The Great Global Warming Swindle

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by iGav, Mar 14, 2007.

  1. iGav macrumors G3

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    #1
    I meant to take the time to watch this on Channel 4 the other night.

    Looks interesting though, I'm trying to watch it as I work, but I'm thinking I actually need to pay a little more attention, otherwise I'm not going to absorb what they're discussing.

    Watch the Documentary
     
  2. EGT macrumors 68000

    EGT

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    #2
    I missed the start but watched most of it the other night. I don't know what to think of the data they showed, human CO2 contribution not being a factor etc. but so much of what I have read says the opposite, and quite clearly, that we are the major cause. Bit confused by that. :confused:

    The annoying thing though is that I got the impression the program was saying, "If we aren't causing it, then why should it be our problem?" Not one of the scientists/speakers on the show said anything about tackling the problem, which we still have to do be it solar activity, CO2 or whatever!

    Thanks for posting the link, I think I'll have to watch it again with a bit more attention as well.
     
  3. toontra macrumors 6502

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    #3
    One of the scientists on the programme has since said he was badly misquoted (or had his quotes taken out of context) and is pretty dismissive of the whole show. The show's maker justified it by saying Channel 4's brief is to broadcast minority views. That seems to be an admission that this was a deliberate counter to commonly accepted beliefs - almost for the sake of it.
     
  4. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #4
    Staying out of the "Yes, it is!" vs. "No, it isn't!" stuff:

    Reasonable and dispassionate scientists can interpret data differently. The judgement as to the interpretation of computer models can affect one's views.

    And the right or wrong of all this is not subject to the democratic process. If it were, then Galileo was all wrong.

    Where I see a bandwagon approach is the, "We need government programs! We want governmental controls!"

    If we're running out of readily available liquid fuels for transportation, the marketplace will take care of it. It always has. If we thereby change our transportation systems, we automatically reduce CO2 output. If we do it rationally over a decade or two, we don't get into a serious economic downturn that persuades voters to regress to high-CO2-output methods.

    If we add to our electrical supplies via wind, solar and nuclear, we do not add CO2. If these are put in place as fossil-fuelled plants reach the end of their economic lives, we do not add to the problem, but reduce it--and also reduce particulate emissions.

    And if the sea level rises, be smart enough to have already moved inland. That is, if you truly believe in the more worse-case scenarios, why are you living below, say, 20 feet above mean sea level?

    'Rat
     
  5. toontra macrumors 6502

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    #5
    Here's the result of an investigation into the programme. Seems it was full of inaccuracies.
     
  6. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #6
    I won't. Yes, it is real. I say it couldn't hurt to conserve, and that seems to the be the general consensus. It's pretty much a given in the scientific community, and following the money, the only people against it have some sort of vested interest.

    Like Galileo, most of those in the scientific community must be looking at us with confusion, wondering why this is even still being debated when it's obvious what's going on.
     
  7. jayb2000 macrumors 6502a

    jayb2000

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    #7
    Shocked! Shocked I am to find out there is lying going on.

    Is Channel 4 the UK equivalent of Fox News or do they just generally do shoddy work?
     
  8. toontra macrumors 6502

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    #8
    Channel 4 is a relatively small commercial station which receives some public funding on condition that it produces (or commissions) minority interest programmes. The vast majority of it's programmes are made by independent production companies, so Channel 4 can (and often does) answer complaints by saying they didn't actually make the show concerned (though they are still legally responsible for legal infringements).

    When it started 25 years ago it was exciting and fairly adventurous. Today it is pretty much like any other commercial channel - kept afloat by a diet of copy-cat shows, reality, celebrity, shock-doc and soft porn. Recently it's also been involved in legal wrangles over airing racist jibes on Big Brother and scamming viewers with rigged phone-in competitions.

    Sad really, but not as bad as Fox - mind you that's a pretty low hurdle!
     
  9. pseudobrit macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

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    #9
    The marketplace cannot adapt properly when it is being perverted by government subsidies and the conniving of a cartel.

    $3.00 gasoline drastically changed new car buying habits in a very short time. Hybrid sales (though the hybrid is not based on very effective technology) skyrocketed and SUV sales took a dump. Allowing the market to naturally price oil products would raise the price to the level where more voluntary changes could happen. Barring that, perhaps a gasoline "reality tax" reconciling the low price with the high cost could adjust the market properly.
     
