Author Topic: The Official Climate Change Thread  (Read 22195 times)

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Offline Super Dude

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The Official Climate Change Thread
« on: July 19, 2012, 05:31:20 AM »
You can't silence me, baby! If you have news or discussion related to crazy weather, green tech, or anything in between, bring it here.
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Offline Implode

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Re: The Official Climate Change Thread
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2012, 06:57:57 AM »
Is this what climate change feels like? Yes.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OA98hl7Q5dQ

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Re: The Official Climate Change Thread
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2012, 07:08:51 AM »
Is this what climate change feels like? Yes.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OA98hl7Q5dQ


I love how he seeks out real scientists and interviews them vs. reporting on news feeds and the general media. It has been brutally hot and humid here on the east coast. It's nice to learn a bit about that in the video.

-Tof

Offline Implode

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Re: The Official Climate Change Thread
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2012, 07:25:05 AM »
Agreed. Although that scientist said that this is what it feels like, I still really hope this year is still somewhat a rare outlier. I'm sick of the heat.

Offline Super Dude

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Re: The Official Climate Change Thread
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2012, 07:30:19 AM »
I hate to sound like an alarmist, but this isn't what it feels like. My favorite professor described it best: the curtain hasn't come up yet but the lights have darkened and the orchestra in the pit has begun to play the overture.
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Re: The Official Climate Change Thread
« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2012, 07:31:36 AM »
Summer over here is worse than ever, it's around 15-18 degrees (Celsius) and it has been raining pretty much all of the past three weeks.
Hey dude slow the fuck down so we can finish together at the same time.  :biggrin:
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Offline rumborak

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Re: The Official Climate Change Thread
« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2012, 07:45:34 AM »
I gotta be honest, I think it's good that there's already this immediate effect. I would think it will become harder and harder for GW deniers to be taken seriously.

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Offline Super Dude

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Re: The Official Climate Change Thread
« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2012, 09:47:50 PM »
Now even I think Bill McKibben is a bit of an extremist, but he does have a point in this article:

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/global-warmings-terrifying-new-math-20120719

What is that point? We gotta get our shit together, and soon.
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Offline Super Dude

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Re: The Official Climate Change Thread
« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2012, 11:09:00 PM »
Whether you guys post or not, you know I'm gonna keep this thread alive anyway:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/22/opinion/sunday/were-all-climate-change-idiots.html?src=recg&gwh=9CD256DC725862D10BD71C411B551DF2

An interesting take on spinning the message correctly, and I think this is absolutely right. In fact, I tend to feel more positive on the issue when I think of it as a technological challenge rather than a regulatory one.
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Offline Scheavo

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Re: The Official Climate Change Thread
« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2012, 11:26:36 PM »
Except, that makes it sound as if there's a whole lot of technological challenges preventing us from taking action, which is false. As you are well aware, wind, solar and geothermal energy are all extremely viable, proven technologies. Oh, and let's not forget how much just improving efficiency would help (I believe it's Nebraska, but one of the mid-west states decided that instead of building new power plants, it was going to improve the energy efficiency of homes, etc. And it's working).

Also, i don't know about you, but I'd say geo-engineering is a stupid, stupid fucking idea. Say we're wrong about anthropological global warming, or say we do too much, is putting us on the path towards an ice age any better? Hell no, it's probably worse.

Offline Super Dude

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Re: The Official Climate Change Thread
« Reply #10 on: July 26, 2012, 05:25:14 AM »
It's not really about whether it's true or not though, is it? It's about getting skeptics on board by spinning the story a little differently. In order to get them to go green, you have to show them the green. Individualism, private gain, growth, all that kind of stuff.
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Offline Chino

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Offline senecadawg2

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Re: The Official Climate Change Thread
« Reply #12 on: July 26, 2012, 08:30:17 AM »
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/europe/2012/07/201272565759801478.html

I read this article yesterday. It's really shocking stuff. The highest satellite recorded ice melt prior to this incident was 55%. That is a MASSIVE jump  :o
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Offline Scheavo

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Re: The Official Climate Change Thread
« Reply #13 on: July 26, 2012, 11:02:13 AM »
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/europe/2012/07/201272565759801478.html

Quote
According to glaciologist Lora Koenig, who was part of the team analysing the data, melting incidents of this type occur every 150 years on average.

"With the last one happening in 1889, this event is right on time," Koenig said. "But if we continue to observe melting events like this in upcoming years, it will be worrisome."

You can't really chalk this up to global warming, not yet.

It's not really about whether it's true or not though, is it? It's about getting skeptics on board by spinning the story a little differently. In order to get them to go green, you have to show them the green. Individualism, private gain, growth, all that kind of stuff.

