back to article Cutting CO2 too difficult? Try these 4 simple tricks instead

Climate researchers - including one working for Wendy Schmidt, the campaigning wife of Google overlord Eric - have published research suggesting that there are other things apart from cutting CO2 emissions which would help to avoid disastrous rises in sea levels this century. According to Dr Claudia Tebaldi: "Without …

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Pint

All hail the climate God!

Science based on the idea that "it's happened but we can't measure any change but it will get worse" is suspect as cant and hypocrisy. I've seen articles saying there is no measurable worldwide temperature change change in 20 years, with a final sentence saying in effect, "Notwithstanding these facts, Anthropogenic Global Warming is a serious problem."

If we look data gathered in the PRIOR 20 years, we see major distortions due to a preference for measuring near cities, which indeed warmed as they grew and threw more heat int the surrounding air.

I think we need to stop talking BS about non-existent warming and get on with cleaning up the rest of the environment. MS Schmidt's soot ban makes sense, but to stop asthma problems. Methane however is PETA's dream, since cows are the main generator, and going meatless is the only fix. The fact that we would have to kill all the cows anyway to get the benefit is a minor irrelevance!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: All hail the climate God!

Gosh, I knew the met office had got it all wrong. And all the other scientists too, you are very clever. I bet you do stats or something. I was of the impression that my wages were going up but they seem to have stalled for the last five years so they probably haven't. In fact I expect to go back to £15k this year because obvioulsy there is no correlation between my experience and my rate of pay.

The heat islands effect has been tested and you are wrong there though. And the hockey stick is true too unfortunately. So maybe you aren't so clever, just a bit gullable.

I think the work being done is a good thing though, we should be looking at reducing pollution and waste wherever it is. But we need alternative power to, big oil is out to milk us otherwise.

Just as well solar and wind is now becoming cheaper than oil and Texas and China are pouring money into it.

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Re: All hail the climate God!

Man, did you buy the Climate Bible or something? Even the Chief Priest and acolytes at IPCC will admit that there is no measurable worldwide warming in the last 20 years.

And on the wind power, the UK govt's own assessments put the cost per KWH of those offshore wind farms at 500 percent higher than gas/oil electricity generation and 12x thorium cycle nuclear power. (and you still need the gas generators for days the wind doesn't blow!)

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Angel

Re: All hail the climate God!

... And the hockey stick is true too unfortunately....

I really am interested in which paper you believe proves the hockey-stick. Do you just generally believe it to be true regardless of any disproof, or is there a specific dataset which you believe has not been disproved?

Do you, for instance believe that Mann's original hockey-stick is still valid? Or Marcott's? Or some other?

Enquiring minds would like to know...

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Re: All hail the climate God!

"Even the Chief Priest and acolytes at IPCC will admit that there is no measurable worldwide warming in the last 20 years."

Why would they admit something that isn't true?

http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/uah/last:240/plot/uah/last:240/trend

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Anonymous Coward

Re: All hail the climate God!

I thought it was tern years and just the air, the water is continuing to warm at the accelerated rate. My point was perhaps a bit deep; in a chaotic system a (actually fuck that, we are forcing a chaotic system and somehow you appear to think everything will turn up rosy? It's the world, wet places will become dry and vice versa, we may have revolution, it may cost trillions, billions of people will move. Where is you risk aversion?)

On the wind power, they are not cheap and springing up all over Scotland but with the hardware in place I think they will become cheap, long before the price of oil will.

Thorium would be nice if they can stop it dissolving the plant and I would like to point out that gas is a bit slow too, so to cover spikes in supply we often provide hydro because it isn't.

Where I live is not so good for solar :( The last place I heard predicting it to be cheaper than gas at the moment is Italy though; Oz, Texas and China appears to me to be self evident or they wouldn't be doing it.

As for gas, I am glad I don't live halfway between sellafield and the fracking in Lancashire, I would much rather look at windmills.

.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: All hail the climate God!

I don't know what browser you use, I'm on Chrome at the moment but I think this works with a few. Type in "Hockey stick graph". I just tried it and just went to the Wiki page and read to the bottom and it seems pretty certain to me.

There are other places to go for good information though, I like New Scientist and PhysOrg, Let me know if you find a reliable source with your point (not Lewis obviously).

