It is interesting that even among engineers and scientist there are some topics that we seem incapable of approaching with objectivity. Even defining the problem seems to tangle people up in some dark maze of religious and cultural preconceptions that is far away from how we normally would approach a practical problem of technology. The depth of the bias on both sides is revealed in these comments by how much of the discussion focuses on whether the potential for a globe changing environmental process is man made or a product of natural consequences.
What is it about humans facing a possible existential challenge that apparently requires us to respond by first arguing over who should be blamed. If it happens will it be our fault, the fault of a blind evolutionary process or some arbitray act of God?
If we could trancend these irrelevant distractions the answers to whether or not climate change threatens our existence could be discovered through the application of the same tools that are presently allowing a dedicated group of humans to drive a very sophisticated golf cart around the surface of Mars.
I live in South Texas, an area that definately watches the weather through the summer months. For all the warnings about how "Global Warming" is going to create fiercer and fiercer weather, the hurricanes during this supposed period of fiercer storms we have actually seen less severe storms and less damage due to storms.
Previous to moving to South Texas I lived in Northern Indiana. My boss ther had a fruit farm. The peaches that produced so well over the last 30 years were not producing any more because the winters were growing colder and the trees were freezing.
The big natural disaters of the past few years have had nothing to do with climate. As far as I know, earthquakes an tsunamis are not a climate effect. While there were a couple hurricanes that hit the USA, statistically, we were do to have a huricane or two hit the gulf and east coast becasue they happen to be populated areas that are in huricane prone ares. No supprise there. We put lots of people where storms hit. Peopple have problems with storms...
I know these are only anecdotal evidence, but if we looked at the weather trends I think we would find that the climate is very cyclic, and our evidence of such has been collected over a very short period of time. 80 years ago we had a severe drought. Got the name "The Dust Bowl". larger ares suffered because of a lack of precipitation and high temperatures. We have been able to reduce some of that effect by different farming practices, but when there is no rain the crops don't grow.
There are a number of us who look at the idea of a "cansensus" among scientists as a completely bogus argument. Over the centuries "scientists" have had a consensus about many things that were proved to be wrong. Earth Centered solar system, sponrtaneous generation of flies from rotten meat... If we looked at scientific history we might well find enugh evidence that when scientists form a consensus they are going to be found to be wrong. Let's rather look at all the models with as much skepticism as possible. Do any of those who have created the models have an agenda? have they been good prognosticators in the past? Are tehy willing to accept critical analysis of their work and be critical of their own results? Or are they going to be involved in suppressing the ideas of those who dissagree? Or are tehy doing poor science and using political pressure to accomplish what their evidence does not support. Unfortunately "science" has prostituted itself to politics and other sources of funding and has become a tool for control rather than knowledge.
"The demonization of carbon has really distorted everything we do," Happer told us. "If we could back off and say, 'CO2 is probably good,' it would change the way we do things. We'd like to get back to an honest economic discussion not based on carbon footprints or assumptions about 'evil CO2.' "
I was left to shake my head in dismay when, during the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the Hon. Rep. Pelosi bemoaned the huge amount of carbon pollution being released into the ocean. Totally ignorant that every living thing on this planet is a "carbon-based life form." Carbon isn't evil, releasing certain carbon compounds loose in the environment is a bad idea and others may be a problem when we upset the balance of transpiration, respiration, etc.
Yes Rob, but not only are people taking advantage of the opportunities that exist to avoid personal responsibility, they are actively seeking new ways to blame someone else for their own lack of forethought, ,or perhaps lack their of any thought .....
I would ask folks to consider the proposition for the "cap and trade" means of dealing with some pollutants. In particular, consider how much money would be made by those handling this portion of the business deals. I submit that the brokerage would get more money than any could possily imagine, far more than Gates and his minions could ever earn. An inconceivable amount of wealth.
Now do you suppose that there are a few people around who would damage the very existance of everybody else for that much wealth? IS it possible that some would resort to lying to promote such a situation as would allow them to gain that much wealth?
MY point is that at least a few of those screaming the most loudly may have an ulterior motive that is much less noble than they would assert. So I am advising that all of us look at credentials and backgrounds of those who are demanding such drastic actions. Some of them may not be quite what they claim to be.
I agree completely, Wasaus1. Some significant changes have been made regarding the environment that has improved air and water quality. We don't have to settle the global warming question to see the value of cleaner air and water.
As for your eloquent comments on personal responsibility, we now view ourselves as part of a group of 350 million. Given the size of the group, there is plenty of opportunity to avoid personal responsibility. A couple hundred years ago when communities were smaller, you couldn't avoid personal responsibility -- the lapse would have a noticeable impact on your neighbors.
I agree with you Rob, climate change/global warming is very emotive, whether or not it exists, or is caused or exacerbated by human activity .....
It detracts from the real issue - We are custodians of this planet, stewards if you like, to care for it and hand it to the next generation - preferably in a better conditiuon than we received it. We are RESPONSIBLE for what we do ....
Personal responsibility is a concept that has been all but erradicated from daily life by legislation and court rulings that all seek to blame someone else and abdicate personal responsibility - I have news for everyone - Everyone IS personally responsible for all their actions regardless of situation, circumstances, external pressure, misunderstandings or any other influence ..... there is no excuse ...... We must take responsibility for our actions, for our environment, for our neighbourhood and strive to improve them, not for personal gain, or kudos, or to look good, but because we are responsible to to so.
In some ways, Myron, it doesn't even matter. We owe it to ourselves and our children to keep the environment as clean as possible. Likewise with the use of energy. We owe it to ourselves and our children to conserve energy.
Truchard will be presented the award at the 2014 Golden Mousetrap Awards ceremony during the co-located events Pacific Design & Manufacturing, MD&M West, WestPack, PLASTEC West, Electronics West, ATX West, and AeroCon.
In a bid to boost the viability of lithium-based electric car batteries, a team at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has developed a chemistry that could possibly double an EV’s driving range while cutting its battery cost in half.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.