Carbon Footprint...do you care?
Not even a hundred years ago, people were very limited in world travel. Now it seems everyone can just hop a plane and go. There is a really cool website that shows all the planes in the air at one time around the world. You can barely see the planet under all the flight paths!
What do you think about this....and how do you plan to lessen your carbon footprint on the planet? Or do you?
Reply to this
This type of question is always difficult to answer, because I feel as if admitting to environmental or other problems I am part of means I have to do more about it.
But, yeah I do care. Thing is if I do more, then I would feel a bit resentful that I am depriving myself while others are having lots of fun and making no efforts at all for the environment. I think would be missing out on something that lots of others are enjoying and fighting a losing battle on my own. I do as much as I comfortably can, without getting that deprived feeling.
Mel Reply to this
Think about it. What do you exhale? Carbon. Global warming is a hoax and bad science. We just had one of the coldest winters in a long time. On average our temperatures are cooling, not getting warmer at this point. In the 1970's the same people who are were yelling global warming were yelling global cooling. Now they are changing the terminology to 'climate change' because it is getting cooler again. Climates always change.
Look at the forests of Lebon that the Bible talks about, with Cedars the size of what is now consider huge. What caused that climate change? There were no jets or cars. And what exactly caused the first ice age if there were no humans there?
This is nothing more than an attempt to control and tax us. They are looking to tax people on what they do and to curb what they do through bad science. It is all politics. Reply to this
But, maybe we are just victims of media overload, and that makes it difficult to pick out what is valid information and what is hyped up rubbish, designed to create hysteria in an attempt to sell newspapers and increase viewings, and people dont want to be sucked into that so dismiss everything they read and see. Reply to this
It's not egotistical to think that humans can effect the weather. It's actually very obvious that we can on a local scale. I know from my own experience that there are very obvious local weather effects. Every big city has its own micro climate - so that in a winter in Britain when there is snow in the countryside there often isn't any snow in London. That's because a big city is generally several degrees Centigrade hotter than its surrounding countryside. This is an effect known as the Urban Heat Island - an effect than has been known about for decades. So, no it's not egotistical at all but just a matter of common sense and observation worldwide.
Urban heat island
The Urban Heat Island (UHI) describes the increased temperature of urban air compared to the rural surroundings. The term ‘heat island’ is used because warmer city air lies in a ‘sea’ of cooler rural air.
The figure below shows a stylised heat island profile for a city, showing temperatures rising from the rural fringe and peaking in the city centre. The profile also demonstrates how temperatures can vary across a city depending on the nature of the land cover, such that urban parks and lakes are cooler than adjacent areas covered by buildings.
Sketch of an urban heat island (missing graph)
Sketch of an urban heat island missing graph - see the original web link http://www.london.gov.uk/lccp/ourclimate/overheating.jsp)
Source: The Met Office
The higher urban temperatures are caused by the increased capacity of the urban land surface (eg. roads, buildings, pavements) to absorb and trap heat.
This results in towns and cities remaining noticeably hotter than the surrounding countryside, particularly at night on calm, clear summer nights. The UHI can add 5-6°C to the nighttime temperatures experienced. During the summer heatwave of 2003, differences of up to 9°C between city and rural temperatures were measured in London. The GLA commissioned research into London’s UHI - London’s Urban Heat Island: A summary for decision makers.
(Source: London Climate Change Partnership - http://www.london.gov.uk/lccp/ourclimate/overheating.jsp).
Reply to this
And for every action, there's an equal and opposite reaction. Everything we do on earth has an effect.
Unlike other creatures in the animal kingdom which follow the natural order of things, mankind alter and manipulate the environment to suit his needs. We cut down forests and mine our planet for natural resources to build cities, create machineries, technologies and material possessions. We burn fossil fuels and pollute the planet.
If we look at the whole schema of things, Earth is one gigantic living organism and we're merely bacterias inhabiting Earth. Minuscule as we may seem, are we the good or bad bacteria capable of making our host sick, giving it fever and chills ? It also made me thinking, what if the frequent heavy storms and flooding we are experiencing are merely a sign that our planet is having a violent diarrhea trying to flush mankind out (pun intended) ?
Whether our planet is just going through a phase of normal climatic change, I'd like to believe that we're somewhat a catalyst for speeding up the process.
Reply to this
Lets take some practical lie as can be shown:
Ethanol: It take approximately 1 to 1-1/4 gallons of fuel to make one gallon of ethanol. It reduces fuel efficiency in vehicles (don't believe it other wise - every time I am stuck with ethanol my mileage drops like a lead balloon, as well as everyone I have ever know to actually take the time to clock it.) It then takes land out of production that could be use to grow food. This is a looser and is being hyped!