Surely Divine beings should know this stuff?

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Bronze badge

Re: All hail the climate God!

"cost per KWH..."

Kelvin-Watt-Henries?

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Re: All hail the climate God!

"I thought it was tern years and just the air, the water is continuing to warm at the accelerated rate."

The oceans are not continuing to warm - this was the reason for Trenberth to call it 'Travesty that they couldn't find the missing heat'. As soon as the ARGO floats were distributed it became apparent that the oceans were not warming as fast as had been claimed. Indeed, NONE of the predicted effects of _anthropogenic_ global warming have actually occurred. There was meant to be a tropical tropospheric hotspot the signature of the enhanced water vapor feedback - it is in every climate model - but it doesn't exist in the real atmosphere despite thousands of balloon sondes, satellite measures and aircraft flights - it's not there. The global temperatures did warm from 1975 - 1997 at a rate slower than from 1900 - 1940 (when CO2 could not have caused it) but since that time temperatures have not risen and are below what the AGW proponents forecast for what should happen if in 1995 all emissions of anthropogenic CO2 had stopped when they actually accelerated. So the hypothesis has been falsified. This won't stop people building subsidy farms marked by windmills but it has led to a huge rise in energy poverty and deaths from cold. 2000 extra deaths in UK in the first 2 weeks of March alone. That's about one person dead per windmill just in March. It was extremely close that there were no power cuts last winter however, as coal and oil fired generation is taken off line next winter there WILL be rolling power cuts - and more deaths. These are not projected deaths from a couple of millimeters a year rise in sea level - these are actual people dying due to green power policies based on a falsified hypothesis but making politicians and greens extremely rich.

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Re: All hail the climate God!

To be fair, I don't see that it's making Greens rich, but it does wonders for their self-esteem. "Half of the harm That is done in this world..."

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Silver badge

Re: All hail the climate God!

"2000 extra deaths in UK in the first 2 weeks of March alone. That's about one person dead per windmill just in March."

Faulty logic. What you need to do is show how many extra deaths there would have been without the energy policy you disagree with and compare that to the observed extra deaths this march. Not simply attribute all extra deaths to windmills!

Some other notes:

-the tropospheric hotspot is not a signature of enhanced water vapor feedback

-"but since that time temperatures have not risen and are below what the AGW proponents forecast for what should happen if in 1995 all emissions of anthropogenic CO2 had stopped when they actually accelerated."

That isn't true.

"Indeed, NONE of the predicted effects of _anthropogenic_ global warming have actually occurred"

Warming has occurred. No-one else predicted we would be warmer today than in the 80s. In fact others who dismissed CO2 were predicting the Earth would cool.

Sea level has risen according to predictions. Arctic sea ice loss is greater than predicted (surprised you didn't mention this failed prediction!)

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Happy

Re: All hail the climate God!

Wait, there are working large scale thorium reactors? I've really behind on this, I thought they where still 1st generation units, and there where some significant corrosion issues to be overcome.

Or is the cost for thorium reactors entirely theoretical at this time? Don't get me wrong, I think they are fantastic tech, even just for having something that we can actually get rid of nuclear waste with. But there's still a fair whack of engineering to do. I dimly recall fission reactors where supposed to produce so much power it wouldn't even be worth metering it. Hell, you could compare cost per KWH of a fusion generator, those always appear to be "40 years in the future" and have awesome stats :)

The nuke industry is particularly opaque, so calculating things like deaths per KWH or actual cost per KWH, or even TCO is pretty much impossible. National security trumps all, but it does make it very hard to assess fission nukes actual worth as power plants. But if they are primarily as a way of making weapons grade fissile material then does it even matter? The state gets it's super bang weapons (which it can't ever really use) and assumes the responsibility for finding a way to deal with the waste. The power generation is just a bonus, and convenient smoke screen.

I'm not the biggest fan of wind or solar (in UK) either. Well, large scale installations anyway, having them as local production seems sensible. I like me big plants to run when needed. I am a huge fan of hydro, especially low impact micro hydro from run-of-river or using existing infrastructure (mills and canals), but hydro does wreak havoc on ecosystems. And if you're using a dam and it breaks then you have a massive disaster and loss of life that gets squarely blamed on you (or your civil engineers). As compared to killing people by burning coal (and to a lessor extent other hydrocarbons) or producing toxic waste in the hope that someone will come up with a way of disposing of it, as those deaths can't be directly linked to you.

