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  1. #581  
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray
    However, there is still a leap from consenting to these things and agreeing on what, if anything, we should do about them.

    Can we all agree that the only part of this over which we have any control at all is the human contribution to CO2?
    Yes.


    Can we agree that the conservative thing to do is to aggressively reduce that contribution?
    If by conservative, you mean correct, I'm not sure. As I said earlier, I don't know what the right answer is.


    Can we agree that the only potential down-side to such an undertaking is that it might put a brake on our economy?
    Well, the world's economy. And it's a pretty big downside. On the margin, to you and me, it might mean a small hit to the wallet, perhaps fewer gadgets. To some it may mean unemployment. To their children, no health insurance or no college. If you factor in the developing nations such as China or India, it may mean poverty, disease, and death.


    Can we agree that that is far from certain and that it might even act as a spur to our economy?
    Um, no.
  2. #582  
    Quote Originally Posted by samkim
    I'm not arguing that we should do nothing. I don't claim to know what the right answer is. I just believe that there's a great deal of over-confidence in models.
    Name relevant scientific organisations which state that we should not worry about global warming due to greenhouse gas emissions.
    Scientists have been wrong many times in history. Even in very recent history.
    Name recent examples of importance for the general public.
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)
  3. #583  
    Quote Originally Posted by samkim
    The big bang theory might be wrong. Black holes might not exist. General relativity might be complete nonsense. Does it offend you if I say that?
    No. The life of my children is not affected by whether general relativity is nonsense or not. But if my concerns on global warming due to greenhouse gas emissions are warranted, then this will have negative consequences on their lives (draught, flooding, famine in many places of the world, increased tensions in international conflicts due to increased migration pressure, spread of diseases like dengue fever and malaria because of higher temperatures in northern regions, etc.). Based on the current scientific consensus, my concerns are warranted.
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)
  4. #584  
    Quote Originally Posted by samkim
    Well, the world's economy. And it's a pretty big downside. On the margin, to you and me, it might mean a small hit to the wallet, perhaps fewer gadgets. To some it may mean unemployment. To their children, no health insurance or no college.
    You are from the US, right? Look at the following from the US EPA http://yosemite.epa.gov/oar/globalwa...dividual.html:



    As you can see, the per capita greenhouse gas emissions in the US are more than three times the amount of Switzerland. Yet we have the higher per capita GDP, our unemployment rate is lower, our life expectancy is much higher, our infant mortality rate is lower, everybody has health insurance, etc.

    It is about failed policies: low greenhouse gas emission does not mean bad economy.
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)
  5. #585  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    You are from the US, right? Look at the following from the US EPA http://yosemite.epa.gov/oar/globalwa...dividual.html:



    As you can see, the per capita greenhouse gas emissions in the US are more than three times the amount of Switzerland. Yet we have the higher per capita GDP, our unemployment rate is lower, our life expectancy is much higher, our infant mortality rate is lower, everybody has health insurance, etc.

    It is about failed policies: low greenhouse gas emission does not mean bad economy.
    powerful illustration !

    I had not seen it in that form before
    755P Sprint SERO (upgraded from unlocked GSM 650 on T-Mobile)
  6. #586  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    Originally Posted by samkim
    I'm not arguing that we should do nothing. I don't claim to know what the right answer is. I just believe that there's a great deal of over-confidence in models.
    Name relevant scientific organisations which state that we should not worry about global warming due to greenhouse gas emissions.
    lol Why?
    Scientists have been wrong many times in history. Even in very recent history.
    Name recent examples of importance for the general public.
    I'm not sure why you would even ask such a question. Do you believe that scientists are infallible? Or that scientific consensus is infallible?

    And restricting it to "importance for the general public" is hardly relevant to the test of perfect performance for "scientific organizations." That limits the scope to medicine and a few other fields. I suspect that answering the question you asked would never satisfy you or change your views, but for the benefit of others, here are a couple of big examples:


    Until recently, doctors used to believe that stress and diet caused ulcers. That was the scientific consensus. Medical experts, medical organizations, medical journals, everybody. They had research studies to back them up. Now they know that most ulcers are actually an infectious disease, caused by bacteria. The Nobel Prize in medicine was awarded last year for this discovery.


    Until recently, doctors believed that a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet would reduce heart disease and cancer, and would help with weight loss. That was the scientific consensus. Medical experts, medical organizations, etc. They had medical research studies to back them up. Now they know that the total fat in the diet is not important. The key is the type of fat.
  7. #587  
    One degree in a hundred years...E I E I O
    Well behaved women rarely make history
  8. #588  
    Quote Originally Posted by samkim
    lol Why?
    Until recently, doctors believed that a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet would reduce heart disease and cancer, and would help with weight loss. That was the scientific consensus. Medical experts, medical organizations, etc. They had medical research studies to back them up. Now they know that the total fat in the diet is not important. The key is the type of fat.
    They were so certain that their diet became national policy for a generation. It has had no measureable effect on heart disease but has caused an epidemic of obesity and diabetes. Bad science, even good science that is wrong, when adopted as national policy is likely to have many unintended consequences.

