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Rubber Duckies For Global Warming Research

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the next-time-try-penguins dept.

Earth 167

The Wall Street Journal has a look at global warming research using rubber duckies. The toys have been employed in tracking ocean currents since 1992; but recently NASA robotics expert Alberto Behar released 90 yellow rubber ducks into the melt water flowing down a chasm in a Greenland glacier. "Each duck was imprinted with an email address and, in three languages, the offer of a reward. If all goes well, Dr. Behar hopes that one day they will emerge 30 miles or so away at the glacier's edge in the open water of Disko Bay near Ilulissat, bobbing brightly amid the icebergs north of the Arctic Circle, each one a significant clue to just how warming temperatures may speed the glacier's slide to the sea."

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Dupe (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25781211)

This is a dupe [slashdot.org] .

Re:Dupe (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25781261)

A couple weeks ago, while browsing around the library downtown, I had to take a piss. As I entered the john, Barack Obama -- the messiah himself -- came out of one of the booths. I stood at the urinal looking at him out of the corner of my eye as he washed his hands. He didn't once look at me. He was busy and in any case I was sure the secret service wouldn't even let me shake his hand.

As soon as he left I darted into the booth he'd vacated, hoping there might be a lingering smell of shit and even a seat still warm from his sturdy ass. I found not only the smell but the shit itself. He'd forgotten to flush. And what a treasure he had left behind. Three or four beautiful specimens floated in the bowl. It apparently had been a fairly dry, constipated shit, for all were fat, stiff, and ruggedly textured. The real prize was a great feast of turd -- a nine inch gastrointestinal triumph as thick as his cock -- or at least as I imagined it!

I knelt before the bowl, inhaling the rich brown fragrance and wondered if I should obey the impulse building up inside me. I'd always been a liberal democrat and had been on the Obama train since last year. Of course I'd had fantasies of meeting him, sucking his cock and balls, not to mention sucking his asshole clean, but I never imagined I would have the chance. Now, here I was, confronted with the most beautiful five-pound turd I'd ever feasted my eyes on, a sausage fit to star in any fantasy and one I knew to have been hatched from the asshole of Barack Obama, the chosen one.

Why not? I plucked it from the bowl, holding it with both hands to keep it from breaking. I lifted it to my nose. It smelled like rich, ripe limburger (horrid, but thrilling), yet had the consistency of cheddar. What is cheese anyway but milk turning to shit without the benefit of a digestive tract?

I gave it a lick and found that it tasted better then it smelled.

I hesitated no longer. I shoved the fucking thing as far into my mouth as I could get it and sucked on it like a big half nigger cock, beating my meat like a madman. I wanted to completely engulf it and bit off a large chunk, flooding my mouth with the intense, bittersweet flavor. To my delight I found that while the water in the bowl had chilled the outside of the turd, it was still warm inside. As I chewed I discovered that it was filled with hard little bits of something I soon identified as peanuts. He hadn't chewed them carefully and they'd passed through his body virtually unchanged. I ate it greedily, sending lump after peanutty lump sliding scratchily down my throat. My only regret was that Barack Obama wasn't there to see my loyalty and wash it down with his piss.

I soon reached a terrific climax. I caught my cum in the cupped palm of my hand and drank it down. Believe me, there is no more delightful combination of flavors than the hot sweetness of cum with the rich bitterness of shit. It's even better than listening to an Obama speech!

Afterwards I was sorry that I hadn't made it last longer. But then I realized that I still had a lot of fun in store for me. There was still a clutch of virile turds left in the bowl. I tenderly fished them out, rolled them into my handkerchief, and stashed them in my briefcase. In the week to come I found all kinds of ways to eat the shit without bolting it right down. Once eaten it's gone forever unless you want to filch it third hand out of your own asshole. Not an unreasonable recourse in moments of desperation or simple boredom.

