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Dr. Pepper

It's the End of the World: Climate Collapse

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It snowed across much of south and east Texas last night, a nearly foreign sight.  Even Houston experienced snow.  This morning I see a bunch of social media posts from conservatives using this as their proof that liberals lie as it surely wouldn't snow in south and east texas if the globe were warming. ::headdesk::

I don't know if this is simply part of the conservative mindset where they ignore things, lie to themselves, bend reality or just plain make shit up and so they'll never get it because it doesn't fit their mindset or maybe the science of it is just too confusing to start with so they ignore it and write it off as wrong or a lie.  

 

 

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23 hours ago, Dr. Pepper said:

It snowed across much of south and east Texas last night, a nearly foreign sight.  Even Houston experienced snow.  This morning I see a bunch of social media posts from conservatives using this as their proof that liberals lie as it surely wouldn't snow in south and east texas if the globe were warming. ::headdesk::

I don't know if this is simply part of the conservative mindset where they ignore things, lie to themselves, bend reality or just plain make shit up and so they'll never get it because it doesn't fit their mindset or maybe the science of it is just too confusing to start with so they ignore it and write it off as wrong or a lie. 

I think in general conservatives have a hard time understanding the concept of stochastic variation around a linear trend.

But, hey you know, that probably didn't get covered on Rush Limbaugh, so maybe that's where the confusion comes from.

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9 hours ago, Simon Steele said:

I hadn't heard about carbon capture before--that's really interesting. I figured there'd be smart people working on this. But...yeah, anti-intellectualism in this country is literally murdering us.

As far as I can tell (and I'm no authority on this I just know a couple of people) one of the main challenges is coming up with a system that doesn't itself add to the problem.  In other words, what can we do to get CO2 out of the atmosphere quickly that doesn't also put a lot of CO2 into the atmosphere.  Also CO2 is pretty diffuse within the atmosphere, so if you're at 400 parts per million or something its hard to devise a system to remove something so sparse to begin with in an effective way. 

Anyway, I don't know if a viable solution is realistic in the near future, but there are a lot of people working on this.  

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2 hours ago, Dr. Pepper said:

It snowed across much of south and east Texas last night, a nearly foreign sight.  Even Houston experienced snow.  This morning I see a bunch of social media posts from conservatives using this as their proof that liberals lie as it surely wouldn't snow in south and east texas if the globe were warming. ::headdesk::

I don't know if this is simply part of the conservative mindset where they ignore things, lie to themselves, bend reality or just plain make shit up and so they'll never get it because it doesn't fit their mindset or maybe the science of it is just too confusing to start with so they ignore it and write it off as wrong or a lie.  

 

 

I made a joke about this to my girlfriend last night as our yard got covered in a dusting of snow for the first time since we've lived there, knowing that it is exactly what they'd be saying come morning.  It's all so god damn predictable.  

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Trying not to be too combative given that this view has been put forward in this thread, but I really dislike the 'Oh it's all too late, better just adapt / mitigate' narrative. It's a bit of a cop out which doesn't acknowledge that the severity of climate change is not an all or nothing proposition. It's a sliding scale with the worst case scenario being many times more disastrous than the best. And it allows people to say to themselves 'Oh I don't have to change my lifestyle, it's all inevitable and / or we'll just science or way out of it'.

No. It's on all of us to manage our resources as best we can to keep things sustainable, and it could have a big effect on how easy (or even possible) it is to dig ourselves out of this mess.

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6 hours ago, S John said:

As far as I can tell (and I'm no authority on this I just know a couple of people) one of the main challenges is coming up with a system that doesn't itself add to the problem.  In other words, what can we do to get CO2 out of the atmosphere quickly that doesn't also put a lot of CO2 into the atmosphere.  Also CO2 is pretty diffuse within the atmosphere, so if you're at 400 parts per million or something its hard to devise a system to remove something so sparse to begin with in an effective way. 

Anyway, I don't know if a viable solution is realistic in the near future, but there are a lot of people working on this.  

