as helping, unless that money then goes straight to the pockets of the first social tier of that developing nation....

A few years ago I had some contact with the UN's Non-Governmental "Small Island State" group, which is involved with the island nations like those in the Caribbean. Some of the people involved were interested in helping the inhabitants of those islands, they were building tornado simulations, mobile building with "effects" like the windows being TV's showing footage of a storm outside, and then the lights went out and the roof fell in, to teach people what to expect and what to do. Some were very interested in helping local businesses with computer literacy and so forth. However it was also apparent that some wanted "the west" to buy them (personally) a "bigger car"..........

This is, of course, the case with all institutions and governments, but in Australia we have the ability to elect a new government every few years based on what we think of the incumbents performance. Copenhagen will (if signed) place our elected government irrevocably under the direct control of a group that we have not elected and cannot remove, nor do we even know who they are or what their motives might be...... I call that "redistribution of power".

Oh, and as you say, the "poor" really don't enter the equation. Of course, "Nobody is really poor anymore. At least, nobody important"...... ;)
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Re: Global Warming or Cooling

Postby Tracker » Sat Dec 12, 2009 8:30 am

DoctorI wrote:Regardless of all the above. I still believe that we, as individuals and as a human race, should be reducing (a) our dependence on fossil fuels, (b) our use of Earth's resources generally, (c) our wasteful ways of just dumping rubbish on this planet.


AND - you have 100% of my support..
If only the politicians would understand that we (collectively) are prepared for a bit of pain, but not to be skewered, just so third-world fat-cats can get far fatter, and the poor peasants will continue doing what they have always done, because they have NO CHOICE, because they will get NOTHING to help them, other than a gun at their heads !

Are you listening Mr C.Rudd ?
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Re: Global Warming or Cooling

Postby zzsstt » Sat Dec 12, 2009 9:15 am

I'm not really even sure there needs to be any pain.

For example, if the statistic that 10% of domestic power usage is consumed by "standby" devices is correct, then we can surely save a great deal of that 10% and therefore the emissions that go with it, by educating people to switch things OFF at the wall. Or, if we need to create a bit of a market, by supplying remote control "OFF" switches. It is likely that much the same statistic would apply to commercial power use, so a bit of intelligent management would probably save a fair bit there as well!

How hard would it be to legislate that BASIX (largely a waste of time in it's current form) requires all new or renovated dwellings to have a power meter display (Wattson or similar) on the living room wall, or next to the main entrance door? Cost is minimal, pain is non-existent and results would likely be very good - we have a Wattson showing our instantaneous consumption and it is actually quite hard to ignore those big numbers! ("Is the coffee machine still on? The Wattson's angry...").

The law of diminishing returns states that it gets progressively harder to make gains, but I'm certain we could make some reasonable inroads without any real effort or pain.
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Re: Global Warming or Cooling

Postby GeoffHammond » Sat Dec 12, 2009 10:01 am

There have been a number of occasions in history where mankind has found itself able to rally together to deal with an issue. Some of the 20th century wars are decent examples, there are some economic instances (such as the Australian GST, which was meant to replace some state taxes, but ended up adding to them), but also the Hole in the Ozone Layer is relevant. People will always find an economic argument to delay doing something, but if they are motivated enough, they will do what is required and generally in retrospect forget the economic cost.

The pain is often short-lived. People adapt. I don't think we can adapt quickly enough to accommodate a world with no land, but it seems to me that the pain of living more sustainably is probably exaggerated. Whether or not the planet is cooling or warming or traveling faster than it used to or becoming a cube, being a tad more careful with how we use the resources available to us can only be a good thing.

Now I need to offset that rant by eating a bloody big steak...
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Re: Global Warming or Cooling

Postby zzsstt » Sat Dec 12, 2009 2:13 pm

I'd like to get peoples opinions on whether "international" co-operation or agreement is required or even useful in this context.

In the example given above (war) the issue was inherently international. Other than as part of a country, an individual was largely incapable of doing anything about the situation.

In a lot of ways, however, the issue we are debating is not "international". In fact it could be seen to be entirely down to the individual. Whilst a country can pass laws to discourage energy usage (basically by increasing the cost), can that really solve the problem?

If the individual wishes to reduce their consumption of resources, they will. If they don't want to, they won't. Increasing the prices will probably not significantly decrease the usage. We have many people in our local town who will forego their medications and spend the money on beer and cigs. Making electricity more expensive seems unlikely to do anything except cause them to stop eating or clothing their children. and of course the unions (and employees in general) will suggest that everyone get paid a bit more so they can still afford the increased price electricity!

Germany, oft cited for it's commitment to solar power, has massively expensive electricity and yet is the fifth largest user (per capita) in the world. It is planning to build 26 more coal powered generators... Obviously the expensive power has not caused the population to wean itself off electricity! and even if we assume that the new coal powered generator are to replace the out-of-favour nuclear ones, it's not reducing emssions or usage, is it?

I believe that people will only reduce their resource usage when they both understand WHY they should, and are given an alternative that works for them. And the "why" has to be real, believable and sensible. Most people will not cut back because "we'll all die by next year if you don't"!

As a result, I believe that international agreements are pointless except in the "we've stopped so you must" debate. But if individuals were motivated, I'd bet that stopping buying Amercian beef or Japanese electronics or Chinese steel (food?) would get their attention, and boost local economies and therefore reduce transport emissions........
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Re: Global Warming or Cooling

Postby Icarus » Sat Dec 12, 2009 4:29 pm

The goal really is not to force consumers to reduce useage but to get suppliers to generate more effciently , to push them towards a less carbon intensive generation and usage .

I think that if you think GW is manmade the its important to do it , if you dont think it is then whats the point .
If it it is manmade then really we dont have alot of time to reduce , this is the urgency becuase we really have no base load generators that can replace coal and gas fast enough , apart from atomic energy , otherwise we could do over 100- 200 yrs with no pain .

WoW wouldnt it be fun if the Libs won the next election lmao ,

zzsstt , man you can write heaps of words , lol
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Re: Global Warming or Cooling

Postby Tracker » Sat Dec 12, 2009 5:00 pm

Icarus wrote:The goal really is not to force consumers to reduce useage but to get suppliers to generate more effciently , to push them towards a less carbon intensive generation and usage .


Thank You - Nuclear Power Please !

I think that if you think GW is man-made the its important to do it , if you dont think it is then whats the point .


The irony is that "They" declare the GBReef as a sign of the problem. The reality is that if it is correct , then there is NO way of preventing it, because of the response-lag between cause and effect.

If it it is man-made then really we don't have a lot of time to reduce , this is the urgency because we really have no base load generators that can replace coal and gas fast enough , apart from atomic energy , otherwise we could do over 100- 200 yrs with no pain .


Thank you - Nuclear Power

WoW wouldnt it be fun if the Libs won the next election lmao ,


You had better hope they do !

zzsstt , man you can write heaps of words , lol


and, we need more to do so, and to stand up and not be intimidated, so that our poor blood kids are not frightened into suicide because the earth as we know it is ending - Just ask the teachers who think they know all !
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