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G1ZmO

Great Global Warming Swindle (Ch4 last night)

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I dunno Jamie, all 'freak' weather these days tends to get blamed on global warming. I can remember as a kid building a snowman in May, these days it would be a sign of climate change. 30 years is a infintessimal amount of time to try and seperate an artificial change from a natural trend or fluctuations around a norm.

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30 years is a infintessimal amount of time to try and seperate an artificial change from a natural trend or fluctuations around a norm.

I know what you mean Gaz but it is all i have to go on seeing as i don't believe the current info available to us.

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What gets me mate is that all the experts on both sides seem absolutely positive they are right. In most of the astronomy articles I read scientists are very honest about gaps in their observations/ findings and and are at pains to point out any grey areas. I feel at the moment I'm getting force fed one point of view on climate change and my natural instinct is to try and find information on any other theories (because thats all they are at the moment) on the subject and I find it suspicious/ worrying when people get hot under the collar because people dare question the current dogma on climate change.

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I remember when there was winter. I grew up in north dakota in the us. It's tundra in the winter, or it used to be anyway. When I was a kid in the eighties, there was always a week or so every year in january where the tempurature never got above -20F, and with the windchill factor, you felt like you were dying after about 3 minutes outside. This was normal, they didn't even cancel school. It would start snowing in november and not melt until march. You could walk on top of 3 foot snow drifts, they were frozen solid. They were like sand dunes, sculpted by the wind over weeks and months. Now it's nothing like that, you can walk around in january without a heavy coat. The snow melts a few days or a week after it falls. You know something is really happening when the stoic conservative farmers in the midwest are talking about climate change, and not cause they saw it on the tv, but because it's outside the window. It's not a theory anymore. When I moved out to the coast south of seattle in '97 it rained every day for three months, seriously, I'm not kidding. By last year, when I moved here, it wasn't a fraction of what it was. And in 2004 I remember there being several tornadoes in the seattle area. That is unheard of, tornadoes need very specific, dry conditions to form. It's never dry there, save in the two months of summer, and this was in april. Something's going on.

I didn't see this documentary, though I have seen plenty of credible evidence too suggest that the earth's tempurature does go through natural periods of fluctuations - I don't think cavemen caused the last ice age. It seem to me to be foolish though, to think that we humans burning burning burning nearly everything we could get our hands on for the last century and a half or so has nothing to do with it.

Sadly this seems like alot of things, You have one group of scientists arguing with another group over who is absolutely right, when really they're most likely both a little right and a little wrong. And the one's in the middle, the true scientists, trying to look at things objectively, are probably not gettng anywhere due to lack of funding.

We've made alot of progress over the centuries, but until we find a practical way to summon energy without burning something, we're not much better than our ancient ancestors, and our days will become increasingly numbered and polluted.

Whatever's going on, we need to understand it, and soon.

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I don't know if anyone has read Graham Hancock's Fingerprints of the Gods in which he outlines his theory that there was a very advanced civilisation which was all but obliterated by the last great ice age. There are just a few clues to their existance including some very ancient monuments such as the sphynx. He develops some compelling arguments to demonstrate how the Egyptians actually couldn't have done what they did. The one flaw in his argument is that if he can convince us so easily, how come the worlds leading archaeologists aren't buying it. Well, of course, there are the old, hackneyed arguments that his evidence is very inconvenient for them and their research grants and so on. However, the real reason is that his tower of evidence is built on some very flimsy foundations - one supposition leads to another and so on. It doesn't take a competent archaeologist long to demolish the whole edifice, not through malice or greed but purely through a desire to establish the truth.

For another example you only have to look at the conspiracy theories behind the moon landings. If you read some of the hoax theory web sites you could (infact many people do) believe only a fool would believe that the Apollo program wasn't a big hoax to prop up an ailing government. Once again, to the lay person, plausible arguments that actually don't stack up when subjected to proper scientific scrutiny.

Either you believe the the opinion of the vast majority of scientists who believe that the overwhelming probability is that man's activity is making a significant contribution to global warming or you believe the tiny minority crying out in the wilderness. If you believe the tiny minority then you have a bit of a responsibility to find out why most scientists don't agree with them.

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I hardly think lumping climate change skeptics in with moon landing deniers, ancient airfield nutters and the like is a fair comparision.

History is littered with theories that were accepted as correct only to later be debunked. Man made climate change may or may not end up being proved but lets at least hear both sides to the argument? I havn't got the time, inclination or ability to educate myself to the standard required to form my own opinions based on first hand data and peer reviewed papers etc on climate change, I need the subject distilling (as do most people) by scientists/ science publications into a managable form and at the moment I'm worried I'm not hearing the full story.