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Time to start picking that low hanging fruit?

Actually all of these are good idea wheather or not you believe in AGW.

The nice thing about most of them is that they can wash out of the atmosphere fairly quickly.

Unlike CO2 which will be around for a long time (unless active measures are taken).

Historically the hard greens (Jades?) have not wanted to talk about these options, viewing them as a diversion from the real struggle of getting you to live in third world squalor reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

Thumbs up for publicising these options.

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Devil

Re: Time to start picking that low hanging fruit?

The hard greens do have a touch of the religious about them. They don't want there to be any easy solutions as we are supposed to be getting punished for our evil western ways :)

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Re: Time to start picking that low hanging fruit?

I thought the greens policy was that if we where all middle class things would be awesome. Get food done proper, and pay 3-4 times the price. Own your house, then make it as efficient as possible through investing in it (ground heat, insulation, heatpump, maybe solar panels and wind turbine if you're really keen). Use a car that's efficient.

In NZ they at least take some reasonably good stances on social policies, and are the least disruptive political party. Which oddly makes them quite weak politically, as they rarely take a "adopt our policies or we walk" approach to coalition, usually offering confidence and supply votes to whoever can muster a majority. Oh, and they let their MPs conscience vote on anything really.

Wouldn't mind hearing what they are like in other countries, there seems to a few MPs in various euro countries.

But they are still a middle class party, with views and policies that just don't add up if you're getting by on less than $30k a year, which is about half the country. If the greens got on board with tax reform I'd have more time for them.

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Soot.

I don't buy into the AGW scam at all, but personally I would support measure to reduce soot simply for the sake of reducing soot and nothing else, unless those measure and/or the reduction itself were found to be actually harmful.

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Flame

Re: Soot.

The health benefits from eliminating soot would be large, too. So go on Big Industry, why shouldn't we eliminate soot?

<--- Icon for something that produces soot.

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Re: Soot.

I think the big problem is that the developed economies have already removed the vast majority of soot from their own industries - smokeless coal, power station scrubbers and low-particulate diesel have cleaned up the air in Europe and North America rather well. It is the developing world that is producing most soot now as there is still large amount of wood-based energy production and many, many new coal-fired power stations.

The chances of getting China and India to reduce soot emissions rest with them having alternative power generation of similar density - which implies gas or nuclear and will probably happen anyway as the local inhabitants demand cleaner air. Cities in India have already banned diesel and two-stroke auto-rikshaws, mandating CNG engines, so it shows it can be done. I don't think we need to worry about supranational bodies mandating this change - which is probably why it is not all that popular......

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Boffin

Re: Soot.

"The health benefits from eliminating soot would be large, too. So go on Big Industry, why shouldn't we eliminate soot?"

In this context "soot" includes subsistence farmers doing slash & burn framing on jungle areas and individual wood burning stoves whose fumes are the equivalent of a 60 cigarettes a day smoking habit.

Collectively they add up to quite a bit of soot.

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Pint

Re: Soot.

Soot.

We need to get people out of their soot-belching public transit buses and into private automobiles.

The diesel powered buses typically have smoke and soot belching from their prehistoric engines. Most modern cars engines burn so incredibly clean that they would actually clean soot out of the air.

Getting rid of buses would also clear up the traffic jams, all of which have a bus at the front just behind a vast gap of empty tarmac stretching for miles.

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Bronze badge

Re: Soot.

Most modern cars engines burn so incredibly clean that they would actually clean soot out of the air.

You DO know, that most modern gasoline engines are direct injection engines, do you? But do you know that direct injection engines work with inhomogenous combustion - which causes, erm, soot?

And while modern diesel engines have soot filters, gasoline engines don't.

So no, private automobiles are not the solution. I wished it would be otherwise, as I like driving my own car...

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Anonymous Coward

I keep coming back to the same thing....

