Putting to one side the argument about whether or not the earth is getting warmer, can i ask posters what they are doing to reduce their carbon footprint?
What do u expect me to do ?
Volcanoes do produce large amounts of carbon. They also emit large amounts of ash and particles in the upper atmosphere which blocks sunlight and therefore heat. The Mount Tambora eruption in 1815 and the subsequent 'year without summer' is worth reading about.
As for volcanoes, they emit around 0.3 billion tonnes of CO2 per year, Human CO2 emissions are believed to be around 29 billion tonnes per year. Again, it should be monitored but it is ultimately very small in comparison.
I ask the question, because i am interested to see what is done by those who are unwavering in their conviction the world (or more correctly, the human race) will end through global warming or climate change. Allbeit through my own anecdotal research, i have been unsuprised to find that there are a great many people out there who are unwilling to sacrifice part, if not all, of their comfortable lifestyles for the good of the environment. This started off when i was lectured over dinner at a friends house, because of my choice of "gas guzzler" car. When i pointed out that the new mahogany sideboard had probably been procured from a few great specimens of Amazonian hardwood and the tiger prawns i was eating were specially flown all the way from Ecuador, it caused a slightly uncomfortable moment. However, it did inspire me to find out further how committed the more green amongst us are and how far they will go to save the planet. So far i have not found anyone who is willing to have a wholesale lifestyle change. Some make more effort to recycle, some have even jacked in one of the 2/3 cars they own, although this is probably more to do with current economic conditions. Pretty much everyone i have spoken to see's it as the duty of Government and big business to act, not the individual. It so easy for one to get upset about something one does not see as being responsible for, but isn't that just the way of things these days?
Also, is the threat to human life not a negative thing? If climate change potentially limits our own existence, then the options are (simplistically) change and allow our race to exist for longer, or don't change and possibly wave goodbye?
"The first decade of this century is "by far" the warmest since instrumental records began, say the UK Met Office and World Meteorological Organization."
Insulating houses well is a no-brainer - they are much more comfortable to live in. Hydrogen to power cars might be more expensive to produce than petrol at current oil prices - but the erratic price per barrel of oil and ther duty on petrol has much more impact on the price than the costs of production.
Installed solar panel
New energy efficient boiler with special external temperature sensor for improved efficiency
Just finished adding 200mm to loft insulation (really dirt cheap subsidised rolls at B&Q at the moment)
Reduced car use and cycle when possible
Double glazing installed
(can't do cavity insulation as old house so no cavity)
Absolutely, and it's no surprise. Humans are creatures of habit, and we all know how difficult it can be to change a habit, especially a long standing one. None of us are any different in this respect, most things we do we had to learn and get used to over a long period of time. Even simple recycling, for whatever reason people do it, takes time to embed into daily life.Allbeit through my own anecdotal research, i have been unsuprised to find that there are a great many people out there who are unwilling to sacrifice part, if not all, of their comfortable lifestyles for the good of the environment.
I have friends who often apologise for things because they think I'm going to judge them for it. I make it clear, and this is the basis for my opinion on the subject overall, that we are all individuals who have choices to make, and we cannot and should not judge ourselves against a blanket criteria or impression of 'The Perfect Human'. If however, we learn about something that makes us want to change our habits, then it is a gradual process and we should encourage others to make gradual changes over time, and not judge them for failing to do so overnight.This started off when i was lectured over dinner at a friends house, because of my choice of "gas guzzler" car. When i pointed out that the new mahogany sideboard had probably been procured from a few great specimens of Amazonian hardwood and the tiger prawns i was eating were specially flown all the way from Ecuador, it caused a slightly uncomfortable moment.
Yes, that will be a part of it, but as I said above, people cannot and will not change habits overnight, but if they are making efforts to do so then it will gradually become easier to do so for other things in the future. I don't have a car now, but it took a long time to break the habit and there are times when I really struggle without one. I don't always remember to do certain things that I encourage others to do, but that's because I'm human and I'm not perfect.However, it did inspire me to find out further how committed the more green amongst us are and how far they will go to save the planet. So far i have not found anyone who is willing to have a wholesale lifestyle change. Some make more effort to recycle, some have even jacked in one of the 2/3 cars they own, although this is probably more to do with current economic conditions.
Overall, IMO we need to foster a culture of education and encouragement. Criticising others for what they're not doing will not encourage them to continue the things they are. It's like stopping smoking... it takes time and encouragement or it's easy to slip back. And no matter where you start, any improvement should be welcomed. If you smoked 40 a day and halve that, that deserves just as much credit as the person reducing from 5 a day to 3, even though they are still smoking far more.
Sadly yes, I agree, and I think it will be our downfall. Personal responsibility is a concept seemingly lost nowadays, from money to the environment to watching your feet when walking down the street... trip over something and it's 'who can I sue?'.Pretty much everyone i have spoken to see's it as the duty of Government and big business to act, not the individual. It so easy for one to get upset about something one does not see as being responsible for, but isn't that just the way of things these days?
Individually it is hard to make a difference, but if i can influence 100 people, and they can each influence 100 etc, etc, who knows?
Last edited by Minty; 21-10-2011 at 12:57 PM.
I will never, ever forget Hugo Weaving's line in The Matrix - "Humanity is a virus". Whoever wrote that was spot f**king on. What do we do with a virus when we catch it ? We try to kill it. Sooner or later Mother Nature is going to have a serious allergic reaction to us. And maybe its not such a bad thing....
Only a complete fool would ignore what the scientists are saying, the more you read on the subject the more you get an idea of what extraordinary detail these guys go into.
