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Mad Tony
07-12-09, 19:02
Am I the only one here is rather worried about how it is increasingly becoming more and more unacceptable in society to merely question whether or not climate change is man-made?

As most of you probably know, the Copenhagen summit on climate change has started and a lot of world leaders are going on about how this is "our last chance". Our prime minister Gordon Brown in particular has been rather militant and compared climate change skeptics to flat-Earthers (http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/dec/04/flat-earth-climate-change-copenhagen). He has also called climate change "the biggest threat to our future (http://www.number10.gov.uk/Page20931)", when it obviously isn't. On top of all this, the current government has been using psychological terror (http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2009/oct/21/climate-change-advertising-standards) deliberately aimed at kids to try and get people to believe all of this without question. The reason I'm singling out Gordon Brown is because he is our prime minister, therefore I've already seen a lot of what he has to say on the issue. I can't speak for other western leaders but I expect they all hold similar attitudes.

It's like you're not even allowed to question climate change and whether or not it's man-made without being heckled and mocked, despite the fact that there are scientists divided on this and evidence that can work both ways.

What worries me more is not climate change, but how much governments are willing to harm both businesses and citizens to try and combat it. It's not like the three main parties are divided on this either. This is probably the only issue they all agree on.

Reggie
07-12-09, 19:06
I think that finite fuel resources are of a greater concern.

Mad Tony
07-12-09, 19:11
I think that finite fuel resources are of a greater concern.I agree. Peak oil is a far bigger threat than climate change and yet I've never heard it mentioned by the government once.

lara c. fan
07-12-09, 19:11
I think that finite fuel resources are of a greater concern.

Me too. Definately.

larson n natla
07-12-09, 19:12
Climate change as we all know is a natural process that as occurred since the earths creation but pollution and increased greenhouse gases have furthered the intensity of the process greatly. Personally I think steps should be taken to reduce carbon emissions but I think more money should be put towards finding an alternative clean burning fuel to which I believe hydrogen is the answer (http://www.afdc.energy.gov/afdc/fuels/hydrogen.html) but scientists have yet to find out everything about this form of fuel. Just my opinion :)

Mad Tony
07-12-09, 19:14
I think nuclear power is the future, but unfortunately all this climate change fear-mongering only makes governments invest more in wind and solar power.

Reggie
07-12-09, 19:30
I think nuclear power is the future, but unfortunately all this climate change fear-mongering only makes governments invest more in wind and solar power.
I think that we should invest as much as possible in to wind, wave, solar and hydro energy - they're ultra clean ways to generate energy and while its expensive in the short term, the cost to keep these running are small enough to ensure increasingly greater benefit to us all in terms of sustainability. However, these still may not collectively generate enough power to help us maintain anything like the lifestyles we have right now which is why energy efficiency should also be a major concern and if once we have these clean forms of energy and efficiency we still don't have enough, then maybe I'd say yes to nuclear energy but only as a last resort where its absolutely necessary.

interstellardave
07-12-09, 19:30
Man-made pumping of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere is a bad thing, bottom-line. One can argue to what degree it makes a difference, and maybe it's mostly a natural process, etc., (and it is) but we know it's not a good idea to keep doing it, either way.

Climate change, regardless of how it comes about, would be one of the worst things to happen to us so we should be vigilant. Glaciers are melting, the planet is warming, and such warming will then release greater amounts of currently frozen methane into the atmosphere--a far worse greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.

I'm not even going to argue about degrees of responsibility; personally I think there is fear-mongering going on... but I do know that we shouldn't be doing something that we KNOW is wrong to do. All efforts should be put into finding a better way.

Uzi master
07-12-09, 19:30
I think I'll post a reply I was going to do before bur didn't get the chance,

Solar and wind power don't produce a lot but they are relatively new, haven't had as much money invested in them and, even if they did I know they won't produce as much BUT they have no waste what-so-ever, which is there advantage but fossel fuels are generally the opposite. Personaly at times you seem a little to controlling over everything "I think that everything I say is for the best, and people should obey me!"

Mad Tony
07-12-09, 19:36
I think that we should invest as much as possible in to wind, wave, solar and hydro energy - they're ultra clean ways to generate energy and while its expensive in the short term, the cost to keep these running are small enough to ensure increasingly greater benefit to us all in terms of sustainability. However, these still may not collectively generate enough power to help us maintain anything like the lifestyles we have right now which is why energy efficiency should also be a major concern and if once we have these clean forms of energy and efficiency we still don't have enough, then maybe I'd say yes to nuclear energy but only as a last resort where its absolutely necessary.The thing is though nuclear power is far better in terms of electricity generation. It's a good middle ground. It's obviously better than fossil fumes because one day they will run out but at the same time it's better than wind and solar because it's so much more effective.

I care more about the people in this country having access to electricity than I do about the environment, so some would disagree with me on this.

