Saturday, March 06, 2010

Comment King

This is perhaps the clearest explanation of Global Climate Change I’ve ever read. The commenter (on New Scientist online) wrote nothing but heavily evidenced and even mathematically proven statements about why we can’t just pretend like we don't have the capacity over time to make this planet completely unsupportive of "our way of life."

10 comment down on a story from the article headlined, Hybrid fusion: the third nuclear option

Still Adding Energy To Its Overload

Fri Mar 05 12:58:35 GMT 2010 by Peter Thomson

Doctor Singmaster, the Earth and it's biosphere is most definitely not a closed system. It is an open system in an equilibrium state, where the inflow of solar energy (insolation) is balanced by the outflow of low frequency infra-red energy being re-radiated from the planet's surface and atmosphere back into space. The temperature of the Earth's surface and atmosphere is the temperature at which equilibrium occurs.

I understand your main concern is heating caused by human release of stored forms of energy, such as fossil fuels and nuclear. But human energy use is only small fraction of the solar heat balance.
The solar energy inflow to Earth is 174 petawatts, balanced at the atmosphere/space boundary by an equal outflow (if it wasn't we'd be heating up very quickly indeed!) Global human consumption of all forms of energy is 15 terawatts. This is less than 0.01% of the total heat flux of the planet.

This human heat does not continuously build up in the atmosphere. The temperature only rises until the infra-red outflow balances the solar inflow plus the generated heat. At 0.01% of total flux, the direct human-induced temperature rise is insignificant.

The real issue is the carbon dioxide that is released into the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels. This 'greenhouse gas' makes the atmosphere look marginally more opaque to low frequncy infra-red, reducing the rate of radiation outflow. This forces the planet to warm up, until the low frequency outflow once more equals the solar flux. Equilibrium is achieved, but at a higher average surface temperature.

Trying to cool the planet by trapping and removing energy from the atmosphere is futile - we can't possibly remove enough heat to make any difference. The real solution is to remove and sequester atmospheric CO2 until the CO2 level falls back to long term levels.
Our future descendents may well thank us if we can capture the carbon from atmospheric CO2, and store it where it is accessible. They might just need to pump it back into the atmosphere in a few thousand years time - to prevent the next Milankovich cycle ice age!

Of course the evidence/proofs are supplied in the comment, but, also of course, it's not a research paper, nor are ur fingers broken. Google what you doubt or are curious about! :) The information is readily available and substantiated and FREE for all to see.

Here're a couple of great places to start.

Real Climate: Climate Science from climate scientists
IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change)

And please do look out for the highly educated who's only excuse for the degree to which they take their disagreements on extraordinarily well documented climate trends appears to be some slight they received from the, truthfully as the unavoidability of rain in monsoon season, the all too human element of other scientists. There are some folks who claim to compare data, right up to the point where someone tries to compare RELEVANT data.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Coming Out of Manic Mode

Not sure if this is gonna help me come down easier, but it strikes a chord so sweet and true I've wanted to post it all day.

If I may be so bold as to add to Goethe's insight; and punishment does squat of any positive value whatsoever.

Last Friday I got home and read this article on Complexity and Collapse*and, thoughout the entire essay, my brain was bubbling with ideas which I couldn't slow down enough to write. {sigh} but lol! Oy! Sometimes I get it down, and sometimes I just have to let it go, believing I've thought such ways before and know the material fairly well so will indeed get it out when I'm more level headed.

'Tany rate, Happy Friday and it's off to the weekend!


* Alas! that a subscription is required for online reading, but perhaps some stray click-by reader will have one. Truly a great and insightful article, so to any interested, pick up the March/April 2010 issue of Foreign Affairs. It's the first of the essays and follows directly upon Kenneth Roth's, slightly over critical IMO, commentary on Pres-O's approach to Human Rights to date. Well worth the read.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Pinch Those Pennies, Ma & Pa Farmers

But you are A) not alone and B) not to be among the first wave of new EPA regulations of livestock effluents. At least not if the Obama Admin can get this one right.

As does any other lover of burgers and steak and 'dogs (Oh Yum!) I don't for a minute enjoy the idea of paying $15 for grocery store sirloin. Nor $5 + for an 8 pack of pure beef wieners. I don't buy chicken frequently enough (ever?) to know the cost of a package of poultry fit for a family, but I do know that it doesn't matter a bit whether or not I ever visit the Chesapeake Bay, Gulf of Mexico or any other recently enormously expanded Dead Zones in one of our nation's waterways. I do know that I, and everyone single person in these United States of America, is going to pay for dealing with those diminutions of said waterways by virtue of the higher costs for everything from sea foods to government financed clean-ups which are inevitable and growing ever more imminent.

To whit:
(From the WaPo online)

Animal manure, a byproduct as old as agriculture, has become an unlikely modern pollution problem, scientists and environmentalists say. The country simply has more dung than it can handle: Crowded together at a new breed of megafarms, livestock produce three times as much waste as people, more than can be recycled as fertilizer for nearby fields.

That excess manure gives off air pollutants, and it is the country's fastest-growing large source of methane, a greenhouse gas.

And it washes down with the rain, helping to cause the 230 oxygen-deprived "dead zones" that have proliferated along the U.S. coast. In the Chesapeake Bay, about one-fourth of the pollution that leads to dead zones can be traced to the back ends of cows, pigs, chickens and turkeys.

Just one more worry, eh. At least if you're head isn't secluded in the warmth and wetness of your own internal lake placid.

My hope, as stated above, is that the Obama Admin does indeed help the Big Boys of the Agricultural Industrial Complex find relatively affordable ways to mitigate this exorbitant (and, incidentally, disgustingly smelly) growth of natural human directly pollution in ways that allows for future regulation - FUTURE, not immediate!- of the far more common common family animal husbandry facilities (aka, Ma & Pa farms) which are contributing in equal amounts to the devastation.

Give 'em time and resources to prevent the inevitable "keep the government out o' my business" complaints which never A) resolve the problem or B) provide a solution that allows ma & pa to stay in said family run business.

On an unrelated but always relevant note, Happy Monday!