I keep coming back to the same thing, which is:

IF those advocating all these cuts truly feel catastrophic change is coming unless we reduce atmospheric CO2

and

GIVEN that they seem to use that as a justification to do "anything, no matter how harmful" to correct the issue (destroying the economy, restricting the ability of the Third World to improve their lot via industrialization, dramatic reductions in the standard of living of the First World, dramatic reductions in the human population, etc.)

THEN

Why aren't those people demanding the suspension of the treaties against already nuclear nations (e.g. the US) using advanced nuclear power generation (breeder reactors, etc.) to create a large number of plants to convert CO2 into easily sequesterable carbon and free oxygen, and into motor fuels to quickly convert the existing motor fleet into carbon-neutral systems. It's not like the US building breeder reactors is going to increase the size of the US nuclear arsenal, and that route clearly can lead to CO2 reductions in very short order.

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Holmes

Re: I keep coming back to the same thing....

The US has a poor history of toxic waste disposal, and that was widely publicized and mitigated against in the 80s. We call them superfund sites now due to the large federal project to clean up all that. Many private waste dumps were abandoned/not kept up right, and often placed near schools or buried and then built on, so now they're underneath actual communities. The lower 9th ward in New Orleans was one such site - when Katrina flooded it, the waste got into that water too, exacerbating hurricane cleanup. All low-income areas of course, we wouldn't make our rich people live on toxic land. There are some very interesting forms of cancer that come from New Orleans and surrounding areas that you just don't see in other places.

One of those superfund sites was right next to my primary school before it was cleaned up. It was an abandoned field. Kids were just playing in it until something was done.

All that to say: the sordid history of waste cleanup and regulations in the US is burned into memory. Anytime someone brings up nuclear, everyone worries about the waste. Whether or not that worrying is warranted is beside the point when an entire generation got forced to live in a prior generation's industrial sewage until the federal government had to step in. You remember that stuff happening when you were six, and then you get surrounded by a pro-eco movement in the late 80s/early 90s as you're developing most of your hard-set beliefs. The pro-eco movement was and still is a sort of religious fervor at times. In the face of all that it's hard to accept the hard science and embrace nuclear. The whipped cream on top is the news coverage on Fukushima.

To be honest, this is a problem psychology/sociology could answer more easily than the safety numbers on nuclear reactors. Populations remember fear for a long time. As much as the Reg likes to call social scientists trick-cyclists, they're the ones best informed on how to change the attitudes of an entire populace when those attitudes are based more on feelings and deep-ingrained memories from old propaganda. Combine that with some work in the media and maybe we'll get attitudes changed.

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Unhappy

Re: I keep coming back to the same thing....

" Many private waste dumps were abandoned/not kept up right, and often placed near schools or buried and then built on, so now they're underneath actual communities. "

Oh BTW some of the early nuclear hardware (IE WWII into the 1950s) was crushed up and used for road bedding in some parts of the US.

Yes it's still detectable from the air with suitable sensors.

And from the ground, where it's slow cooking the locals.

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Angel

Re: I keep coming back to the same thing....

Have a read of "Can I sell you a kilo of isopropyl bromide?" by Gergel.

Pretty much every chemical plant/factory he ran is a superfund site now. The casual way he talks about dumping massive amounts of incredibly toxic waste. Mind you, he's pretty casual about his own safety too. One of those cat chemists who've used up a good portion of their nine lives.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I keep coming back to the same thing....

"dramatic reductions in the human population"

Yeah, because that would be really dumb, wouldn't it? When we can just build more land so easily.

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Irk
Flame

Ocean level rising isn't the only harm we need to mitigate

Crops react to the temperature changes we're talking about as well. The types of grapes you can grow in the NW USA have shifted due to climate shift here - grapes that used to not grow in the climate due to cold are now able to be grown, but varieties that prefer the cold are now unable to flourish. So grape varieties for making wine are slowly shifting north as the temperature rises. This causes a shift in the wine industry. That's just one example, but climate change means many other things change accordingly, and perhaps faster than some are prepared for.

There was an article last year about this causing coffee-growing areas to be depleted due to poor growing conditions in the future, and going on to suggest this might spell the end of coffee. Perhaps if we took the focus off of how much the ocean will rise, and shifted that focus onto no more coffee in the future, more people would prioritize the climate instead of writing off 2-10 degree temperature shifts as the cost of "progress".

