Global Warming and Skiing

Jonny D

New member
Here's the way our economy works:

You want stuff, people sell it to you.
You and EVERYBODY ELSE want something, and lots of it can be manufactured: it gets sold to you cheap.
You and EVERYBODY ELSE want something, and not much can be manufactured: it gets sold to you expensively.
You don't want stuff: nobody sells it.
Gov tells you you can't have it: you get something as equivalent as you can that you are allowed to have.

Fortunes are made and destroyed by anticipating the needs/ wants of large groups of people.

Legistlation that changes the rules about emissions, even drastically, is going to financially ruin some companies , and it's going to make others very, very rich.

Lets say you're Ford. You're happy that you sell over one million F-150's each year. You're happy that nobody told you your truck needs to get more than X mpg or have Y CO2 emissions., because you don't have to innovate much in 6-8 cyl engines & catalytic converters.

If you're Tesla Motors (teslamotors.com) you've built an electric sports car, but since demand is kind of low, and you're making all of your cars by hand, so their fairly expensive.

The the gov says "TRUCKS must get double the mileage they get now, and half the CO2 emissions. Or you can't sell them"

Ford: Crap, we can't do that. We're toast.

Tesla: "LETS MAKE AN ELECTRIC TRUCK. We're going to make a killing if we can make a truck that will have the range of most normal trucks"
Ford languishes, truck sales slump.
Tesla innovates like crazy, truck sales skyrocket

Ford closes it's truck plant
Tesla makes billions, hires more employees, pays them and they spend money. Economy doesn't suffer.

The "economy is going to suffer" argument is crap. We spend our money on services & goods, and we will continue to spend it on those goods and services.
We're still going to drive cars, they might look different.
We're still going to heat our houses, it just might be from wind & solar power.
We're still going to build houses, they just might be more efficient.
We're still going to work, it just might be with a new skill.

We're still going to ski, it might just be in deeper pow during a longer season (if we do the above).

And I have no desire to cede our sovereignty to a world body out to screw us every chance it has

<flamebait> Sure, the current administration has done a FABULOUS job in it's policies by ignoring international consenus.</flamebait>
 

Patrick

Active member
Great point...

Jonny D":sv8wmas9 said:
<flamebait> Sure, the current administration has done a FABULOUS job in it's policies by ignoring international consenus.</flamebait>

Am pretty sure that my fellow liftlines collegue finger isn't only pointing to the US administration, but to Canadian one also.

So it isn't an anti-US rant, it's a "anti-action on Climat Change" rant. :evil:
 

JimG.

New member
Jonny D":mo05ghp2 said:
We're still going to ski, it might just be in deeper pow during a longer season (if we do the above).

"if we do the above"

What exactly makes you think that if we do the above that anything will change? This is my main beef with political causes du jour...everyone has a solution.

Does it occur to anyone that we may have no control over this process? Are we so sure our contribution to the warming process is the main reason for it? Everyone wants to stop global warming, but nobody can tell me what the consequences might be even if we had the ability to stop it. Does it occur to anyone that we might make things worse for the Earth by trying to stop what is essentially a cyclical and natural process?

Remember folks, climate changes have occurred many times in the past and will continue to do so. There must be a reason for it and we should not mess with these processes before we fully understand what we are doing.

Right now, we don't and everyone is just shooting from the hip.
 

JimG.

New member
Patrick":32iijw99 said:
Great point...

Jonny D":32iijw99 said:
<flamebait> Sure, the current administration has done a FABULOUS job in it's policies by ignoring international consenus.</flamebait>

Am pretty sure that my fellow liftlines collegue finger isn't only pointing to the US administration, but to Canadian one also.

So it isn't an anti-US rant, it's a "anti-action on Climat Change" rant. :evil:

Again with the action on something we don't really know how to act on.

We might act all we want and not change a thing about the warming process. We don't know.

And last time I checked, every industrialized nation on Earth spews CO2 and other pollutants into the atmosphere, not just the US. I've been around the world a bit and I've seen pollution in most of the countries I've visited. Believe me, I never take these theories people have as a shot at the US.