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I don't want to come across as if I'm just going to automatically discount any source that supports man made climate change (and I will have a good look at all 4 links below) but the documentary did cover possible causes/ motives for organizations like the UN or governments being pro climate change.

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I'm with you Gary in wanting to understand the possible causes of climate change but having better things to do than spend hours ploughing through primary evidence. I have read, and I can't remember where, that the scientists featured in the programme have some pretty heavy conflicting interests as well.

May be this would be a better comparison than my last ones. Until a few years ago there were scientists contesting the the case that smoking was a causative agent in lung cancer was not proven. Many of these scientists were genuine in their belief and used good science. The fact that the tobacco industry heavily supported them didn't mean that the arguments they were putting forward weren't valid. It was right for them to question the hypothesis, it's what good scientists do. Gradually the weight of evidence became so strong that the tobacco industry had to change it's tactics.

My guess is that the vast majority of climate change scientists are honest and reputable. A few just come to a different conclusion. I'm sure their was a collective groan within those scientific circles when this programme was aired. Would have the same impact as a program on the wonders of homeopathy has on me :)

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what's wrong with homeopathy?

Scientifically - piece of rubbish.

But it works. I know it does.

Does that mean there's something wrong with science?

Andrew

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For me the biggest problem lies with the actual mechanism involved.

The facts are :-

The greenhouse effect causes the Earth to be warmer than it would be with a different atmosphere.

Water vapour and carbon dioxide are the main causes of the greenhouse effect.

An increase in the concentrations of either will increase the greenhouse effect.

Burning fossil fuels produces carbon dioxide.

What this all points to is that burning fossil fuels will increase the greenhouse effect, and I can't say differently because its true.

However,

Most of the greenhouse effect is caused by water vapour as this is much much higher in concentration.

The difference in the greenhouse effect that would occur if we suddenly burnt all the fossil fuels all at once, is less than the normal changes that we get on a day-to-day basis because of changes in atmospheric humidity.

This leaves me in a quandry as I completely support the idea of using less fossil fuel and harnessing solar and lunar (tidal) energy, but I hate being told that we're killing the planet therefore we are naughty and need to be taxed some more. If anybody spent some of the tax money on "renewable" energy (what does that mean?) then it would be A GOOD IDEA, all in caps deliberately.

Check this out for real world experimental stuff if you like. Stand outside when its cloudy with an air temperature of let's say 10C, then another night do the same again at the same air temperature but without clouds. It feels much colder because the greenhouse effect isn't there to anything like the same degree as the atmosphere has less water vapour. The CO2 hasn't changed at all, so what could be happening? The radiant heat transfer between the ground (including you) has increased dramatically. Maybe the biggest factor in the greenhouse effect is water vapour as the science tells us? Bet you've all noticed this and not noticed it all at the same time?

Captain Chaos

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Good point, i think we should all petition Kate Bush, i seem to remember she had a cloud bursting machine which was taken away by the government! It all makes perfect sense now!

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And to be honest there lies the problem. Who to beleive...

It appears that scientists on both sides of the line are worried about cash. One of those links mentions $600K from Exxon or Esso or someone to discredit the human influence part... and some scietists on the other side worried about thier grants.

I know very little about the subject so it's difficult for me to make any worthwile comment. I would consider personal green energy sources if I could afford them... if nothing else because the film "Children of Men" casts a far bleaker picture of the future then climate change, and I'd like to be self sufficient.

We have definatley had warmer / wetter / cloudier winters over the last 5 years or so. That I am sure of - the cause Human, Solar or any other cause who knows?

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Who knows indeed.

The scientific concensus is that it's really happening, but there is little concensus on what to do about it, other than reduce carbon emissions. I suspect that, whatever is causing it, it's something that we should be planning to deal with, rather than pointing fingers and apportioning blame. It probably isn't going to go away.

Uncle Tony has just announced that UK PLC will reduce the CO2 by 60% by 2050. I suspect that this is to make it necessary to build nuclear power plants, as there will be no other way to stay within the law. Cynical? Me? Never!

I quite like the idea of fusion reactors, or even good old fashioned fission reactors. If they'd stop designing them to "accidentaly" produce weapons grade plutonium they should be a good deal safer as well.

Maybe if we had a great big tidal river, like the Severn, we could generate huge amounts of power for free. Or collect landfill gas and use that for power generation, or incinerate household waste instead of coal, or burn those thousands of cylindrical straw bales that go to waste. Maybe we could even get creative and use the waste heat from power stations instead of having huge cooling towers to dissipate the leftover energy from steam turbines? How much do they pump into the atmosphere each day? (Answer = >5% of the fuel used in the power station and >20% of the output in electricity). There is some way to go on this energy efficiency lark, but legislation is not currently working. We now have efficiency ratings on fridges in the UK. How daft is that?