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Headmaster

Re: Ocean level rising isn't the only harm we need to mitigate

Warming isn't AWG. The Sun has a much bigger impact! The Brits grew wine grapes in the middle ages, then the colder weather stopped all that. It's just Nature's cycles, so it's safe to exhale!

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Re: Ocean level rising isn't the only harm we need to mitigate

"The Brits grew wine grapes in the middle ages"

we grow wine grapes today

Perhaps a factor in the a decline in wine grape growing was Henry VIII abolishing all the monestries which housed the vineyards where wine grapes were grown for religious wine. Better trade access to better quality wine from france wouldn't have helped local growers either.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Ocean level rising isn't the only harm we need to mitigate

Yeah, yeah, the Romans grew wine grapes, but no-one said they made drinkable wine. Also, cold weather viniculture is a thing... The growth of grapes says nothing about the quality of grape or temperature required to grow them.

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Holmes

"Climate Central openly confesses to being engaged in social engineering...

"as much as anything else. The organisation states: We use proven social science methods to determine what messages resonate with our viewers"

Well damn them! What a sneaky and underhanded method of getting their point across.

Isn't it incredible that nobody has ever thought of this before...?

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Joke

Comment

I like the way you put the "comment" section at the bottom half of the page so that we know which half you have presented an opinion on and which half you have recreated without any bias or spin whatsoever.

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Rising sea

Most of the population won't have a problem with the sea rising.

Island nations will blink out of existence, etc, the Delta plan will have to be reinforced, etc, but apart from bringing poverty, it's not going to kill us.

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FAIL

Re: Rising sea

"Most of the population won't have a problem with the sea rising."

Tell that to the citizens of London, New York, Venice or indeed any port city with a sizable population.

Only someone with a deep ignorance of geography would say that.

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Mushroom

Re: Rising sea

I concur, the rising waters won't kill us. They aren't rising that fast ;)

The subsequent storms, changes of weather patterns might affect crops, so that might kill a few more of us.

The wars over the remaining arable land and above water resources, now those will kill us.

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Pirate

I am 63 and I don't believe in climate change because of any thing I have read or heard,too many people are trying to make a buck from it. I BELIEVE IN CLIMATE CHANGE BECAUSE OF THE TWENTY FOOT WILD PALM TREES GROWING IN MY BACKYARD. I grew up here in the 50's and the wild palm tree line was about 100 miles south of Pensacola. We bought palms but it was too cold for them to reproduce and they froze to death after a few years. In the summer of 1995 I served on the USNS Tippicanoe in the Persian Gulf. We measured temps of 138 degrees F. I believe these are some of the highest measured on earth. At those temps our shoes would melt to the deck, hand tools blistered our hands, our air con did not work, we could not think, our coumputers stopped working and strong sailors began colapsing on deck. That is what climate change is. I recomend a simple step that you can take now; paint your roof white. I did that here 4 years ago and my power bills went from $300 to less than $100. It works, it is simple and you don't have to wait for the goverment to pass a law.

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I'm not as old as you, but in my lifetime, I've seen Summer temperatures change from highs in the hundreds (f) being rare heat waves to normal highs for weeks; alligators, which only lived in states south of here, have established populations here now to the point that they're common roadkill in the coastal area. And yes, the palm trees that once only existed far south of here, now flourish, while some once common trees have virtually vanished.

Global warming may not be a thing, but in regional warming in southern New England states is definitely real.

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I found a strange spider in the bath. I can't remember that happening before.

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Curious

From time to time, people complain that global warming doesn't seem to be making the weather in Britain any better, and that it recently seems to have been getting worse. The more flippant have been heard to say that we could do with some warmer weather. The rebuttal to this is always along the lines of "Don't be stupid: global warming doesn't mean the weather where you are gets warmer".

But when people produce anecdotes about localised phenomena that seem to indicate the climate is getting warmer - palm trees in Pensacola etc - it's accepted as yet more proof that AGW is real.

Not disagreeing. I just think it's curious.

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Mushroom

Re: Curious

Weird, I left the UK for 12 years, and been back for a couple now. There certainly seems to be more heat waves, or hotter summers than I remember, and also seems to be more moisture in winter. Seen more snow (in the south) in 2 years than I did in 16 growing up.

