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Is there a 'conservative' solution to global warming?

 
 
nimh
 
Reply Wed 28 May, 2003 07:35 pm
Usually, any debate between conservatives and liberals, when the topic of global warming comes up, seems to wholly focus on whether or not it exists or not, or to what extent and with what certainty. But should global warming do exist, are there then specifically conservative or liberal strategies on tackling it?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 2,795 • Replies: 7
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fishin
 
  2  
Reply Wed 28 May, 2003 08:46 pm
I don't know of and "conservative" or "liberal" strategies in specific. There are obvioulsy a few environmental groups that think we should just shut down any/all fossil fuel based consumption and then move from there but that seems to be a bit out there for a workable strategy.

IMO, the question of whether of not global warming is actually aman-made issue and whether or not it can be reversed (or should be reversed) have to be answered before any real solution becomes viable. Otherwise we're just tilting at windmills.

Those questions, IMO, are within the realm of government responsibility. Conducting real research without a predefined set of results based on political agendas.

Once that is done then there may be a market-based solution (or multiple solutions) if the problem is determined to be real. I'm guessing that these would be the "Conservative Strategy" in the long run.
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georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Thu 29 May, 2003 11:02 pm
nimh,

Interesting question. It is difficult to simply assume global warming, as currently described, exists and look for distinctions between liberal and conservative approaches. There is something essential from the liberal viewpoint in the (to me, very odd) insistence that global warming does exist and that it is a result of human activity.

There is no doubt that greenhouse gases (primarily CO2 and methane) are accumulating in the atmosphere, and that these gases can contribute to the increased absorption of solar radiation by the earth. However it is far from clear that this phenomenon will not yield a new quasi equilibrium state with respect to the carbon cycle, or that any lasting change in the earth's temperature will result of this one effect.

Available tree ring data and the geological record establish beyond doubt that the earth's climate undergoes continuous variation on a number of time scales due to various factors, ranging from solar flares, to volcanic activity, shifts in oceanic currents greenhouse effects in the atmosphere (including dust), and other factors. There have been,I believe, about six major ice ages recorded in the geological record of the earth. Our planet has warmed and cooled many times and will do so again.

However to take up your challenge and assume warming does exist to the degree that it compels concerted action,and then look for liberal and conservative solutions ---

Liberals look to the developed nations and blame them for consuming an "unfair" per capita share of the earth's resources and thereby an unfair production of greenhouse gases. Thus they come up with things like the Kyoto treaty which utterly exempt China, India, Indonesia, Egypt, etc. from any corrective action at all. (Notwithstanding the facts that greenhouse gas production is rising faster in those places than anywhere else, and that primitive methods of energy production (wood & charcoal cooking & heating fires) produce far more CO2 per unit of useful energy production and release much more particulate into the atmosphere than mod3ern methods. Note the recent furor over the "brown cloud" over South Asia).

Conservatives look at other indices. In this case greenhouse gas produced per unit of production of the food and goods humanity wants and consumes. In this scale the industrialized nations (former Soviet Empire states excluded) look pretty good.

Liberals call for government mandates for the use of hydrogen as a fuel in compound engines and new design fuel cells.

Conservatives point out that free hydrogen does not occur in nature. To get it we must burn coal or gas to produce electricity and use it to separate the oxygen and hydrogen in water. Sadly a good deal of energy is lost in the transitions and we get far less from the burning of hydrogen than we did from burning the coal or gas we started with.

Liberals believe that solar and wind power can solve the rest of our needs.

Conservatives know that , even under the best of conditions, these sources can meet only about 20% of our requirements. We must look to other sources, including nuclear power.

