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Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by zimv20, Feb 21, 2004.
I've been somewhat convinced that Globular Worming is real, although I'm not convinced that Homo Sap hisownself is THE cause. A bit of hubris, seems to me. However, given the changes in some migration patterns and in the timing of "greenup" in the spring of the year in some locales, things seem to be changing for the warmer.
This Pentagon report apparently gives credence to the idea that the Gulf Stream might change its path of flow due to colder waters in the far north from icemelt in the Arctic. And, if that happens, their prognostication could indeed come about as regards Britain and northern Europe. That would have far more effect that merely a rise in average temperatures on the land.
So: "As early as next year widespread flooding by a rise in sea levels will create major upheaval for millions."
I'm a bit dubious as to the timing. There's a tremendous amount of inertia in very-large systems, whether economic, social or physical. I'm not sure this change will occur anywhere near that soon, although I agree it could indeed occur.
That said, I have no doubt as to the report's dire conclusions...
Very interesting, zimv...especially as this story is coming out at the same time.
Sounds like George has some 'splaining to do.
that's where the debate seems to be going. in my mind, it's irrelevant, 'cuz human activity certainly isn't doing anything to improve the situation, regardless of what the 'main' cause is.
if this is a natural cycle, it doesn't mean that it's good for humans. wouldn't it be crazy if humans could sufficiently alter their activities to actually effect a positive change?
Scientists have known this for years...isn't it better to be "safe than sorry"? We're gonna be very sorry if we don't try to do SOMETHING. Bush's outright dismissal of Kyoto was rather horrifying and outrageous in its own right.
Were the primary effect of the warming just the rise in average temperatures, it would have the beneficial effect of increasing the crop yields in Canada, Russia and the northern US. Maybeso China as well. (Remember that it's hypothesized that the daily highs won't be all that much greater; a degree or two. The nighttime lows won't drop as much as at present, which is where the main increase in the average temperature would come from.
This change in the Gulf Stream is a fairly recent conclusion from the folks at Woods Hole.
Mav451, the problem with the Kyoto accords--primarily--is that it wouldn't reduce the CO2 output in developing countries. One of the main reasons many of the European nations would suffer less than the U.S. is that they have a far higher percentage of their electricity from nuke plants, and are less reliant on fossil fuels. Further, their much smaller countries require less gasoline for the average citizen's travels than in the U.S., with the resultant smaller amount of CO2 releases.
But not at all surprising. He lives life in the moment, Damn the consequences.
I think the majority of driving is done around-town rather than across country, so size of vehicle/engine has more effect than size of country.
Dump those guzzling V8s
Read the whole thing...
dg, I dunno about this "around town". When you run across articles claiming daily commutes are averaging close to 100 miles per day, you're almost cross-country in Europe. And I very recently drove I-10 from Tallahassee to San Antonio; I was rarely alone on the highway. License plates from all manner of out-of-state places. And if you want "just real busy", try I-75 from Lake City, FL, to Cincinnati, OH--it's wall to wall traffic all the way.
Long before people started harumphing against SUVs, I'd already decided that generally they were bad investments. They're better than the old-time stations wagons, but so are mini-vans.
Trouble is, if you do any sort of hauling or trailer-pulling, you're not gonna find much worthwhile outside the 15 to 20 mpg critters.
I dunno why folks get so upset over SUVs. Seems to me the geriatrics in their RVs are a larger problem, both in terms of fuel and in terms of energy used in production.
Me? I mostly "recycle" cars. I did buy my '85 Toy 4WD pickemup new, but it has some 280,000 on it, now. Just think of the energy not used for the trucks I didn't buy!
I hate SUVs. I can't see around the damn things and the people around here who drive them are crazy. And the only people I've seen who are better drivers are those who live in Northern Michigan. The East Coast is loaded with nutty drivers.
I checked out your link and then followed it to the life after the oil crash link.
Neserk, it's not just SUVs. Looks to me like alot of folks operate with the motto, "Stab it and steer. Hell ain't half full." You watch some sweet young thing in her Honda Accord, mirror turned down while she sucks on her lipstick at 85 mph, and you gotta wonder is anybody home.
I've built 150mph street machinery, and driven 200mph race cars. I'm just really, really glad that I'm old and retired and don't have to be out there at commuter time! My attitude is that there are a lot of incompetent "rolling road blocks" usurping "MY" highway.
It's not SUVs. It's too many people and too many people who won't either stay home or at their office. It's some 40 miles across Houston on I-10, and it's wall-to-wall most anytime of day except that at rush hour it's worse. It's little cars and little trucks and semis as well as full-size sedans and delivery trucks and SUVs.
The SUV thing is just a symbol for people who are bent out of shape from being over crowded. A lot like the Psych Dept experiments with crowding rats. We've done it to ourselves...
Well, the Lincoln Navigator gets about 14 mpg, vs. my Honda, about 30 mpg.
People in the US are free to drive what they choose (within certain restrictions), but I can't see driving a living room around and wasting that much money on gas, myself. (At least the RV'ers only hit the road a few times a year.)
The SUV mfrs have done a superb job of marketing, gotta hand them that. And folks are more than eager to fork their hard-earned over for a high profit-margin vehicle to buy into the myth and convince themselves they're important or successful or whatever.
My next vehicle will hopefully be a hybrid. I don't like where most of my gas money goes anyway.
I wish Congress would repeal the SUV tax break. Why am I paying more taxes so people can buy these things? Is it anything but a subsidy to GM and Ford?
And gov'ts are negligent in not fixing this idling traffic waste. Time the signals. Fix the interchanges. Arrest those who refuse to move movable accident vehicles off the road.
Instead, we sit, and we and our cars fume...
I ask my fellow Republicans, whatever happened to "waste not, want not"?
