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Global Weather Changes

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Global weather change is a topic very close to my heart, since I truly have a deep love and appreciation of nature, and the species that inhabit our world including our species and our future. I’ve been noticing some changes that are starting to raise alarm bells for me, and I am wondering if anyone else here shares my fears, or just thinks I am completely paranoid Smile

Here are a few observations from the last year or so:

1- Typhoon Haiyan:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Typhoon_Haiyan
was one of the strongest tropical cyclones ever recorded.
2- Balkans flooding:
http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/05/18/313711721/worst-floods-in-a-century-kill-at-least-24-in-the-balkans
“The unrelenting rain in the Balkans has caused the worst flooding since records began being kept.”
3- California Drought:
http://www.contracostatimes.com/news/ci_26191181/california-drought-water-cops-being-hired-by-bay
and
http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-california-drought-worsen-20140718-story.html
4- India Riots sparked by heat wave:
http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/india-riots-sparked-by-heat-wave-power-outages-1.2668358
5- Drought in my other homeland of Lebanon:
http://www.irinnews.org/report/100120/lebanon-s-drought-needs-long-term-solutions
6- European heatwave:
http://www.travelmole.com/news_feature.php?id=98346
“The death toll in Europe continues to mount as temperatures soar - but weather experts believe some relief may be on the way at last.”

I am worried that this is just the beginning and that things are only going to get worse going forward. I have a friend who goes to the extreme that most of humanity will perish between 2030-2040 due to famine, lack of drinking water and severe weather changes, and that the remaining “survivors” will have a pretty tough time. Hell there is a scientist who believes that humanity will be EXTINCT by 2030:

Just wondering about everyone’s experiences where they live and if they have any thoughts or opinions on the matter.

 

     

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SoccerDude28 - 22 July 2014 02:04 PM

Global weather change is a topic very close to my heart, since I truly have a deep love and appreciation of nature, and the species that inhabit our world including our species and our future. I’ve been noticing some changes that are starting to raise alarm bells for me, and I am wondering if anyone else here shares my fears, or just thinks I am completely paranoid Smile

Anyone not noticing these changes has his head in the sand. Or is a Republican. Or both. You’re not paranoid, this IS happening, and unless we start doing something on a global scale soon, it’ll become almost unstoppable.

I am worried that this is just the beginning and that things are only going to get worse going forward.

I’d say you’re absolutely right.

I have a friend who goes to the extreme that most of humanity will perish between 2030-2040 due to famine, lack of drinking water and severe weather changes, and that the remaining “survivors” will have a pretty tough time. Hell there is a scientist who believes that humanity will be EXTINCT by 2030:

That’s going overboard with the doom predictions, though. Extinct by 2030? Don’t make me laugh.
If in the worst case scenario, a couple of billion people perish through famine and lack of drinking water, the problem will mostly take care of itself, as such a population drop will certainly lead to an equal drop in CO2 exhaust. That will then result in a certain workable equilibrium…

There is a problem, and we need to solve it quickly or times will get rough. But it’s not an extinction level event…

     

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TimovieMan - 22 July 2014 03:57 PM

That’s going overboard with the doom predictions, though. Extinct by 2030? Don’t make me laugh.
If in the worst case scenario, a couple of billion people perish through famine and lack of drinking water, the problem will mostly take care of itself, as such a population drop will certainly lead to an equal drop in CO2 exhaust. That will then result in a certain workable equilibrium…

There is a problem, and we need to solve it quickly or times will get rough. But it’s not an extinction level event…

Yeah, Guy Mcpherson is a doom predictor and he is the extreme pessimistic point of view. Although 2030 is aggressive IMO, he does have some good points about the self reinforcing feedback loops like the ice in the poles melting, causing less reflection of the sun and thus making sea water even warmer. I hope you are right that we can reverse this by just decreasing the number of people, but I think the bigger problem is not the number of people but rather the continuous advance in technology and rely on fossil fuels and coal. If we were 7 billion farmers that rode chariots to our farms, I doubt we would have as severe of global climate changes.

     

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We already have sufficient technology to transfer 100% to renewable energy sources. Of course, we don’t because politics.