Wind: Maybe the smaller windmills make sense but the big ones do not. The ball bearings in them wear out faster than they can produce electricity to sell on the market - if you can get it to market. Because they are put in such remote places it is really hard to get the electricity to market. This is why people who were such a proportionate of it have dropped, like T. Boone Pickens who now has over $2 mill in windmills in his yard unable to get them up. Where they are making money is not in the selling of fraudulent carbon credits. (Al Gore actually makes bundle selling these, because it is done through his company, while according to his local REA electrical company he spend about $40k per month on power - hypocrite!)
Hydro Damns - now here is a good idea and it works! At least when there's no drought and the government doesn't make you send all your water downstream. Fort Peck Damn is one of the largest in the world and located here in Montana - I grew up not far from it. When I was young we exported power. But because of the drought and the government not allowing us to keep our power, we have had to import power. This is hopefully turning around. The past two years we have had a surplus of water and snow. The snow pack is well above average and our rivers and streams are more than full - almost scary full.
We don't have nuke power up here - too many earthquakes and propaganda against it. I wish they would re-think this possibility.
True on another point. Cow farts put out more carbon than all of the cars put together. We have had cows for centuries. If there farts were going to be a problem - it would have shown up long before this. Unless maybe we know why the middle east is now a dessert - camel farts? Reply to this
It it just too convenient to dismiss it as "lies" so one can carry on as usual not have to face up our responsibility. We can be irresponsible if we don't know about climate change can't we?
Then we lose some more time in being able to do something about it.
Besides, what is so great about relying on fossil fuels whose prices have been so volatile they have had a very significant effect on food prices as well as heating bills?
In terms of cow farts, there is this issue of population growth and hence the huge expansion in cattle rearing, particularly with the global trend for increase cattle rearing for dairy and meat production. The problem is Methane is a very powerful greenhouse gas - more potent than carbon dioxide. But that is exactly why it is not a good idea to trigger global warming, as there is vast quantities of methane trapped below the oceans and under the tundra.
Let's nail this - cars form a huge part of the problem, which is growing continually as people becoming increasingly dependent on them, (let alone issues of obesity and lack of exercise as people replace their legs for cars), so it is no use just comparing that to emissions from bovine rumps.
Wind power is part of the solution, and Denmark and Germany have made very successful use of it. Inaccessible location of wind turbines are not necessarily a problem if the economics are right - hence the development of offshore wind power off the British Isles.
Hydro power is good news, and increasingly micro hydro power will be the way to go for small communities. However in warm climates recent evidence has emerged of hydro power contributing to greenhouse gas emissions from bacterial activity in sediments, so it has to be in the right place.
And finally, a couple of years of rainy seasons should not be taken as climatically significant. Worlwide melting of glaciers and muti-decadal drought is. Discerning what is a natural variation from indicators of climate change is not easy, but increasing incidence of extreme weather events is something else though.
Reply to this
The polar ice caps are coming back. There has been growth in that area, they just are not putting it out to the general public. I old enough to see where the climate changes in cycles. This is just a cycle. Prior to the past couple of years where it has been getting colder very quickly - in the past 100 years the increase in temperature was only .5 degrees on average. This has already been reversed by those two years.
The methane report concerning the out put of carbon comes from the UN report. They blame cows more than cows for the increase in carbon. And I am sure what happens there is nothing compared to what I saw happening at Yellowstone in July. The carbon out put of the geysers is more than just a few wisps. It was coming out strong enough to almost knock you over! This has been going on without man's help unchanged.
Fossil fuels are not volatile - actually there are some scientists who are now saying it may be a renewable resource. What makes the prices to bad are all of the bad regulations. (Note not all regulations are bad, but some are - like a $5,000 fine if you happen to drip any of the oil on the ground while pumping it out. It just came out of the ground and much of it is going to be sprayed on the top of roads, but if they spill so much as a cup of it they get fined $5,000 according to my friend who works in the industry.) Because of the costs of fines and unions who jack up the cost of labor due to separation of job duties, right now we have to have oil at $65 per barrel before they can make a profit getting it out of the ground. Many of those in the drilling industry are looking to go under right now. It is also the restrictions on where they can drill. Have you ever seen a drill? They take up a very small spot of land. Land that can be reclaimed after wards very easily! So the ban on shale drilling and in the Rockies for years hurt us. Now they want to put that ban back in place. We have more oil in this country than they do in the middle east!
Fort Peck is not small by any stretch of the imagination.
Isn't that just a problem of poor workmanship? Taking from the specific (ie a problem in your area) from the general does not make it true for all wind farms.
Envionmental Wackos? I'd put global warming deniers firmly in the wacko camp, there with all the "rapture" lot. Certain environmentalists are concerned that if wind turbines are on a migration path for birds they could cause major problems but so do domestic cats on the bird population too.
>>If the technology was to a point where they were logical - I would be behind them with bells on! It just isn't there yet.
In Denmark the technology is very logical, to the point that 20% of Danish power now comes from wind.
>The polar ice caps are coming back.
Where's that then? Jupiter? The Arctic ice cap is continuing to get thinner, glaciers worldwide are on the retreat.
