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My coworkers response to Global Warming

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

"There is no way humans can have an effect on the world environment.  Volcanos create way more pollution than humans.  We need to control that instead of promoting this "Green" BS."

 

My response:

http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/hazards/gas/index.php

 

From the link above:

Comparison of CO2 emissions from volcanoes vs. human activities.

Scientists have calculated that volcanoes emit between about 130-230 million tonnes (145-255 million tons) of CO2 into the atmosphere every year (Gerlach, 1999, 1991). This estimate includes both subaerial and submarine volcanoes, about in equal amounts. Emissions of CO2 by human activities, including fossil fuel burning, cement production, and gas flaring, amount to about 27 billion tonnes per year (30 billion tons) [ ( Marland, et al., 2006) - The reference gives the amount of released carbon (C), rather than CO2, through 2003.]. Human activities release more than 130 times the amount of CO2 emitted by volcanoes--the equivalent of more than 8,000 additional volcanoes like Kilauea (Kilauea emits about 3.3 million tonnes/year)! (Gerlach et. al., 2002)

 

They still don't believe it....  What can you do...people will only believe what they "want" to I guess... 

 

post #2 of 12

What's even more scary is that we have allowed people with such ridiculous beliefs to run this country ...

post #3 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by seattlite:

 

They still don't believe it....  What can you do...people will only believe what they "want" to I guess... 

 

 

Unfortunately that's exactly right.  People are very good at finding ways to believe what they want to believe.  You can present them with reams of scientific data proving they're wrong, but if they don't want to believe it, they'll find a way not to.  For example, a common one is that they'll say climate scientists are falsifying data and/or perpetrating a massive fraud to get grant money, or make Al Gore millions, or something equally absurd.  A common refrain among global warming deniers is "follow the money" for this very reason.

 

One of my biggest issues with our country is that we've developed this mindset where scientists aren't really respected anymore.  People choose to disbelieve their conclusions when it suits them.  As long as scientists are curing diseases and studying other galaxies, that's all well and good.  But once they tell us we need to reduce our fossil fuel consumption, then suddenly they must have an agenda and aren't to be trusted.

post #4 of 12

Of course I should have provided a source, where are my manners? Here it is:

http://tigger.uic.edu/~pdoran/012009_Doran_final.pdf

 

And a few points about Mr. Watts: for one thing, his surfacestations.org site is completely unregulated, meaning anyone can take pictures, manipulate them how they wish, and submit them. I have an account myself in which I have sent in fraudulent pictures as a test.

 

But, assuming his images are indeed valid, here is a peer reviewed study of why it doesn't matter:

http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/projects/soap/pubs/papers/jones_Nature2004.pdf

And a few other good explanations, including the abstract of a NASA report:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/4021197.stm

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php?p=43

http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/research/population/article2abstract.pdf

 

...however, since I doubt you will read these, how about a more visual example. Look at the 2005 anomaly (you can do this for any year, the trend is the same.)

http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/2005/2005cal_fig1.gif

...notice how the most significant warming occurs in the arctic? There are no strip malls and factories in Northern Siberia, as far as I know....or could it be vented heat from Santa's workshop?

 

Oh, and how about you actually *read* the article you posted from skeptical science? You may be unpleasantly surprised to see what it actually says regarding the solar-temperature connection.

 

And tell me, who are the ones creating this "scam"? What is the purpose? Fame and recognition you say? Do you really believe that falsification of data for fame flies in the science world? Have you never heard of Schön?


Edited by dawei - Mon, 23 Feb 2009 00:16:17 GMT


Edited by stins - Mon, 23 Feb 2009 18:20:46 GMT
post #5 of 12

Yes, BBC shows desperation...and your links to blogs and a site called "right side news" have oh so much credibility.

 

And by the way, the BBC article was not an opinion piece, it was a summary of an (at the time) newly released peer reviewed article, which can be found here.

 

And my claim was that 97.4% of climate scientists believe humans are causing global warming--yes, it is an "opinion" of climate scientists, what's your point? Did I ever claim it was anything else? You called into question the validity of this "opinion", and I provided the source for it. I don't really see what the problem is. If you have a better way to get the opinion of a large group of people other than a poll, I'd love to hear it.


Edited by dawei - Mon, 23 Feb 2009 00:43:12 GMT
post #6 of 12

So, to butt in... does it really matter if man is warming the earth or not? Shouldn't we be focussed on reducing polution all together instead of having a debate on if man is causing the earth to warm or not.

1. Cancer rates are up and increase every year. We have dumped so much crap into the air, water and soil over the years that we give ourselves cancer.

2. Kids are getting asthma at an alarming rate. When I was a kid no one had asthma, and now it seems every kid has it!

3. Mercury. Look up what this stuff does to you. Then look up what it does to children. Maybe we should stop coal fired plants....

 

These three points are far more important to me than whether or not the Earth gets 1 degree warmer over the next 50 years. 