But that doesn't seem to be a technological challenge, but an economical one. The technological challenge the guy talked about was talking about geo-engineering, which I think is probably the dumbest thing we could possibly do.

Offline Super Dude

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Re: The Official Climate Change Thread
« Reply #14 on: July 26, 2012, 11:13:54 AM »
I think you're mistaking the means with the motive. The point wasn't the actual realization or intellectual conceptualization of these ideas so much as the emotional response it's meant to bring about, i.e. conservatives actually caring about climate change solutions.
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Offline Scheavo

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Re: The Official Climate Change Thread
« Reply #15 on: July 26, 2012, 11:27:11 AM »
But wouldn't those solutions they care about, then be geo-engineering solutions? It doesn't do us much good if we can agree on the problem, but still disagree on the solution. In fact, it would put us in the same boat we're in now, really. Some years ago, I remember WW even putting forward something about geo-engineering, and supporting that idea (fitting what this study saw), but you and I know that he never did come around to other solutions.

Unless I missed something about where, after reading that, they would suddenly accept regulatory and other solutions to global warming, that aren't directly related with it being a "technological challenge"?

Offline Super Dude

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Re: The Official Climate Change Thread
« Reply #16 on: July 26, 2012, 09:18:03 PM »
The alternative to regulatory means is through private initiative, which is something I can imagine most rightists and especially libertarians can get behind. Technological challenge = private economic opportunity = I can make money off of supporting this shit.
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Re: The Official Climate Change Thread
« Reply #17 on: July 26, 2012, 10:07:16 PM »
http://pandaenergy.com/Projects/Temple/tabid/87/Default.aspx

Been reading about this because there's actually a really great hospital in Temple, TX that I rotated at (although trust me...that's just about the only reason to go there IMO).  Temple is in central Texas, about an hour north of Austin, a couple hours northwest of Houston, and a couple hours south of DFW.  Interesting stuff.

-J

Offline Scheavo

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Re: The Official Climate Change Thread
« Reply #18 on: July 27, 2012, 12:12:53 PM »
The alternative to regulatory means is through private initiative, which is something I can imagine most rightists and especially libertarians can get behind. Technological challenge = private economic opportunity = I can make money off of supporting this shit.

I'm sorry, but that argument doesn't work. Green energy saves money, it's part of why it's called green energy. That point has been expanded upon countless times by countless politicians and scientists, but the right doesn't care. You see, for the right and libertarians, the fact that green technology isn't in the market place is a sign that it can't make money, that green technology is not viable.

I think you're really ignoring the geo-engineering aspect of what that guy called technological challenge. The thing is, conservatives don't want to change how they live (tautologically obvious), so geo-engineering allows them to not change anything about how they live, while still "fixing" the problem.

Offline Super Dude

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Re: The Official Climate Change Thread
« Reply #19 on: July 27, 2012, 12:17:37 PM »
Well, maybe you're right. I dunno, I still think there's a way to bridge the gap. I know this sounds sadistic, but I hope December temperatures end up averaging above 50 degrees in Michigan this year. That'll startle people here right quick.
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Offline Scheavo

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Re: The Official Climate Change Thread
« Reply #20 on: July 27, 2012, 01:04:18 PM »
The only way I can see of bridging the gap is implementing programs that make green energy more common day. Sometimes only practical solutions will make people realize that they were wrong. Like, how conservatives hate the idea of socialized medicine, but medicare? Oh ya, medicare is awesome.

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Re: The Official Climate Change Thread
« Reply #21 on: July 27, 2012, 01:11:42 PM »
Keep your government hands off my Medicare. They won't realize they're wrong, because more often than not they don't have the sense to make the connection.
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Offline Scheavo

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Re: The Official Climate Change Thread
« Reply #22 on: July 27, 2012, 01:33:30 PM »
Yet, they want their Medicare. They can have as much cognitive dissonance as they want, but the pragmatic effect is socialized medicine. Or in this case, the pragmatic effect would be greener technology.

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Re: The Official Climate Change Thread
« Reply #23 on: July 27, 2012, 02:12:54 PM »
Except the crucial difference being that Medicare is all about "I me mine." Clean tech is about the planet, I see no selfish gain in it for anyone except the guys selling it. There's money saved, but that's not really getting something in the way health insurance is.
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Offline Scheavo

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Re: The Official Climate Change Thread
« Reply #24 on: July 27, 2012, 02:25:28 PM »
Quote
Clean tech is about the planet, I see no selfish gain in it for anyone except the guys selling it.

