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Thread: Global warming & geoengineering

  1. #1
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2009
    Location: thiefgold.com

    Global warming & geoengineering

    This week saw the hottest temperature ever recorded in history.

    Clearly, global warming is becoming more and more serious, and the powers that be won't do more than spouting platitudes about 'reducing emissions by X date', almost insinuating that the planet will return to normal by a certain year, to gaslight the masses into thinking they're doing something.

    At this point, I'm 100% in support of drastic geoengineering to fix this. So far, attempts to do this have been blocked, with the pretext that things might get worse if the process was stopped, and the usual 'we shouldn't be messing with the climate'. Yet, we're messing with the climate as we speak, by continuing to pump pollutants into the atmosphere.

    I understand we can't just stop polluting overnight, but it's to a point where even if we did, the planet would continue to warm up for another century or so, on account of all the carbon in the atmosphere. I think at this point, geoengineering is the only way to halt warming.

    PS: I'm against carbon taxes on citizens. It's not up to me or you to give up our hard earned cash to supposedly fix the mess; it's up to politicians to actually do something themselves, instead of watching the world collapse from their air conditioned mansions.

  2. #2
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    Time to trot out this meme.



    A more ominous one says:
    > This is the hottest summer of my life.
    > This will be the coolest summer of the rest of your life.

    Reducing carbon emissions is still orders of magnitude cheaper and more efficient than drastic geoengineering. I haven't researched it very deeply though, so I'm open to hearing out different options.

    A carbon tax isn't "giving up" anything. It's "paying the cost of production", which is a negative externality that needs to be internalized into the market price of goods like any other cost of production. There could be several ways to internalize the costs, a tax, litigation, a social insurance fund, etc. But sooner or later it has to be done in one way or another. The costs have to be paid, and it's either by the producers, consumers, or victims, and the victims are the most innocent.

  3. #3
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2009
    Location: thiefgold.com
    Quote Originally Posted by demagogue View Post
    Reducing carbon emissions is still orders of magnitude cheaper and more efficient than drastic geoengineering.
    Main issue I have is that no one alive today will benefit from that method. If it yields any results on the planet, they'll only be felt in a century or two. and who knows what will happen in the meantime.
    Unless we somehow invent new tech that can clear the atmosphere of all that carbon within a few years.

    Right now, a lot of talk of carbon removal just sounds like environmental tokenism to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by demagogue View Post
    Time to trot out this meme.
    A more ominous one says:
    > This is the hottest summer of my life.
    > This will be the coolest summer of the rest of your life.
    You wanna see ominous?


  4. #4
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Nobody alive today will see the worst effects of global warming either. And none of it is affecting the wealthy and the powerful, who would actually have a chance to make a difference, but are already doomsday prepping and proudly declaring that they will "probably be in charge or at least not a slave". Rishi Sunak, for example, is considering rolling back one of the key climate pledges, according to a leaked memo.
    Last edited by Starker; 6th Jul 2023 at 17:47.

  5. #5
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Location: Canuckistan GWN
    “Blessed is he who plants trees under whose shade he will never sit.”

  6. #6
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2020
    Quote Originally Posted by Azaran View Post
    This week saw the hottest temperature ever recorded in history.At this point, I'm 100% in support of drastic geoengineering to fix this. So far, attempts to do this have been blocked, with the pretext that things might get worse if the process was stopped, and the usual 'we shouldn't be messing with the climate'. Yet, we're messing with the climate as we speak, by continuing to pump pollutants into the atmosphere.
    Yeah, and let's also release some cane toads in Australia to deal with the cane beetle problem.

    That's the issue.

    When you wrote "the pretext that things might get worse if the process was stopped", that seems to include a couple of logical fallacies - a false dichotomy and a strawman argument. First it assumes that the geoengineering will merely "stop" the warming with no other side-effects, and that this is the argument of the opponents. Neither is true.

    To focus on the actual measures ... when people say "drastic" measures they're usually talking about things other than simply scrubbing C02 out of the atmosphere, which would be the simplest and safest means.

    So what are we talking about as drastic? launching a solar shade, or seeding the atmosphere with sulfur dioxide? Both have clear problems that don't really need to be spelled out. The solar shade will reduce photosynthesis as the cost of reducing the temperature, so we could have issues with growing food, and hell, end up lowering the supply of oxygen. And sulfur dioxide is the best and simplest atmospheric coolant, however it has the downside of raining concentrated sulfuric acid. I brought these two up as examples of real proposals but which both have obvious negative side effects.