What amazes me is that so many people fear the climate changes we will experience but they won't act on it alone. Everyone needs treaties and agreements and set action plans or laws before they will lift a finger. And to those who feel that changes in technology will change this process, have you considered the pollution that these changes may produce? There is no such thing as a free lunch.

And that my friends is the real issue here.
 

Jonny D

New member
You bet.
I generally don't view this as a "US-only" problem. Certainly Canada has it's fair share of blame here. And it's certainly not a Repulican/Democrat/Liberal/Convservative/NDP/Bloq/Green problem either. All past & present minority, majority administrations north & south of the border have failed to do anything really substatial to this end.

Does it occur to anyone that we may have no control over this process? Are we so sure our contribution to the warming process is the main reason for it? Everyone wants to stop global warming, but nobody can tell me what the consequences might be even if we had the ability to stop it. Does it occur to anyone that we might make things worse for the Earth by trying to stop what is essentially a cyclical and natural process

My point is that we DO have some measure of control over it. You and I have total control with regards the goods we choose to consume.
We can choose to buy recycled stuff.
We can choose to drive less.
We can choose to buy more efficient vehicles.
We can choose to ride bikes to work.
We can ski at resorts that have made eco-friendlyness a priority.
We can choose to keep Paris Hilton out of the news.
(Oh wait, that last one is just a personal vendetta. Forget about it)

I certanly don't want to stop the natural cycle of things. Lets pretend for a moment that over the next hundred years, the temperature would rise 3 degress Naturally, and 1 extra degree because of human activities. I would only like to keep us from raising that last 1 degree. Earth can have it's 3. I don't know if this would be the general opinion of most climatoligists/environmentalists. (To be honest, as a skier, I'd like to keep all 4 degrees from happening, we'd all like a longer winter :D )

"if we do the above"

What exactly makes you think that if we do the above that anything will change?

Typically, when something becomes illegal, less people do it. In this case, it reduction in CO2 is mandated, C02 emissions would drop.

What amazes me is that so many people fear the climate changes we will experience but they won't act on it alone. Everyone needs treaties and agreements and set action plans or laws before they will lift a finger. And to those who feel that changes in technology will change this process, have you considered the pollution that these changes may produce? There is no such thing as a free lunch.

Absolutely. Just madating things won't work. People have to want to work at it themselves. Bottom up is always better than top down.

However, I think one of the (more contentious) points in the GW debate is that we can't wait until "everybody's a beliver". For those that don't to belive it's a human related problem, and wouldn't change their habbits (be it how they commute, how they dispose of waste at the companies they run), they just simply need to be told "you can't do X, Y or Z"

Some people need incentives to act. Most people act on issues they can feel good about, like giving to charity or advocating for whatever, but in the absense of intrinsic motivation, some extrinsic motivation is helpful. Like "cut it out or pay a fine." Won't stop everybody, for sure, but it can help.

(I can see some of this going into a "in a democracy, it's not right for the gov to dictate what you can and can't do, ... freedom... , Geographically appropriate equivalent of the US constitution " so let's stay out of THAT, because we might never recover from a discussion of individual vs collective freedom vs do the legislated thing)

And that my friends is the real issue here.

How to get a free lunch? That would be nice right now, it's past noon & I haven't eaten :lol:
 

Patrick

Active member
JimG.":21rnkaml said:
Does it occur to anyone that we may have no control over this process? Are we so sure our contribution to the warming process is the main reason for it?

Geez, even the US administration finally admited in 2002 that Humans are the main cause of global warming. There isn't many others left that still have doubts about it. Maybe the oil companies and other with interest in inaction. That sounds like the Cigarettes companies doubting the links between smoking and cancer for many years. :roll:

Humans cause global warming, US admits from BBC News

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/2023835.stm

Quote:
The US Government has acknowledged for the first time that man-made pollution is largely to blame for global warming.


JimG.":21rnkaml said:
Everyone wants to stop global warming, but nobody can tell me what the consequences might be even if we had the ability to stop it. Does it occur to anyone that we might make things worse for the Earth by trying to stop what is essentially a cyclical and natural process?