I think I'll post a reply I was going to do before bur didn't get the chance,

Solar and wind power don't produce a lot but they are relatively new, haven't had as much money invested in them and, even if they did I know they won't produce as much BUT they have no waste what-so-ever, which is there advantage but fossel fuels are generally the opposite. Personaly at times you seem a little to controlling over everything "I think that everything I say is for the best, and people should obey me!"What, because I'm giving my opinion?

Grow up.

larson n natla
07-12-09, 19:38
The thing is though nuclear power is far better in terms of electricity generation. It's a good middle ground. It's obviously better than fossil fumes because one day they will run out but at the same time it's better than wind and solar because it's so much more effective.

What, because I'm giving my opinion?

Grow up.

Nuclear power eventually runs out aswell :)

No need to ask people to grow up when they are just saying how they feel.

interstellardave
07-12-09, 19:39
Nuclear power would be the best--and, yes, greenest way to go right now. Make sure the plants are safe and the material is stored safely and you've got a lot of power w/o all the pollution.

Sure, I'd vote to move away from nuclear at some point so you don't have all that pesky waste but, short term, it's really all we've got.


I care more about the people in this country having access to electricity than I do about the environment, so some would disagree with me on this.


You can only **** where you live for so long, you know... I think you're point about nuclear is correct, as my post indicates, but to say that is just... ugh I'm struggling to find the words.

larson n natla
07-12-09, 19:41
Nuclear power would be the best--and, yes, greenest way to go right now. Make sure the plants are safe and the material is stored safely and you've got a lot of power w/o all the pollution.

Sure, I'd vote to move away from nuclear at some point so you don't have all that pesky waste but, short term, it's really all we've got.

Nuclear power is actually almost as polluting as the system we have now unfortunately and is putting off the inevitable, I say spend money now reap rewards later plus radioactive material :p I get so into this but I want to see what everyone thinks.

SamReeves
07-12-09, 19:43
Climate change is good because women will shed more of their clothing!

Reggie
07-12-09, 19:45
^A typical Sam comment. :vlol:

The thing is though nuclear power is far better in terms of electricity generation. It's a good middle ground. It's obviously better than fossil fumes because one day they will run out but at the same time it's better than wind and solar because it's so much more effective.

I care more about the people in this country having access to electricity than I do about the environment, so some would disagree with me on this.

I care about both but moreso, people getting electricity. If nuclear power is the only viable option we have left once we run out then I would support it but as with interstellardave, I would rather we move away from it once we are able to because its just not good for the environment. The important thing though is that we move towards this now rather than later and at a quicker pace so that we don't end up in a situation where we have run out of fossil fuels and there's nothing much left propping us up energy wise because the governments have been too slow to act.

Mad Tony
07-12-09, 19:45
Nuclear power eventually runs out aswell :)Doesn't it not run out for thousands and thousands of years though?

You can only **** where you live for so long, you know... I think you're point about nuclear is correct, as my post indicates, but to say that is just... ugh I'm struggling to find the words.What's wrong with what I said?

Climate change is good because women will shed more of their clothing!:vlol: :tmb: Only you would come up with that :p

interstellardave
07-12-09, 19:46
Nuclear power is actually almost as polluting as the system we have now unfortunately and is putting off the inevitable, I say spend money now reap rewards later plus radioactive material :p I get so into this but I want to see what everyone thinks.

I've never seen anyone say that nuclear is as bad as fossil fuels. When run correctly a nuclear power plant shouldn't pollute. When run correctly a regular power plant relying on fossil fuels does nothing but pollute!

Again, the nuclear waste needs to be disposed of properly... I say put it int Marianas trench where it will be gradually sent below the planets' crust! :p


What's wrong with what I said?


Surely you realize the environment isn't something that is apart from us? At the risk of sounding like a hippy, we are living in this environment that you say you don't care about. We breath the air... we drink the water... etc. Those are facts so obvious I don't see how anyone can disagree.

It's one thing to oppose those who say we should dismantle modern society overnight and live like cavemen... but it's another to go the other way and say "screw the environment... let's do what's best for people!" We should care quite a bit about the world we live in, IMO...

Sgt BOMBULOUS
07-12-09, 19:47
I think nuclear power is the future, but unfortunately all this climate change fear-mongering only makes governments invest more in wind and solar power.

But Nuclear has no emissions. The worst emissions that could be tied to Nuclear is all of the energy expended passing legislation to build a new plant (which in this day and age of over-bloated bureaucracy, is significant).

Mad Tony
07-12-09, 19:50
But Nuclear has no emissions. The worst emissions that could be tied to Nuclear is all of the energy expended passing legislation to build a new plant (which in this day and age of over-bloated bureaucracy, is significant).Yeah but all the green groups hate it because of the minimal radioactive waste. They'd rather chase a pipe dream where we get all of our electricity from wind and solar than wake up and get to grips with reality. The government are spineless when it comes to standing up to the environmental lobby and that's why they often drag their heels on nuclear power.

larson n natla
07-12-09, 19:50
I've never seen anyone say that nuclear is as bad as fossil fuels. When run correctly a nuclear power plant shouldn't pollute. When run correctly a regular power plant relying on fossil fuels does nothing but pollute!