How's that for a start?
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steissd
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 May, 2003 12:25 pm
It is very much likely that changes of climate on the Earth follow multimillennial cycles that are characterized by intermittent warming and freezing of the Earth.
I want to quote my own posting I placed on the open A2K forum:
Quote:
Attacking oil industries is considered being cool in certain circles, but I would not be too sure that current climatic changes derive exclusively from the human activities. The multimillennial climatic change cycles exist (for example, the both establishment of the Ice Age 16,000 years ago and its end that was characterized with sufficient warming of the planet), and they pertain rather to geophysics than to technologic activities of humans. I am unaware of underlying mechanism of these cycles (maybe, they have some correlation with solar activity), but serious changes took place many times in the past, when there were either no humans at all, or their usage of carbohydrate fuel was insufficient. Here is some interesting quote regarding climatic disturbances in the past that were followed by global warming so much intensive that managed to melt billions of cubic miles of ice (I shall not make here all the calculations of energy necessary for this, but I must just mention that specific heat of water is 4.2*10³ J/kg*K), specific density of ice is 900 kg/m³, and specific melting energy of ice I failed to find online, but it is relatively high value as well, if compared to another solid state substances.
Quote:
When have Ice Ages occurred?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Many glacial advances and retreats have occurred during the last billion years of Earth history. These glaciations are not randomly distributed in time.Instead, they are concentrated into four time intervals. Large, important glaciations occurred during the late Proterozoic (between about800 and 600 million years ago), during the Pennsylvanian and Permian (between about 350 and 250 million years ago), and the late Neogene toQuaternary (the last 4 million years). Somewhat less extensive glaciations occurred during parts of the Ordovician and Silurian (between about 460 and 430 million years ago).
During each of these periods, many glacial advances and retreatsoccurred. For example, over 20 glacial advances and retreats have occurred during the last 2 million years.

If "ice age" is used to refer to long, generally cool, intervals during which glaciers advance and retreat, we are still in one today. Our modern climate represents a very short, warm period between glacial advances.

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EmperorNero
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Jul, 2010 08:05 pm
@nimh,
nimh wrote:
Usually, any debate between conservatives and liberals, when the topic of global warming comes up, seems to wholly focus on whether or not it exists or not, or to what extent and with what certainty. But should global warming do exist, are there then specifically conservative or liberal strategies on tackling it?


You are right, the debate about whether global warming exists or not usually leaves out what "doing something" would achieve. The left never mentions that cap and trade couldn't do a damn thing. It couldn't reduce carbon emissions very much (Kyoto failed miserably), and even if countries were all on board with reducing carbon emissions, and we reduced emissions by a lot, it's likely to not make a difference about global warming. We can't fine-tune the climate like a stove. Global warming unfolds over a millennium, we can't make a minor carbon reduction and feel the effects in five years, that's not how it works.
If global warming is real, there probably is nothing we can do to mitigate it, or it is too late already. Have you ever considered how unlikely it is that the window of opportunity is exactly now, that it's really urgent to act but it's also not already too late?

Shutting down the world economy to mitigate warming will in fact make us less well equipped for dealing with the consequences. The core of warming alarmists must know that, which makes it suspicious that they only keep advocating carbon reductions and not for example building dams in coastal regions that are threatened with flooding.
It is no coincidence that all solutions to global warming are stuff that the left wants, e.g. greater government, more regulation, shutting down industrialism, etc.

I know what you mean by "liberal" and "conservative", but the terms are paradoxical. It is "liberals" that want to conserve carbon, with illiberal statist regulation. While "conservatives" oppose such statist regulation and therefore are defending liberty. (In fact, the terms "liberal" and "conservative" as they are used in the US today were re-defined to mean the opposite.)
What you mean by "liberal" strategies is statist regulations, and it is pretty much sure that none of this will work. As for "conservative" strategies, there are market alternatives. If global warming is real, we would be best served in dealing with the consequences. But if we want to reduce carbon emissions, we'd have to tax it. If global warming is the consequence of emitting carbon, people have to pay for that consequence when emitting carbon.
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nooneofconsequence
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Jul, 2010 11:06 pm
@nimh,
My Friend

10,000 years ago, my home town of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, was under two miles of ice. You need to check this out. If I had credible evidence that mankind was causing global warming, I would have to act. Please explain the incredibly massive ice sheet that is now gone. I can explain it easily...global warming....wait for it....followed by an ice age I (not here now, but in a theater near you soon).
0 Replies
 
nooneofconsequence
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Jul, 2010 11:10 pm
@nimh,
My Friends

10,000 years ago, my home town of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, was under two miles of ice. You need to check this out. If I had credible evidence that mankind was causing global warming, I would have to act. Please explain the incredibly massive ice sheet that is now gone. I can explain it easily...global warming....wait for it....followed by an ice age I (not here now, but in a theater near you soon).
roger
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 Jul, 2010 12:39 am
@nooneofconsequence,
With three identical posts on three separate threads, you are seriously crowding the definition of spam.
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