    We can also do something like seeding more plant life, but this is perilous too:
    https://www.unep.org/news-and-storie...utrient-runoff
    The use of fertilizers in agriculture has increased the productivity of our farms. However, this increase has come with a price. Fertilizers and other chemicals end up in our streams and rivers, and eventually in our oceans. The run-off from these chemicals creates algae blooms that result in dead zones and destroy our corals, fish and mangroves. Watch this video and learn what you can do to help!
    Any attempt to "geoengineer" CO2 levels down by seeding more plant growth would need to be orders of magnitude greater than the amount of fertilizer run-off that's causing havoc with coastal regions already. Sure, the best minds would plan it all out, but could they REALLY model and anticipate everything that could go wrong, when we can't even solve the algal bloom problem that's already been caused inadvertently by our attempts to increase the carrying capacity of plant life (for farming)?

    BTW the real reason we're not building CO2 scrubbers: they cost money, but you could also use that money to pay people not to emit CO2 in the first place (subsidize renewables). The subsidized renewables cost a lot less per unit of CO2 that is prevented vs engineering CO2 scrubbers. People selling the idea of CO2 scrubbers are only doing so to line their own pockets: their arguments have nothing to do with whether it's the most cost-effective method.

    Sure, they could argue that we need to be net-negative to get the CO2 back out of the atmosphere so we need scrubbers, but the fact is that that doesn't make any sense until you've spent the money to reduce emissions everywhere where it's more cost-effective to do that, which is almost all of them. Politically, we're probably never going to agree to spend that much money, so we may never hit the spending levels at which CO2 scrubbers become the next low-hanging fruit.
    Last edited by Cipheron; 7th Jul 2023 at 19:41.

  7. #7
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: The other Derry
    Quote Originally Posted by Azaran View Post
    Main issue I have is that no one alive today will benefit from that method. If it yields any results on the planet, they'll only be felt in a century or two. and who knows what will happen in the meantime.
    I think we know what will happen. The changing climate will change the landscape, displacing people and economic activity, making some places prosper and leaving others for dead, causing waves of migration, resource conflicts and wars. We'll be spending more public money on rebuilding after disasters and resiliency, rather than infrastructure to support economic growth. Also, the goal of returning to 20th century global temperature levels is relevant to those of us who grew up in the 20th century because it's our baseline. To future generations, who are starting off with a warmer baseline, it's going to look arbitrary. By the time atmospheric CO2 does peak, there might not be anyone left around who remembers what the climate was like in the 20th century. The desire to return the Earth to that state will fade with our memories of it, and it will seem like a daft idea to go through climate change again in reverse to revisit the historical climate that humanity enjoyed during industrialization.

    I'm not a fatalist about it. I do want to fight for every degree. But realistically, humanity is in the damage limitation stage and will adapt to a new normal climate. We are never going back.

    I think solar geoengineering should be developed as a tool in case one of those doomsday positive feedback scenarios plays out. But the unpredictable effect on weather patterns is likely to create problems in as many areas as it helps.

  8. #8
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2009
    Location: thiefgold.com
    Quote Originally Posted by heywood View Post
    To future generations, who are starting off with a warmer baseline, it's going to look arbitrary.
    I see that already here. Younger people complaining on how long and cold the winters are, when I grew up on 90's winters that were nearly 2 months longer, far colder and snowier - we'd have 6 feet of snow banks along the sidewalks until April. These days, even when there's a huge storm, most of it melts within 2-3 days.


    Quote Originally Posted by Cipheron View Post
    When you wrote "the pretext that things might get worse if the process was stopped", that seems to include a couple of logical fallacies - a false dichotomy and a strawman argument. First it assumes that the geoengineering will merely "stop" the warming with no other side-effects, and that this is the argument of the opponents. Neither is true.
    The argument was that things might get worse if the geoengineering process is stopped midstream, not the warming itself. Yeah there might be side effects, but will they be worse than the continued surprises we're getting every year on account of warming? That's what we may never know unless we try it

  9. #9
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Location: Canuckistan GWN
    [/Sarcasm]Well thank the stars that this has absolutely nothing to do with too many people making too many demands on the earth, as we decisively established in some other thread...[/sarcasm]

    Meanwhile, at the bottom of a Canadian lake...

    If you are still waiting for the Anthropocene Era, you are seventy years late to the party.


    Because of that, scientists began proposing that the start of the Anthropocene should be marked by evidence of nuclear weapons tests in the 1950s, such as radioactive plutonium, which is detectable worldwide.

    "It's a very clear marker," Waters said.