Again, the nuclear waste needs to be disposed of properly... I say put it int Marianas trench where it will be gradually sent below the planets' crust! :p

It is created without pollution but its use still pollutes the atmosphere (pretty sure it has to combust) If I'm wrong then ignore my previous post but people really seem to be behind the nuclear energy. Did anyone actually check out the hydrogen link its a rather worthwhile read.

Mad Tony
07-12-09, 19:51
Yeah but hydrogen is very explosive. There's one picture that sums it all up that doesn't need to be posted here because you all know what I'm talking about.

interstellardave
07-12-09, 19:53
@ Mad Tony: I edited my last post to respond to your question.

Reggie
07-12-09, 19:53
Yeah but all the green groups hate it because of the minimal radioactive waste. They'd rather chase a pipe dream where we get all of our electricity from wind and solar than wake up and get to grips with reality. The government are spineless when it comes to standing up to the environmental lobby and that's why they often drag their heels on nuclear power.
How is it a pipe dream? If you mean in terms of us relying solely on this kind of energy I agree but there's still a lot of potential energy left untapped in those sources not forgetting hydro-electricity and wave energy as well. I think a combination of nuclear and totally clean renewable energy is the most practical way forward.

Los Angeles
07-12-09, 19:55
The climate change always existed and always will...

larson n natla
07-12-09, 19:55
Yeah but hydrogen is very explosive. There's one picture that sums it all up that doesn't need to be posted here because you all know what I'm talking about.

Which is why money should be put towards investigating it than a "pipe dream" of living off nuclear energy :)

Solar power and wind power produce a moderate amount of electricity and so I believe we should use a combination of techniques to combat climate change.

Mad Tony
07-12-09, 19:56
Surely you realize the environment isn't something that is apart from us? At the risk of sounding like a hippy, we are living in this environment that you say you don't care about. We breath the air... we drink the water... etc. Those are facts so obvious I don't see how anyone can disagree.

It's one thing to oppose those who say we should dismantle modern society overnight and live like cavemen... but it's another to go the other way and say "screw the environment... let's do what's best for people!" We should care quite a bit about the world we live in, IMO...Wait, I never said screw the environment, I just think powering people's homes and businesses is more important than cutting emissions.

How is it a pipe dream? If you mean in terms of us relying solely on this kind of energy I agree but there's still a lot of potential energy left untapped in those sources not forgetting hydro-electricity and wave energy as well. I think a combination of nuclear and totally clean renewable energy is the most practical way forward.Because it's simply not feasible. Perhaps a combination of the two is, but not solely renewables.

Reggie
07-12-09, 19:57
Because it's simply not feasible. Perhaps a combination of the two is, but not solely renewables.
I agree with you then. :tmb:
^I've been saying this a lot to you lately. :pi:

jackles
07-12-09, 19:58
*sorta side steps the whole energy debate going on*


Personally I believe the climate change is a combination of the end of theLittle Ice Age (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Ice_Age) and the increase of Co2

Mad Tony
07-12-09, 19:58
I agree with you then. :tmb:
^I've been saying this a lot to you lately. :pi:Well, personally I think we should use a mix of coal and nuclear for power but I agree with you that a combination of renewables and nuclear is feasible. :p

interstellardave
07-12-09, 20:00
I advocate nuclear only for the here-and-now... because it can get the job done. Much research should go into better, cleaner-still, and more sustainable alternatives, however.

I do think progress has been deliberately slowed in these areas, as money has not been forthcoming for true strides to be made in alternative energies. I have NO DOUBT that we will one day harness tremendous energy... and we'll do it safely.

That's the hippy in me talking! :p

Mad Tony
07-12-09, 20:02
I advocate nuclear only for the here-and-now... because it can get the job done. Much research should go into better, cleaner-still, and more sustainable alternatives, however.

I do think progress has been deliberately slowed in these areas, as money has not been forthcoming for true strides to be made in alternative energies. I have NO DOUBT that we will one day harness tremendous energy... and we'll do it safely.

That's the hippy in me talking! :pMakes a change for you to be optimistic. :p

Reggie
07-12-09, 20:04
*sorta side steps the whole energy debate going on*


Personally I believe the climate change is a combination of the end of theLittle Ice Age (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Ice_Age) and the increase of Co2

LOL probably my fault. I made a contrary point in the first reply. :p
Interesting POV. :tmb:

Well, personally I think we should use a mix of coal and nuclear for power but I agree with you that a combination of renewables and nuclear is feasible. :p
If you mean right now while we still have fossil fuels, I agree though I'd advocate a transition to sustaining energy without fossil fuels (the approach I mentioned). So yeah, that's where I think our priorities should lie in this whole debate on environment. :D

Mad Tony
07-12-09, 20:07
If you mean right now while we still have fossil fuels, I agree though I'd advocate a transition to sustaining energy without fossil fuels (the approach I mentioned). So yeah, that's where I think our priorities should lie in this whole debate on environment. :DI think coal is a good source of energy. I heard it's something like centuries before we're gonna run out of it.