Compressors driven by renewable energy can easily extract carbon dioxide as it is one of the first gases to freeze out. I have worked with compressed CO2 in all  manner of ways from a refrigerant to a welding gas. CO2 is cheap. 

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9 hours ago, Dr. Pepper said:

It snowed across much of south and east Texas last night, a nearly foreign sight.  Even Houston experienced snow.  This morning I see a bunch of social media posts from conservatives using this as their proof that liberals lie as it surely wouldn't snow in south and east texas if the globe were warming. ::headdesk::

I don't know if this is simply part of the conservative mindset where they ignore things, lie to themselves, bend reality or just plain make shit up and so they'll never get it because it doesn't fit their mindset or maybe the science of it is just too confusing to start with so they ignore it and write it off as wrong or a lie.  

 

 

Inversely, it was in the 50s here in Minneapolis at the beginning of December. 

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5 hours ago, Impmk2 said:

Trying not to be too combative given that this view has been put forward in this thread, but I really dislike the 'Oh it's all too late, better just adapt / mitigate' narrative. It's a bit of a cop out which doesn't acknowledge that the severity of climate change is not an all or nothing proposition. It's a sliding scale with the worst case scenario being many times more disastrous than the best. And it allows people to say to themselves 'Oh I don't have to change my lifestyle, it's all inevitable and / or we'll just science or way out of it'.

No. It's on all of us to manage our resources as best we can to keep things sustainable, and it could have a big effect on how easy (or even possible) it is to dig ourselves out of this mess.

Unless you mean, by changing lifestyle, that people become vegan/vegetarian, then there isn't much to change. Besides, what changes should people make? Stop driving? That's not realistic in our world. The changes that need to be made have to be made on a macro-scale.

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3 hours ago, Simon Steele said:

Unless you mean, by changing lifestyle, that people become vegan/vegetarian, then there isn't much to change. Besides, what changes should people make? Stop driving? That's not realistic in our world. The changes that need to be made have to be made on a macro-scale.

See this simply isn't true, at least as far as my understanding. Yes there are a few big ticket items that people can do to reduce their carbon footprint: Choosing to buy a hybrid / electric / smaller car for example, or taking public transport or cycling when possible. Or putting solar panels on the roof.

Then there's the little things. Hanging clothes outside to dry on sunny days instead of using a dryer, or not filling the kettle full of water to only make 1 cup of coffee. And yes reducing meat intake, you don't need to eat a steak every meal. Things which yeah on a single person scale don't make a huge difference, but when a big portion of the population does it suddenly you've cut emmisions by a significant %. And it's all stuff that doesn't reduce quality of life, mostly it saves money, and hell in the case of eating less meat and getting outside more often may even make people healthier, happier and longer lived.

And yes the correct government policies and subsidies do help, but they're not necessary. Big business (for example) is starting to make the transition to renewables in regardless of government policy, largely for economic reasons.

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Hehe, "there's nothing we can do as individuals" 

"How about going vegan"

"Like I said, there's nothing we can do!"

Anyway, I agree with imp that we should do our best to mitigate the effects, both as individuals and by electing people who might one day do something about the impending doom. But, as far as my understanding goes, we are well and truly fucked. I wish those of us who created the situation (most of us are still alive) would live long enough to suffer the consequences.. That said, knowing Florida elected Trump, only to be under water a couple of decades later is kind of satisfying.

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2 hours ago, Impmk2 said:

Choosing to buy a hybrid / electric / smaller car for example



I don't want to dismiss your original point from this, because overall you're very right that if everyone does little things it'll make a big difference- but it really bothers me this lie that we're being sold that electric and hybrid cars are a solution to the pollution problem. They really are not. Getting the lithium needed from the ground into the battery creates such a huge carbon footprint that one would need to run a single electric/hybrid car for years before you offset it, let alone start making gains, and that's if your battery doesn't wear out and need to be replaced. It is, at best, moving the problem. And because lithium is a rare metal, if we start using battery cars at the same rate we currently use petrol, we're gonna run out of it pretty fast, so it doesn't solve that problem either. Okay, unlike petrol, I believe lithium can be recycled, which will mitigate both problems as there become more batteries available to do so with, but even still, it's a step, not a solution.