    But it also coincides with increased burning of fossil fuels, use of industrial fertilizers and other human impacts that leave a clear scientific signal — together called "The Great Acceleration" by environmental historian John McNeill.
    In another sense, even our over estimation of our destructiveness is human hubris. Sure we could lose all the marvellous knowledge we have accrued over the centuries but the world will go on without us. Also our species and its descendants are likely now a permanent fixture in the biosphere, on every continent, having established a resilient body plan, unique cognitive capabilities and, most importantly, highly effective social adaptations.

    Is that falalistic?

  10. #10
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: In the flesh.
    Can it really be any more fatalistic than not doing a damn thing to correct our own behavior in regards to clime shifting? The south will be the new Mexico in the US and nobody will do a damn thing. Nobody will. The idiots here argue with me on just adding solar to the electrical grid. Never mind the fact no fossil fuel energy is subtracted. Addition of solar is a communist plot.

    On the plus side Canada is looking better all the time.

  11. #11
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Location: Canuckistan GWN
    Noooooo... Tocky! We are all godless communists up here and we eat babies. Stay away!

  12. #12
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: In the flesh.
    Mmmmmmmmm... babies.

  13. #13
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: The other Derry

  14. #14
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Location: Canuckistan GWN
    Sorry, Tocky. It's not all baby back ribs here either.

    Canada talks a good green game but Justin Trudeau thought he could buy favour in Alberta, by dropping over five-billion on a rusted out pipeline to ship bitumen from the TAR-SANDS (don't call them OIL-sands you turd eating, stubble jumping fucks). Justin, you brainless twat, there is not enough money in the whole world to redeem the name Trudeau in Oilberta.

    And in my adopted province of British Columbia, our last Premier, John Horgan, wore the green proudly while shilling for fracked natural gas, the above mentioned pipeline and building an enormous hydroelectric damn in the middle of nowhere, on a fucking earthquake fault line. He retired last year and now he works for the coal industry. His old seat hadn't even been filled before he sold out - publicly.

    Even if you vote for green government the crooks and vultures are always waiting.

    I recommend the jalapeno-maple glaze, BTW.

  15. #15
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2001
    Location: OldDark Detox Clinic
    Quote Originally Posted by Nicker View Post
    Canada talks a good green game but Justin Trudeau thought he could buy favour in Alberta, by dropping over five-billion on a rusted out pipeline to ship bitumen from the TAR-SANDS (don't call them OIL-sands you turd eating, stubble jumping fucks).
    Don't even call it that. Call it what it is. It is ripping out a Boreal forest the size of Florida, then planting little saplings. This destroys the environment, and will never grow back properly, ever.

    National Geographic reports " this is the world's most destructive oil operation—and it's growing...", while that sell out Patrick Moore calls it: "the greatest environmental clean-up in history".

  16. #16
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2010
    Location: Post Glacial
    Drastic technology implementation may result in unexpected counter-intuitive results. Reverse feedback may come into play, or an unintended run away cool down.

    I don't think mankind has the ability to pull off such a bone headed move yet, but with the power of AI in a few years or decades we may be able to destroy ourselves yet. Considering we're still alive in the nuke age, maybe cool heads will prevail in the attempt to cool the planet. There are just too many unknown variables,

    I think it's a fools game to try to reverse climate change at this point; however, cleaning up after one's self (i.e CO2 scrubbers) is a good thing. We clean up our own contributions and hope for the best; meanwhile spending our time and resources on protecting our lives and nature as much as we can. I suggest a humble approach, not a satanic "know it all" one.

    Now for the nutty idea : This global climate change is all on purpose. The Earth is getting warmer for the lizard people that come from a star east of Lyra, northwest from Pegasus. We are being prepped for slavery. We will all be eating crickets (actually, they are kind of tasty if fried and properly seasoned). Biden is actually a lizard himself. He loves to eat young children. Num Num Num. Blackface Trudeau will be caught in bed with a 4 year old German Sheppard male who identifies as a fish. Trump is actually the resurrected soul of Phyllis Diller. Never mind she died in 2012 and was contemporary with Trump. Logic doesn't matter here! There're pangolins that need to spread disease via bats and all of this is at stake! Rise up!

    On a serious note, I think it is better to help people prepare for the coming storm, than to spend all energies in preventing a storm 150 years in the future. The future storm is important, yes... but, it is less important that the immediate issues for those effected in the meantime. Just my viewpoint. Other's have different views. We all need to agree on which is the most important. Unfortunately, that results in politics and so it goes to the trash heap.

