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People who doubt if global warming is man made or not. I don't know either.

 

Would it not make sense if air poluting would be minimized anyway fore the sake of people and nature.

 

would that make sense?

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Most of you young people are too young to realize how good we have it today compared to even 30-40 years ago. The EPA didn't form until 1970. Before then there was little push for the modern technology that captures polution. Autos use do burn leaded gas so lead was everywhere. Much has been done, since then, with emissions safer today than in the past. I am not saying it is perfect, just that everyone is over reacting to less.

 

Back in the USA in the mid-sixies Laby Bird Johnson, who was the wife of then president Johnson started a polution campagn, that was geared toward people throwing trash anywhere, especially roadside. It sort of reflected the cavalier attitude where rivers/air were the natural sewer. Many rivers were not safe with some even catching fire. She wanted to clean up America's roads. That sort of change some of the old habits. The EPA came into existance at the end of that same decade.

 

What has changed the most, is the state of the analytical equipment. The early equipment was not too accurate so standards were much lower. If one had 50 PPM (parts per million) of X is was consider safe since it was about as good as we could measure. Out of sight out of mind. Now we can see down to parts per trillion for some things so if it has 50PPT, panic city. We can still see it, so it weighs heavily on our minds. If you plot pollution as a function of time say 1950, it has come down. If you plot panic as a function of time from 1950, it rises with time. Maybe we need to polute. The data seems to indicate that people were calmer with more polution.

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I'm not sure where I stand on global warming, so I just never get into it - but I think there are PLENTY of good reasons to reduce carbon emissions and fossil fuel use even without global warming. That's my opinion. *shrugs*

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pioneer, that is true the emmissions of various toic chemical has been reduced dramatically, however if you consider that a cars still emit the same amount of CO2 then the argument isn't valid for certain kinds of pollution.

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pioneer; There was much other environmental activity, with great success and goes back to the end of WWII. Highway Trash, the first I recall, where roadside rest area became popular. For the most part folks just stopped throwing trash out auto windows. Then many local governments began controlling burning of trash, leaves which long before 70, virtually every state was in control. Many things to boring but effective and W/O mandates made great progress along these lines.

 

Lady Bird and Lyndon Johnson, were certainly on agreement with the Natural Beauty of our Highway Countryside. *The Highway Beautification Act* signed by Johnson in 1965, offered by Congress was no doubt a joint work of the two branches. President Johnson passed in 73, when for some reason Lady Bird, took up the Highway Signs and Interstate medians as projects. Her work was later honored by a Congress, think in 88.

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CO2 is not a polutant. It is a natural output of animals. I do not breath out benzene or mercury but I do breath out CO2. It is natural. It is no more of a polutant than a plant outputting O2. Both support aspects of life on this planet with our CO2 the food of the plants. In other words, if we put aside global warming, the amount of CO2 is innocuous to life.

 

CO2 should not be lumped with things that are harmful to life. It is in a class all by itself, since it is part of the life cycle of the earth. It is like eating too many grapes can make you sick. The grape should not be classified as hazardous because someone ate ten Kg in one sitting. That being said, if CO2 causes global warming, the earth should know how to compensate since it has been using this gas for billion of years. The earth may not know how to deal with benzene or viagra since these are alien.

 

If humans were not on the earth, the oil deposits came to the surface, started to burn at industrial rates, the CO2 levels rose, global warming occurred, the earth would go through a period of change not destruction. If a volcano explodes, 10 years later nature is back creating a new eco-system. The concern for global warming is not for the earth, since we are adding more CO2 food for the plants. The concern is for humans. Have we become so unnatural that nature will leave us high and dry?

 

Look at it this way, another doom-gloom concern is the projected population growth, into the next couple of centuries. Will there be enough food and water for the earth to support that many people? Global warming will lengthen the warm part of the year allowing longer growing seasons. It will also make more evaporation and rain for more fresh water. This is the earth making it easier for greater human population. The short term quick fix is forget about the future population, only now counts.

 

You are not a tree with your legs planted in the ground. If the water goes up move to higher ground. If it is too hot for you head north. All you are doing in making a little sacrifice, for more food and water for the future.

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CO2 is not a polutant. It is a natural output of animals. I do not breath out benzene or mercury but I do breath out CO2. It is natural. It is no more of a polutant than a plant outputting O2. Both support aspects of life on this planet with our CO2 the food of the plants. In other words, if we put aside global warming, the amount of CO2 is innocuous to life.

 

CO2 IS a pollutant. natural or not. benzene is also natural.

 

CO2 should not be lumped with things that are harmful to life. It is in a class all by itself, since it is part of the life cycle of the earth. It is like eating too many grapes can make you sick. The grape should not be classified as hazardous because someone ate ten Kg in one sitting. That being said, if CO2 causes global warming, the earth should know how to compensate since it has been using this gas for billion of years. The earth may not know how to deal with benzene or viagra since these are alien.

 

the earth is not sentient. it does not know anything.

