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Old 10-02-2013, 13:28   #331
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Re: More Bad News for Caribbean Coral Reefs

I missed this point by Lake-Effect the other day:

<<I hope enough of an Internet record remains for historians to see who thought what and when.>>

I have had the same thought, more than once, but it struck me that only a few members of the general public in any given online debate identify themselves by name.
It's one reason I respect Steven Goddard. (The other is that he does not appear to delete dissenting views on his own website)

I've also thought it would be quite useful to have a website dedicated to people unequivocally and identifiably and permanently putting themselves on record on the issue.

There would be nothing to stop them going back at a future date and expressing a change of heart.

The website could be kept simple and compact, and regularly backed up to a durable medium, readable using low technology (eg human eyes)

When engaged in a debate with someone who claimed they stood by their position, you could invite them to put a mark in the sand, on an "I will if you will" basis.

This way, our great grandchildren could decide who it was who "wrecked" the economy, and who it was who "wrecked" the planet, and which they would have preferred.
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Old 10-02-2013, 13:29   #332
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Re: More Bad News for Caribbean Coral Reefs

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Originally Posted by Andrew Troup View Post
Sure, but that's reverting to the assumption of using non-renewable, fossil fuel.
Not necessarily: bio-fuel, wood, wood pellets, alcohol/methanol, charcoal, camel dung...

But basically I was just referring to the fact that for any given fuel, it's going to be more efficient to directly burn that fuel for heat in a proper fashion than to use it to run a genny to charge a battery that feeds an inverter that powers the heater.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gord
Global Worming


(hadn't heard that before. )
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Old 10-02-2013, 13:33   #333
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Re: More Bad News for Caribbean Coral Reefs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Troup View Post
Here's some things I would like my polititicians to be trying to persuade us to do, in my own country (different places have different problems and different opportunities, and I think it's not for others to preach how to resolve these)

1) Devolve infrastructure: wean us off big power grids, big sewerage, big oil, municipal water (to bring water to us) and stormwater drains (to take water away from us).

We're currently rebuilding an entire city. Two years after everything got buggered by a wee shake or three, it's impossible to predict within half an hour how long it will take to reach a given destination because we're still digging up the roads everywhere to bury massive new sewer and stormwater pipes etc etc

It's hard to fathom when, a hundred years from now, it's perhaps an even bet that half the city will be abandoned to the sea and the rest will be quickly reverting to a ghetto.

Low-lying coastal cities like this should be lightening their footprint. New buildings should be modular and transportable and relatively autonomous. The window of opportunity to pre-empt sea level rise over that timescale has pretty much closed already; that battle is already lost.

2) We have a small population, relatively urban, and a phenomenal rainfall along the windward side of the alpine chain. We could realistically aspire to eventually power the entire country 100% renewably, with a combination of hydro*, local solar, wind possibly (very windy region) and geothermal.

(*with reversible turbines allowing pumping water uphill for power storage: at present we're often spilling surplus water in one part of the country while lakes are approaching their lower limits elsewhere)

3) Wean us onto public transport: put a sinking lid on private car use (including electric, unless or until batteries are developed which do not entail an intolerable hidden production burden of fossil fuel.)
Develop new forms of public transport, hand-in-hand with new forms of commerce (eg: come up with a new model whereby on-line selling is normalised, and retail space transitions to showrooms, funded by the on-line sellers, becoming the place people go to handle goods and enquire about their attributes.
This means they don't have to take the goods with them when they go, which means they don't need a big car: deliveries by night to secure lobbies in or near private residences using lightweight, silent vans - powered by fuel cells from a state-run hydrogen network, possibly?)

4) Lightweight urban roading: Cycles, walking, light rail.... Roadways would be concrete liftable access panels to access slimmed-down services. Electric on-demand ropetows up steep hills for cyclists, skate(board)ers etc..

These are just some of my random thoughts and no doubt the model is riddled with holes and inconsistencies, but it's hard to imagine anything less satisfactory than business as usual.