  17. #17
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: The other Derry
    Quote Originally Posted by bjack View Post
    On a serious note, I think it is better to help people prepare for the coming storm, than to spend all energies in preventing a storm 150 years in the future. The future storm is important, yes... but, it is less important that the immediate issues for those effected in the meantime. Just my viewpoint. Other's have different views. We all need to agree on which is the most important. Unfortunately, that results in politics and so it goes to the trash heap.
    I'm not sure which bush you're beating around. Policies that make the climate better suited for us in the long term also improve the situation in the short term, and vice-versa.

  18. #18
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2010
    Location: Post Glacial
    Examples please.

  19. #19
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: The other Derry
    Examples of what? I literally don't know what you're talking about. What coming storm? What storm 150 years in the future?
    Last edited by heywood; 17th Jul 2023 at 22:05.

  20. #20
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2010
    Location: Post Glacial
    I'm asking what you meant by your last sentence. Long term climate policies that also have improvements in the short term? Examples of these policies that have, or will have, positive impact short term, as well as the long?

  21. #21
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2020
    IDK, if Florida is beset with 6 Cat-5 hurricanes per season and all the resources are spent toughening things up for the short-term storm issues, then that is clearly going to be a much more expensive proposition than getting at the root reason so many mega-storms are hitting you.

    I think a good analogy would be people who are behind on their pay, so they keep getting payday loans, overdrafts and maxing out credit cards, and most of their problem ends up being all the repayments and overdraft fees. That's similar short-term thinking, even though the payday loans solve the immediate problems.

    Things like insurance agencies bailing on people's high-risk properties is causing some people to move away and could cause property prices to fall. That in itself is a corrective for the "too big storms" problem, but instead we'll probably waste a lot of money propping those unsustainable developments up, rather than invest in long term climate solutions.

    There's also the problem of local vs global thinking. Basically, if there's a burglar problem then the "local" solution is to toughen up your house, put bars on all the windows, get a big dog, and pay for private security systems, but the "global" solution is better policing and city infrastructure. That's kind of the same difference between "preparing for the storm" vs "climate change mitigation".
    Last edited by Cipheron; 18th Jul 2023 at 12:23.

  22. #22
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Location: Canuckistan GWN
    Governments love fixing visible problems because the public sees both the cause and the result. There's a fire and someone putting it out. Money well spent!

    Prevention looks like money spent on a problem that's not there.

    For example, in BC, when a homeless person has a medical emergency, like an overdose, and there will be three to five emergency vehicles responding. The whole intervention costs several thousand dollars. But try suggesting we house and feed that person, giving them safe drugs or addiction treatment; that would be an assault on the public purse, even if it is vastly more economical.

  23. #23
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: The other Derry
    Quote Originally Posted by bjack View Post
    I'm asking what you meant by your last sentence. Long term climate policies that also have improvements in the short term? Examples of these policies that have, or will have, positive impact short term, as well as the long?
    OK, here's 5 examples with some quick notes.

    1. Waste reduction and increased recycling
    - Extends life of landfills and avoids costs of making new ones
    - Reduces the cost and pollution of shipping waste
    - Reduces the pollution from incineration
    - Reducing food waste will reduce food costs
    - Also need to stop subsidizing agriculture production we don't need

    2. Change buying habits
    - Limit impulse buying
    - Choose items for the long term
    - Avoid disposable items, items with excessive packaging, etc.
    - Avoid buying trivial, valueless gifts that serve a token purpose
    - This all saves you money, the hassle of disposal, and reduces waste

    The token gifts tradition really gets to me as a parent of school-age kids. Every little plastic toy was responsible for burning some coal in the factory in China, fuel oil in the container ship that brought it here, diesel on the trains and trucks that got it to a warehouse, gasoline getting it to someone's house and to the recipient, and electricity at every stop along the way. Only to be looked at and (maybe) played with for a few minutes. Once it gathers dust it gets thrown into the waste stream and creates more emissions. All for no real joy.

    2. Energy efficiency improvements
    - Any investments we make that reduce our energy consumption immediately reduce our energy bills
    - We all need to start being watt watchers, and we'll need incentives to make that happen
    - Efficiency can be incentivized through the tax code, or if necessary, mandated through product regulation

    3. Energy grid/infrastructure upgrades & expansion
    - Improves resilience to disasters and extreme weather
    - Paves the way for expanding electricity generation and storage at end points
    - Creates jobs and business activity
    - Supports solar deployment industry

    4. Development of renewable electricity generation
    - Reduces the amount of carcinogens raining down on us
    - Helps keep rates down because it increases competition among wholesale suppliers
    - Increasing the diversity of energy sources increases resilience and reduces price shocks
    - Generates jobs, R&D investments, innovation, and a whole lot of spin-off
    - Green energy industries already employ a lot of people and generate a huge amount of economic activity, and what's a bigger growth sector?

