Why renewables can't save the planet

Zak

WFF Supporter
I will not disagree that man kind is affecting climate but to what degree is debatable. The planet has been heating and cooling since it was formed., There is a natural cycle here that we can not change nor most likely modify.

To conserve resources is important and to seek out alternative sources of energy is noble and a good thing. But to think that solar or wind is going to do the job is just dreaming. The wind doesn't always blow at the right speeds and solar only works when there is day light. And what is the environmental costs of storage batteries.

There is always a trade off that needs to be factored into the equation,.

Dave
I'm pretty sure that the environmental cost of storage batteries is less than the environmental cost of obtaining, transporting, and burning oil, gas, and coal.

I disagree with you about the magnitude of man's effect on the climate, but I recognize that there are many people like you who are not going to be convinced by scientists, government agencies, or observed effects. Since conserving resources and developing alternative sources of energy is a good thing whether or not one "believes" in human-caused climate change, my hope is that we can use government to create incentives that encourage conservation and renewable energy. People and businesses that take advantage of those incentives will do better than those that don't, and progress will be made. Carbon cap and trade makes the most sense to me, but I'm sure there are other incentive structures that make sense.
 

girlfisher

Active Member
I will not disagree that man kind is affecting climate but to what degree is debatable. The planet has been heating and cooling since it was formed., There is a natural cycle here that we can not change nor most likely modify.

To conserve resources is important and to seek out alternative sources of energy is noble and a good thing. But to think that solar or wind is going to do the job is just dreaming. The wind doesn't always blow at the right speeds and solar only works when there is day light. And what is the environmental costs of storage batteries.

There is always a trade off that needs to be factored into the equation,.

Dave
"There is a natural cycle here that we can not change nor most likely modify."

While it is undoubtedly true that there are natural cycles and variations in global climate, those who insist that current warming is purely natural — or even mostly natural — have two challenges.

First, they need to identify the mechanism behind this alleged natural cycle. Absent a forcing of some sort, there will be no change in global energy balance. The balance is changing, so natural or otherwise, we need to find this mysterious cause.

Second, they need to come up with an explanation for why a 35% increase in the second most important greenhouse gas does not affect the global temperature. Theory predicts temperature will rise given an enhanced greenhouse effect, so how or why is it not happening?

The mainstream climate science community has provided a well-developed, internally consistent theory that accounts for the effects we are now observing. It provides explanations and makes predictions.

There is no climatological theory in which CO2 does not drive temperature. And natural cycle precedents do not exhibit the same extreme changes we’re now witnessing.


 

Canuck from Kansas

WFF Supporter
I will not disagree that man kind is affecting climate but to what degree is debatable. The planet has been heating and cooling since it was formed., There is a natural cycle here that we can not change nor most likely modify.

...

Dave
That's sort of the whole point, we have modified the natural cycle!! (you admitted as much in your first sentence). Now we need to undo what we have done. How we we do that is for better climatology/engineering minds than mine.

Cheers
 

newfydog

Active Member
The big question in natural vs anthropogenic climate changes is attribution. How much of our recent warming is natural? It is basically unquantifiable, but everyone is entitled to an opinion or guess.

If you ask the people who know the most about short term temperatures, meteorologists, a small majority believe it is more than 50% anthropogenic. (there are all sorts of surveys--A Gallup poll of American Meteorological Society members found 52% believed humans are at least one half of the cause)

If you ask the people who know the most about long term changes, geologists, few than half think man is the primary driver.

The observed warming is well within the magnitude of previous natural fluctuations. It could well be that CO2 is not that strong of a control knob and that the vast majority is natural. At the same time, it could be that the natural world was trending toward a colder planet, and the anthropogenic effects negated all the cooling plus induced warming. The science is not settled and we really don't know the answers. The research into the sensitivity of climate to CO2 has produced a broad range of estimates. Anyone who claims to be able to quantify these numbers with any confidence is basically science denier.