We've wasted an opportunity for government to take a lead: we tend to have relatively high quality governments by world standards, and it's demoralising to reflect that in this modern first world country, democracy has evolved to such an extent and in such a direction that the line of least resistance has absolute rule, and immediate benefits to individuals invariably triumph over long term benefits to society as a whole.

Our government is very much the obedient servant of our people, and our people know exactly what they want.

They want what they've already got, but they want lots more of it.

Nice wish list.

Probably should add

5) reduce world population

6) phase out all recreational boating activity. Its an unnecessary, non - productive resource consuming activity.

Seriously,

I don't envy the issues you have with Christurch. Holding back nature particularly geological metmorphasis is a challenge for we mere mortals.

A similar dangerous situation is occuring in the European Alps as they erode.

The geology of the European high alps shows limestone rock formations with coral and shells which were once on the bottom of an ocean. Subsequenly uplifted by movement of the African and European plates in the past whilst the sharp climbing faces of the Alps were then carved by glaciers when massive ice belt covered the area during one of the earths cold periods.

We mere mortals can but attempt to micro-manage climate and geological metamorphasis. More powerful forces are at work.
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Old 10-02-2013, 14:02   #334
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Re: More Bad News for Caribbean Coral Reefs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Troup View Post
Here's some things I would like my polititicians to be trying to persuade us to do, in my own country (different places have different problems and different opportunities, and I think it's not for others to preach how to resolve these)

1) Devolve infrastructure: wean us off big power grids, big sewerage, big oil, municipal water (to bring water to us) and stormwater drains (to take water away from us).

We're currently rebuilding an entire city. Two years after everything got buggered by a wee shake or three, it's impossible to predict within half an hour how long it will take to reach a given destination because we're still digging up the roads everywhere to bury massive new sewer and stormwater pipes etc etc

It's hard to fathom when, a hundred years from now, it's perhaps an even bet that half the city will be abandoned to the sea and the rest will be quickly reverting to a ghetto.

Low-lying coastal cities like this should be lightening their footprint. New buildings should be modular and transportable and relatively autonomous. The window of opportunity to pre-empt sea level rise over that timescale has pretty much closed already; that battle is already lost.

2) We have a small population, relatively urban, and a phenomenal rainfall along the windward side of the alpine chain. We could realistically aspire to eventually power the entire country 100% renewably, with a combination of hydro*, local solar, wind possibly (very windy region) and geothermal.

(*with reversible turbines allowing pumping water uphill for power storage: at present we're often spilling surplus water in one part of the country while lakes are approaching their lower limits elsewhere)

3) Wean us onto public transport: put a sinking lid on private car use (including electric, unless or until batteries are developed which do not entail an intolerable hidden production burden of fossil fuel.)
Develop new forms of public transport, hand-in-hand with new forms of commerce (eg: come up with a new model whereby on-line selling is normalised, and retail space transitions to showrooms, funded by the on-line sellers, becoming the place people go to handle goods and enquire about their attributes.
This means they don't have to take the goods with them when they go, which means they don't need a big car: deliveries by night to secure lobbies in or near private residences using lightweight, silent vans - powered by fuel cells from a state-run hydrogen network, possibly?)

4) Lightweight urban roading: Cycles, walking, light rail.... Roadways would be concrete liftable access panels to access slimmed-down services. Electric on-demand ropetows up steep hills for cyclists, skate(board)ers etc..

These are just some of my random thoughts and no doubt the model is riddled with holes and inconsistencies, but it's hard to imagine anything less satisfactory than business as usual.

We've wasted an opportunity for government to take a lead: we tend to have relatively high quality governments by world standards, and it's demoralising to reflect that in this modern first world country, democracy has evolved to such an extent and in such a direction that the line of least resistance has absolute rule, and immediate benefits to individuals invariably triumph over long term benefits to society as a whole.

Our government is very much the obedient servant of our people, and our people know exactly what they want.