It's not like cutting GHG going to make it worst for the environment? That is like don't stop smoking now, it might make it worst.

JimG.":21rnkaml said:
Remember folks, climate changes have occurred many times in the past and will continue to do so. There must be a reason for it and we should not mess with these processes before we fully understand what we are doing.

The climatologists have been telling us all (public and governments) that what we are going is bad and is contributing for over 20 years now, it's not because it finally started showing up on the radar that it's a problem that wasn't been researched or based on quick assumption.

Climat changes is happening and will continue to happen, the only difference we can make is how bad will it be. :?
 

JimG.

New member
Great to see this topic can be discussed without resorting to partisan politics...you guys are OK in my book.

But you have not convinced me that global warming is largely a result of human activity. Why should I believe that when there is irrefutable evidence that the Earth has undergone such climate changes many times in the past, sometimes at a highly accelerated rate? Yes, there is firm evidence that rapid climate change has occured in the past. How do you explain these warming patterns that occured before humans had even evolved?

I'm not a non-believer when it comes to the climate changes...just don't yet believe humans are the main cause. And I sure as hell don't believe it just because the US government says so!

As I've said before, I do believe we cause some of the warming and I believe we ought to limit and eliminate our contribution. But whether that would stop global warming is not an issue to me because I do not believe it would.

And I'd really like to hear someone address the issue of whether or not it is in our best interests to stop it given the fact it seems to be a naturally occurring cycle. Seems to me we might just have to ride it out and survive as best we can.
 

Tony Crocker

Administrator
Staff member
I'm in general agreement with what JimG stated above.

Let's analyze the implications of JonnyD's economic statements, which in general make sense.

Government regulations need to be carefully designed and not mandate unrealistic technologies.

California tried to mandate zero emission vehicles and the best that could be manufactured at the time were electrics with a real world range of 50-80 miles. You can argue that that's fine for most commutes, but the public would not buy/lease them in sufficient quantity to make mass production practical. Tesla has new battery technology that gets the range up to 200 miles or so, but the car costs 100K and we don't know how much less that would be if production were higher.

The existing mileage standards (higher for cars than trucks) were a leading cause of increased demand and production of SUV's, which were defined as trucks. A good example of a government regulation possibly having the opposite effect from that intended.

Some people (including Crichton) are so pessimistic about poorly designed regulations that they believe the energy problems will take care of themselves in response to the trend of increasing oil prices. I think we can see already that plug-in hybrids are the most promising short-term solution to automotive emissions. The gas engine will assure consumers of a reasoinable driving range, yet the plug-in hybrid is nearly as good as a pure electric for short commutes.

I would like to think that government could implement a sensible program like taxing carbon emissions and/or energy imports, which in effect assigns a monetary value to the undesirable effects, and then let the market determine the most efficient way (conservation, new technologies, etc.) to respond. Trading pollution credits is better than mandating technology but subject to more bureaucracy and potential abuse than a simple emissions tax. I would also favor offsetting income and/or payroll tax reductions for revenue neutrality.

The most difficult political battle over global warming will be about coal. The big energy consumers U.S. and China have abundant domestic supply, and to the extent the world shifts away from oil for cost or political reasons coal is going to look like the cheapest energy substitute. Those of you proudly driving your electrics/hybrids will be consuming mostly coal-based energy.

Anyone who believes that man-caused global warming is a serious issue demanding immediate action should be advocating nuclear power to head off the huge increase in coal power plants now on the drawing board in U.S, India and China. But we all know that among most global warming doomsayers it's not politically correct to favor nuclear power.
 

riverc0il

New member
JimG.":2jyebeis said:
But you have not convinced me that global warming is largely a result of human activity. Why should I believe that when there is irrefutable evidence that the Earth has undergone such climate changes many times in the past, sometimes at a highly accelerated rate? Yes, there is firm evidence that rapid climate change has occured in the past. How do you explain these warming patterns that occured before humans had even evolved?
i finally saw an inconvenient truth this week, took me long enough. there is some amazing data presented. i am a data person... but i am also extremely critical of misuse of data. statistics can be skewed to support almost any argument. so even when i am in a position to want to believe the data, i always look at data with a skeptics eye. many probably have noticed my none stop ranting on the forums around the internet that a single season like this one is NOT a so called "sign" of global warming. total crap. any ways...

