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Cleaner Air Adds To Global Warming 751

Posted by samzenpus
from the catch-22 dept.
shmlco writes "In the "You Can't Win For Losing" department, an article on the BBC web site is reporting that reduced air pollution and increased water evaporation appears to be adding to man-made global warming. Research presented at a major European science meeting adds to other evidence that cleaner air is letting more solar energy through to the Earth's surface. Burn fossil fuels, you make things worse. Clean up your act, and you make things worse. Is it time to set off a few nukes and see if nuclear winter can cool things down?"
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Cleaner Air Adds To Global Warming

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  • by homeysimpson (966291) on Friday April 07, 2006 @11:50AM (#15085353)
    Never have understood the whole argument, when one the one hand, yes we are polluting everything and need to clean things up, but on the other hand what about volcanoes, cow manure and all the other natural things we can't control? They contribute far more to global warming than cars do. Although, not to be outdone by lowely mother nature, mankind will surely find something to really fork up the atmosphere.
  • by Leon_Trotsky (702427) on Friday April 07, 2006 @11:54AM (#15085398)
    If cows pollute more than cars, it's because we breed them in huge numbers. This is not "natural".

    Point is that man-made pollution is more than the earth can absorb because there are too many humans. If we reduced the population, earth would be better able to absorb the naturally-created pollution.

  • by FatRatBastard (7583) on Friday April 07, 2006 @11:55AM (#15085411) Homepage
    Have no fear, global warming that this generation of scientists are sure is happening will meet head on with the new global ice age that the previous generation of scientists were sure was happening and the net effect is we'll all have weather like San Diego.
  • by bschonec (966875) on Friday April 07, 2006 @11:56AM (#15085424)
    What? Overpopulated? Have you ever been to the United States? How about OUTSIDE any metropolitan city? I can travel 30 miles in any direction and be far far from any 'over population'.

  • by everphilski (877346) on Friday April 07, 2006 @11:57AM (#15085442) Journal
    ... in laymens terms:

    YOU CAN'T WIN

    so sit back an enjoy the ride. Be true to yourself. Do what you need to do to sleep at night, and dont give a f*ck about what they say about global warming. Its been hot, its been cold, and we only have accurate weather data spanning about 100 years. If you think we can make accurate preditions based on 100 years of data (a piss in the bucket compared to the thousands or millions or billions of years this world has been in existance, depending on who you asked) then I have oceanfront property to sell you in Wisconsin, which was very cold last winter.
  • by hawkfish (8978) on Friday April 07, 2006 @12:00PM (#15085487) Homepage
    what about volcanoes, cow manure and all the other natural things we can't control? They contribute far more to global warming than cars do
    No they don't [realclimate.org].
  • by susano_otter (123650) on Friday April 07, 2006 @12:00PM (#15085488) Homepage
    I say we carry on as before. Clean up the environment, sure, but for more immediate reasons of beauty and health: nobody likes to walk a littered beach, or suck down the smoggy L.A. air, after all.

    In the 70s, scientists were absolutely convinced that they'd mastered the complex climate change models, and confidently assured us all that an Ice Age was imminent.

    Nowadays, global warming is the new scientific fad. And not only does it appear that global warming is much greater in scope than any amount of anthropogenic factors can account for, it also appears that there's not much we can do about it anyway.

    On top of all that, I suspect that the smarty men, for all their expert and well-intentioned efforts, still haven't mastered the climate change models to the extent some of us would like to think.

    So I say we carry on as always: sometimes building, sometimes tearing down. Sometimes exploiting, sometimes preserving. Sometimes making a mess, sometimes cleaning it up. And always refining and improving our methods and priorities, not based on the current socio-scientific fads, but based rather on the traditional motivations: the ebb and flow of human desire, expressed individually and collectively by various means.

    I mean, if we don't even properly understand climate change, and can have only a measurable but insignificant effect on it, then how can we possibly make good decisions about what sacrifices to make and what goals to pursue in relation to climate change?