They want what they've already got, but they want lots more of it.
I agree completely with your urban plan but humans being humans won't do that.
The only solution is reducing the number of humans creating the pollution that is killing us. (It is pollution not the warming that is going to really hurt us)*

You circumvented an answer before oh mighty knowledgeable one, and this is sort of an answer. Thanks. So, next step. Just how will this come about? Normally humans don't change unless someone with power forces them to.* Since science is the new religion maybe religion will be a universal controlling force again?* (even though it is full of falsities)*

In my mind, it is the pollution and destruction of renewable resources by "too many" that is the problem.* As in 98% of all ocean fishes, since the early 1800s are gone.* Gone.

* said before
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Old 10-02-2013, 14:25   #335
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Re: More Bad News for Caribbean Coral Reefs

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Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
I didn't, so I did.

"... There was a hypothesis that earthworms were having a positive effect on the greenhouse balance, but they don't," said co-author Johan Six, a plant sciences professor at UC Davis during the study who is now a professor at ETH Zurich in Switzerland. "I would never say you have to take out the earthworms because of greenhouse gases. It's just that you cannot give them credit for reducing greenhouse gases..."

Read more at ➥
Global worming: Earthworms add to climate change
That is old; here is the new report: New Study Reveals That Earthworms Accelerate Global Warming | Inhabitat - Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building
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Old 10-02-2013, 14:51   #336
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Re: More Bad News for Caribbean Coral Reefs

Between earthworms and cows what is a human to do, oh my?
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Old 10-02-2013, 15:06   #337
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Re: More Bad News for Caribbean Coral Reefs

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Between earthworms and cows what is a human to do, oh my?
I'll eat the cows, you take care of the worms!
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Old 10-02-2013, 15:11   #338
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Re: More Bad News for Caribbean Coral Reefs

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I agree completely with your urban plan but humans being humans won't do that.
The only solution is reducing the number of humans creating the pollution that is killing us. (It is pollution not the warming that is going to really hurt us)*

You circumvented an answer before oh mighty knowledgeable one, and this is sort of an answer. Thanks. So, next step. Just how will this come about? Normally humans don't change unless someone with power forces them to.* Since science is the new religion maybe religion will be a universal controlling force again?* (even though it is full of falsities)*

In my mind, it is the pollution and destruction of renewable resources by "too many" that is the problem.* As in 98% of all ocean fishes, since the early 1800s are gone.* Gone.

* said before
in no particular order:

Science I think is a different form of religion, if it can be said to be a religion at all (I personally think it can only be so described if it's being done 'wrong')

When it's done right, science evolves organically, because successful ideas are not expected to endure.
Even Einstein's theories are vulnerable to a young persons' piercing insights.
Contrast this with the doctrines of, say, Roman Catholicism, which (even in the case of those which were nakedly invented) can only be overturned by a single designated, deeply institutionalised individual, and consequently endure for millennia.

When the discipline of science is "Properly" followed, dogma is vulnerable because there are no structural hooks to hang it on, only frail human egoes.

Scientists, moreover, are relatively immune to outside influence, although I concede that modern academic funding models (and the increasing cost of research in most directions) are putting grave strains on that generalisation.

Not (as some persist in asserting - presumably this is often classical projection of their own value system onto others) because scientists generally seek primarily to enrich themselves -- how many rich scientists do YOU know personally?

but because their whole reason for being is to make and refine discoveries, and without funding that's sometimes next to impossible.

As for pollution trumping warming, I just don't know. I think I could equally (un)convincingly argue that in both directions.

I don't think I'm ambivalent though, about destruction of what would otherwise have remained renewable resources: that's 'head in hands' material.
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Old 10-02-2013, 15:22   #339
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Re: More Bad News for Caribbean Coral Reefs

Just one closing thought on scientists: I said (in an idealised way) that their whole reason for being is to make and refine discoveries.

Because those discoveries are valued purely on how well they withstand expected intellectual challenges, by others who have access to all the underlying data and methods, it makes NO sense to paint a picture of a world in which scientists routinely fudge their data and their methods.