I guess I disagree. I mean, maybe this applies to some clean tech (especially when we're talking about an industry standard). But solar panels seem like they're the perfect selfish technology for the rugged individual. Green technology can help make you more self-sufficient, and let's forget about technology for a second and just talk about lifestyles. Good mass public transit means people don't have to be clogged up in their cars in traffic for hours a day, and they can save money so they can have more of what they want. Growing even a little of your own food saves you money, and is healthier for you. Then there's always the other health benefits of cleaner air, etc, which really effects everyone. It puts less strain on the health care industry, which means a more productive and cheaper health care system. It means you yourself don't suffer from those problems, so you yourself don't have to visit a doctor for lung problems.

Saving money allows you to go on that vacation, or get that fancy new iPad that everyone else has. I agree with you that it's not direct, and that it could be harder to notice the personal gains, but I don't think that this means the personal gains aren't in fact there.

Then again, I still think it's possible to describe every single act of altruism as a selfish act. Not that it means we always act selfishly, but that when we help others, or the planet, we are helping ourselves at the same time... because we aren't individuals and we're all apart of the same interconnected web.


Offline Super Dude

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Re: The Official Climate Change Thread
« Reply #25 on: July 27, 2012, 03:22:33 PM »
Mind you, I'm trying to think the way I imagine a climate skeptic would think about this stuff. In my mind, the thought that they're being self-sufficient wouldn't even occur to them.
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Offline Super Dude

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Re: The Official Climate Change Thread
« Reply #27 on: August 29, 2012, 05:55:54 AM »
I know I'm the only one who posts here, but yeah, guess what? We're fucked.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/28/science/earth/sea-ice-in-arctic-measured-at-record-low.html?_r=1&gwh=4DE3D43DE67EF502A446F32CB5F85880

I'm sorry Scheavo, but you may now consider me a full advocate for carbon sequestration.
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Offline Implode

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Re: The Official Climate Change Thread
« Reply #28 on: August 30, 2012, 07:05:53 AM »
Hopefully the reason no one is saying anything is because all there is to say is...



With a distasteful head shake added on to the end.

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Re: The Official Climate Change Thread
« Reply #29 on: August 30, 2012, 07:41:53 AM »
One should hope so.
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Offline tofee35

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Re: The Official Climate Change Thread
« Reply #30 on: September 03, 2012, 12:01:34 AM »
I know I'm the only one who posts here, but yeah, guess what? We're fucked.

Super Dude, I'll try to add something different to the discussion and maybe take it somewhere else. Anyway, I've been working on the West coast of the US on everything from Solar Farms to Wind Farms to the High kV Transmission Lines that carry the power. I'd like to talk about how these are (through my eyes) successful and unsuccessful as far as economy and environment are concerned:

Both economically and environmentally, the regulations enforced to protect the environment during construction is simply bass ackwards. The main goals for a green energy project are: minimizing environmental impact during construction, safety, getting the project built, and making money. The three things that end up happening are: environmental impacts are increased, safety is compromised, the projects are often delayed by gov't agencies, and contractors lose money and/or go out of business.

The major problems are: owners, unions, and environmental agencies do not work together for the main goals of the project (listed above), environmental agencies are ignorant to the construction process to understand how to minimize its impact, and the motive behind environmental regulations on a construction project is money, not Mother Earth.

My Opinion and solution: Environmental agencies need to get educated about construction processes and treat each construction project individually. Each project has diversity in location, species sensitivity, and contractor diversity. Environmentalist agencies need to work with contractors to regulate according to construction activity. Too often, the cause of an environmental restriction on a construction access road leads to a solution that is twice as hurtful to the environment. This can be easily avoided with common sense. You'd be surprised how much common sense is neglected during these projects. Each project has a different location and have different levels of environmental importance. For example, a project in the middle of the desert should not be treated like a project in a national park. Endangered species need to be treated as such so that mitigation measures designed for their benefit doesn't inhibit construction activity to the point of destroying budgets and other environmental regulations. Emissions standards for vehicles need to be project and contractor specific. Small contractors are being forced out of business and kicked off of jobs because their overhead budget cannot keep up with increasingly high environmental expectations from agencies. A certain amount of care must be put into this. A small company does not use nearly as much equipment as a large company, and it cannot budget for upgrades to every vehicle as required on some projects. It is important for environmentalists to understand the importance their efficient construction methods improve environmental conditions during construction. I'm not suggesting cutting a break to certain (small) companies, but spreading regulations proportionally between contractors. Contractors have to be willing to work with environmentalists for the good of the global climate and the good of the economy.