    There are plenty of other more sensible, more practical, and more meaningful reasons to change some of our behaviors. I, for one, would like to see more arguments for ecological responsibility based on those, and less arguments based on voodoo climatology.
  • by Frymaster (171343) on Friday April 07, 2006 @12:05PM (#15085545) Homepage Journal
    What? Overpopulated? Have you ever been to the United States? How about OUTSIDE any metropolitan city? I can travel 30 miles in any direction and be far far from any 'over population'.

    you're assuming that the only space and resouces that people use are the ones they're standing or living on.

    what about the land needed to grow the food these people eat? that's not in cities. what about the water required to irrigate deserts so those people can have lettuce in january? that's not in cities. what about all the oil required to run suvs and make platic shampoo bottles for all those people? what about the massive hydro and coal electricity projects needed to run all those electric shavers and 60" televisions?

    just consider food for a moment. the average north american diet requires 3 acres of areable land per person per year. for the entire population of the united states that works out to just less a billion acres.

    overpopulated.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 07, 2006 @12:05PM (#15085552)
    Um, Volcano's don't add to global warming, they create global cooling. With the ash in the atmosphere it allows less solar energy to penetrate the earth, thereby cooling it.
  • by nEoN nOoDlE (27594) on Friday April 07, 2006 @12:06PM (#15085562) Homepage
    Where are your sources for "cow manure causes more global warming than cars?" Why is there a thick curtain of smog around Los Angeles but not over the cows north of the city? To put on your blinders and say that man is barely an influence on this planet so we should just ignore any sign of global warming is probably worse than the fear mongers who take any new study in global warming to convince you that we're headed for the apocalypse if we don't burn our cars and bike to work from now on.
  • Re:No, no, no... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jmorris42 (1458) * <jmorris@@@beau...org> on Friday April 07, 2006 @12:17PM (#15085704)
    > I don't think I can bear to read the following hundreds of ignorant "I've
    > heard it's all due to the sun getting hotter" crap we always get on Slashdot
    > AGW stories.

    Right, your religious faith sustains you through anything, especially anything as puny as logic or facts that don't support your beliefs. Dude, anybody that belives Global Warming is both a) established as a fact beyond debate and b) that the CAUSE of such warming is also established beyond debate is an ignorant savage deserving of exactlt the same attention of reasoning beings as Pat Robertson, Usama Bin Laden and the rest of the religious fanatics bedeviling the civilized world.

    The sun IS burning hotter. NASA is detecting upward temperature trends on Mars and I really don't think that is amendable to human intervention. The temprature on Mars doesn't depend on our CO2 emission levels, whether or not you drive a hybrid car or if we ratify the Kyoto Treaty.

    We desperately need to get the religion and green politics out of our science so we can answer the questions that matter. Is the earth warming? Is it cyclic? If it is dangerous to us and our civilization, what are the options for solving the problems? For instance, assume the Earth is warming in a non-cyclic pattern. Is the answer to destroy industrialized civilization in order to save it or is it possible to use our science to offset the bad effects?

    But to the small minded intolerant political types like yourself there are no questions and the answer was the same as before the reason was global warming. To a socialist the answer to every problem is always more socialism. Global Warming is just this week's excuse because you guys decided fear might sell better than greed and class envy.
  • by susano_otter (123650) on Friday April 07, 2006 @12:18PM (#15085716) Homepage
    If cows pollute more than cars, it's because we breed them in huge numbers. This is not "natural".

    What do you mean? If we're products of evolution, then we humans are supremely natural. Furthermore, everything we do is supremely natural. Just as bees act according to their nature, and whales act according to their nature, so do we act according to our nature. How could it be otherwise? At what point would you say that "un-nature" has been introduced into the process?

    Lions use teeth and claws to take their prey. This is natural. Apes use twigs to fish ants out of anthills. This is natural. Bats use sonar and aerobatic maneuvers to snatch bugs out of the air. This is natural. And we humans use our minds and hands to imagine and build tools to accomplish the desires of our hearts. This is natural.

    Are you saying that space aliens have secretly induced us to act against our nature? Perhaps we are breeding unnatural numbers of cows to feed their alien appetites (it would explain the cattle abductions and mutilations). But wouldn't the aliens--and their cow-cravings--also be natural? Wouldn't that make the entire Human-Cow-Alien system yet another natural phenomenon?

    Are you saying that the Flying Spaghetti Monster has laid down a moral law restricting the number of cows we can naturally breed, and that it goes against the FSM's law to breed more cows than that? If so, we can all look forward to being whipped with wet noodles for all eternity, in the afterlife.

    But seriously, what natural or moral yardstick are you using to measure the nature of Man? Because it seems to me that if Man is a product of nature, then all the products of Man are also products of nature.