The problem is, this kind of debate is frowned upon in much of society. You're not allowed to have any opinion on climate change other than "we must act now and reduce emissions! It's all OUR fault!".

Cochrane
07-12-09, 20:14
There probably is a great deal of scare-mongering going on, but to a certain degree, I don't actually care, because many of the measures taken now are good ideas even without global warming. Clean air and using less energy is never a bad thing, no matter the reasons. Plus, Germany is among the world technology leaders when it comes to green technologies of all sorts (even up to electric locomotives), so I say: Everybody buy more of that, please! :D

Nuclear power is something I'm not really ready to pronounce a true solution, though. Sorting out safety and waste disposal isn't easy when you consider the results you'll get when it goes wrong. I'm not unhappy with the safety procedures currently in use in western facilities, but it is an inherently dangerous technology nevertheless.

I'd also like to keep in mind the protests of the people who want to have nuclear powerplants anywhere but in their backyard. I'm sure some will roll their eyes at that (I do as well), but this is an economic factor.

As such, while I think it is a reasonable idea to keep the powerplants active that we have, I'm not so sure whether it's really a good idea in the long term to build new ones.

SamReeves
07-12-09, 20:19
I saw a Mobil commercial the other day saying they are studying algae as a power source. I wonder what's going on there?

In any case, give me coal, wind, hydro, nuclear, and natural gas. They are all proven technology, but can't do anything when you're tied up in regulating everything to death!

Forwen
07-12-09, 20:22
ITER! Just four more decades to go!

Sgt BOMBULOUS
07-12-09, 20:29
I think coal is a good source of energy. I heard it's something like centuries before we're gonna run out of it.

The problem is, this kind of debate is frowned upon in much of society. You're not allowed to have any opinion on climate change other than "we must act now and reduce emissions! It's all OUR fault!".

Coal is great if utilized properly. The standard method of burning coal to run steam boilers/turbines is terribly inefficient. Coal gasification on the other hand is an amazing technology, which can achieve an energy efficiency in excess of 50% (as opposed to standard coal/boiler plants which run about 29% at best). Sadly I think all of the money going towards energy efficient projects has overlooked this avenue.

Saphyre
07-12-09, 20:37
I'm finding it hard to listen to the government when I've heard so many reports of scandals. One example is scientists keeping "positive" research to themselves, because they only want the negative to come out in the media. Because it seems bad news sells more.

Whether I'm silly to be influenced by these reports or not I don't know. I'm also quite cynical. Though theres no doubt about it the earth is warming up, didn't it freeze over centuries ago also? You know, the "Ice Age"?

Reggie
07-12-09, 20:43
Bugger.

Mad Tony
07-12-09, 20:45
Wrong thread dude :p

jackles
07-12-09, 20:45
I posted a link to some info about the little Ice Age (though I keep thinking of the movie when I write that!) During earlier times such as during the Roman occupation vineyards were common, the climate in the uk seemed much wamer than now.

I do think this is a global issue though....deforrestation and the industralisation of rural areas having a knock on effect.

Uzi master
07-12-09, 20:53
@ Mad Tony

Saying it's more important to power peoples homes is basically saying "screw the environment" because you say it's less important but no environment = no homes or places for humans, we should care for the environment if we wan't to live in a luxurious life we do now. it may not seem like it for all, but you don't see other animals with furniture plumbing and T.V. do you?

Reggie
07-12-09, 21:00
Wrong thread dude :p
:hea:

jackles
07-12-09, 21:01
Coincidentally there is a programme about Man and his relationship with the climate throughout history.


*switches on Man on Earth channel 4 (http://www.channel4.com/programmes/man-on-earth/episode-guide/series-1/episode-1)*

Mad Tony
07-12-09, 21:42
@ Mad Tony

Saying it's more important to power peoples homes is basically saying "screw the environment" because you say it's less important but no environment = no homes or places for humans, we should care for the environment if we wan't to live in a luxurious life we do now. it may not seem like it for all, but you don't see other animals with furniture plumbing and T.V. do you?No, it's not. Simply saying I think one thing is more important than another does not mean the other one doesn't matter to me at all. That is ridiculous logic.

Dennis's Mom
07-12-09, 22:03
Personally I believe the climate change is a combination of the end of theLittle Ice Age (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Ice_Age) and the increase of Co2

Yeah, the Little Ice Age is a lynchpin IMO. I think we operate under the idea that today's temperatures are the norm, but clearly the earth was recently much warmer.