    5. Electrification of transportation
    - Reduces exposure to oil price shocks
    - Makes us more energy independent
    - Reduces smog, surface ozone, particulate emissions
    - Improves health
    - Reduces noise pollution

    The other big benefit from reducing GHG emissions right now is that it buys us time to plan, prepare, and invest. It doesn't undo past emissions, but it has an immediate effect on the rate of climate change. Every ton we don't put in today gives us more time.

    Your turn. What are the coming storm and 150 year storm you're referring to? You're implying some sort of tradeoff there, but between what?

  24. #24
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2010
    Location: Post Glacial
    Nice list. I agree mostly to it, but these actions will not have much of an impact on CO2 (especially in the short term - i.e. 10 years) if North America and Europe are the only players.

    As for doing the old "electrify everything" angle. OK. Where does the power come from, if not from coal/oil/gas? Wind? Solar? What about during night time or if the wind is still for even a day? Batteries will take up the slack? Current battery infrastructure cannot even come close to what is needed. I've heard we might be able to power things for about 15 minutes by the end of the decade. Lithium mining is also pretty nasty, as are the processes to get all those precious rare earth metals used in the motors. Where is all the steel for the new power lines coming from? How will it be smelted?

    People in California with Teslas and the like learned the hard way that charging during brown outs is not fun. Neither is A/C going out in heat waves. And speaking of A/C, what are we going to use? Freon is banned. I saw a new fridge today that uses cyclo-pentane instead of a HFC. We now get to have possibly exploding ice boxes. Maybe we'll use ammonia instead, like they did over 100 years ago. Still flammable though.

    Maybe go nuclear? Well that would negate the "less toxic" argument. Nothing like a meltdown that screws up the environment for the next 10K+ years. We could build some pretty safe ones, but I fear the US government would mess it up. And the disposal of waste is a big negative.

    Hydro? Think of the poor salmon! Washington state gets most of their power from dams and some people want to tear them down. To replace them with what? Nothing. We must revert to Amish style living.

    Giant green goo algae pools that can be harvested for oil? They suck up the same CO2 that is emitted when burnt. Carbon neutral. However, we need to reduce overall carbon, not maintain the status quo. A good stop gap measure if it can be done in a large enough scale.

    Still I think we should address "the coming storm" (i.e. issues such as rising sea levels, effects of heat and cold on humans, and changing crop land locations, etc.) by preparing for their coming. We (the USA, Canada, Europe) are not going to stop it. We can reduce green house gas outputs, sure, but the effects will not be huge. Before telling everyone they need to give up their gas powered cars, boats, planes, ovens, stoves, HVAC units, etc. People should move further inland. However, I do find it funny Obama has a place on the water in Fl. I guess he thinks it's going to be around for a while.

    From what I have heard, the effects of our CO2 and other gas emissions will not be really felt for at least 100 years and maybe more. I've heard the temp rise is expected to be about 1 C. Cutting some emissions at the expense of a whole way of life is not going to change current weather patterns and storms. Shutting down the economy by shutting off the oil, gas, coal, wood, etc. will not stop hurricanes from hitting the gulf and eastern seaboard in the next 100 years.

    The USA cut CO2 drastically by switching to natural gas, but that was more than offset by China and India (plus other countries) burning coal. The USA should not castrate itself just so China can have an economic field day.

    Off topic, but actually our 2 biggest problems in the USA at this moment are:
    1. Almost certain war with China in the coming year over Taiwan
    2. The possible loss of the US Dollar as the world currency.

    Either of those things happen and this whole thread is moot. Oh well. Fun to talk about it though.

  25. #25
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Location: Canuckistan GWN
    We must revert to Amish style living.
    The best suggestion you made in that entire, logical fallacy filled post.

    Shutting down the economy by shutting off the oil, gas, coal, wood, etc. will not stop hurricanes from hitting the gulf and eastern seaboard in the next 100 years.
    Where to fucking start? Replacing hydrocarbon as our primary energy source, is not synonymous with shutting down the economy unless you believe in bogey men or demand that others do. Scare tactics much?

    And who the fuck said CO2 mitigation would ELIMINATE hurricanes? Citations please. Make some up if you have to.

    I don't suppose reducing the increase (doubling) of Category 4 and 5 hurricanes would be worth our while, would it. Why bother? Right? I mean if you can't eliminate them altogether, why even try?

    From what I have heard, the effects of our CO2 and other gas emissions will not be really felt for at least 100 years and maybe more.
    Step outside at mid day and say that.

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