    It is possible that attempts to reduce human output of green house gases could have such effects. Let's risk it.
  9. #589  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    You are from the US, right? Look at the following from the US EPA http://yosemite.epa.gov/oar/globalwa...dividual.html:



    As you can see, the per capita greenhouse gas emissions in the US are more than three times the amount of Switzerland. Yet we have the higher per capita GDP, our unemployment rate is lower, our life expectancy is much higher, our infant mortality rate is lower, everybody has health insurance, etc.

    It is about failed policies: low greenhouse gas emission does not mean bad economy.
    You're right. We should follow the Switzerland model.

    First, we should close down 5/6th of the country. Have everyone move to California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Idaho, and Utah. That will increase our population density six-fold to match Switzerland. The higher population density will reduce our transportation needs, and of course, get our gasoline consumption in line with the Swiss. Considering the mountainous terrain of Switzerland, its actual density is probably much higher, but trying to get more than a six-fold increase in density would probably be unrealistic.

    Next we should build 100 nuclear power plants. We have about 100 today providing only 20% of our energy. To match Switzerland's 5 nuclear plants that provide 40% of its energy, we need to double our efforts.

    You're exactly right; it's about failed policies. I blame Thomas Jefferson for allowing us to expand too quickly, and I blame Reagan and all his successors for giving into environmentalists who are scared of nuclear power.

    I'm all for forced migration and building 100 nuclear power plants. But until we can get that to happen, do you think we can avoid all the real economy-curbing restrictions on greenhouse gases?


    And also, that's a great point about our unemployment rate. We have too many women who want jobs. While 46% of our workers are women, only 40% of the Swiss workforce is composed of women. To keep our women home as well as the Swiss do, we'd have to reduce the number of women working by about 13%. That would get us to full employment and beyond. How do you do it? What incentives/disincentives do you offer to keep women from working? I'd like to write a letter to my congresswoman...
    Last edited by samkim; 05/19/2006 at 12:01 PM.
  10. #590  
    Quote Originally Posted by BARYE
    powerful illustration !

    I had not seen it in that form before
    I agree and it is all about efficiency.

    Incidentally, the Swiss have very good roads but even better railroads. Fifty years ago they made a national policy decision to go with public transit in general and railroads in particular. Their trains are handsome, smooth, quiet, clean, comfortable, frequent, and on-time.
  11.    #591  
    Nicely said, thanks for saving ten minutes out of my day having to respond to another arrogant post from culap.

    Quote Originally Posted by samkim
    You're right. We should follow the Switzerland model.

    First, we should close down 5/6th of the country. Have everyone move to California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Idaho, and Utah. That will increase our population density six-fold to match Switzerland. The higher population density will reduce our transportation needs, and of course, get our gasoline consumption in line with the Swiss. Considering the mountainous terrain of Switzerland, its actual density is probably much higher, but trying to get more than a six-fold increase in density would probably be unrealistic.

    Next we should build 100 nuclear power plants. We have about 100 today providing only 20% of our energy. To match Switzerland's 5 nuclear plants that provide 40% of its energy, we need to double our efforts.

    You're exactly right; it's about failed policies. I blame Thomas Jefferson for allowing us to expand too quickly, and I blame Reagan and all his successors for giving into environmentalists who are scared of nuclear power.

    I'm all for forced migration and building 100 nuclear power plants. But until we can get that to happen, do you think we can avoid all the real economy-curbing restrictions on greenhouse gases?


    And also, that's a great point about our unemployment rate. We have too many women who want jobs. While 46% of our workers are women, only 40% of the Swiss workforce is composed of women. To keep our women home as well as the Swiss do, we'd have to reduce the number of women working by about 13%. That would get us to full employment and beyond. How do you do it? What incentives/disincentives do you offer to keep women from working? I'd like to write a letter to my congresswoman...
  12. #592  
    Quote Originally Posted by samkim
    You're exactly right; it's about failed policies.
    Glad you agree.
    And also, that's a great point about our unemployment rate. We have too many women who want jobs. While 46% of our workers are women, only 40% of the Swiss workforce is composed of women. To keep our women home as well as the Swiss do, we'd have to reduce the number of women working by about 13%. That would get us to full employment and beyond. How do you do it? What incentives/disincentives do you offer to keep women from working? I'd like to write a letter to my congresswoman...
    So what you are saying is our per capita GDP is higher than yours ALTHOUGH our women work less and have more time for shopping, fitness etc. AND we emit only one third of greenhouse gases per capita at the same time? That's great, isn't it? Do you think this could explain why our homicide rate is five times lower?

    Still, your argumentation is flawed from a statistical point of view. From the fact that 46% of the workforce in the US are women and only 40% in Switzerland, you cannot deduce that less Swiss women work than US women. This is because you would also have to take into consideration the number of people working in comparison to the total population... no big deal, the result may still be about the same (which is cool, see above), but nevertheless statistically flawed.