    Cow population, nuclear reactors, SUVs, Catholicism, Nazism, anthropogenic factors in climate change: All natural. So where's the problem?

    And don't say that the problem is that we're going to make ourselves extinct. Species make themselves extinct all the time. Nothing more natural than that. Ebola has a hard time spreading because it overuses its resources and kills its host too quickly. It's natural when viruses do it--and not just viruses; all organisms tend towards this, if not restrained by natural effects such as other organisms or environmental conditions (and note that the lack of such restraints is also natural). Why should it be unnatural when humans do it?
  • Re:No, no, no... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by hamburger lady (218108) on Friday April 07, 2006 @12:23PM (#15085789)
    The sun IS burning hotter. NASA is detecting upward temperature trends on Mars and I really don't think that is amendable to human intervention. The temprature on Mars doesn't depend on our CO2 emission levels, whether or not you drive a hybrid car or if we ratify the Kyoto Treaty.

    uh, mars has some very complicated warming/cooling trends due to it's wacky rotation. you can't just point to mars' weather getting warmer as proof that its the sun's fault.
  • by DuckDodgers (541817) <keeper_of_the_wolf@NOSPam.yahoo.com> on Friday April 07, 2006 @12:25PM (#15085807)
    This is probably the same guy that says drive an electric car save the enviroment, when you boil it all down to generation losses, power generation polution, and envirmental damage from toxic chemicals used in the batteries an electric car is about TWICE as polluting as a modern compact.

    That's a commonly held misconception.
    1. Modern batteries for hybrid cars are recyclable.
    2. Power generation from most current power plants, even coal burning ones, are less polluting per watt of power output than an internal combustion engine. The automotive combustion engine trades a lot of efficiency for the ability to be mobile, quick to start and stop, and run at a broad range of RPMs.
    3. As more solar/wind/geothermal/tidal/whatever else environmentally friendly power generators are used, the electric car can use the power they generate without modifications.

    The real problem with electric cars is the same problem we had with them at the beginning of the 19th century. Battery tech just hasn't improved enough to give them a long range.
  • by Girckin (831557) on Friday April 07, 2006 @12:30PM (#15085859) Homepage

    What do you mean? If we're products of evolution, then we humans are supremely natural.

    There's a difference between being "natural" and "sustainable". The vast majority of natural creatures are also sustainable, because if you don't live a sustainable lifestyle your lifestyle (or species) will not persist. The unsustainable ones get winnowed out. Being "natural" or not has no bearing on whether your species will go extinct or not.

    The word "natural" has become so mangled that it that it is both useless and meaningless except as part of a marketing campaign.

  • by kfg (145172) on Friday April 07, 2006 @12:39PM (#15085973)
    what about volcanoes

    What about them?

    cow manure

    Inside the natural balance of the carbon cycle. A vast herd of domestic cattle is no different in this regard from a vast herd of wild bison. The ruminants eat the grass, the grass is broken down in the cow and exterior to the cow, releasing decomposition gasses. New grass grass grows absorbing gasses in the process.

    Rinse and repeat over millenia.

    And all of it simply an expression of incoming solar energy. More incoming sunlight, more plants, each absorbing more gasses. Plant a tree. Take care of it. Restore balance.

    They contribute far more to global warming than cars do.

    Ah, yes. The logically flawed argument that because there are uncontrollable disasters there is no harm in willfully adding another one on top of them.

    And I believe it is currently estimated that half of all the increase in greenhouse effect gasses comes just from motor vehicles, whose numbers are growing with the Chinese and Indian governments adopting a pro car ownership strategy and increased mechanization of farming to promote "wealth."

    Just as we've finished the first year in modern history when no new reserves of oil were discovered by anyone, anywhere, but that's another topic.

    KFG
  • by isometrick (817436) on Friday April 07, 2006 @12:47PM (#15086063)
    To expand, the U.S. occupies about 3,537,418 square miles of land. Only 19% is arable, or about 672,109 square miles.

    The current population of the U.S. is about 295,734,134, so if people really need (on average) about 3 acres of arable land for food, we need about 1,386,254 square miles of arable land. So the U.S. can sustain food for about half (49%) of what it needs right now.