 

If humans were not on the earth, the oil deposits came to the surface, started to burn at industrial rates, the CO2 levels rose, global warming occurred, the earth would go through a period of change not destruction. If a volcano explodes, 10 years later nature is back creating a new eco-system. The concern for global warming is not for the earth, since we are adding more CO2 food for the plants. The concern is for humans. Have we become so unnatural that nature will leave us high and dry?

 

there is no such thing as natural and unnatural as everything we do is natural. we are part of nature.

 

Look at it this way, another doom-gloom concern is the projected population growth, into the next couple of centuries. Will there be enough food and water for the earth to support that many people? Global warming will lengthen the warm part of the year allowing longer growing seasons. It will also make more evaporation and rain for more fresh water. This is the earth making it easier for greater human population. The short term quick fix is forget about the future population, only now counts.

 

only thinking about now is a sure fire way to crap out the enviroment.

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Look at it this way, another doom-gloom concern is the projected population growth, into the next couple of centuries. Will there be enough food and water for the earth to support that many people? Global warming will lengthen the warm part of the year allowing longer growing seasons. It will also make more evaporation and rain for more fresh water. This is the earth making it easier for greater human population. The short term quick fix is forget about the future population, only now counts.

 

You are not a tree with your legs planted in the ground. If the water goes up move to higher ground. If it is too hot for you head north. All you are doing in making a little sacrifice, for more food and water for the future.

 

Ah, but what if the warmer and wetter weather brings more frequent and larger storms that destroy our crops, negating their increased growth? Besides, more heat + more water does not necessarily equal more growth. You need enough nutrients in the soil for plants to grow, and excess rain will begin to leech out the nutrients. The global biosphere is not that simple. I don't know if this will happen, but I most certainly can't say with certainty that it won't.

 

But I digress. This is not a global warming thread, this is a thread for reducing carbon emissions for other reasons. There are already plenty of global warming threads in this forum - go participate in one of them, and you'll get all the argument you could ever want.

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CO2 IS a pollutant. natural or not.

 

Sorry, to sound naive, but why is CO2 a pollutant?

 

CO2 is a major building block of most natural food chains, starting with plants and working it's way up through the food chain to meat eating predators including us.

 

Without CO2 almost all current life on earth would simply die

 

There are also arguments that increased CO2 would be beneficial for plant growth

 

CO2 a pollutant?

 

Seems a strange pollutant that encourages beneficial growth

 

Although, this doesn't mean that we shouldn't control other pollutants and reduce CO2 emissions

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Polution should be seen as displacement.

 

fore instance: Quicksilver can be a pollutand when it's arround humans and animals. But when it's found in its natural surroundings then that's fine.

 

Every thing we use todat was already present on this planet in one form or another.

 

When we get oil to the survace and burn it as fuel this could have consequences.

The world oceans can't absorb all that co2 that fast and/or nature can't absob all of that co2.

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"Sorry, to sound naive, but why is CO2 a pollutant?"

Well, the obvious answer is to sit you in a room full of it; it's toxic.

Just because it's a natural product of metabolism doesn't stop it being a pollutant. People take considerable care to ensure that the sewers are kept separate from the water supply. When they fail, for example due to floooding, it's called pollution.

 

"Seems a strange pollutant that encourages beneficial growth"

Yes, at first it does seem strange; it's called eutrophication.

It's a problem because it upsets the balance of the system it enters. Nitrates and phosphates do it too.

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There are also arguments that increased CO2 would be beneficial for plant growth

 

Again, see my reply to pioneer. Just increasing one thing that a plant uses to grow will not necessarily make plants grow more. Plants need enough water, enough nutrients, enough sun, and enough CO2. If you increase one of these things but not the others, there is little to no guarantee that a plant will actually be able to use the surplus to grow more.

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it seems none of you have ever encountered chaos theory before.

 

in a system where there are many many many factors say, the environment, small changes in one or more variables can be disasterous.

 

take the oxygen catastrophe. eons ago when life was young. the atmosphere had nearly zero free oxygen. life started producing oxygen as a waste gas. life flourished and the amount of oxygen in the atmosphere rose. this lead to mass extinctions as a lot of plants and animals could no longer breathe. also, a whole load of iron precipitated out of the seas as it formed iron oxide(rust). enough species survived to form us oxygen breathing lifeforms.

 

now, imagine the same thing but in reverse. with CO2 rising. that is what you are proposing to let happen.

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Here's the thing that I've never been able to understand, so maybe someone can explain it to me.

 

Let's say you have a great big box full of air, and inside of that box you have, well let's say an electrical plant and 1,000 automobiles running leaded gasoline. Some time passes, and you begin to realize that lab rats inside the box are dying. So you impose pollution controls that cut back on the pollution from the cars and the electrical plant by 90%, and you also impose strict, 100% controls on certain pollutants known to cause death. ONLY those specific pollutants. Not others.

 

The rats become healthy again. All is well.

 

Then you decide to change the equation. Instead of 1,000 cars you put 15,000 cars in the box, and you quadruple the output of the electrical plant. You also have 4x as many rats, but the box is the same size as before.

 

Does anyone here think the rats will be okay? Really? And isn't that more or less exactly what we've done?

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Does anyone here think the rats will be okay? Really? And isn't that more or less exactly what we've done?