  10. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #10
    Well, solvs, there ya go: You're helping to prove my point. Your own biases have you believing one interpretation of the data. And I'm not at all saying you're wrong.

    pseudobrit, no government subsidies can do diddly about the supply/demand for oil. To some extent I object to the use of the word "subsidy", since that commonly means paying out--as opposed to tax breaks. After all, government has no particular right to tax; only the power that's backed up by the threat of violence.

    While OPEC has influence on current prices, the decline in the availability as demands increase means that oil will be priced at what refiners are willing to pay.

    I've seen prognostications that gasoline will hit $3 by May. Odds are, it won't get better through the summer, if $3 does indeed happen. That will influence buying patterns in the car market. Which, again, is why I say the marketplace controls: I remember what happened in the 1970s, with the price increases after the 1973 embargo--and the ensuing shift toward high-mileage cars.

    People start parking SUVs and change toward the various equivalents of Civics or Accords, and demand for gas drops. And CO2 emissions drop. It all takes time, as with any major societal change...

    Back to climate change: Anybody understand the squabble between what might be called the "CO2 people" vs. the "water vapor people"? That is, some say the changes in water vapor in the atmosphere have greater effects on the greenhouse deal than do changes in the CO2 content.

    'Rat
     
  11. Dr.Gargoyle macrumors 65816

    Dr.Gargoyle

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    #11
    The facts are as follows:
    We know that there is a "natural" (read unexplainable) variation of C02 in the atmosphere. We also know that CO2 is a powerful greenhouse gas.
    We can determine how the level of CO2 has changed over millions of years back from ice cores. From this data different theoretical computer models has been created. These models predicts slightly different scenarios.
    However, all models predict we are out-of-path from natural fluctuations.

    We also know for certain that human activities (fossil fuel) has lead to a drastically increased of CO2 in the atmosphere. Human activities has also caused the emission of other much more potent greenhouse gasses (e.g. CFC)

    We know for certain that the average temperature on earth has risen.

    No serious scientist claims knows how the dynamical system determining earths temperature looks like. Therefore it is absolutely madness to ignore the facts we know, since we basically don't know where this will end. We know that there is an extreme lag in effects. First in 50 years we will see the full effect of todays level of greenhouse gasses.

    Claiming market forces will help us is borderline blatant ignorant. This is a serious problem. We are basically like kids playing around in a nuclear power plant, pushing all buttons and turning all dials.
    Hopefully we haven't messed up the system beyond the point where we humans will become extinct because of our ignorance/greed.
     
  12. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    #12
    Reducing the tax rate doesn't seem like a subsidy to you? What about heavily funding highway construction? Maintaining the strategic petroleum reserve? Funding exploration? Picking up the tab for environmental costs?
     
  13. takao macrumors 68040

    takao

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    #13
    well the problem is that increased co2 does increase h2o in the atmosphere as well

    that's the whole problem of the "greenhouse process"
    that's and if pushed too much not being reversable and becoming a runaway process like happen on the venus in the past

    Desertrat the reason why we don't have the time is that we tried the "let the market solve it" 20 years ago and again 10 years ago
    excuse me if i don't want to explain my grand-children 40 years from now why we haven't done anything (like my grandparents can't)

    "better save than sorry" has it's point you know ;)
     
  14. pseudobrit macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

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    #14
    Of course the subsidies affect supply and demand! The fuel is cheaper, which means we're likely to use more of it which means there's likely to be less of it. The subsidies stay in place, making sure as the rest of the world feels the pinch we're significantly insulated from the free world market.

    The government provides and assists easement for private concerns drilling in publicly owned land. We also engage in very expensive political safaris in the Middle East in order to ensure the oil industry maintains access to petroleum. And even if we're just talking tax breaks, that's money other companies and individuals do have to pay.

    I don't know how you can rationalise that away as a non-subsidy just because it's tax money. What's the difference if the government gives them $10,000,000 cash or gives them a $10,000,000 tax break? It means exactly the same thing at the bottom of their ledger sheet.
     
  15. Dr.Gargoyle macrumors 65816

    Dr.Gargoyle

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    #15
    I can't believe we still discuss this matter. Even Bush himself has admitted that there is reason for concern. Just sad that it took him so long to come to that conclusion. One can only wish he had been this informed when he refused to sign the Kyoto treaty.
     
  16. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #16
    Lemme skip the subsidy stuff for now. Look at takao's "...we don't have the time..."