     
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SoccerDude28 - 22 July 2014 09:01 PM

Although 2030 is aggressive IMO, he does have some good points about the self reinforcing feedback loops like the ice in the poles melting, causing less reflection of the sun and thus making sea water even warmer. I hope you are right that we can reverse this

Correct me if I’m wrong, but the poles have melted in the past as well, and ice ages have caused half the upper hemisphere to be covered in ice. The planet will survive this just fine. It’s our state that’ll be rougher.
I’m not that convinced that we will be able to reverse things, but on the other hand we’ve advanced well enough technologically to be able to survive, even if it’ll be in an entirely new/changed ecosystem.

SoccerDude28 - 22 July 2014 09:01 PM

but rather the continuous advance in technology and rely on fossil fuels and coal.

Those are finite and running out.


Also, what UPtimist said. Politicians need to act. More solar energy plants, more wind turbines, less exhaust from industry, less paper use (entirely possible in this digital age), less tree cutting, more tree planting, etc. on a global scale.

     

No laptop and no games make Timmy a dull boy…
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No latpop and no games make Timmy a dull boy…
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SoccerDude28 - 22 July 2014 09:01 PM

If we were 7 billion farmers that rode chariots to our farms, I doubt we would have as severe of global climate changes.

If we were 7 billion farmers riding our chariots to out farms, and using good old fashioned oxes to pull the plough, there wouldn’t be enough farmland to feed the 7 billion farmers. The simple truth is that we need modern intensive farming in order to produce enough food for everybody. Besides man’s impact on the climate started before the industrialization and farming in itself has had an impact both locally and globally.

But even if that weren’t the case, it is not technology that is the problem, it is the lack of technology!
Only when renewable energy can beat fossil fuels on price and reliability, and we are all using electric/hydrogen cars, will the emission of greenhouse gasses be reduced significantly. Don’t hold your breath waiting for the politicians to solve this, because they can’t!

     

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Iznogood - 23 July 2014 07:12 AM
SoccerDude28 - 22 July 2014 09:01 PM

If we were 7 billion farmers that rode chariots to our farms, I doubt we would have as severe of global climate changes.

If we were 7 billion farmers riding our chariots to out farms, and using good old fashioned oxes to pull the plough, there wouldn’t be enough farmland to feed the 7 billion farmers. The simple truth is that we need modern intensive farming in order to produce enough food for everybody. Besides man’s impact on the climate started before the industrialization and farming in itself has had an impact both locally and globally.

Which is exactly why there weren’t 7 billion farmers using old fashioned oxes in the last 10000 years. Life was in balance back then when people were farmers. The jump of the population from 1 billion to 7 billion in the last 100 years alone is a good indication of the imbalance introduced by technology.

Iznogood - 23 July 2014 07:12 AM

But even if that weren’t the case, it is not technology that is the problem, it is the lack of technology!
Only when renewable energy can beat fossil fuels on price and reliability, and we are all using electric/hydrogen cars, will the emission of greenhouse gasses be reduced significantly. Don’t hold your breath waiting for the politicians to solve this, because they can’t!

That is ridiculous. It is technology that brought us to where we are today. From the industrial revolution till today, the amount of CO2 in the air has almost doubled due to coal and fossil fuels, factories and cars and planes.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chernobyl_disaster
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fukushima_Daiichi_nuclear_disaster
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chlorofluorocarbon
http://www.oceandefenderhawaii.com/plastic-debris-is-causing-new-rock-formation-in-hawaii/

These are a few examples of what technology has wrought, not to mention the obvious weather changes.

Forgive me if I don’t trust humans or their technology to fix this, since it was that technology that brought us here to begin with.

     

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Iznogood - 23 July 2014 07:12 AM

But even if that weren’t the case, it is not technology that is the problem, it is the lack of technology!
Only when renewable energy can beat fossil fuels on price and reliability, and we are all using electric/hydrogen cars, will the emission of greenhouse gasses be reduced significantly. Don’t hold your breath waiting for the politicians to solve this, because they can’t!

They are already at least extremely competitive. It really is a matter of politics because it’s the huge corporations that keep on (effectively) lobbying against renewables which means that the states don’t invest in the change, and the corporations sure won’t because right now it’s easy money. The cost of building the new facilities isn’t going to go anywhere, but when they’re built, they’d probably be cheaper to keep up, already.