 

Not in the slightest, your analogy would be implying that a reduction in pollutants is 'global', and it's not, the reality is reduction in some places, no change in others et.c et.c

 

If you were of good health, and you moved to an industrial part of China, the odds of a long life would be stacked against you...where as moving to a small village in Switzerland, the odds would improve. We simply have not isolated and removed pollutants on a global scale, and there are parts of the Earth where pollutants are significantly lower...if you havn't been, breath the air, and look at the sky at night in Easter Island, it will really hit home.

 

Also, you're ignoring timescale...we've been around for a tiny amount of time for the kind of effects you think may happen to the rats in your analogy...however, over time, if an increase in population and demand continues, then, eventually we will perish.

 

I've just obliterated an assignment in two hours, so I'm a little tipsy in celebration, but you can't put Earth in a box...because it simply isn't.

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well, the earth is a box. the atmosphere can be considered a closed system with negligble mass transfer. in essence, this makes it a box.

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That's true, sorry Pangloss, I get what you’re saying...I wasn't particularly with it, at the time. Although I'm amazed I typed so legibly, when I don't even recall writing that last night. :embarass:

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Oh I still think you had a valid point there -- the Earth isn't really a box, I agree. It can clean itself up to a certain extent, as I understand it, over time. But I think IA is right in that it's a closed system with a specific limit to the amount of self-cleaning it can do, which I guess returns us to a box analogy, right?

 

I realize it's an oversimplification but I really want to hear from opponents as to where they think this analogy fundamentally breaks down. There's no question the population has grown tremendously over the last 30 years, both in the US and globally. There's no question the number of cars on the road and the amount of electricity we generate has also grown. Isn't it pretty obvious that the same percentages that seemed okay 30 years ago would need to be questioned and reanalyzed today, given that the container hasn't grown?

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The worlds population in 1900 was about 1.5 billion, 1930 2 billion and is now about 6.3 billion. The total world auto/truck registration is said to be about 681 million. You can add A/C, Gas/Coal/Oil Heating, BBQ Pits, Lawn mowers and a number of items non-existent pre-1900.

 

Now consider the make up of our atmosphere; 770,000 parts per million nitrogen and 220,000 parts per million Oxygen, both of which have been pretty steady since 1900. CO2, the culprit of man kind from 1900 to 2005 is said to have increased from 280 to 370 parts per million. It would seem to me, that the give and take of natural actions (Nature if you prefer) are rolling along just fine.

 

The box scenario, assuming a rather large one, would have probably sprouted plant life, which I saw no referance to...

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So you're saying that pollution control has made no difference, Jackson? That would be the logical inferrence of your statement above.

 

If that's not how you feel, however, then doesn't that render your point moot and irrelevent? If the relatively tiny amount of pollution that was invading the atmosphere in the 1960s and 1970s compared with the planetary whole made that much difference (enough to justify air quality legislation at that time), then why assume that the VAST increase since that time cannot possibly have made any difference?

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Pangloss; Please note this is opinion....If we had continued from what was in the 40's thru the 50's, w/o (non-mandated) actions and later to some social engineering by government, no doubt we would have some serious health and other problems today. I simply can't relate our involvement with nature as a problem or cause for global climate changes. All I mentioned that is or has been added to what should have been plenty of cause for disruption, has in fact disrupted nothing. My objections to GW by man is well documented and based on hysterical desires to undermine the rising worlds living and economical condition. The unsaid opposition to this is to let 3rd world economies stay 3rd world and reduce as many as possible to that status. This I can not support...

 

Personally, I do not oppose any actions which do not punish achievement or the standards I refer to...We can and have reduced per/capita CO2 and other emissions in recent years and certainly we have cleaned up many rivers, streams, lakes and old mining/manufacturing sites. Of all the 3 million plus trucks in the US, create no more CO2 or other irritants of the 1 million in the 50's. The list is long and much is being done and will continue.

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this is off topic, but jackson in almost everyone ofyour posts you mention social engineering by the government. Can you please clarify what you mean by this as I have a hard time taqking you seriously when you mention that.

 

as far as carbon emmissions go hoever from the various omputer models that have been ru it seems clear that the measures that have been put forward so far are a drop in the bucket as far as GW is concerned, and as such we need to do alot moe faster, its now technologically possible to sequester the carbon emmissions of coal fired power plants, the US government should mandate that future plants use this technology.

 

and the UN should focus on getting eveloping nations to adopt this technology as well

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Jackson, doesn't that make your previous point (about how all pollution controls are a mistake) a contradiction?

 

Oh well, I'm still hoping for a substantive response from someone in the opposition about the box scenario. I'd much rather be wrong about global warming and air pollution than right.

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It will also make more evaporation and rain for more fresh water. This is the earth making it easier for greater human population.

 

The amount of evaporation outweighs the rain, so if it rains slightly more (like it did here in michigan) then the higher temperatures will evaporate it faster (also like it did here). Also, in many parts of the world, the more rain will come in at one time creating floods. What's gonna happen to the crops?

 

Now to answer the OP: yes, it would make sense because too much CO2 is toxic.

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