>There has been growth in that area, they just are not putting it out to the general public.
Where? please name your sources for this. All ice caps are reducing in size except for East Antarctica.
>>I old enough to see where the climate changes in cycles. This is just a cycle. Prior to the past couple of years where it has been getting colder very quickly - in the past 100 years the increase in temperature was only .5 degrees on average. This has already been reversed by those two years.
A quote from those wackos at the UK Meteorological Office:-
"Despite this fall, a look at global average temperatures reveals a different picture. It shows large variability in our climate year-on-year warmer some years, cooler in others - but what is very clear is an underlying rise over the longer term, almost certainly caused by man-made emissions of greenhouse gases.
"There are a number of natural factors contributing to this interannual variability, the single most important being the El Niño Southern Oscillation or ENSO.
"The global climate is currently being influenced by the cold phase of this oscillation, known as La Niña. The current La Niña began to develop in early 2007, having a significant cooling effect on the global average temperature. Despite this, 2007 was one of the ten warmest years since global records began in 1850 with a temperature some 0.4 °C above average. Indeed, the years 2001-2007 recorded an average of 0.44 °C above the 1961-90 average, which is 0.21 °C warmer than corresponding values for the years 1991-2000".
>>The methane report concerning the out put of carbon comes from the UN report. They blame cows more than cows for the increase in carbon.
Cars I think you mean. Well, transport is a significant contributor - over 20% of emissions, and over 90% of that is from road transport.
And I am sure what happens there is nothing compared to what I saw happening at Yellowstone in July. The carbon out put of the geysers is more than just a few wisps. It was coming out strong enough to almost knock you over! This has been going on without man's help unchanged.
Yes, but 5 billion extra people on the planet, make a difference, particularly if they aspire to western lifestyles. If whole geological layer of fossil fuels are burned in 300 years, it will make a difference.
>>Fossil fuels are not volatile
Well petroleum/gasoline and natural gas prices certainly have been.
>>actually there are some scientists who are now saying it may be a renewable resource.
That's new on me.
>>What makes the prices to bad are all of the bad regulations. (Note not all regulations are bad, but some are - like a $5,000 fine if you happen to drip any of the oil on the ground while pumping it out. It just came out of the ground and much of it is going to be sprayed on the top of roads, but if they spill so much as a cup of it they get fined $5,000 according to my friend who works in the industry.)
Well you would not it in your water supply would you?
>>Because of the costs of fines and unions who jack up the cost of labor due to separation of job duties, right now we have to have oil at $65 per barrel before they can make a profit getting it out of the ground.
Er unions? So it was the unions' fault it went over $100 a barrel last year? And I seem to remember that the oil companies have been doing rather well of late? (Exxon earned $1,300 a second in 2007, according to CNN).
>>Many of those in the drilling industry are looking to go under right now.
Aye, but not Exxon then. Or BP. Or Shell.
>>It is also the restrictions on where they can drill. Have you ever seen a drill? They take up a very small spot of land. Land that can be reclaimed after wards very easily! So the ban on shale drilling and in the Rockies for years hurt us. Now they want to put that ban back in place. We have more oil in this country than they do in the middle east!
I think that explains why you want us to deny global warming then.
Reply to this
I never said that the local effect in the cities was the same as global warming. It isn't, it is just an example of a local effect where it can be seen by anyone that humans can effect the climate. It was merely to show that your statement about ego was very obviously wrong.
There are other factoids in things that you have said that I doubt but I don't have the time to challenge all of them. Although I'm glad to see that Dorian has dealt with most of the untrue assertions. I will though deal with the farting cows. What is the source for this claim? It's certainly true that cows produce methane and it is a powerful greenhouse gas but its not true that cows produce more carbon than cars. That's why I want you to cite a source, by which I mean quote the name of the document. I'll give you my source. It's a report on the Emissions of Greenhouse Gases in the United States 2006. It was produced in 2007 by the Office of Integrated Analysis and Forecasting US Department of Energy. To summarize cattle are responsible for 3.5% of US greenhouse gas emissions, 2% came from air conditioners and refrigerators and 17% came from the burning of gasoline in cars and trucks. Now, 17% is more than 3.5%! Do some research, don't just spout stuff you've heard a shock jock say.
So, I'm glad you take some measures to be environmentally responsible but what is your agenda? Global warming is something I'm aware of when I'm traveling. Although I'm sure I'm using a lot less energy here in Indonesia than most Americans. I don't have a car, I don't even have hot water unless I boil a kettle. I have a squat toilet and a Mandi in my bathroom. A Mandi is an Indonesian bath - it's a small waist high tub. You fill it with cold water from a tap and throw the water over yourself with a plastic scoop. That's a normal bathroom arrangement here. In case you think I'm some sort of puritanical Eco warrior, my house is on a middle class gated estate with security guards and I have a maid that comes in to clean the house and hand wash my clothes (another energy saving device!) Reply to this