As for global catastrophes, there are also certain sudden scenarios presented as plausible, such as a huge chunk of ice suddenly cracking off the Arctic ice caps, causing a massive Atlantic tsunami, basically wiping out all coastal cities and buildings along the Northern Atlantic (there’s a book I read about that… It’s not as unlikely as it probably sounds). Would also mean nuclear plants would fail, causing levels of radioactivity going through the roof in large areas.

     
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SoccerDude28 - 23 July 2014 12:46 PM

That is ridiculous. It is technology that brought us to where we are today. From the industrial revolution till today, the amount of CO2 in the air has almost doubled due to coal and fossil fuels, factories and cars and planes.

Don’t forget the impact of CO2 emission by cows due to their increased population because of our over-reliance on meat products for food.

UPtimist - 23 July 2014 01:12 PM

As for global catastrophes, there are also certain sudden scenarios presented as plausible, such as a huge chunk of ice suddenly cracking off the Arctic ice caps, causing a massive Atlantic tsunami, basically wiping out all coastal cities and buildings along the Northern Atlantic (there’s a book I read about that… It’s not as unlikely as it probably sounds). Would also mean nuclear plants would fail, causing levels of radioactivity going through the roof in large areas.

It doesn’t even need to be ice from the arctics. One of the volcanic islands in the Canary Islands could cause a megatsunami that would basically wipe out the entire Atlantic coastline. All it takes is an eruption or even an earthquake. There’d be only a six-to-eight hour warning.

     

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Methane from cows passing gas is a huge cause of emissions (not to mention all the secondary emissions from the industry) Tongue I remember there was a visible drop at some point, which was because the amount of cows somewhere had dropped.

There is also a clearly positive effect on nature to be seen from the military campaigns of (if I remember correctly) either Genghis Khan or Hannibal, because they wiped out so many people that nature got back to grow again.

Anyways, I wanted to note the book I mentioned earlier. It’s called “The Sands of Sarasvati” (‘Sarasvatin Hiekkaa’) by Risto Isomäki - it’s originally in Finnish but it has, I believe, been translated. There is also a graphic novelization made under that name that’s also in English:
http://www.forbiddenplanet.co.uk/blog/2008/the-sands-of-sarasvati/
It is a fictional book, but it’s based on proper science - and although it’s an ecological book, it doesn’t at all lecture about it. It also has some fascinating speculations about history and the similarities of mythologies between peoples (especially the myth of the great flood).

     
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SoccerDude28 - 23 July 2014 12:46 PM

Which is exactly why there weren’t 7 billion farmers using old fashioned oxes in the last 10000 years. Life was in balance back then when people were farmers. The jump of the population from 1 billion to 7 billion in the last 100 years alone is a good indication of the imbalance introduced by technology.

So what is your solution, to wipe out 6 billion people so we can get back to nature?

SoccerDude28 - 23 July 2014 12:46 PM

Forgive me if I don’t trust humans or their technology to fix this, since it was that technology that brought us here to begin with.

I guess that is your prerogative, but nothing else is going to fix the problem.

UPtimist - 23 July 2014 01:12 PM

They are already at least extremely competitive. It really is a matter of politics because it’s the huge corporations that keep on (effectively) lobbying against renewables which means that the states don’t invest in the change, and the corporations sure won’t because right now it’s easy money. The cost of building the new facilities isn’t going to go anywhere, but when they’re built, they’d probably be cheaper to keep up, already.

Renewable energy has indeed become more economical competitive in the recent years, which is also the main reason why more and more windmills etc. are being build around the world, and as the technologies continue to mature more and more will be invested into it, simply because it will be financial more viable. And when electrical cars become cheaper and with better batteries, people will also start buying them simply because they are much better and (most likely) cheaper than cars with internal combustion.

Politicians can at best push things a bit in the right direction, but not control this.
Take the USA as an example, Obama can’t take a dump without the right wring press and the republicans criticizing the way he uses the toilet paper, they owe the Chinese an absolutely silly amount of money, and are still building up debt like a ludomania with a no limit credit in a casino, and can’t agree to do anything about it. They are in almost constant election campaign mode with only an approximate 100 days each 4 years without any elections. What do you think will happen if Obama, or for that matter any politician democrat or republican, suggests raising the taxes 7% in order to massively invest in renewable energy?

And it isn’t much better in the rest of the world. I’m not saying that it is ideal I’m just saying that that is how it is, and that even if the politicians really want to do something about Global Warming, they are pretty much powerless to actually do it.