I'm all for R/R/R and renewable energy (I get my electricity from Green Moutain), but we've simply got to balance that with our needs and jobs. This "climate change" debate is too polarizing and to some extent fear mongering. We should not be wasteful because it's the smart thing to do.

And the US should have switched to nuclear energy decades ago. We'd be in a much better position now if the fear mongers had lost.

Dustie
07-12-09, 23:10
The subject is a never-ending story, but what I want to say is that even if you don't believe in global warming, greenhouse effect and such, it's still necessary to take care of our planet. Don't go switching on all of the lights and devices in your house just to demonstrate how you think all the 'green' people are stupid. I have read certain comments in various places on the internet, with people saying they're gonna start using even more energy to downplay any attempts by the environment-concious, and it's extremely sad and worrying to see such attitudes...

Mad Tony
07-12-09, 23:21
The subject is a never-ending story, but what I want to say is that even if you don't believe in global warming, greenhouse effect and such, it's still necessary to take care of our planet. Don't go switching on all of the lights and devices in your house just to demonstrate how you think all the 'green' people are stupid. I have read certain comments in various places on the internet, with people saying they're gonna start using even more energy to downplay any attempts by the environment-concious, and it's extremely sad and worrying to see such attitudes...Who would do that? It's wasting money.

Admittedly, when there was that blackout hour thing earlier this year I was gonna turn on all the lights in the house for that hour but I forgot. :p

Lara's Nemesis
07-12-09, 23:36
I believe that our impact on global warming is greatly exaggerated.

The most abundant and damaging greenhouse gas on the planet is water vapor but is rarely mentioned when discussing them. Of course as the temperatures increase there will be more of this gas.:(

Trigger_happy
08-12-09, 01:07
As others have said, global warming is a natural process- the Roman Wines grown in Scotland and other now colder places point to that- but it is easily used to scare people into abandoning their life styles to live in huts, while giving lots of lovely money to their governments and charities.

Like hybrid cars- many aren't actually that good- A Ford Mondeo gives out the same amount of CO2 as a Prius, and isn't full of toxic mercury ridden batteries.

Mad Tony
08-12-09, 11:36
This story rather annoys me

Heathrow can expand and people can fly more without ruining the country's carbon targets, says the UK government's official climate watchdog.

It says this means other sectors of the economy must reduce emissions by 90% to allow aviation some room to grow. But it added that the future increase in flying must be limited to 60%, not 200% as projected by the government.

Environmental groups said the report was a "nail in the coffin" for government plans to expand UK airports. The Committee on Climate Change is an independent body set up under the Climate Change Act to steer government policy.

It previously called for aviation to be brought into the global deal on climate being debated in Copenhagen, Denmark over the next two weeks.
The report stated that improved aircraft design would allow some carbon-free expansion of aviation. High-speed rail would also allow people greater mobility as they get richer. Video-conferencing had the potential to increase sharply, too, it said.

'Reality check'

The committee said taxes would go up as aviation is taken into the EU carbon emissions trading scheme and the price of permits rose to a projected £200 per tonne by 2050. But it warned that even this would not be enough to curb our desire to fly, so other measures would be needed.

Environmental groups said the report showed that unregulated growth in the UK's aviation industry was unsustainable. Richard Dyer, Friends of the Earth's transport campaigner, called the findings a "reality check".

"The government should tear up its Aviation White Paper, abandon plans to expand UK airports and develop an aviation policy that doesn't wreck the planet," he said. Jeff Gazzard from the Aviation Environment Federation said the report put pressure on airlines to improve their environmental performance.

"The Committee on Climate Change has placed once-and-for all limits on aviation expansion and the onus is now firmly on the industry to deliver actual low carbon growth, not just talk about it," he added. But environmentalists will be disappointed the report has not ruled out further expansion at Heathrow.

Committee members say there is over-capacity in some parts of the country and under-capacity in others. Privately, committee members admit taxes would exclude the poorest from the benefits of flying, whilst allowances would be administratively difficult and may smack of social control. Other regulations may be necessary, the committee believes.

If aviation is to be allowed to grow in a restricted way, the government will have to decide where that growth should happen. In absolute numbers, the committee's calculations look like this: The aviation white paper of 2003 envisaged growth in passenger movements from two million a year currently to six million a year with rising income.

The committee says allowing 60% growth, the top limit must now be 358 million. It now expects the government to factor these figures into its national aviation policy statement due next year. The average person in the UK earning more than £60,000 a year flies more than four times a year.

The question will be whether they can be allowed to fly still more

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8400749.stm

Unregulated growth? Why should growth in an industry be restricted and controlled so that it falls in line with some green agenda? It's absolutely horrifying that governments are willing to choke businesses like this. There should be no limits put on growth. What happened to the free market?

And this is without mentioning how all the extra taxes that will be used to restrict this growth will inevitably block the lower classes from being able to fly. Labour champion themselves as standing up for the lower clases (which in fact they do too much sometimes and end up neglecting the middle and upper clases) and now this. Nice one socialists.

