Funny - now we've gone from politics to religion on this.
Yes - there is a group that leave all their problems up to God as if there is nothing they can do - and that's a misguided concept for sure.
HOWEVER, in this case we have another entire group who now see "Mother Nature" as their God which needs to be worshipped and feared. Beyond that, the same group views government as their "pastor" or "shepherd" who will guide them to a pure and sinless CO2 free life to be lived without the shame of excess or SUV. You'll find these folks with heads rotating in slightly hypnotic manner and hands extended in solemn worship before one of those large three bladed whirling crosses in the hallowed ground of green.
Yes it is amazing, Rob. My natural tendacy as an engineer is to get to that bottom line and find a solution (my wife hates it - she's only looking for sympathy not a solution). This subject is similar - proposed solutions portray as much hurt and fear as the problem.
I agree ChasChas, there are better posts. What's amazing though is the number of posts -- more than 265 now. While I know this is a controversial issue, and it's been used incessantly in the political realm, it's still surprising that it prompts such passion.
GlennA, we are talking two different things here, spiritual needs and natural needs. We are the stewards of the earth - no question there. We are sheep spiritually - spiritually lost if we try to figure it out with the mind.
George Washington said to strive to keep alive that celestial light called the conscience. Without the spiritual side, mankind is truly lost - especially naturally.
(I think there are better posts for this subject.)
I sometimes wonder about the symbology in Religion. The people of the congregation are referred to as a 'flock' (e.g. sheep) and the Pastor / Reverend / Priest / (your favorite here) is the 'shepherd'. Since the sheep are not capable of making the correct decisions for their best welfare, they depend on the shepherd to look after them. And then I think about the phrase "like lambs to the slaughter". There is no need to confront difficult decisions when you can leave it all up to God. But what happens when it turns out this was a test to see if Man could be responsible, and make the correct difficult decison, and failed ? I guess by the time you get your answer, it may be too late.
"The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers. Then kill all the engineers." (revised) Shakespeare's Henry VI. Imagine a world with no engineers. We could all ride horses, without horseshoes of course, but no cars. No oil drilling and plastics will go away. Mining metals will cease and metal goods will disappear. With no metals and oil, farming output will shrink, and along with it, our population. Highways will be a thing of the past as well as aircraft. A perfect world as envisioned by many.
This Global Warming topic belongs in Design News right along with the topic of Tips for Machining an Antique Hit and Miss engine. It is as useful as a football bat. It is being used in an attempt to get people to take sides in a non existant issue except for the "should we pay international or national carbon taxes?" and such nonsense lines.
My recommendation: Delete this entire theme, thread, and editorial and return to real engineering issues. At least we are reducing our silicon footprint, but are flooding the universe with trillions and trillions of ones and zeros. Perhaps there is a connection between Global Warming and excess bits as we are producing trillions of them per second. If we get too many 1's on one side of the globe, will this cause the earth to wobble skewing the warming data? This needs to be investigated quickly as we cannot afford to wait for all the evidence.
By most descriptions, I am a conservative. But unlike many characterizations in posts here, I believe the evidence that shows the earth is warming. Glaciers don't disappear when it's cold and snowing. For me the question is whether the global warming is man-made. It makes sense that industrial and automotive polution is causing some chemical reactions in the atmosphere. But is there more to it? Recently I took an Earth Science class at the local community college. The class was informative but the "information" was totally skewed to the "man is plague on the earth" side of the conversation. Citing a study of polar ice, a chart was shown that gave the average global temperature for the last 20,000 years(? sorry, can't remember the exact range of the chart and study). The chart showed 3 peaks and 2 valleys. The most recent valley reached it's bottom more than 2,000 years ago and has been rising ever since. The argument presented in the class is that human population growth was the reason for the rise. But when we looked at the population charts it didn't line up. When this was pointed out to the teacher, the discussion was dropped and never mentioned again. So I believe the warming evidence, but can't believe that it is all man-made.
So is it possible that the earth is simply going through its natural cycles of warming and cooling? Is it possible that man's polution is only contributing to an existing cycle? Is it necessary to further cripple American industry to conduct the "we can stop global warming" experiments? Must all industry leave America before the "environmentalists" are content that we Americans have done our part to "save the planet"? Can we, as a nation, agree to a middle ground of some action without devastating our economy?
Its fun to argue all day about this subject. However, regardless of how we feel, it comes down to a matter of what are the chances and what are the choices. So here are a few very simple questions I ask myself.
1) "What are the chances that global warming or agw is really happening to the extent everyone is worried about?". Answer - Perhaps 50/50 split in opinions.
2) "Is there really going to be a massive disaster at some point if AGW is true and continues as some predict?" - Answer - I highly doubt there would be a disaster unless we all get hot enough to fry like bugs. People will cope. Nature has seen climate change before - it isn't the end of the world. Most of these predictions of impending environmental doom have almost zero credibility based on past performance.
3) "What are the chances that the solutions being proposed to fix the alleged gobal warming problem will even have a meaningful affect?" - The anwer is probably less than 50/50.
4) "Do I want to live in a top-down Soviet style command and control economy where every little aspect of my life is regulated, my standard of living is cut, and more freedoms are eliminated in order to take a flailing swing at fixing a problem which may or may not be an issue?" - and - "Do I want to give up my nation's sovereignty for this?" Answer - Unapologetically ABSOLUTELY NOT!!
So in the final analysis it seems we've been offered a choice of living in the hell created by Al Gore and the onerous solutions offered by those of his persuasion or the hell created by global warming.
I'll take my chances with global warming without batting eye.
Yes our resources are limited, yes our society is growing, yes there will come a day when energy is precious, but until that day we should take advantage of the resources present. As natural resources become scarce then recycling becomes necessary and affordable. Our economy automatically implements these processes. This is simple mechanics of supply and demand people. I believe that these scientists did not sign a career-ender publication without truly believing in this. Fear has been used before to control people. The church does it, Communist countries do this, and fascist countries have used the same techniques. This is a repeating process. When the next outbreak of fear comes along just be prepared to minimize your loss. Keep in mind that all they are saying is Excess amounts of CO2 in the atmosphere are not a problem or so is my take on this. This does not state the crisis of the limited natural resources that could or could not run out in 100 years or so. Also another thing to consider is the amount that animals, humans, and any CO2 exhaling living thing outputs several times more CO2 then all of our industry combined. Humans alone have output 150% CO2 in million tons in comparison to the worlds industry.
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