What really grinds my gears is Elon Musk actively disparaging what could be the next step, attempts to make viable hydro-electric fuel cells and a network to support them. Also not problem free, but with scope to be much more of a solution than lithium batteries. But they're not cool enough for Musk.

Edited by polishgenius

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One industrial efficiency project can result in enough savings equivalent to say 100k people not driving their cars for a year (potentially). So while it is important for everyone to change their behavior, human nature being what it is it is a tough ask.

About half my time at work is spent on CO2 mitigation efforts, most of it is at the back end involving more efficient processes for manufacturing, reducing food waste through packaging, improvements in building efficiency etc. The trick is to make these solutions more appealing to consumers (unfortunately at cost)

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16 hours ago, Impmk2 said:

Trying not to be too combative given that this view has been put forward in this thread, but I really dislike the 'Oh it's all too late, better just adapt / mitigate' narrative. It's a bit of a cop out which doesn't acknowledge that the severity of climate change is not an all or nothing proposition. It's a sliding scale with the worst case scenario being many times more disastrous than the best. And it allows people to say to themselves 'Oh I don't have to change my lifestyle, it's all inevitable and / or we'll just science or way out of it'.

No. It's on all of us to manage our resources as best we can to keep things sustainable, and it could have a big effect on how easy (or even possible) it is to dig ourselves out of this mess.

Oh yeah sure. Bloody nonsense. I worked in the environmental area when I was a university student 40 years ago and seeing what I saw in the early 70s made me decide not to have children and to not be a conspicuous consumer. 40 fucking years ago the writing was on the wall.

The people who care have been careful about their lifestyle. The people who don't give a shit drive massive gas guzzlers even if they don't need them. I don't begrudge a farmer his truck or a family with 4 kids their SUV. I don't begrudge people who might drive a bigger car because they buy used rather than new. I won't bother listing all the conscious decisions I've made all my life. And people who are having only 1 or 2 children these days are not doing it because they worry about the environment (they'd have none if they did worry that much) but because it's expensive to have children and it would impact their consuming lifestyle. I'm generalizing, there are exceptions, but if you have one kid why the fuck do you need a Escalade to drive?

It's a lot more than just the cars people drive, but it's a handy symbol.

The people who don't give a shit aren't the people who are saying "it's too late". They're not giving a shit because they feel like it's not their problem, that's for someone else to deal with. Or because they don't believe in climate change anyway, more fake news. Everything is the same as it's always been and always will be. Or the scientists will fix it all. The scientists have been telling us what to do for the last 40 years, how the fuck they are going to fix things if people won't listen to them, I have no idea.

In the meantime Greenland, a place covered in glaciers and ice and snow that used to be miles deep in places, is fucking melting. Do you know how much water that is? The estimates I've seen say the ice from Greenland will raise sea levels 3 feet, all by itself. There is no way to stop the melt-off. Let me repeat that. There is no way to stop the melt-off. That fact alone means it's too late. Massive change in the way we treat the environment will possibly stop things from getting worse, but they are not going stop things from getting very bad. Even if the whole world bought into the idea of climate change RIGHT NOW, this very minute, the massive ship that is climate change can't be slowed down, let alone turned around, for at least 50 or 60 years. And we all know the overall percentage of people who believe in climate change is relatively low, and that means changes that are needed won't happen for years and years, decades probably.

So, yeah, time to start recognizing the inevitable.

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8 hours ago, Impmk2 said:

See this simply isn't true, at least as far as my understanding. Yes there are a few big ticket items that people can do to reduce their carbon footprint: Choosing to buy a hybrid / electric / smaller car for example, or taking public transport or cycling when possible. Or putting solar panels on the roof.