I'm in the less than 50% camp. Sure, there is no way in hell have we altered the world to the extent that we have without some effect. However, in my perspective, the polar ice cap was clear down to New York City very recently, and retreated incredibly fast. The natural fluctuations are terrifyingly powerful.
 

MGTom

Living at the place of many waters
WFF Supporter
The big question in natural vs anthropogenic climate changes is attribution. How much of our recent warming is natural? It is basically unquantifiable, but everyone is entitled to an opinion or guess.

If you ask the people who know the most about short term temperatures, meteorologists, a small majority believe it is more than 50% anthropogenic. (there are all sorts of surveys--A Gallup poll of American Meteorological Society members found 52% believed humans are at least one half of the cause)

If you ask the people who know the most about long term changes, geologists, few than half think man is the primary driver.

The observed warming is well within the magnitude of previous natural fluctuations. It could well be that CO2 is not that strong of a control knob and that the vast majority is natural. At the same time, it could be that the natural world was trending toward a colder planet, and the anthropogenic effects negated all the cooling plus induced warming. The science is not settled and we really don't know the answers. The research into the sensitivity of climate to CO2 has produced a broad range of estimates. Anyone who claims to be able to quantify these numbers with any confidence is basically science denier.

I'm in the less than 50% camp. Sure, there is no way in hell have we altered the world to the extent that we have without some effect. However, in my perspective, the polar ice cap was clear down to New York City very recently, and retreated incredibly fast. The natural fluctuations are terrifyingly powerful.
Pretty good synopsis of what I've been able to discover too. It's going to get warmer during this trend, but that doesn't mean we don't have things to change and fix regardless of the effect. We need a clean place to live to enjoy a certain quality of life, whether it gets hotter or not.
 

girlfisher

Active Member
Your references to Natural causes seem like more of general opinion rather than any real debate substance that was presented earlier.

To say that Meteriologists have more expertise than the 97% consensus among Climate Scientists is once again your opinion but interesting.

The strongest single factor in predicting meteorologists' acceptance of human-caused global warming was their perception of the level of expert consensus on the subject. This result is consistent with previous research finding that people are more likely to accept this reality and support taking climate action if they're aware of the expert climate consensus. Like most people who are not expert in a particular field, most meteorologists also defer to the expert consensus...when they're aware that expert consensus exists. This is precisely why climate contrarians work so hard to deny that the climate consensus is real.

IMHO the percent of meteorologists that conclude that climate change is by and large human-caused probably have more knowledge in the area and realize that Climate and Weather are not the same thing.
 
If you ask the people who know the most about long term changes, geologists, few than half think man is the primary driver.

The observed warming is well within the magnitude of previous natural fluctuations.
I would like to see your data on geologists. I know a whole department of geologists at UW who accept the consensus of climate scientists. Oh, yeah, I guess there are a lot of geologists working for oil companies...

Your latter statement may be correct for the “magnitude” of the climate fluctuation, but is certainly not correct for the rate of change. There are only a couple documented cases in earth history with rates of change similar to what we are experiencing and they were associated with catastrophic change. The rate of warming at the end of the last glacial advance was much slower.
 

Zak

WFF Supporter
The "debate" over climate change reminds me a lot of the debate over whether cigarettes are addictive and cause cancer. On the one hand, there was near unanimous consensus among the experts not working for tobacco companies that cigarettes are addictive and do cause cancer. On the other hand, there were a bunch of tobacco industry funded scientists (often opining well outside their field of expertise) and think tanks saying "the science is inconclusive."

The tobacco companies didn't need to convince anyone they were right, they just had to sow enough doubt to prevent the government from taking effective action. Every day that "the science remains unsettled" was another day they could continue to make obscene profits off of their product without government regulation.

Funny thing, many of the very same scientists, think tanks, and lobbying firms that were carrying water for the tobacco industry are now doing the same thing for the fossil fuel industry.

There was a great movie called "Merchants of Doubt" that came out in 2015 that delved into this. Here's the trailer:
 

Upton O

Blind hog fisherman
The ONLY thing that will divert the cataclysm coming at the earth would be a drastic and relatively quick reduction in the human population expansion rate.
 

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