It would be like postulating a warm world of nudists living in glass buildings where most of the males secretly harboured impure thoughts most of the time.
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Old 10-02-2013, 15:57   #340
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Re: More Bad News for Caribbean Coral Reefs

Therapy states

<< normally humans don't change unless someone with power forces them to >>

taken in context, I can't find anything to disagree with there.

(out of context: it seems to me that survival imperatives can impose an external force, but this is something we're so insulated from, in the first world, that it's academic. But it helps me to hope that people might be persuaded to apply their intellects to cut through the insulating blanket which has been woven around them)

One more realistic but still far fetched fantasy: China does not have the advantages of a democracy, but neither does it have the disadvantages.

In my more hopeful moments, I temporarily hold my nose at the treatment of Tibet, the sabre rattling with neighbours over trivial and implausible territorial claims, etc etc, and marvel at how focussed the Chinese government can be in pursuing long term, public-good iniatives. When they're good, they're frighteningly good.

My fondest hope is that the increasing competitive disadvantage of the 'west' vis a vis China, particularly if they can manage to fix up a better financial system (their current one seems possibly even worse than ours!) and firm up the rule of law (in contrast with the rule of lawyers, which is increasingly our burden) ...

... will see the best and brightest minds moving to China, and the quality of their government improving. (In some areas, it's already at or near the top of the tables)

And maybe, just maybe, the developed world will lift their game, if they see China getting on top of pollution, mastering renewable energy, etc etc etc. and come up with a more functional model of government.

There's an elephant in the room, though, which the reader will be shouting and thumping their keyboard as I write this:

"Where are the checks and balances, when their government has unlimited power"

to which I can only reply : <GULP>

(there is, I guess, currently a crude form of check: the Chinese people do not vote, but they do express their displeasure. Given how many of them there are, the government is actually pretty scared of displeasing them excessively, judging by how far they go out of their way to make symbolic amends when they do screw up on occasions)

My other problem is that the national psyche must be SO damaged by the prior succession of evil and sadistically disfunctional (and outrageously psychologically adept) governments.

It's hard to credit just how sane and functional the recent and present government has been in the light of that presumed damage, and I wait in trepidation for more normal business to resume.

My main basis for optimism about China generally, and it's based on deep ignorance, is that I don't see it as an expansionist culture. I don't think they covet territory elsewhere for the sake of territory; only for the resources or the security implications or the symbolism.

Witness the 'domino theory' in SE Asia, whose execution withered on the vine.
China just wasn't that interested: it wasn't for lack of opportunity.

Even as a pacifist, I didn't think the theory lacked plausibility, so I took a lot of notice when it faltered.

It seems to me that China's deep tendency is to see themselves as having always been the centre of things, rather than needing to become the centre of things by absorbing territory.

I have no idea if I'm right, but I hope so.
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Old 10-02-2013, 17:17   #341
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Re: More Bad News for Caribbean Coral Reefs

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(It is pollution not the warming that is going to really hurt us)*
This is not an either/or; it is an "and." Both are harming us.
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Old 10-02-2013, 18:33   #342
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Re: More Bad News for Caribbean Coral Reefs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Troup View Post
in no particular order:

Science I think is a different form of religion, if it can be said to be a religion at all (I personally think it can only be so described if it's being done 'wrong')

When it's done right, science evolves organically, because successful ideas are not expected to endure.
Even Einstein's theories are vulnerable to a young persons' piercing insights.
Contrast this with the doctrines of, say, Roman Catholicism, which (even in the case of those which were nakedly invented) can only be overturned by a single designated, deeply institutionalised individual, and consequently endure for millennia.

When the discipline of science is "Properly" followed, dogma is vulnerable because there are no structural hooks to hang it on, only frail human egoes.

Scientists, moreover, are relatively immune to outside influence, although I concede that modern academic funding models (and the increasing cost of research in most directions) are putting grave strains on that generalisation.

Not (as some persist in asserting - presumably this is often classical projection of their own value system onto others) because scientists generally seek primarily to enrich themselves -- how many rich scientists do YOU know personally?

but because their whole reason for being is to make and refine discoveries, and without funding that's sometimes next to impossible.