    At a current population growth rate of 0.92%, we'll be able to sustain food at home for 46% of our needs at 5 years, 44% at 10 years, 40% at 20 years, and 31% at 50 years.

    So can we just keep importing more and more? Other countries have limits on their resources as well.

    Population control please, no more than two children per family.
  • by dpilot (134227) on Friday April 07, 2006 @12:52PM (#15086113) Homepage Journal
    >If we can cause the problem, we can fix it.

    Boy, I'd like to be able to agree with you on that one. But I can't.

    Aside from the question of unified will, which is big enough, we get to the point of physical possiblities. We're learning a lot about climate, weather, modeling, etc. But I suspect that the experts will be the first to admit that they're not experts. Engineering a climate is a far different thing from trying to decypher what is happening with one. We also know that some of these processes are very-long scale, certainly longer than quarterly profit reports or even election cycles, which only compounds the unified will problem.

    What if the North Atlantic Conveyer stops? (for a theatrical example) Let's presume we want to restart it. How do we do that?
    What if defrosting permafrost releases CO2 that dwarfs what we've released? How can we possibly compensate?
    What if the Earth really WAS headed back into an ice age before we got going with the industrial revolution? What if global warming is what's keeping the climate friendly?
    What if this is all so danged nonlinear? What if a friendly climate is NOT the norm? What if the Earth is *normally* encrusted with ice, or a hot jungle? What if our entire development as an intelligent species has been during an unusually friendly inter-ice-age?

    Enquiring minds want to know.
  • Re:I agree (Score:3, Insightful)

    by shotfeel (235240) on Friday April 07, 2006 @12:53PM (#15086123)
    Wouldn't it be a whole lot cleaner to build a bunch of nuclear power plants?
  • by Tongo (644233) on Friday April 07, 2006 @01:00PM (#15086186)
    Welcome to communist China. Please check your freedoms and liberties at the door.
  • Re:No, no, no... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sarlos (903082) on Friday April 07, 2006 @01:00PM (#15086188)
    You are spot on. Whether you believe we are inducing unnatural global warming or not, the proper answer is not to overreact trying to fix it! What this article tells me is there is much of the equation that we still do not fully understand.

    We've seen time and again that messing with the environment can have devastating repurcussions. A smaller scale example of this is the attempt by the US Army Corps of Engineers to drain the Everglades. Now huge amounts of money are being invested trying to fix what was done. And this is minor compared to the implications of trying to modify, one way or the other, the global climate.

    It's good to clean up our environment and be good stewards of it, but at the same time, we can't halt industrial progress, nor should we. What happens if, a hundred years down the road, we discover global warming really was only a natural cycle of the Earth's climate? Now, what happens if current industrialized nations have strangled the ability of their economies to produce goods in an attempt to divert a coming 'disaster' that never materialized?

    Already, punitive regulations and taxes are in place on industry making it very hard to profitably do business in the United States. This is a primary factor behind the outsourcing that people wring their hands over. As I said, behaving responsibly toward the environment is good, but we have to also balance the needs of being an industrialized society and not overreact against a threat we don't really undesrand.
  • No Surprise... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Astin (177479) on Friday April 07, 2006 @01:07PM (#15086244)
    A Chemistry Prof of mine back in the day brought something along these lines up. His argument went something like this (I've shorthanded it for those who don't like to read paragraphs):

    Pollution = Greenhouse Effect
    Greenhouse Effect = Increase in global temperature
    Increase in temperature = More water evaporating
    Vapourous water = Clouds
    More clouds = Less sunlight getting through
    Less sunlight = lower temperature

    The point being that there is a sense of balance in place. Yes, we're messing things up, but there are some checks and balances that lessen the impact. That's not to say we should keep on polluting, but that the situation IS reversible if given time.

    His other big environmental statement was that he'd wish the "Save the Rainforest" people would spend more than 5 seconds looking at their arguments. The fact is (again, according to him) that the rainforests are NOT the "lungs of the Earth." They actually do a small minority of the CO2->O2 conversion compared to what the oceans and seas do. Calcium Carbonate (CaCO3 = Limestone) in the oceans does much more. Plant life in the major bodies of waters (ie.- algae) also is a significant contributor (in relation to rainforests). But there is almost no major coverage of the damage we've done to the oceans through shipping, dumping and other pollution.