I stored the turds in the refrigerator when I was not using them but within a week they were all gone. The last one I held in my mouth without chewing, letting it slowly dissolve. I had liquid shit trickling down my throat for nearly four hours. I must have had six orgasms in the process.

I often think of Barack Obama dropping solid gold out of his sweet, pink asshole every day, never knowing what joy it could, and at least once did, bring to a grateful democrat.

Re:Dupe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25781375)

How is this modded "flamebait"?
TFS is almost word for word the same as the one from Sept. the only difference is the link to wsj.com
Parent was smart to post AC (as am I) Now let me login and copy/paste a few +5's from the old one(-;

Re:Dupe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25781533)

How is this modded "flamebait"? TFS is almost word for word the same as the one from Sept. the only difference is the link to wsj.com Parent was smart to post AC (as am I) Now let me login and copy/paste a few +5's from the old one(-;

GP here. It just looks like someone went through the thread burning modpoints on low-rated posts. There are at least three "-1 flamebaits" on low rated but legitimate comments. It happens.
Also, I posted AC since I figured I wasn't doing anything particularly useful to the discussion. Anyone can post a link to a dupe. No reason to get/burn karma for it.

Re:Dupe (1)

davidphogan74 (623610) | more than 5 years ago | (#25782669)

It's 5 years old. At least.

I'll post under my real name, cause it's easy to prove [cbsnews.com] .

I for one bow to my half-decade rubber duck overlords.

Re:Dupe (2, Funny)

mrmeval (662166) | more than 5 years ago | (#25782215)

Yea I posted on the other one that if they'd just throw more ducks and plastic and crap in there'd be no evaporation and no glowbull worming.

Re:Dupe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25782505)

It's a rubber ducky.

April Ryan, you have *got* to get over yourself.

Pollution Anyone? (1, Interesting)

tempestdata (457317) | more than 5 years ago | (#25781225)

What are the chances that these rubber duckies end up inside the tummy of some sea creature? In which case, that is just more pollution floating around in our oceans.

Re:Pollution Anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25781287)

Why does something have to end up inside the tummy of some sea creature to be pollution? How can it be "just" more pollution if it can help global warming research?

Re:Pollution Anyone? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25781951)

Don't you know scientists _caused_ global warming just so they could study it? Do not trust scientists, encourage your children to become involved with NASCAR or pro wrestling... something more noble.

Re:Pollution Anyone? (2, Insightful)

LockeOnLogic (723968) | more than 5 years ago | (#25781291)

Oh come off it! The amount of possible environmental damage of such a small release is easily offset by the potential gain in knowledge. I really hope that my humor detector is broken or something because if you are serious this kind of nonsense gives environmentalism a bad name.

Re:Pollution Anyone? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25781519)

You know who else we could potentially gain knowledge? By shoving a dozen firecrackers up your asshole and lighting them off. Glad you're going to be a good sport about it.

Re:Pollution Anyone? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25781559)

You know who else we could potentially gain knowledge?

You should gain some knowledge on grammar and then eat a dick.

Re:Pollution Anyone? (3, Funny)

MadnessASAP (1052274) | more than 5 years ago | (#25781873)

Now lets all calm down, nobody here needs to gain any knowledge.

Re:Pollution Anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25781967)

You know who else we could potentially gain knowledge?

You should gain some knowledge on grammar and then eat a dick.

Anyone who tells someone else they need a stronger handle on English because of a misplaced W on a typed comment should be marveled at, and then humanely destroyed.

Re:Pollution Anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25781293)

Don't worry, it's only going to effect the one's that come up for air.
The ones that forgot to evolve.

Re:Pollution Anyone? (1)

RuBLed (995686) | more than 5 years ago | (#25781315)

I don't think [florentijnhofman.nl] so. Now where did they put the email address again?

Re:Pollution Anyone? (1)

davester666 (731373) | more than 5 years ago | (#25781551)

Totally. Hell, we already did this tracking a couple of years ago when a container holding running shoes fell off a boat, and then runners started washing up on shore all over the world.