    How fast do you want to do what? And who's to make what changes? Only the U.S.? How about China, whose CO2 output will rival ours by next year?

    At what rate can the U.S. reduce its CO2 output without seriously harming our consumer economy?

    Within the U.S. economy, who bears the burden? The commuter? The airlines? And don't forget the long-haul trucks and the trains that carry frou-frou as well as necessities.

    Our CO2 output is directly connected to our monetary incomes. Think jobs. "It's the economy, stupid!" Remember the 1992 presidential election campaign? Changes in income change the makeup of our government--as in 1992. Call it a Circle of Doom, if you like. Any Draconian edicts to reduce CO2 output within any sort of few-years period will IMO lead to changes in government to people who will get rid of those Draconian edicts in response to public demand.

    One place the marketplace has failed: We've kept building coal-fired generating plants instead of going nuke. That's a lot of CO2 and SO2 we've belched out. But, giant corporations respond to public perceptions. (That's why we have both Civics and Hummers.)

    The marketplace is decentralized, responding to billions of inputs in a variety of time frames. Governmental decision-making insofar as edicts is highly centralized and therefore is prone to unintended consequences. The first is slower but does less harm to individual people during times of drastic change.

    Let's suppose the Great American Consumer quit buying frou-frou and quit wandering about on vacation travel. RVers parked somewhere for lengthier periods and travelled less. Further, that folks quit maxxing out credit cards and started saving. What do you think would happen?

    The U.S. is right at 30% or so of all the economic activity of the whole world.

    I think that the jobless rate would double or triple. Overseas, economies would crash and there'd be food riots in the developing countries. Probably be ethnic clashes, here, about competition for jobs. There'd be an uproar here about the increased taxes for unemployment benefits and welfare. All manner of jingoism in the Congress, what with pandering to various voting blocs.

    I hope I'm wrong...

    'Rat
     
  17. Dr.Gargoyle macrumors 65816

    Dr.Gargoyle

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    #17
    Hmmm, isn't that the same song that was heard when California 30 years ago introduced the worlds hardest auto emission laws. The car industry adapted very fast, and as far as I know it didn't result in any mass unemployment in California.
     
  18. srf4real macrumors 68030

    srf4real

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  19. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #19
    What part of the 16th Amendment do you not understand?
     
  20. carbonmotion macrumors 6502a

    carbonmotion

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    #20
    Oh please, nobody on there was from a reputed institution. For a nickle and a dime you can get a scruppless scientist to say pretty much anything
     
  21. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #21
    mac, the XVI came from an agreement to give the power to the central government. Rights are for people, individually and collectively. Our rights can be delegated as governmental powers, but governments don't have rights.

    carbonmotion, do you deny the pollution of the nickel-mine area? The effects on the environment as detailed? Or the problems in dealing with the hazardous processes and by-products of the manufacture of all batteries of whatever sort? And the problems of safe disposal?

    The article is but a compilation of many well-known problems. They're not insurmountable, but they exist.

    As an unintended consequence of this use of nickel (and others, of course), note that the price per pound has quadrupled in the last very-few years. The old US "nickles" are now worth seven cents, intrinsic value. :)

    'Rat
     
  22. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #22
    Where have I heard that rhetoric before? Oh yes, from those guys who don't believe they need to pay taxes. They usually wind up in jail after making that argument.

    Nevertheless, it is a distinction without meaning. I could just as easily argue that you don't have a right to bear arms, you only have a right not to have them taken away.

    It's a facile argument at best.
     
  23. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #23
    Bias? I didn't used to care about Global Climate Change, didn't think it was as bad as everyone was saying. After being presented with the evidence, I realized it to be a real problem, and just being logical, pumping that much crap into the atmosphere can't be a good thing. How is it bias to look at the facts and figure out something is going on? The only "bias" I see is from people who have ulterior motives:

    Yeah, they're unbiased. :rolleyes: Unlike those greedy scientists rolling in all their money trying to get us to conserve. How dare they.

    There are no more sides 'rat. It's here, it's real, we need to figure out a way to do something. Trying to be "fair" to talking heads talking out of their butts and those who profit from consumption (like the oil companies) just doesn't seem as good of an idea to me as it used to when there actually was some debate.

    We shouldn't, but the people who frame the conversation know they've lost so they've got to make stuff up to make it seem like there's still a debate to be had.

    Evidence be damned, there's profit to be had!
     

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