    Interestingly, the tie-in between the two lies in the algae and plant life. An increase in temperature can lead to an increase of plant life that can convert the polluting gases into O2... as well as other pollutants.

    The problem isn't necessarily that we're polluting the environment, it's that we're doing it faster than nature can balance it. This used to be due to ignorance, but now it's willful and due to monetary pressures and laziness.

  • by Tekzel (593039) on Friday April 07, 2006 @01:12PM (#15086291)
    While I don't necessarily agree with the original poster's numbers (even verification can be troublesome, since the amount of arable land needed for every person is a an average and an assumption) I do agree with the result. People are insane with the number of anklebiters they are producing. Back in the day, you needed a huge family to run that farm you needed to feed yourselves. These days, all you are doing with 8 kids is putting a burden on the tax payers that don't have kids or only have 1 or 2. Enough is enough people, you dont NEED 8 kids!

    As for liberties and freedoms, ever heard of the bad apple saying? Well, my cousin is a prime example. She can't work (as in has too many kids and daycare would cost more than she is capable of earning) and her boyfriend (I.E. father of the horde) is a shmuck who has the earning potential of a hampster. They just produced their 5th tax black hole. There is NO way in hell they can afford 2 of them, much less the others. So, because their feedoms and liberties are in jeapardy, and we certainly aren't going to let the KIDS starve (it isn't their fault their parents are absolute morons, is it?) we are going to go on and let them reproduce like some rabbits on viagra. What choice do we have? Let them starve or forced sterilization? Neither option is viable, so we just let them go like energizer bunnies. See Spot copulate, copulate Spot, copulate!

    Makes me sick.
  • by onebecoming (965642) on Friday April 07, 2006 @01:14PM (#15086313)
    No, we're still evolving just as every living thing is evolving. The difference is that nowadays, our natural habitat includes hospitals, drugs, the built environment, and these are where our environmental pressures come from.

    Nor are humans alone in creating our environment. Beavers build dams. Many wild animals self-medicate with herbs and saps. We haven't stopped evolving any more than have they.
  • by electroniceric (468976) on Friday April 07, 2006 @01:20PM (#15086367)
    I'd say there's a small kernel of truth in the overstated assertion that environmentalists were trying to "destroy industrialization". One of the things that long frustrated me about environmentalism was its Original Sin of Man against Mother Earth mentality (despite the prevalence of pooh-poohing about the same Original Sin meme from Christians). This was the source of a general nostalgia for bucolic pre-industrial life (back to nature), and a general distrust of things industrial. That made a lot of people anti-growth.

    However, as environmentalism has matured (and as a younger generation has taken over), a lot of that has dissipated. Many of us would now say what we want is post-industrialism - a world where industry has been retooled so that sustainable management of inputs, outputs and waste are all part of the business model (rather than only the first two, and without regard to global issues). Industrialization was not only a vastly leap forward for humanity and its quality of life, but was in fact good for much of the environment: before industrialization people burned an awful lot of trees, farmed a lot of land poorly, and relied on massive animal stocks for transportation, and none of this was all that friendly to the earth. Now that we've seen the negative consequences of our current industrial methods, it's time for the next major leap forward. And despite all the propaganda, it's clear that pushing green industry will very quickly drive enormous economic growth and likely help humanity solve persistent problems like global poverty.

    To answer the critics who say "if this is so great why doesn't business do it itself", I have a couple answers. First, as anyone who's worked at a startup or on a new product launch can tell you, markets move incrementally and businesses outpace them at their peril. So to get the market to surge forward, you often need external intervention. Second, much of what's needed is massive capital investment for long-term gain: in research, in infrastructure upgrades, and in capitalizing new technologies. Businesses generally do not have a 20 year mandate to improve infrastructure, whereas the government has exactly this mandate. And yes, the government intervention does makes mistakes, can promote inefficiency, or can produce unintended outcomes. But it almost always gets the market moving in the intended direction, and the mistakes can be cleaned up later.

    If this all sounds a bit breathless, get me a gig at Wired. But I really do believe that investing heavily in this jump will give tremendous results for people, business, and countries.
  • by Syberghost (10557) <syberghostNO@SPAMsyberghost.com> on Friday April 07, 2006 @01:23PM (#15086392) Homepage
    From the article:

    Between the 1950s and 1980s, the amount of solar energy penetrating through the atmosphere to the Earth's surface appeared to be declining, by about 2% per decade.

    then later:

    "During the solar dimming we had really no temperature rise. And only when the solar dimming disappeared could we really see what is going on in terms of the greenhouse effect, and that is only starting in the 1980s."