Re:Pollution Anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25781815)

Also, running a car to test emissions just extends the amount of time the engine is on!
of course I'm being sarcastic. Both what I said and what are you said are so fringe nutjob it's lunacy.

Irony. (5, Funny)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 5 years ago | (#25781229)

Raise your hand if the prospect of an environmentalist dumping plastic into the ocean for research purposes is deeply amusing.

Re:Irony. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25781449)

Makes a bit more sense then going 'Round The World With The Rubber Duck. [lyricsondemand.com]

Re:Irony. (1)

narcberry (1328009) | more than 5 years ago | (#25782235)

I'm still waiting for one of them to propose creating the biggest CO2 emitting burner on earth to prove global warming.

In the meantime, yeah I'm amused.

Rubber duckie, you're the one. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25781233)

Rubber duckie, you're so fun.

Re:Rubber duckie, you're the one. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25781479)

You make bathtime lots of fun. Rubber ducky I'm awfully fond of you. Too bad I must now go litter our oceans with your cute little yellow non-biodegradable petroleum product carcasses.

Re:Rubber duckie, you're the one. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25782091)

Rubber ducky, joy of joys.. when I squeeze you, you make noise!

Rubber Ducky my very best friend is you...
1, 2, 3, 4!

Everyday when I, make my way to the TUBBBYYYY, I find a, little fella, who's cute and yellow and chubby, rubber dubber ducky

Shortly afterwards (1, Funny)

popmaker (570147) | more than 5 years ago | (#25781245)

Dr. Behar happily illustrated the idea in his baththub, using a bar of soap along with one of the ducks in question.

Wotsit made of (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25781267)

Aren't 'rubber' duckies actually made of plastic these days. Will environment advocates be upset? What if a whale, dolphin, seal etc eats one and it gets stuck in its digestive system.

Re:Wotsit made of (1)

popmaker (570147) | more than 5 years ago | (#25781343)

They're only releasing about 90 of them each time, so I don't think any environmentalist would be bothered.

Re:Wotsit made of (1)

XSpud (801834) | more than 5 years ago | (#25781505)

I hear they considered the environmentally friendly Pooh Stick alternative but felt that was too childish.

disko bay dux (1, Flamebait)

freeasinrealale (928218) | more than 5 years ago | (#25781271)

disko ducks. so 70's. Quack.

What if (1)

junkwerks (586862) | more than 5 years ago | (#25781303)

they take 100 years to show up? Are we still experiencing a warming trend?

Re:What if (2, Insightful)

narcberry (1328009) | more than 5 years ago | (#25782305)

If they show up soon -> Proof of Global Warming.
If they show up in 100 years -> Proof of Climate Change.

Either way, we need to stop whatever we're about to do.

Great idea, it's happened before by accident (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25781309)

I'm sure this is where he got the idea.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-464768/Thousands-rubber-ducks-land-British-shores-15-year-journey.html

Re:Great idea, it's happened before by accident (3, Informative)

popmaker (570147) | more than 5 years ago | (#25781353)

That's right. From the article:

Indeed, it was a shipment of such bath tub toys washed overboard in the Pacific during a 1992 storm that accidentally launched this unusual field.

What do they expect to prove with this? (2, Interesting)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 5 years ago | (#25781311)

From what I could tell when I RTFA, they already suspect that the melt water from the glacier reaches the ocean and I doubt that anybody would have any reason to dispute this. If and when somebody reports finding one, they'll have proved this. TFA talks about learning about conditions under the glacier, but makes no mention of how. There are no instruments inside the duckies or any way to record what they go through, so how can the scientists learn anything from them, other than the (as I pointed out above) obvious fact that the melt water reaches the sea?

Re:What do they expect to prove with this? (3, Interesting)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 5 years ago | (#25781359)

How long it takes is rather important.