Then there's the little things. Hanging clothes outside to dry on sunny days instead of using a dryer, or not filling the kettle full of water to only make 1 cup of coffee. And yes reducing meat intake, you don't need to eat a steak every meal. Things which yeah on a single person scale don't make a huge difference, but when a big portion of the population does it suddenly you've cut emmisions by a significant %. And it's all stuff that doesn't reduce quality of life, mostly it saves money, and hell in the case of eating less meat and getting outside more often may even make people healthier, happier and longer lived.

And yes the correct government policies and subsidies do help, but they're not necessary. Big business (for example) is starting to make the transition to renewables in regardless of government policy, largely for economic reasons.

I'm not against personal changes, I'm just saying, our understanding of impact is generally wrong. I hate this chart because it's from a .org, but it reflects the research I've seen the last year or so as combing through the periodicals for tangentially related topics. 

https://phys.org/news/2017-07-effective-individual-tackle-climate-discussed.html

Recycling is the biggest offender of the appearance of change, and it's a problem because everyone does it and we all think it's great, but it has its issues.

Not having kids, not eating meet, and not driving. That's how we make significant impacts. All three of those are in the Ten Commandments I think and also in the 2nd amendment, so making those changes seems like a difficult battle. For me, this is why I see climate change as a battle of mitigation at this point. The worst offenders, biggest contributors, likely, think the world is coming to an end anyway (religious style), so making changes is moot.

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5 hours ago, polishgenius said:



I don't want to dismiss your original point from this, because overall you're very right that if everyone does little things it'll make a big difference- but it really bothers me this lie that we're being sold that electric and hybrid cars are a solution to the pollution problem. They really are not. Getting the lithium needed from the ground into the battery creates such a huge carbon footprint that one would need to run a single electric/hybrid car for years before you offset it, let alone start making gains, and that's if your battery doesn't wear out and need to be replaced. It is, at best, moving the problem. And because lithium is a rare metal, if we start using battery cars at the same rate we currently use petrol, we're gonna run out of it pretty fast, so it doesn't solve that problem either. Okay, unlike petrol, I believe lithium can be recycled, which will mitigate both problems as there become more batteries available to do so with, but even still, it's a step, not a solution.

What really grinds my gears is Elon Musk actively disparaging what could be the next step, attempts to make viable hydro-electric fuel cells and a network to support them. Also not problem free, but with scope to be much more of a solution than lithium batteries. But they're not cool enough for Musk.

Lithium is primarily gained fro brine pools in the form of a salt, not from the ground. (which means theoretically we could extract lithium from salt water) And one of the reason that it has such a high carbon footprint is that it was never required in significant amount so not a lot of research was done in looking to more efficient ways to process it. There's also that the guy making lithium batteries is also trying to get into space cheap, and lithium is much more common in asteroids.

Also Musk isn't exactly wrong about hydrogen fuel cells, they are much less efficient than lithium batteries and have a much more complex fuel cycle, I'd be very shocked if their carbon foot print wasn't ultimately higher than lithium batteries. There's also the storage issue, hydrogen is incredibly difficult to store. And the tankers needed to bring new fuel to refilling stations would need to be incredibly durable or you've got a huge risk on your hand. Unless you're going to have each refueling station creating their own hydrogen which again would be massively inefficient.

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7 hours ago, Mikael said:

Hehe, "there's nothing we can do as individuals" 

"How about going vegan"

"Like I said, there's nothing we can do!"

Anyway, I agree with imp that we should do our best to mitigate the effects, both as individuals and by electing people who might one day do something about the impending doom. But, as far as my understanding goes, we are well and truly fucked. I wish those of us who created the situation (most of us are still alive) would live long enough to suffer the consequences.. That said, knowing Florida elected Trump, only to be under water a couple of decades later is kind of satisfying.

I would say going vegetarian 70 percent of the time (I'd say vegan, but vegans say you "just can't be vegan sometimes"), is totally worth it for all of us. But then we bogged down in arguments of "you'll be so weak," or "we're not made to eat that way," despite, you know, primates typically eat mostly plant-based diets. I feel like Gorillas' are way stronger than beefed up MMA fighters, but hell, what do I know? Medical doctors will tell you that you've made a mistake if you quit eating meat.