    Every single time I've ever pointed out the global temperature drop from 1942 to 1975, a number of liberals jump at my throat and claim I'm making it up. Now here's a climatologist making the statement that temperature didn't rise from '50s to the '80s. The liberals will never buy this; that one statement of his invalidates the entire study in their eyes.
  • Re:Change != Worse (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 07, 2006 @01:25PM (#15086420)
    So you're saying if we pollute our waters, destroy cultures, destroy the landscape, and etc. its somehow better?

    Excuse me while I puke.
  • by jmichaelg (148257) on Friday April 07, 2006 @01:28PM (#15086444) Journal

            In the 70s, scientists were absolutely convinced that they'd mastered the complex climate change models, and confidently assured us all that an Ice Age was imminent.

    No they didn't.

    Don't know how old you are hawkfish, but I distinctly remember that they did. The phobia of the 70's was distinctly the other way. I remember my parents arguing about climate cooling at the dinner table. My mother was convinced that an ice age was imminent. My father was very skeptical. The argument revolved around how well science could predict climate. My father was convinced that since he couldn't get accurate weather forecasts, that climate forecasts were even more suspect. Here we are, 35 years later and the same arguments are still playing out.
  • by Maxo-Texas (864189) on Friday April 07, 2006 @01:32PM (#15086482)
    The great plains ( a huge area) were essentially created by huge numbers of buffalo. I would say they have a significant effect on the environment.

    Plants and plankton transformed the bloody atmosphere- so I would say they had a significant effect on the environment.

    Soldier ants had a regular habit of laying waste to huge areas-- so... you get the point.

    Most wildly successful species will reach numbers that impact the environment.
  • by HoneyBeeSpace (724189) on Friday April 07, 2006 @01:44PM (#15086576) Homepage
    If you'd like to run a NASA global climate model yourself, EdGCM [columbia.edu] is a port to Mac or Windows, and wrapped in a GUI so you can point-and-click your own climate simulation.
  • by susano_otter (123650) on Friday April 07, 2006 @01:46PM (#15086601) Homepage
    There's a difference between being "natural" and "sustainable".

    Yes, but the parent post isn't talking about "sustainable", it's talking about "natural".

    The vast majority of natural creatures are also sustainable...

    Which means that some minority of natural creatures are not sustainable. Being in that minority doesn't make humans unnatural. As you make clear, appeals to sustainability are not appeals to nature. And thus objections to unsustainability are not objections to nature.

    Our conclusions are the same: natural creatures are sometimes unsustainable. You should be replying to the parent post, not to me.
  • by belligerent0001 (966585) on Friday April 07, 2006 @01:47PM (#15086616)
    Please refer to my Post regarding global warming of yesterday.
    http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=182378&thresho ld=1&commentsort=0&mode=thread&cid=15076834 [slashdot.org]
    This AGAIN proves my point. Scientist (much like doctors, but thats another arguement) are grasping at straws. One day its global warming, the next its global cooling, then its global warming causes global cooling. They don't know crap, they guess and hypothisize and pounder but they do not know.
    Here are the real facts. Humans, and most species adapt to thier environments or move to better ones. The fact that the global climate is changing means very little in the overall sceme of things. It will change, as it has since the begining of this insignifigant little ball of rubble floating in space.
    Here is another thought...Maybe global warming is caused my asphalt and concrete. So the more roads we build the more heat that is stored during the day. These heat sinks then release the heat during the night which doesn't allow the area to cool properly....oh wait sorry i started to make sense there for a minute....
    There are arguments that Humans change their environment and that we are the only species which does so in a destructive manner...BUUUUZZZZ spin again Vanna lets look at the beaver...they wipe out thousand of acres per year of lumber and grassland. Or how about fire ants that devour acres of woodlands only to move on when it can not longer support the colony.
    Lets try a new approach....lets do nothing and adapt as needs be. Its what we have done since we crawled out of the primortal ooze.
    I am so sick of scientist claiming that they have the answers to everything, and later discovering that thier answers have only caused more or have intentsified problems. The really frustrating part is that a great deal of people actually believe these over educated bastards.