    But why not stay on topic and stick global warming instead of demography?
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)
  13. #593  
    Quote Originally Posted by samkim
    You're right. We should follow the Switzerland model.

    First, we should close down 5/6th of the country. Have everyone move to California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Idaho, and Utah. That will increase our population density six-fold to match Switzerland. The higher population density will reduce our transportation needs, and of course, get our gasoline consumption in line with the Swiss. Considering the mountainous terrain of Switzerland, its actual density is probably much higher, but trying to get more than a six-fold increase in density would probably be unrealistic.
    The population density argument doesn't really work either. "Only" about 1/3 of greedhouse gas emission in the US are due to transportation, so even if you take that out totally, and leave all transport emissions in the case of Switzerland, the per capita emissions would still be twice as high when compared to Switzerland.
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)
  14. #594  
    Hey clulup. While your slapping yourself on the back, do you have any armed guards or army on your border??
    Well behaved women rarely make history
  15. #595  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    So what you are saying is our per capita GDP is higher than yours ALTHOUGH our women work less and have more time for shopping, fitness etc.
    I never said that.
    GDP per capita in the US appears to be significantly higher than in Switzerland when adjusted for PPP.
    http://www.geographyiq.com/ranking/r...arity_dall.htm

    and a primer on purchasing power parity, just in case:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purchasing_power_parity


    That's great, isn't it? Do you think this could explain why our homicide rate is five times lower?
    Some think it's just the weather...
    http://www.psychology.iastate.edu/fa...0-2004/01A.pdf

    Still, your argumentation is flawed from a statistical point of view. From the fact that 46% of the workforce in the US are women and only 40% in Switzerland, you cannot deduce that less Swiss women work than US women. This is because you would also have to take into consideration the number of people working in comparison to the total population... no big deal, the result may still be about the same (which is cool, see above), but nevertheless statistically flawed.
    Um, no. The percentage of the population that is working is about the same in the two countries, at 50%. So not "statistically flawed." Sorry.

    But why not stay on topic and stick global warming instead of demography?
    I agree.
  16. #596  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    The population density argument doesn't really work either. "Only" about 1/3 of greedhouse gas emission in the US are due to transportation, so even if you take that out totally, and leave all transport emissions in the case of Switzerland, the per capita emissions would still be twice as high when compared to Switzerland.
    And the rest of the greenhouse gas emissions comprise oil, gas, and coal, which would be addressed by the nuclear power plants...

    :yawn:
  17. #597  
    Quote Originally Posted by samkim
    And the rest of the greenhouse gas emissions comprise oil, gas, and coal, which would be addressed by the nuclear power plants...

    :yawn:
    Not! Cattle are a major source of methane. The Swiss have a lot of cattle.
  18. #598  
    Quote Originally Posted by clairegrrl
    Hey clulup. While your slapping yourself on the back, do you have any armed guards or army on your border??
    Well, by law, all the Swiss men are armed and trained. However, the purpose is to discourage any prospect of invasion, not to resist trade and commerce. Our southern border is becoming the new Berlin wall but it is not working very well. We think trade is a zero sum game, that any gain to Mexico is a loss to us. We think that we can get rich by impoverishing Mexico. We prefer to make expensive underwear in North Carolina to selling textile mills to Mexico, Guatemala, and Nicaragua, not to mention, China, Vietnam, and Cambodia. But let's not go there; too far off topic.
  19. #599  
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray
    Not! Cattle are a major source of methane. The Swiss have a lot of cattle.
    Sorry. You're right. I made a couple mistakes. I used "greenhouse gas" and CO2 interchangeably. CO2 is the major component of greenhouse gas emissions, about 6/7th, but there are others.

    And fossil fuels (coal, oil, and gas) make up most (>96%) but not all CO2 emissions. And most of that is from burning the fuels.

    Also, I believe the nuclear power percentages are based on source of electricity, not all power consumed by the country. Building nuclear power plants would directly replace coal and natural gas power plants, and could indirectly displace some use of oil and gas in homes and in business.

    The point remains that most of the emissions come from burning fossil fuels for energy - transportation, electricity generation, heat, cooking, etc. And if we're not allowed to swap out fossil fuel plants with nuclear power plants (or force the migration of most of the country), we will never get close to countries like Switzerland on that chart.

    We're going to be limited to "smaller" initiatives like trying to make more efficient cars, finding ways of burning coal more cleanly, reducing emissions from factories, or changing the behavior of millions of Americans. Change can be very expensive. And to state the obvious, making things expensive for business has a lot of negative consequences for jobs, investments, and the economy.
  20. #600  
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray
    Well, by law, all the Swiss men are armed and trained. However, the purpose is to discourage any prospect of invasion, not to resist trade and commerce.
    And I know from reading Dan Brown (Angels & Demons) that the toughest of the Swiss military dress like clowns and get assigned the mission of guarding the Pope. Or something like that.

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