Captain Chaos

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what's wrong with homeopathy?

Scientifically - piece of rubbish.

But it works. I know it does.

Does that mean there's something wrong with science?

Andrew

Nothing wrong with Homeopathy- Appeared to work on my CAT... Uninfluenced by the "placebo effect"! :D

But perhaps that shows how I feel about these programs on both "sides" of the argument IMO, there WAS something worth presenting here (An alternative opinion?) but, as an (albeit) ex-scientist, I had to sit though 15-20 minutes of sensationalism first. Perhaps climatology is the exception but, in my experience, science (well, particle physics!) is NOT a bunch of folk crying "liar, charlatan, fool" etc. at one another or any media producer who might listen. Although at the whim (sic) of politicians for funding, many scientists have strong personal ethics and even ideals. I don't see myself as greatly "establishment", but where I hear expressions such "maverick" (even eccentric!) with regard to science, I switch off - metaphorically, if not physically. :)

Ultimately what I'm saying is, I find it depressing that the public notion of peer-review-respecting scientists is of someone "in league with satan", the government etc. Just as bad, is where someone who subscribes to a differing opinion is a... "tree hugger" etc. A lot of the debate seems to work on the premis that one is either "for us or against us". On other forums, one comes to anticipate, on which side many of the regular contributers will be. On this matter, Indeed, who knows! I don't think it turns a brain to mush, to entertain more than one opinion... even simultaneously! (LOL). On the other hand, even as a cr*p musician, I KNOW most contestants on "Comic relief does Fame Academy" cannot sing. There by the grace of my (atheistic) God go I... :)

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Going ever-so-slightly sideways on the topic.. Has anyone else heard about this 'Earth-aid' concert planned this summer ?

I'm sure I heard some rant on the radio about it a week or so ago.

Matt

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The one where all the artists and their entourages will be flying in from all around the world? :D:)

Sorry, couldn't resist. <Slaps own wrist> :)

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ancient airfield nutters

Heheheh :) Nazca plains? Erich von Däniken, what a complete doofus :D

Might've mentioned this before but a few weeks ago I saw on a late news prog some US govt enviro type bod (or whatever) state in a Whitehouse press conference; 'Here it is folks, we are now promising to cut our carbon road emissions by x% by the year 20xx' - or something along those lines.

What I'm sure I remember pretty much word-for-word was what came next after a very long, uncomfortable and sweaty looking pause; 'We know that it is not enough and is certainly too late but that's our plan'

Nice.

T'was a small part in the middle of a boring speech and almost seemed by his manner a bit of a personal ad-libbed apology. Saw nothing on that particular comment in the news later. I wondered at the time if I was the only one who saw it :? or if he would be getting a reet proper talking to(???) later on.

What price Rapture eh? :)

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I remember getting a couple of von Däniken books out of the library when I was 12 or 13 and thinking I'd let in on some big secret! :)

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I tells ye mate - Chariots of the Gods was one book I DIDN'T try beggin of ma when I moved out!!! She was as amazed as I was that it was still in the bookcase. 'Was SURE I'd thrown that one out LONG ago!' she exclaimed :)

Managed to get the wife to trash her JFK consp stuff too. 'You know the film was mainly made up and Ollie freely admits it?' said I (amongst other things). Stone eh? Heheheh, what a comedian :)

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Oh, and Graham Hancock's Fingerprints of the Gods? No prizes for guessing G.H's main influence (cough!-EVD!-cough!). Thanks for the warning Martin :thumbright: Another one to steer well clear of! :)

Dee dee dee dee - dee dee dee dee. 'Picture a man going on a journey beyond sight and sound. He's now making money selling fiction as science!' Sheesh!

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Maybe we could even get creative and use the waste heat from power stations instead of having huge cooling towers to dissipate the leftover energy from steam turbines? How much do they pump into the atmosphere each day? (Answer = >5% of the fuel used in the power station and >20% of the output in electricity). There is some way to go on this energy efficiency lark, but legislation is not currently working. We now have efficiency ratings on fridges in the UK. How daft is that?

Captain Chaos

CC raises a good point here and one that I have pondered on but have not found an answer on.

One of the fundamental laws of physics says energy cannot be destroyed only changed in its form.

Our fossil fuels are stored solar energy. When we use them to heat our houses, power our cars/c omputers or for almost any other purpose the stored energy will be turned into heat energy.

I do not know how significant it is but I'm sure it must be a factor.

Cheers

ian

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