  • by stlhawkeye (868951) on Friday April 07, 2006 @01:52PM (#15086664) Homepage Journal
    reduced air pollution and increased water evaporation appears to be adding to man-made global warming. Burn fossil fuels, you make things worse. Clean up your act, and you make things worse.

    If both polluting and not polluting are correlated to global warming, is it not sensible to investigate whether or not NEITHER is causing global warming, and the correlation is indeed a false correlation? I mean, if A -> B and !A - > B, then one is tempted to conclude that B happens regardless of whether A happens or does not happen. And if that's the case, B is going to happen no matter what A does, which further means that B isn't influenced by A's behavior.

    Now, I'm not so naive as to think that it's really this simple. I've long held that enacting crippling policies to "combat global warming" at this point is silly, and that more research and data collection is necessary before we can even set realistic and helpful goals. When research like this comes out, I feel that it bolsters that stand. But research like this also bears further investigation before we accept it at face value.

  • by cayenne8 (626475) on Friday April 07, 2006 @02:14PM (#15086834) Homepage Journal
    "The real reason the population in the west is still increasing is immegration."

    Well, I'd say a lot of it is due to the ILLEGAL immigrant problem we now have. There is nothing wrong with the legal entry immigrants...that's what this country was built upon. Legal immigrants that moved here and became part of the great 'melting pot' and melded into society.

    We do, however have a large problem with the invasion of the US by the tons of illegals crossing mostly through our southern border...hell, they come over here pregnant just so they can drop a kid in the US to have them as a US citizen. We need to possibly amend the 14th amendment to say that anyone born in the US to at least one parent that is a US citizen or eligible to be a US citizen is a US citizen, if not, they are citizens of the country of origin of the illegal aliens.

    This might help quell the tide of those coming over to have kids here...

    Frankly, if we would just enforce the current laws against hiring illegals...that would dry up the flow of them coming in by a great deal...and decrease the burden caused by them on the school systems...and other entitlement programs...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 07, 2006 @02:19PM (#15086885)
    So your parents were scientists or they got their info from the media?

    If it's the latter, then that is exactly the parent posts point (if you bothered to even glance at the links).

    The media reported an Ice Age was imminent. Peer-reviewed scientific journals did not.

    Contrast that with today, when after a review of 981 ISI science journals, 75% of them were found to either explicitly or implicitly accept that global warming is occuring and that it is the result of human processes.

    None of them were found to support the idea global warming is not occurring or that it is not the result of human processes (see here [sciencemag.org] for details.
  • "The real reason the population in the west is still increasing is immegration."

    Well, I'd say a lot of it is due to the ILLEGAL immigrant problem we now have. There is nothing wrong with the legal entry immigrants...that's what this country was built upon.


    Ah yes, I see... legal immigrants somehow don't increase the population... it all makes perfect sense now...

    Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.........

    I couldn't have put it better myself :)
  • by rseuhs (322520) on Friday April 07, 2006 @02:29PM (#15086982)
    I'm not agreeing to the other poster (his numbers are indeed wrong), however currently the US uses a very high level of argiculture.

    Actually while the output per acre has increased, the output per litre of fertilizer has decreased. That means we push more and more fertilizer into the ground because otherwise nothing would grow anymore because the soil is in pretty bad shape.

    That wouldn't be that much of a problem if fertilizer wouldn't be made out of oil. So yeah, the US is indeed overpopulated after the coming oil problems.

  • by Liam Slider (908600) on Friday April 07, 2006 @02:37PM (#15087058)
    Americans don't typically eat only grain. That's not the problem - it's other forms of food: meat in particular, also vegetables that only grow in small areas of the country. A large amount of the food we eat is imported - even though there's arable land in the Midwest, they can't grow strawberries.

    Rural Illinoisan here to tell you how full of shit you are. Meat is easy, we have factory farms for that, a relative of my raises pigs by the tens of thousands....per facility that he owns, and he owns 6. And he's not the only one around here with such facilities. And chickens and other birds are similarly raised, intensively, in what are basically factories. Beef is a bit different, it's more open, but there's no lack of cattle around here either...it's a big business in fact.

    And what the fuck do you mean we can't grow strawberries? There are more strawberry farms within a short distance of here than you can shake a stick at, apple and peach orchards as well. And vinyards too while we're on the subject, make damn fine wine.