"the climate has always changed" and "it's cold outside so can't be happening" are the arguments of the ignorant.
A question for climate change nutjobs; would you sooner have global cooling?
To clarify I would like the earths climate to return to what it would be had humans not pumped billions of tons of CO2 into the atmosphere. I am not implying that the temperature of the earth should remain constant but it would be good to get the line of temperature against solar power back to how it was before the 1980's (see the graph I posted above).
dune, are you physically able to discuss this without resorting to ridiculous insults?
wooooo double post
Lots of interesting debates in their. Personally I'm with the former hypothesis.
Most climate-change scientists appear to be more or less unanimous, and nobody on here should claim to be better informed than people who have spent their working lives studying the issue. I wouldnt know, but I also wouldnt expect anyone to tell me how to do my (fairly specialised) job, and I know that I'm far better equipped to pass judgement on any issue relating to it than Joe Public as I've been involved in the field all my adult life. And I wouldnt tell my mechanic how to fix my car.
More to the point, what always seems to get missed in these arguments is the simple fact that the climate-change deniers' insistence that climate-change scientists provide absolute proof that it IS happening and caused by mankind. They dont need to. There only needs to be a tiny chance of that being the case, imo less than 1 percent, for that to be enough to trigger a response. We arent gambling with something we can get back, if we f*ck up the climate then its game over for us. I've got no direct personal interest in this, I'm pretty sure the planet will outlive me and I have no children, but it should be addressed for the sake of future generations.
The Greenhouse effect is fact, proven fact. We know it is right. We know that the more greenhouse gases there are in the atmosphere(especially those that have bonds that absorb in the frequencies of the infrared window, though we dealt with CFC's quite nicely) , the more infrared that is absorbed and so the more heat that doesn't escape earth and so the more earth warms. It's fact, and the more people ignore it and try to put short-term issues over the earth's long term future, the more ****ed we are.
Whilst it is obvious that we are contributing to climate change, and the effects are potentially disastrous - I think we, as a country, should be more concerned with adapting to change rather than futile attempts of trying to stop it.
The rate at which China is developing along with other emerging economies means that whatever we do in the UK is completely pointless. Accept that it's going to happen, try to predict the effects and adapt.
It's important to develop new sources of energy, green or not, because oil and gas is running out. It makes sense to be more efficient for the same reason but there is little point in going round planting trees or using a bag for life when China is using 9million barrels of oil a day and burning 3 billion tons of coal a year.
As some will know, I work in the energy infrastructure industry and I have frankly given up trying to persuade sceptics about climate change.
However, what is important to most people is energy security and energy bills. The simple facts are that if we continue to rely on fossil fuels that we have to import increasingly then we are all in trouble.
That is why it is important that we develop renewables such as onshore and offshore wind that is now commercially viable, as well as continuing to develop technology that will bring less intermittent resources such as wave and tidal to economic scale. We have the opportunity to be world leaders and create a huge export industry with job skills.
I know the usual comments will be raised so I'll head them off:
* New nuke is possible but has three drawbacks - 1) Huge cost of construction (£ billions), 2) Still no way of disposing of nuke waste effectively, 3) A new nuke will take 10 years to build after the planning arguments so first one would be 2025. That said, I am in favour of new nuke as part of a needed mixed portfolio of energy generation.
* Wind power does not need like-for-like capacity back up from fossil fuels if organised correctly. The answer is to develop more wind and other renewables than is required and link it to a smarter and better grid distribution network. Then gas and coal become a smaller baseload and an effective back up ready to go when required. And export the renewable energy surplus to other less blessed countries when we have a surfeit of power.
* We have about one third of our current generating capacity due to go offline between 2015 and 2020 made up of older coal-fired power stations and nukes. Those need to be replaced fast. Governments have failed to act responsibly in this area because all scared off by local objectors to new plants or wind farms.
* Green subsidies as continually raised in the press. The subsidies (known as ROCs) are paid to generators when they produce electricity. There are no subsidies to build new power sources, that is all market risk. The subsidies are a product of the privatised electricity industry and a necessary incentive to get developers building new generating apparatus. Those new plants will ultimately make us less dependent on imported fossil fuels and allow us to remain masters of our own destiny meaning in the long term lower energy bills than otherwise. In previous times nuke and north sea gas received development subsidies and, like them, renewable subsidies will be reduced once the train gets motoring.
You can argue climate change until the cows come home but what will really focus attention is power cuts, failing industry, cold homes and no TV/playstations.
We need a mixed portfolio of energy generation that covers all the bases made up of renewables where possible supported by nuke in the longer term with gas and coal as the convenient fallbacks.
Said my piece!
Last edited by TopGun; 22-10-2011 at 12:01 AM.
Good post TopGun.
We can argue over the science and facts and cost, but at the end of the day if we don't do anything it'll be a hell of a lot more expensive than if we spend the initial investment now.
And I read that just as solar panels are taking off in the residential sector, the government is cutting the feed-in tarifs next march so that it will become a lot less attractive.
We are currently building 11 new homes that have to comply with the new Part L regulations, meaning a 25% improvement of thermal efficiency from the "old" regs. this is set to increase to 44% improvement in two years time, with zero carbon in 2016. Estimates suggest that 30 to 40k could be added to the cost of a new house (all things being equal). Would posters be prepared to pay this for a zero carbon home?
It is undoubtedly a major cost issue for new homes but the net balance is more than likely to result in savings in the long term, especially with energy prices continuing to rise. Of course, it's hard to factor that in at the beginning, but it is worth it overall.