I think it is important to think about the current condition of the environment, but also how it is really being handled. I'm an advocate for both improving environmental conditions and for keeping the economy moving. There needs to be drastic changes in how contractors, owners, and environmental firms work together to build these green energy farms and transmission lines. The sooner these are built, the sooner we reap the benefits of green energy. But if poor green construction practices continue, we'll see more harm done than good.

Offline Super Dude

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Re: The Official Climate Change Thread
« Reply #31 on: September 03, 2012, 05:30:29 AM »
Now that sounds like an interesting topic. Yes, I confess environmentalists set the bar high at all times, given what's at stake. But you're right: nothing gets better without efficiency.
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Offline tofee35

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Re: The Official Climate Change Thread
« Reply #32 on: September 03, 2012, 09:39:56 AM »
Now that sounds like an interesting topic. Yes, I confess environmentalists set the bar high at all times, given what's at stake. But you're right: nothing gets better without efficiency.

Absolutely, the bar is set really high, and the bar can stay high while still being conducive to a productive schedule. But contractors' ignorance towards environmental problems can't be overlooked (neither can the strong political belief differences between the two groups). There has to be trust between the workers and environmentalists on a project. The WEAP training (project specific environmental training) is mandatory for contractors before starting a project. But, environmentalists run it. Contractors already see Environmentalists as Lib hippies that know nothing about construction and Environmentalists see Contractors as hard ass Conservatives that could care less about the environment. I think it'd be great to see both the environmental leaders and the construction managers of the projects present the training together. Plan mitigation measures ahead of time, so when there are bird buffers and other potential snags, there is already an efficient and agreeable solution worked out. It's a small thing, but the small gesture of uniting the two would make a huge difference. I've seen it happen with success on small, private sector jobs. But, it's the large scale public utility jobs that really need to be addressed.


Offline Super Dude

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Re: The Official Climate Change Thread
« Reply #33 on: September 03, 2012, 11:47:33 AM »
Yeah, I mean there has to be a way of reconciling the two. Perhaps there could be some way for environmentalists to educate themselves about not only the construction process itself but also how their background can help reduce costs and energy and whatnot. I dunno. I confess as one such environmentalist I do know very little about construction.

Funny since at one time I was seriously considering a position for a company called Go Green Energy Consulting in Michigan, who were basically retrofit consultants interested in helping people reduce their carbon footprint at the same time as cutting their energy bill. If people like that could get on-board with one another, I don't see why I can't happen with WEAP.
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Offline tofee35

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Re: The Official Climate Change Thread
« Reply #34 on: September 03, 2012, 12:40:45 PM »
Yeah, I mean there has to be a way of reconciling the two. Perhaps there could be some way for environmentalists to educate themselves about not only the construction process itself but also how their background can help reduce costs and energy and whatnot. I dunno. I confess as one such environmentalist I do know very little about construction.

Funny since at one time I was seriously considering a position for a company called Go Green Energy Consulting in Michigan, who were basically retrofit consultants interested in helping people reduce their carbon footprint at the same time as cutting their energy bill. If people like that could get on-board with one another, I don't see why I can't happen with WEAP.

The next generation of construction managers are more conscience about the environment than the old timers. I can really see this improving.

What I don't see improving is the environmental oversight of eminent domain for energy company owners and federal agencies. The onsite environmentalists I've worked with are really great, and so much work gets done with little env. impact. But, the governing agencies actually make huge env. and fiscal problems for nothing. I'll give you an example:

I worked on a large power line in the Desert from Summer '10 to Spring '12. In order to work, the grading contractor cut out Disturbance Areas and roads where construction vehicles and transmission towers would be constructed. Of course, dust is a major concern for air pollution/health issues and localizing seedlings to the work site (even though it's a desert with the same ubiquitous brush for miles). So, throughout the construction process, diesel water trucks were constantly watering all of the work areas and roads (we're talking 150+ work areas over a 15 mile stretch for 18 months). The work is done now, but naturally, vegetation hasn't returned to the graded areas yet. This is the desert in the middle of the summer, so it will need cooler air and the wetter climate the winter brings. So, even though there is no construction going on, the water trucks are still out there watering every day and BMP's (storm water mitigation) remain installed and maintained to alleviate dust and seedling migration from the natural elements. Can you imagine the air pollution those trucks are throwing out, the water being used to water the desert and keep dust down in the windiest area of the United States? Remember, there's no construction going on. This is where the line has to be drawn. I don't know who has the marker to draw that line, but it needs to happen. There's no way this move is for environmental benefit, but for some other gain (power, money, etc). I'm passionate about this industry and it's the most growing area of construction in the US right now. I only want it to flourish because we need its environmental and economic benefits.