This is one of the main reasons why I see this climate change hysteria as a very worrying thing. As I said, it's not so much climate change that worries me, but how people and governments react to it.

Cochrane
08-12-09, 11:48
This story rather annoys me



http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8400749.stm

But again among the scare are se good ideas. Never mind the CO2, Planes are also rather noisy, and energetically quite inefficient simply because they need to generate lift. Then there is the high cost for operational safety and for safety against terrorists… Discouraging flying and instead building more high speed railroads is a good idea no matter where you stand on the whole climate change issue.

In fact, it's so good that airlines have cut prices when new high speed rail links were opened, and Air France KLM is thinking about running their own trains on the Paris-Amsterdam relation.

I guess there are additional ways of saving the world other than with more trains, but those are generally not interesting. :D

Edit: And then you edited your post while I was typing… I'll reply in full as soon as I'm on a real keyboard again, but I don't think that unregulated growth of infrastructure such as airports is useful or evev possible in a European country (as well as Britain, in case you are going to whine again :D)

disneyprincess20
08-12-09, 11:51
I advocate nuclear only for the here-and-now... because it can get the job done. Much research should go into better, cleaner-still, and more sustainable alternatives, however.

I do think progress has been deliberately slowed in these areas, as money has not been forthcoming for true strides to be made in alternative energies. I have NO DOUBT that we will one day harness tremendous energy... and we'll do it safely.

That's the hippy in me talking! :p

I totally agree. I'm always astounded by the people who complain about wind turbines being set up because they "look ugly". Surely they're better looking than plumes of smoke or waste gas from other energy producing sites.

This story rather annoys me

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8400749.stm

What happened to the free market?



The PC brigade are wearing it away.

Mad Tony
08-12-09, 11:55
What is it with you and trains? :p

Yeah but about people like me who prefer to go to further afield? My dad lives in Australia so I've been out there a few times and I throughly enjoyed the US after visiting it a second time so I would like to go out there sometime soon as well.

Ikas90
08-12-09, 11:59
If the entire world's power came from solar energy, then all the power in the world we get, will be for free. Free of both money and environmental damage.

Not to mention we'll have an unlimited supply of it.

Mad Tony
08-12-09, 12:01
If the entire world's power came from solar energy, then all the power in the world we get, will be for free. Free of both money and environmental damage.

Not to mention we'll have an unlimited supply of it.Yeah, there's just one thing, they'd take up a ridiculous amount of space. This is without even consider all the money it'd cost.

Ikas90
08-12-09, 12:08
Yeah, there's just one thing, they'd take up a ridiculous amount of space. This is without even consider all the money it'd cost.

That's true. But would the outcome be worth it?

I don't think space would be too much of an issue. Then again, that depends on how much power is involved in solar energy. My knowledge is limited, but I wonder if the entire Sahara desert (which is roughly the size of the United States) plated with solar panels would be enough to power the world.

DREWY
08-12-09, 12:16
I think the voltage drop may scuttle that - and imagine the batteries!!.
I think I'd go geothermal. The others could be used as a backup.
In Australia the goverment subsidizes solar panels and solar hot water, and give interest free loans to pay off the balance.

BTW, anybody realize the earth actually cooled .1 deg over the last 10 years? And thats taking the elNino into effect too. So much for global warming eh?

rowanlim
08-12-09, 12:32
Am I the only one here is rather worried about how it is increasingly becoming more and more unacceptable in society to merely question whether or not climate change is man-made?

Is there a need to question whether climate change is man-made? As I understand it, man's activities has made it worse, even if it's a natural process; it's happened before men roamed the Earth but our existence is bringing it about faster & possibly stronger. I think it's good for governments to bind people & companies to go greener, to be more responsible with their emissions.

I want governments to look for alternative energy. For Malaysia & other ASEAN countries, I think nuclear energy isn't a viable option: we don't have enough skilled manpower to handle the operation & the disposal, we don't have the raw materials & the resources to operate the nuclear plant.

ASEAN countries are looking at metabolizing natural wastes to generate energy. I know we're looking at agricultural wastes & wastewater (from domestic & industrial sectors) as sources of biofuel (primarily methane). In Thailand there's a system where wastewater are metabolized using bacteria & methane is generated, trapped by a membrane over the tank & utilized to produce electricity (to run the wastewater plant). We're looking at non-food sources of biofuel, preferably natural wastes. We do have hydropower plants, solar power panels are seen here & there *but it's pretty expensive to install them* I'm not sure about wind power, Malaysia doesn't have that.