Also pretty much all major changes in the History of Man, has come from new technologies, from bow and arrow and agriculture to the industrialisation and the modern information age, and that progress is not going to stop or wait for the politicians to catch up. A change to renewable energy will happen regardless of the politics, it is only a question of how fast it will happen and how much the sea levels etc. will rise in the meantime.

     

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Iznogood - 23 July 2014 07:04 PM
SoccerDude28 - 23 July 2014 12:46 PM

Which is exactly why there weren’t 7 billion farmers using old fashioned oxes in the last 10000 years. Life was in balance back then when people were farmers. The jump of the population from 1 billion to 7 billion in the last 100 years alone is a good indication of the imbalance introduced by technology.

So what is your solution, to wipe out 6 billion people so we can get back to nature?

I know my answer might not be politically correct, but I suggest limiting child birth globally to at most one child per couple. I personally believe it’s crazy and selfish anyway to introduce children to this kind of environment because they will probably have a pretty tough life ahead of them.

Also I suggest abandoning technology and going back to pre-technology time. If we are lucky, earth will heal itself and we can restore the balance. On the other hand though, if some scientists are correct, even that won’t prevent billions of people being wiped.

     

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Even just two children per couple would be a tremendous benefit. It would mean that the overall population would start to decrease.

You should definitely read some Pentti Linkola Grin

     
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UPtimist - 24 July 2014 03:41 AM

Even just two children per couple would be a tremendous benefit. It would mean that the overall population would start to decrease.

^ This.

One child per couple will lead to a lot of unexplained sudden infant death syndromes with females (as has happened in China), resulting in an unbalanced mostly male society.
Two children per couple would be a great deal better in that regard, and it would also lead to a population drop.

SoccerDude28 - 23 July 2014 09:56 PM

Also I suggest abandoning technology and going back to pre-technology time.

Good luck trying to make anyone abandon luxury. Also, this would mean that anyone that’s sick or injured is out of luck…
Technology has done more good than bad. And we’d need the technology just to keep current levels of food and clean water available. Dropping technology altogether is a death sentence for billions, even without the effects of global warming…

     

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Incidentally, I’m reading Dan Brown’s new novel Inferno, which is exactly about the topic of over population.
The main antagonist is aiming for reducing the worlds population to 4 billion, which would lead to a more stable population relatieve to energy and other material sources.

A new kind of black plague if you will…..

     
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TimovieMan - 24 July 2014 03:56 AM
SoccerDude28 - 23 July 2014 09:56 PM

Also I suggest abandoning technology and going back to pre-technology time.

Good luck trying to make anyone abandon luxury. Also, this would mean that anyone that’s sick or injured is out of luck…
Technology has done more good than bad. And we’d need the technology just to keep current levels of food and clean water available. Dropping technology altogether is a death sentence for billions, even without the effects of global warming…

Yeah I know it is almost impossible at this point to convince people to abandon these luxuries, but I think that is our best chance of survival. There are communities out there who survive with very limited technology even in this age. Amish in the US come to mind. They use no electricity, no cars, and farm everything themselves. Tribal people in the Amazon and other countries are others. As far as sickness, we have dealt with sickness for 10000 years. Back then, we reverted to natural remedies to help us out. It wasn’t until the 20th century in the US where pharmaceuticals decided to wage a war against natural medicine, to increase their bottom line.

Another thing this entails is abandoning globalism, and switching to a local community model just like the Amish, where everyone helps with farm work, chores, animal herding etc…

The alternative is to switch to technology to help us, but I am worried that this is not enough. As much as I love the idea of everyone driving electric cars (hell I even invested in Tesla Tongue), they still have a lot of their own problems. For one, electric cars don’t build themselves. Factories need to build them, and that takes energy. Electric cars require electricity to charge. Now maybe that is much less energy than fuel, but multiply that by 7 billion cars and I’m not sure renewable energy can support that. Also electric car batteries need to be disposed off and these have negative environmental impacts.

Now what about the internet? What would fuel the millions (or billions?) of servers out there? Can renewable energy support all of that? If we revert to nuclear power, that is a disaster waiting to happen, especially with more severe weather conditions like what happened in Japan.

How do we deal with plastic? use paper bags? It is funny because some studies suggest paper bags have a worse environmental footprint
http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303822204577468790467880880

Still, going green to try to help us out is at least trying something rather than the complete inaction of most governments.

     

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