As for pollution trumping warming, I just don't know. I think I could equally (un)convincingly argue that in both directions.

I don't think I'm ambivalent though, about destruction of what would otherwise have remained renewable resources: that's 'head in hands' material.
Your sermon on beleaguered scientists, losing immunity from outside influences because of because of the "grave strains" of securing funding is not the issue.
The issue is scientists, particularly those steeped in "dogma" and insulated from outside review have been caught fudging data, which when reviewed for publication, to the exclusion of contrary evidence, and in collusion with like minded "scientists", gave imprimatur to it's false conclusions. These "scientific" publications were accepted by none other than the IPCC by proclamation nihil obstat.
For anyone following this thread and truly interested what lay at the political core of this debate, In Summary here: ClimateGate Star Michael Mann Courts Legal Disaster - Forbes
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Old 10-02-2013, 19:01   #343
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Re: More Bad News for Caribbean Coral Reefs

Here's a strange phenomenon which bears faintly on the original topic. I clipped it eight years ago and just remembered to dig it out:

<< Palau records 170-metre wave - under water
Koror, Palau, March 25 2004
Waves may deliver nutrients to tropical reefs from deep sea

The largest ocean wave recorded yet - a mammoth 170 metres in height - has been documented off this tiny, low-lying Western Pacific nation by two scientists studying seawater temperatures.

"It was a 170 metres high, but you will never see it," Patrick Colin, director of the Coral Reef Research Foundation based in Palau, said Wednesday.

The rogue wave struck on March 28, 2001 but there were no washed out villages or land devastation.

The wave was entirely underwater and its major effect was rapidly changing seawater temperatures.

Colin said the implications of the findings about deep-water internal waves are "altering our thinking about how coral reefs maintain themselves".

Coral reefs are bustling homes to sealife in the middle of oceanic deserts, he said.
Ocean water in the tropics is clear because it lacks nutrients - the basic building blocks of sealife - but at the same time, coral reefs flourish.

Some scientists have theorized that the reefs somehow recycle what little nutrients are available, while others have proposed that nutrient-rich water from deep sea is carried up to the reefs to aid growth.

Internal waves now appear to be a likely engine for the latter theory, carrying up cold water packed with nutrients on their towering crests to feed shallow reefs.

And large internal waves could explain why places like Palau have such robust reefs, said Eric Wolanski, a physical oceanographer from the Australian Institute of Marine Science, who has been working with Colin over the last year to decipher his findings.

Colin originally set out to record seawater temperature cycles at varying depths around Palau in order to better understand the 1998 global coral bleaching when rises in surface seawater temperature saw more coral died worldwide - and turn stark white - than ever before in a single event.

In the first six months of collecting data across Palau, Colin was struck by the rapid changes in temperature he found at deeper depths, that could only be caused by large movements of water up and down, or internal waves.

"There is very little known about internal waves in the tropics, so there is a lot of potential for research," Colin said.

The waves are found in at depths where two layers of water of different densities, determined by their temperature, interface. Rather than cause crashing movements or strong currents, the impact is on the temperature as the colder water goes up and down.

In the case of the 170-meter wave, Wolanski said the temperature altered from 28 degrees Celsius down to 8.5 degrees then back to 28 degrees in 90 minutes.
Waves on the Palau reefs normally range from 50 to 100 meters, with a usual temperature change of up to 10 degrees.

In trying to ascertain what creates the internal waves, Wolanski and Colin say their data has ruled out lunar tides and passing storms.

Instead, they argue that ocean currents are responsible.

"Like a stone in a stream," Colin said. "The waves emanate from Palau."

AFPreg 25/03/04 14-43NZ >>
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Old 10-02-2013, 19:19   #344
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Re: More Bad News for Caribbean Coral Reefs

There may be other reasons:-
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Old 10-02-2013, 19:34   #345
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Re: More Bad News for Caribbean Coral Reefs

So, CO2 causes acidity of seawater = bad for coral.

Does this mean alkaline air pollution complexes emitted from cement production, oil shale processing and power plants = good for coral?
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