I'm not one of your fellow Republicans, but I hope you don't mind if I venture an answer this question: It got replaced with "conspicuous consumption."
Seriously, my operating theory of American consumerism today is that people don't think they're really living unless they're consuming more stuff and taking up more space then the next guy. It's a race towards large, in everything from soft drinks to bathrooms.
Don't get me wrong, I haven't taken an oath of poverty, but I try not to "buy" into hype. If something's worth the money, and will improve my life enough to justify the cost, and its method of production is not objectionable to me, then I will try to buy it. I'm not going to buy something just because some commercial or trendy magazine says you're a loser if you don't. Kinda outgrew that line of thinking by age 10...
I don't know if I buy global warming yet, but why should I waste gas? Does it not cost money? Likewise, why should I not recycle? Is it truly cheaper to bury stuff in the long run? Shouldn't somebody worry about the long run? Why should resources be wasted?
Ah the old SUV rants...
I read not too long ago where they were comparing perceived safety versus actual safety and the results were pretty interesting. The Cadillac escalade had a 35% chance of a serious leg, chest, or head injury in a 35mph crash whereas the Ford Windstar (comparable interior dimensions) had a 1-3% chance of those same injuries in the same crash. The Cadilac rated much higher in the percieved safety however, and so people who wanted the "safe" car were more likely to choose the Cadilac.
My answer to the SUV overpopulation in urban areas? Go to the parking garages with low ceilings and raise the warning signs, and then go to the high ceiling garages and lower the warning signs down to sub SUV height.
Folks been griping about "consumerism" for several decades. "Keeping up with the Joneses" isn't exactly a newly-coined phrase.
So how do you wean people away from multitudes of duplicates around the house? How do you persuade people to save instead of spend? How do you convince folks that they ought to read the various consumer reports about actual safety vs. perceived--whether cars or anything else?
One question I've been mumbling to myself about for a long time is that of a future wherein people do start making wiser economic choices, and what it would mean to the overall economy. That is, we're some 2/3 "consumerism" and under 30% actual production--as in making things. Tie that to such things as the Kyoto accords, and what happoens to voting patterns as unemployment spreads? 'Cause, folks, it sure will spread. Energy use = jobs and money, and I really don't think wind-generators are the answer.
Environmentalists are fond of the saying, "Everything is tied to everything else." Yeah, true. But the environment is also inextricably tied to economics as well...
first off, to diminish consumerism...stop watching t.v. viewing hours are directly related to spending habits. ( read " Affluenza"...a book based on the pbs series)
and as far as the lost jobs due to lower consumption...the happy medium is for people to work less hours, make proportionately less money but have more time for themselves and their families.
somehow consumption turned into an olympic sport.
Another thing gov't should be doing is enforcing the speed limit (gasp!). That would cut down on gasoline use, and hopefully the increase in traffic fine revenue would help the coffers. Also, more taxpayers live longer.
Gov't could also do more to encourage personal savings. I don't think it really wants to, however, since lots of cash flying around is better for manufacturers and gov't tax revenues. Plus, if people spend now and don't save for retirement, that only helps gov't grow to fill that need.
Hopefully technology will step in and help cut energy demands (much to the utility companies' horror). LED traffic signals today, superconducting electrical wires tomorrow... Boy, they'll hate that.
Yes, you're right, consumerism has been with us for a long time, and will probably be with us well into the future. But what I'm reporting is a new kind of consumerism that notches up "keeping up with the Joneses" to another level of absurdity: "taking up more space and using more resources than the Joneses." This seems like a new phenomenon to me. When did deliberate wastefulness turn into a virtue?
It isn't just individuals, gov'ts get in on the act too. Right now Georgia is fighting Alabama and Florida over water "rights". Not enough water, too many consumers. Everyone thinks their area has the right to keep growing, who cares about the other areas? Same with landfills, the cities send it out to the rural areas, which don't have the political power to fight it. No one cares about what's right or fair, only politics and money matter.
When I go looking at trucks at the dealers, I feel like I'm going to hear "Can I super-size that for only $10,000 for you?" from the salespeople.
That's right, we need super-sized trucks for our super-sized bodies. Bigger is always better, right?
Re: 2jaded's "It isn't just individuals, gov'ts get in on the act too. Right now Georgia is fighting Alabama and Florida over water "rights". Not enough water, too many consumers. Everyone thinks their area has the right to keep growing, who cares about the other areas?"
It's not that there's any notion of a right to grow. It's people of a growing population moving into an area for either jobs or retirement. I mentioned in another thread that a problem with some eight milion or more illegal immigrants that it meant stressing the resource base--which includes water. The water war to which you refer comes about due to the growth of Chattanooga and Birmingham, as well as Atlanta and it environs.
For all that the early developers of the LA Basin were far-sghted as to future needs, the fact remains that they lobbied Congress and essentially stole that Colorado River water on which they depend. The later developers were a large part of the lobbying force which led to the California Aqueduct bringing Feather River water through the Central Valley and on into LA. The SF Bay area has done its share of depriving more eastern residents of water, as well.
And there's Phoenix and Tucson and the CAP. Nothing like federal subsidies...
New Mexico gloms on to more than its adjudicated share of the Rio Grande, and then northern Mexico "steals" from the lower Rio Grande Valley--and folks on both sides of the river suffer.
Too many people, too many demands.
"Same with landfills, the cities send it out to the rural areas, which don't have the political power to fight it. No one cares about what's right or fair, only politics and money matter."
It seems that the money offered by cities is an adequate inducement for landfills in rural areas. The landowners are rather well paid. And, what's the alternative? Take high-value land in a city off the tax rolls, for a landfill? Which is better to cover, land worth some $250,000 to $500,000 an acre, or land worth $3,000 to $5,000 an acre?