Cochrane
08-12-09, 12:47
What is it with you and trains? :p
I like them. :D

Yeah but about people like me who prefer to go to further afield? My dad lives in Australia so I've been out there a few times and I throughly enjoyed the US after visiting it a second time so I would like to go out there sometime soon as well.
Sure, for those relations there is no viable alternative to flying. But there are flights from London to Glasgow, from Berlin to Düsseldorf, from Amsterdam to Paris and so on. It's in these situations (all lines that need better rail connections, by the way, although with the HSL Zuid Amsterdam-Paris should be better very soon) that high-speed trains are really better than planes. And once you get all the little things that do these services out of the airports, you can always replace them on a 2-for-1 basis with an A380 that goes to New York or Sydney. :D

What I wanted to say above: Air traffic and how it grows is something that has to be regulated by the government. After all, you can't just open a new airport wherever you like thanks to issues like space, connections to the area and the locals complaining. Similarly, you can't just create new flight routes that easily, the european skies are pretty full as it is and you need a lot of new technology (which is currently being developed) to allow for significantly more planes. So competing in that area is not really an issue, and rather, someone has to manage that. Airlines can nevertheless still compete with each other, both for passengers and, as customers themselves, for airport spaces and so on, and with larger planes they can certainly grow more than the government expected them to. This is just a situation, like most infrastructure issues, where a free market is not a viable option. If you disagree, I'd like to hear your opinion!

Simochka
08-12-09, 13:13
As long as I get electricity and don't have to worry about drowning because of the melting ice in the north then I'm happy:)

Mad Tony
08-12-09, 13:46
That's true. But would the outcome be worth it?

I don't think space would be too much of an issue. Then again, that depends on how much power is involved in solar energy. My knowledge is limited, but I wonder if the entire Sahara desert (which is roughly the size of the United States) plated with solar panels would be enough to power the world.I don't think so anyway, not when we can power the world without filling up a space the size of a medium-sized country with solar panels.

Is there a need to question whether climate change is man-made? As I understand it, man's activities has made it worse, even if it's a natural process; it's happened before men roamed the Earth but our existence is bringing it about faster & possibly stronger. I think it's good for governments to bind people & companies to go greener, to be more responsible with their emissions.Of course there is. Especially when there are emails which prove some scientists have been manipulating data on climate change (http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/nov/20/climate-sceptics-hackers-leaked-emails) to suit their agenda. Maybe we do have an impact on the speed of natural climate change, but how much is another thing that needs to be debated. The climate change alarmists will you tell you that we've had a huge impact on it, but have we really?

Unfortunately, this kind of debate isn't possible at the moment due to the attitudes of most governments towards those who have questions regarding climate change.

I think governments should encourage businesses to go greener, but not actually take any sort of action. Let the businesses themselves decide.

Sure, for those relations there is no viable alternative to flying. But there are flights from London to Glasgow, from Berlin to Düsseldorf, from Amsterdam to Paris and so on. It's in these situations (all lines that need better rail connections, by the way, although with the HSL Zuid Amsterdam-Paris should be better very soon) that high-speed trains are really better than planes. And once you get all the little things that do these services out of the airports, you can always replace them on a 2-for-1 basis with an A380 that goes to New York or Sydney. :DIf private companies want to offer these kind of short-haul flights I see no problem with them.

What I wanted to say above: Air traffic and how it grows is something that has to be regulated by the government. After all, you can't just open a new airport wherever you like thanks to issues like space, connections to the area and the locals complaining. Similarly, you can't just create new flight routes that easily, the european skies are pretty full as it is and you need a lot of new technology (which is currently being developed) to allow for significantly more planes. So competing in that area is not really an issue, and rather, someone has to manage that. Airlines can nevertheless still compete with each other, both for passengers and, as customers themselves, for airport spaces and so on, and with larger planes they can certainly grow more than the government expected them to. This is just a situation, like most infrastructure issues, where a free market is not a viable option. If you disagree, I'd like to hear your opinion!They don't need to be regulated because like all things, the free market sorts out everything by itself. If it soon becomes impossible for companies to start offering more flights (due to things like overcrowding) then they wont offer them. Simple as that. The free market is self-regulating if you like, so it doesn't need governments interfering.

Cochrane
08-12-09, 14:48
If private companies want offer these kind of short-haul flights I see no problem with them.

They don't need to be regulated because like all things, the free market sorts out everything by itself. If it soon becomes impossible for companies to start offering more flights (due to things like overcrowding) then they wont offer them. Simple as that. The free market is self-regulating if you like, so it doesn't need governments interfering.

I don't think you quite got my point. It is airport (and also airspace) capacity that needs to be regulated. The government has to decide how much it can allow airports to grow, because airports growing usually means things like eminent domain, noise issues and so on. There is just no way to let the free market handle that, if you tried no airports would be built at all. The same goes for high speed railroads, of course.

If the government decides that it won't let airport sizes increase as much and instead builds more railroads using the same public money and effort, then as long as the amount of travel people want to do increases, things like landing fees and so on will increase, which will in turn make ticket prices more expensive. For long-distance travel, people will put up with it, after all there's no alternative. For the shorter runs, though, airlines will have a lot of trouble competing with railroads, and will start to loose customers — or run their own trains or book seats in normal trains, which happens a lot already actually. I'm not arguing to forbid short-distance flights, I'm arguing for measures that will make them go away all by themselves through normal free market mechanisms.