    As for vegetables, there are locally grown vegetables everywhere....but it is true that most large scale commercial production is in certain parts of the country. That's more of a factor of local economics than the condition of the land.

  • by idsofmarch (646389) <pmingramNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Friday April 07, 2006 @03:30PM (#15087534)
    You're assuming that the earth is a kind of oven and will automatically cool down if we stop pushing energy into it. This is simply not true. There are a myriad of delicate balances that could be toppled and cause chain-reactions that we don't entirely understand, we be seeing only the beginnings of that unbalancing, or we may be seeing the precursors. Two degreess is a lot of energy and considering the population went from 1.7 billion to around 5.9 billion in the 20th Century. How much energy will 5.9 billion need?
  • Re:Heh (Score:2, Insightful)

    by kadathseeker (937789) on Friday April 07, 2006 @04:02PM (#15087797) Homepage
    Fuck that, I got your Mid East peace aid package right here!
  • by Valdrax (32670) on Friday April 07, 2006 @04:25PM (#15087989)
    You continue to contradict yourself by using the word "natural" while simultaneously stating that its antonym has no meaning. I personally don't care one way or another whether actions are natural or unnatural -- I just hold that the words should have valid meaning to exist in the language. For natural to have meaning, something must be unnatural, artificial, etc. Pick your own definition of those words if you will, but the way the word is used by the majority of people (which is how language is defined) is to represent the distinction between those things which are man made and those things which are not.

    Incidentally, objects made by other animals are also sometimes considered to be artificial depending on the speaker.

    Because you're right: if we're just another random evolutionary outcome, then we really do have no basis for making ethical judgements. See also: nihilism and Nietzche's Ubermensch.

    I prefer not to. Nihilism is just as much of an intellectual dead-end as solipsism. People who believe strongly in either should simply step aside and let the people who care about the consequences of their actions make decisions.

    The conundrum of man's place in--or out of--nature must be resolved before you can discuss "sane ethical and philosophical system[s]".

    That's what I mean about contradicting yourself. You state that there is nothing that is not natural and then state that it's possible for man to have a place outside of nature. By your definition of "natural," that's impossible for any being except God, and it's arguable that by your definitions even God is natural and cannot be outside nature.

    Anyway, whether things are natural or not is a separate consideration entirely from ethics, and whether or not we are the result of random happenstance over billions of year, divine providence 6000 years ago, or the push of some simulator's button 3 seconds ago is also utterly irrelevant to the condition of being human and living life. Ethics and decisions based on them have to result in the person believing in that they have a stake in some action or they are not sane. Nihilism and solipsism both fail because they ultimately argue that one can never have a stake in any action because they don't matter.
  • by Scrameustache (459504) * on Friday April 07, 2006 @05:09PM (#15088231) Homepage Journal
    this country was built upon. Legal immigrants that moved here and became part of the great 'melting pot' and melded into society.

    There's a few dead indians who would like to have a word with you about that...
    The country was founded on genocide and slavery, simple as that. Stop rose-tinting it in order to soften your xenophobic views.
  • by AoT (107216) on Friday April 07, 2006 @06:39PM (#15088693) Homepage Journal
    Sorry, but it is the educated, not the rich. The rich are, of course, overrepresented in the ranks of the educated. Another important note, education is not intelligence, uneducated people can be intelligent.
  • by Syberghost (10557) <syberghostNO@SPAMsyberghost.com> on Saturday April 08, 2006 @04:32PM (#15092420) Homepage
    Plenty of liberals and conservatives care about the environment.

    All conservatives care about the environment. Only liberals equate belief that global warming is caused by mankind's actions with caring for the environment.

    The fact is, the global warming scare is the latest attempt by the far left to implement their near-genocidal "Earth First" policies to reduce human population by any means necessary.

    If mankind's actions were the primary cause of global warming, the 1942-1975 data wouldn't be a cooling trend, or wouldn't have reversed after that time. That gap proves that global warming is primarily a natural phenomenon, and that there is little we can do about it but learn to live with it. Which we could easily do if we weren't burdoned with this leftist albatross of "reduction of greenhouse gasses" around our economic necks.

    Everybody knows temperatures are rising; conservatives know it's not mankind's fault, it's not a crisis, and it's not something "broken" that ought to be, or even can be, "fixed".

    And you're posting anonymously because you know this too.

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