some of the graphs presented in the film are mild boggling. one such graph shows historical warming and cooling patterns for several thousand years. there tended to be a typical range that never varied. the graph then expanded past the 1900s and the graph went up at a historically unprecedented rate. another pair of graphs correlated nearly perfectly levels of CO2 in the atmosphere and historical temperature levels. next graph showed recent CO2 levels going through the roof and global temps on the rise. now if that was just recent data, whatev. but the point was that a historical trend of heating and cooling does exist but we are way beyond that pattern and at an unprecedented rate. very eye opening.

i will admit, a few sections of the film were on slightly iffy ground. for the most part, it was quite an eye opener. i can't say i doubt man's influence on the problem, what i leave open to consideration is how fast until crap hits the fan. but even if doomsday in 40 years predictions are not accurate, pretty big roll of the dice to ignore the issue completely. maybe it won't go bust in our lifetimes, but maybe it will. the film certainly made me give some consideration to my long term planning and resource management.

any ways, back to the point, if you believe that this is a historically typical warming period, check out the data.

Tony Crocker":2jyebeis said:
Anyone who believes that man-caused global warming is a serious issue demanding immediate action should be advocating nuclear power to head off the huge increase in coal power plants now on the drawing board in U.S, India and China. But we all know that among most global warming doomsayers it's not politically correct to favor nuclear power.
yea, interesting catch 22, eh? having been on the fence in the recent wind power issue on going in vermont (cal rec had two more proposals turned down in this morning's paper), i gotta say having considered the issues that i'd rather have ugly ridge lines and a renewable resource than the opposite. providing that the economics of scale make the wind farms worth the effort which there seems to be debate on. but same with the nuclear power, i wouldn't call myself an advocate at this point, but i would certainly side myself with those in favor of building more nukes. funny that there is opposition to building nuke plants but we proudly turn on our lights and computers every day using nuke power (many of us at least).

the hybrid issue really REALLY bothers me. after watching the film referenced above, i took a look at hybrid vehicles. with a few exceptions, most hybrids don't top 29-50 MPH with most well under 40. you can get regular economy cars in the 30-40 range (my 99 saturn tops out at 35 MPH on the highway). why would any one bother paying the huge additional price tag for a car that doesn't get any better MPG than a standard economy car? several articles are floating around right now suggesting that even considering high costs of gas, that hybrids don't work out financially in the driver's favor. that is because with exception of cars like the prius and civic hybrid, the MPG ratings are still pretty poor. if you are concerned about "driving green," would you even consider purchasing a SUV? hybrid SUVs, nice touch detroit. :roll: if you are concerned with driving in bad road conditions, subaru legacy gets 30 MPG with AWD!!! lets not forget the honda CRX was getting 60 MPG 20 years ago, we really have not adapted our technology well considering, even with hybrid technology. i think the car world can do better. i would certainly be interested in a fuel efficient car that could double my MPG. car companies are not making those types of cars for some reason.
 

lookn4powder

New member
riverc0il":wlnvwb14 said:
... the hybrid issue really REALLY bothers me. after watching the film referenced above, i took a look at hybrid vehicles. with a few exceptions, most hybrids don't top 29-50 MPH with most well under 40. you can get regular economy cars in the 30-40 range....

Hybrid technology may be the most efficient for urban city use, but other engine designs give better efficiency for long distances. The whole discussion of "best" is moot because conventional auto engines cannot extract much more than 30% of available heat. Some feasible, very unusual designs exist that can pull out ~70% (actually a net of 60% after mechanical losses). They contain about twice as many internal parts as current designs and have complex cylinders (which allow them to to cover more area on the Carnot graph). At today's fuel prices, such engines would offer very attractive lifetime savings. However, companies cannot casually introduce new engine designs, as the development and roll out costs are on the order of $1-2 billion!! Almost none can afford to make such a large bet on market acceptance.