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42 minutes ago, Simon Steele said:

I would say going vegetarian 70 percent of the time (I'd say vegan, but vegans say you "just can't be vegan sometimes"), is totally worth it for all of us. But then we bogged down in arguments of "you'll be so weak," or "we're not made to eat that way," despite, you know, primates typically eat mostly plant-based diets. I feel like Gorillas' are way stronger than beefed up MMA fighters, but hell, what do I know? Medical doctors will tell you that you've made a mistake if you quit eating meat.

This seems a bit wrong to me on both ends. Chimpanzees, who are more closely related to humans than gorillas, do occasionally eat some meat -- but more importantly, the about 13 million years since humans and chimps split from a common ancestor gives us way more than enough time to have possibly evolved to need meat in our diet.

On the other hand, I am not sure it is really the case that one can't be very healthy on a vegetarian diet. It's probably easier to get certain nutrients as a meat eater, but I think with modern nutritional knowledge it should be quite possible to quit eating meat and still be healthy if one is careful. 

Edited by Ormond

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56 minutes ago, TrueMetis said:

Lithium is primarily gained fro brine pools in the form of a salt, not from the ground. (which means theoretically we could extract lithium from salt water) And one of the reason that it has such a high carbon footprint is that it was never required in significant amount so not a lot of research was done in looking to more efficient ways to process it. There's also that the guy making lithium batteries is also trying to get into space cheap, and lithium is much more common in asteroids.

Also Musk isn't exactly wrong about hydrogen fuel cells, they are much less efficient than lithium batteries and have a much more complex fuel cycle, I'd be very shocked if their carbon foot print wasn't ultimately higher than lithium batteries. There's also the storage issue, hydrogen is incredibly difficult to store. And the tankers needed to bring new fuel to refilling stations would need to be incredibly durable or you've got a huge risk on your hand. Unless you're going to have each refueling station creating their own hydrogen which again would be massively inefficient.

Fair enough. You obviously know more about the subject than me (I've only read stuff about how lithium mining is enormously destuctive). It's one of the things I mean about the research needed though: fuel cells right now aren't efficient but given the right research they might be.


 

 

56 minutes ago, Simon Steele said:

I would say going vegetarian 70 percent of the time (I'd say vegan, but vegans say you "just can't be vegan sometimes"), is totally worth it for all of us. But then we bogged down in arguments of "you'll be so weak," or "we're not made to eat that way," despite, you know, primates typically eat mostly plant-based diets. I feel like Gorillas' are way stronger than beefed up MMA fighters, but hell, what do I know? Medical doctors will tell you that you've made a mistake if you quit eating meat.


I feel that 'we need to eat less meat and are perfectly capable of functioning on only a bit of meat a week' is all the argument you need or want. When you start going into the other stuff you're really shooting yourself in the foot, coz if we're talking differences with other primates, there's a very strong possibility that we are less physically strong than gorillas because we are carnivores, or to be more specific, persistence hunters. We, evolutionarily, probably trade strength for stamina: gorillas do not need to.

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It's the energy waste from the high rise buildings and shops that really drives me crazy.  It's 110° on the street, and the stores and huge atrium vestibules of buildings like the Trump SoHo are all open to the street because 1) they think this will bring in customers; 2) because it is literally freezing inside them due to the digital temperature systems.  My own apt. is too hot in winter much of the time -- so I need the a/c windows don't open) because the temperature is set by the real estate owners in offices somewhere else.   This is in local government, city government and federal government buildings, in retail building, apartment buildings, office buildings -- everywhere.  THERE IS NO REASON FOR THIS.  Even with a law instituted not to ventilate the street in summer, nobody pays any attention to it, and do it anyway.

I eat very little meat, I never have owned a car and decided, like some others here, way back in college not to have kids, seeing the writing on the wall.  There were way too many people for the earth to rationally carry even back then.  That's the underlying problem -- way too many people.

 

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