I'm not sold (yet) on AGW, but cutting down CO2 emissions just seems sensible. Acidification is bad, mkay? But doing it in any sort of fair way is tricky. It would seem that helping (giving?) poorer countries low hanging fruit technology is a more effective way of cutting down CO2 emissions. Things like efficient wood/coal stoves.

But regardless of that, climate change is real, is happening, has conclusively happened in the past, and is pretty certain to happen in the future. So we have to deal with it. I'm just not sure that telling people to "take care of their carbons" will make a lot of difference when we need to change crops, adapt housing and infrastructure to changing weather, and coping with more natural disasters.

Or even have some sort of endgame plan for when it all goes south. Be it nuclear war, mega volcano or asteroid impact, a few years of nuclear winter will do us in. If we're not starving or killing each other, then the masses of rotting vegetation will poison us. Knocking us back to stone age levels of population if we even survive.

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Unhappy

@ Kubla Cant

Unfortunately, if global warming is correct, England can expect more of the same, and worse!

Deep ocean currents have continued climbing while the air temperatures have stalled. This has lead to a slowdown in ocean currents, like the Gulf stream, which keeps England warm.*

Worse, with the moderating effects diminished, the weather becomes more severe as more heat is left to be carried to the poles from the tropics via atmosphere.

Net effect: England gets colder, with more storms as global temperatures rise.

*England is at the same latitude as Siberia, without the Gulf stream, it'd have the same temperatures.

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Thumb Down

"Simple"?

In what sense are these simple?

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Re: "Simple"?

Because it's easier to stop making soot than it is to stop making CO2?

Or because the effect of reducing soot and methane is more pronounced?

Guesses on my part......

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Unhappy

Re: "Simple"?

They are the low-hanging fruit.

Reducing soot is easy - better filters on exhaust, higher quality fuels.

Reducing methane is even better - cap landfill and oil wells to capture the gas and burn it. For bonus points you could do something useful with the methane.

Unfortunately politicians do not actually care in the slightest about climate change. They want an excuse to do things.

The greenies are even worse - they actually want almost everybody to quietly drop dead. Or rather, that's the effect of the "hair shirts" they want to impose.

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Pirate

Re: "Simple"?

You buy the white paint. You go on your roof. You spread out the paint. You watch your power bill fall. Simple

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Linux

Re: "Simple"?

Doesn't work all that well here. I don't own an AC. Most of my power bill is to stay warm, not cold. Black roof ftw!!!

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Boffin

Birth control is simple

One glaring omission in the list is: To not have kids. No kids, no future heritage of pollution or any other way of altering the Earth. Add that birth control is actually simple. Most of the other ideas are maybe doable, but agreeing with EDJ: They're not all that simple.

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Angel

Re: Birth control is simple

I gave you a finger... er, thumb. Do with it what you will.

"To not have kids". Hmmm, yes, very easy to do, but very difficult to undo. Most will err on the side of having kids, as not having them and later discovering that things didn't go down/come up the drain--as had been suggested would happen--while not having any grey hair attributable to the raising of children would be a major downer. Better to err on the side of caution and drop a couple than be left with only one pair of hands to hold. Or wring.

Birth control is simple, yes, but runs up hard *cough* against some rather deeply-entrenched dogmas on what though shalt and thou shalt not do. And there's the sticky *cough* problem of "Who's first? Anyone? Anyone?"

Ultimately, though, if humans are on their penultimate (or near-ultimate) legs, the problem will solve itself, and, if that's the case, its all about the race to arrange for front-row seats to watch it all go down. If only the reel had a shuttle - we could speed things up, slow it down, go backwards...

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Meh

Re: Birth control is simple

"One glaring omission in the list is: To not have kids. No kids, no future heritage of pollution or any other way of altering the Earth. "

An admirable idea.

Now is the US Govt actually funding the WHO programme on population control or are the swivel eyed loons religious Republican right still blocking it?

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Pint

Re: Birth control is simple

The population explosion is pretty much winding itself down already. Birth rates around most of the world are dropping so fast that's it's likely going to be a reverse problem in 60 years.

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