Cheers,
Jeff
 

JimG.

New member
riverc0il":1y4ow0il said:
some of the graphs presented in the film are mild boggling. one such graph shows historical warming and cooling patterns for several thousand years. there tended to be a typical range that never varied. the graph then expanded past the 1900s and the graph went up at a historically unprecedented rate. another pair of graphs correlated nearly perfectly levels of CO2 in the atmosphere and historical temperature levels. next graph showed recent CO2 levels going through the roof and global temps on the rise. now if that was just recent data, whatev. but the point was that a historical trend of heating and cooling does exist but we are way beyond that pattern and at an unprecedented rate. very eye opening.

Did the film elaborate on how this data was collected? Was data from 1900 and before based on measurements taken during those time periods, or was the data measured using modern methods based on core samples from those time periods?

It makes a big difference because even 20-30 years ago instruments were not as sensitive to CO2 levels as they are today. Depending on how the data was collected, the graph could be showing you more a measure of how good modern instruments have become and less a relevant measure of the CO2 levels.

I tend to forget about some of the damage humans have caused outside of the US I'll admit. The Amazon rain forest is a good example. The rate of deforestation there is mind boggling. As I've said before, I do not doubt that humans have caused damage and would never suggest we do nothing to stop that part of it.

I question whether that effort will change the warming pattern significantly. Whether that is a function of nature or human damage is what I'm still unclear about.
 

Tony Crocker

Administrator
Staff member
Neither the pure electric or the current hybrid justify the extra upfront cost to the typical consumer. The plug-in hybrid is a combination of the two and will shove the short commute mileage up to the 100+mpg range. Toyota was willing to subsidize its current hybrid technology, so it's hard to imagine they won't take the next evolutionary step within 5 years or so.

The long term CO2 vs. temperature graphs in Inconvenient Truth show correlation, but do not prove cause and effect. It's a chicken and egg question. If CO2 and temps climbed together 100,000 years ago we know that it wasn't due to man. So either the temps caused the increase in CO2 (probably releasing dissolved CO2 from the ocean) or something else (what???) caused CO2 to increase first.

Precise temperature measurements date from roughly 1880, which coincides with the end of the Little Ice Age.

It's bad enought that global warming advocates won't push nuclear. It's completely hypocritical of them to oppose wind power.

Another example of a short term helpful step that most American environmentalists would oppose is diesel engines, which get 30% better mileage than gas, already make up half of European cars, and are particularly well suited to heavy vehicles like SUV's.
 

Jonny D

New member
Tony Crocker":1fds8p18 said:
...It's completely hypocritical of them to oppose wind power.
Amen!
They can't have thier cake and eat it too. (But I'm biased: I'm a huge proponent of windpower.)

Tony Crocker":1fds8p18 said:
Another example of a short term helpful step that most American environmentalists would oppose is diesel engines, which get 30% better mileage than gas, already make up half of European cars, and are particularly well suited to heavy vehicles like SUV's.

Agreed. I see why people are opposed to them, since most of their exposure is the sooty, belching transport tucks and local buses, but VW has been making (what I judge to be) reasonably clean diesel cars for a while.
In toronto, the TTC (toronto transit comission) just bought a bunch of Diesel-Electric Buses. The diesel generator charges the batteries, and the bus always runs on electricity. They are WAY less noisy, way less smelly, and emit 36% less CO2 than their all diesel counterparts. And I never feel like we might not make it up a hill when the bus is fully loaded.

I will also add that I like the sound of diesel cars :wink:
 

Patrick

Active member
Tony Crocker":1pt905ba said:
Precise temperature measurements date from roughly 1880, which coincides with the end of the Little Ice Age.
Precise on the day measurement yes, however there's a way of studying past climat and temperature variations.

Tony Crocker":1pt905ba said:
It's bad enought that global warming advocates won't push nuclear. It's completely hypocritical of them to oppose wind power.

The problem is what do you do about the nuclear waste? It's not your normal waste that you can simply discard.

I'm a 1000% for wind power.
 
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