Unrelated: That the free market is fully self-regulating is a myth. That only works as long as you have a reasonable healthy level of competition. Once somebody gets a monopoly, you get all the problems of strict government control, but without the option of voting the ones responsible out of power. The free market is not the opposite of full government control; it lies between that and monopolies instead, and people have to and are actively working to preserve it from either.

Mad Tony
08-12-09, 14:59
I don't think you quite got my point. It is airport (and also airspace) capacity that needs to be regulated. The government has to decide how much it can allow airports to grow, because airports growing usually means things like eminent domain, noise issues and so on. There is just no way to let the free market handle that, if you tried no airports would be built at all. The same goes for high speed railroads, of course.But the airline industry itself shouldn't be regulated.

If the government decides that it won't let airport sizes increase as much and instead builds more railroads using the same public money and effort, then as long as the amount of travel people want to do increases, things like landing fees and so on will increase, which will in turn make ticket prices more expensive. For long-distance travel, people will put up with it, after all there's no alternative. For the shorter runs, though, airlines will have a lot of trouble competing with railroads, and will start to loose customers — or run their own trains or book seats in normal trains, which happens a lot already actually. I'm not arguing to forbid short-distance flights, I'm arguing for measures that will make them go away all by themselves through normal free market mechanisms."measures" to make them go away? That's very similar to forbidding them. Why not just let the market sort itself out as it always does?

Unrelated: That the free market is fully self-regulating is a myth. That only works as long as you have a reasonable healthy level of competition. Once somebody gets a monopoly, you get all the problems of strict government control, but without the option of voting the ones responsible out of power. The free market is not the opposite of full government control; it lies between that and monopolies instead, and people have to and are actively working to preserve it from either.That's a fair point, but even regulating the free market so that there's competition is regulation anyway, and thus the market is not completely free.

rowanlim
08-12-09, 15:14
Of course there is. Especially when there are emails which prove some scientists have been manipulating data on climate change (http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/nov/20/climate-sceptics-hackers-leaked-emails) to suit their agenda. Maybe we do have an impact on the speed of natural climate change, but how much is another thing that needs to be debated. The climate change alarmists will you tell you that we've had a huge impact on it, but have we really?

Unfortunately, this kind of debate isn't possible at the moment due to the attitudes of most governments towards those who have questions regarding climate change.

I think governments should encourage businesses to go greener, but not actually take any sort of action. Let the businesses themselves decide.

The truth about the data is, of course, questionable, but there are some truths & if the majority support the government to enforce greener actions, then that's pretty much all we can do right?

Cochrane
08-12-09, 15:14
But the airline industry itself shouldn't be regulated.
Never said it should. Well, safety, labor standards and so on, of course, but I guess you weren't talking about that either.

"measures" to make them go away? That's very similar to forbidding them. Why not just let the market sort itself out as it always does?
Okay, so what do you expect will happen when traffic levels at airports increase and the government does nothing? New landing strips do generally not appear out of thin air and without official approval.

That's a fair point, but even regulating the free market so that there's competition is regulation anyway, and thus the market is not completely free.
Absolutely true. A completely free market is an idealized and simplified model of reality, just like the frictionless vacuum physics professors like to work in (or claim to, anyway (http://xkcd.com/669/)).

Mad Tony
08-12-09, 15:29
The truth about the data is, of course, questionable, but there are some truths & if the majority support the government to enforce greener actions, then that's pretty much all we can do right?But why is no debate on it allowed and merely questioning the validity of the claims is frowned upon?

I doubt most people are in favor of the horrendous taxes that come with it.


Okay, so what do you expect will happen when traffic levels at airports increase and the government does nothing? New landing strips do generally not appear out of thin air and without official approval.Airlines apply for more. If they can't get any, they'll probably end up terminating certain services.

Cochrane
08-12-09, 15:56
Airlines apply for more. If they can't get any, they'll probably end up terminating certain services.

Isn't that exactly what I said? It's at least what I meant.

Mad Tony
08-12-09, 15:59
Isn't that exactly what I said? It's at least what I meant.You said the government should try and implement measures that will make them go away.

interstellardave
08-12-09, 16:02
But why is no debate on it allowed and merely questioning the validity of the claims is frowned upon?

I doubt most people are in favor of the horrendous taxes that come with it.

Politics should not drive a scientific debate. Unfortunately scientists need money to procede with their work--and some work may be deemed more "worthy" of receiving such money, if you catch my drift... and that's a problem.

Also the scientific community can be quite dogmatic. Accepted theories often become entrenched and protected very vociferously. The famed scientific method should win-out in the end, but it's not nearly so open as it is said to be.