 

We need to really start on focussing to conserve our resources. When they run out, those with big guns will run the planet. This is only if we havn't killed ourselves with cancer before. Again, at this point I don't really care how warm it is outside.

 

The good news is, by conserving resources, we will lower our emmissions..etc. 

post #7 of 12

You have some good points. But few people are debating whether we should be reducing pollution, and the fact is that CO2 itself--as well as all of the other greenhouse gasses with the exception of ozone--is not actually toxic. The things that cause cancer, asthma, and other health problems typically don't have much to do with global warming.

 

But yes, actions to reduce emissions will certainly have the effect of reducing air pollution in general. But the debate still remains of whether we should have complete emissions reductions, or just continue to increase the pollution reducing mechanisms that reduce the toxins and other nasty things that have an impact on human health. It is actually not too technologically difficult to remove most of the other bad pollutants that fossil fuels cause, and reducing them further is mostly a matter of tightening existing laws.


So if we're going to significantly reduce carbon, the 'health' argument isn't too convincing. People need to realize that carbon emissions are indeed contributing significantly to global warming, and that this is a serious problem itself.


Edited by dawei - Mon, 23 Feb 2009 19:17:28 GMT
post #8 of 12

Well it's really a matter of timeframes and priorities.  You're right that there are many reasons to reduce our fossil fuel consumption besides global warming.  But for global warming, it's imperative that we reduce it significantly and as soon as possible.  For most other reasons it's a case where we can afford a slow and gradual reduction of our fossil fuel use.

post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by dawei:

You have some good points. But few people are debating whether we should be reducing pollution, and the fact is that CO2 itself--as well as all of the other greenhouse gasses with the exception of ozone--is not actually toxic. The things that cause cancer, asthma, and other health problems typically don't have much to do with global warming.

 

But yes, actions to reduce emissions will certainly have the effect of reducing air pollution in general. But the debate still remains of whether we should have complete emissions reductions, or just continue to increase the pollution reducing mechanisms that reduce the toxins and other nasty things that have an impact on human health. It is actually not too technologically difficult to remove most of the other bad pollutants that fossil fuels cause, and reducing them further is mostly a matter of tightening existing laws.


So if we're going to significantly reduce carbon, the 'health' argument isn't too convincing. People need to realize that carbon emissions are indeed contributing significantly to global warming, and that this is a serious problem itself.


Edited by dawei - Mon, 23 Feb 2009 19:17:28 GMT

 

To correct you, the only greenhouse gas that isn't really toxic is water vapor. You can't live off of CO2...

 

If you think real hard on what effects driving a gas powered car has on pollution outside of CO2, you may lean with me a little more. Think gas stations and motor oil leaks. It's amazing how much gas and oil gets spilled into the ground and water. Also think about smog and asthma. Think mercury and power plants. (you can't scrub it all) I personally think these issues are growing far faster than the earth is getting warmer.

post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by EnvironLED:

If you think real hard on what effects driving a gas powered car has on pollution outside of CO2, you may lean with me a little more. Think gas stations and motor oil leaks. It's amazing how much gas and oil gets spilled into the ground and water. Also think about smog and asthma. Think mercury and power plants. (you can't scrub it all) I personally think these issues are growing far faster than the earth is getting warmer.

 

Yeah I agree. But CO2 itself is not toxic in the small atmospheric concentrations. The maximum safe concentration for an occupied building is something like 5000 ppm--far higher than we could ever achieve in the atmosphere.

 

My point was just that, while oil is nasty stuff and should be replaced, asking people to make costly and risky investments in alternative energy or carbon taxes based solely on this is not going to fly very well. We have managed to significantly reduce emissions of sulfur, smog producing compounds, DDT, CFCs, and countless carcinogens, because doing so was not a very big challenge.

 

Carbon is a completely different story. And the fact that it IS technically a nontoxic compound--most of us drink a large amount of it every day in our soda--really makes me a bit pessimistic that health problems directly related to carbon itself will be a very good argument. Of course the other things associated with fossil fuels are nasty, but reducing the emissions of those can be done quite easiliy without having to stop burning the fuel itself, meaning carbon would still be emitted. This is a problem, not for health, but solely for climate change.

post #11 of 12

People don't want to change.  They are used to their "comforts" in life and let's face it the majority of non-believers are not keen on Green products and will do everything they can to disqualify them. 

 

That's what it really comes down to.  Now that the majority of scientist has agreed that this is no longer theory but, fact how can these people keep denying it?  Comfort, they don't want to give up their SUV's, canned goods, aerosols, excessive packaging and much, much more.  It's too bad that it won't be our generation that pays the price it will be the next.

post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 

A fitting quote:

 

"What a man believes upon grossly insufficient evidence is an index into his desires -- desires of which he himself is often unconscious. If a man is offered a fact which goes against his instincts, he will scrutinize it closely, and unless the evidence is overwhelming, he will refuse to believe it. If, on the other hand, he is offered something which affords a reason for acting in accordance to his instincts, he will accept it even on the slightest evidence. The origin of myths is explained in this way." 

-Albert Einstein-  

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