Re:What do they expect to prove with this? (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 5 years ago | (#25781453)

Thanks; I'd not thought of that. I'd imagine that how long it took to find one near the exit would be important, because it would show how fast the current was. But what if none of them turn up for several years, hundreds if not thousands of miles away? Could they still learn something from that? (Not a challenge; I'm trying to find out just how much they can get out of this.)

Re:What do they expect to prove with this? (2, Insightful)

Ambitwistor (1041236) | more than 5 years ago | (#25781849)

In that case, they probably wouldn't learn much about glacier melt, but they could learn something about the ocean currents in the region.

Re:What do they expect to prove with this? (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 5 years ago | (#25781925)

They might also learn that rubber duckies that have been ripped to shreds under the increadible pressure of a freaking glacier simply dont float, but make a stylish home for deep-sea hermit crabs.

Re:What do they expect to prove with this? (1)

FireStormZ (1315639) | more than 5 years ago | (#25782411)

Its a great way to get a grant..

Re:What do they expect to prove with this? (4, Interesting)

ductonius (705942) | more than 5 years ago | (#25781405)

They're not only wondering where the water goes, but how long it takes to get there and where it goes after that.

If they all come out at once then we know the routes they all took about the same route, or the routes they took were all more or less direct. If they emerge over years or even decades then we know some are becoming trapped, only to be released later. What if a duck washes up in India, twelve years after it was released in Greenland?

They're interested in knowing *everything* that could happen to these ducks after they're released. Furthermore, data from this experiment could confirm or falsify other oceanographic theories, all for $200 worth of rubber ducks.

Re:What do they expect to prove with this? (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 5 years ago | (#25781565)

I'm not saying that the experiment shouldn't be done, I was just looking for more information about what they can expect to learn. Thank you.

This is showmanship, not science (3, Interesting)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 5 years ago | (#25781463)

The melt waters flowing under the glacier and through small streams will flow through gravels and other obstructions that the rubber duckies can't flow through. Thus, any data coming back will have a huge caveat hanging over it and will be rather useless from a scientific point of view. Radioactive tracers etc can give far better information.

Re:This is showmanship, not science (1)

Ambitwistor (1041236) | more than 5 years ago | (#25781827)

The melt waters flowing under the glacier and through small streams will flow through gravels and other obstructions that the rubber duckies can't flow through. Thus, any data coming back will have a huge caveat hanging over it and will be rather useless from a scientific point of view.

Huh? If data comes back, it's because the ducks made it through the obstructions, which is scientifically interesting; people may see where the ducks emerge into the ocean, which is scientifically interesting; and if anyone finds the ducks later, they will indicate where the ocean currents from the glacier goes, which is scientifically interesting.

Radioactive tracers etc can give far better information.

I don't know about radioactive tracers, but the article says that another scientist tried dye and it didn't work — they couldn't find any trace of it. I don't know if tracers will be detected unless you know roughly where to look, but I could be wrong. The idea of the ducks is that you don't have to know where they go, you wait for people to find them and tell you. And by the time it reaches shore, which is where people are supposed to find these ducks, I suspect even a radioactive tracer will be too dilute to measure.

Slightly interesting, but misleading (1)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 5 years ago | (#25782757)

A vast % of water flowing from glaciers etc flows under the gravels and underground. If people could not follow the tracers (dyes etc) then how will they follow ducks? That they could not follow tracers indicates that the water travels via some non-obvious (ie. non-surface) path. Sure some ducks might turn up at point A, but likely a lot of water is traveling underground and the ducks won't go there.

I live in a place which is the result of glacial deposits and only a small % of the water here travels on the surface, or even anywhere near where the rivers are.

Sure, the ducks might provide a bit of curiosity, but it would be misleading to take them as being representative of water flow as a whole.

Re:What do they expect to prove with this? (1)

narcberry (1328009) | more than 5 years ago | (#25782241)

Hmm, sounds like a job for the alternate scientific method at Mythbusters.

They expect to prove... (1)

patio11 (857072) | more than 5 years ago | (#25782683)

... that good PR achieves better results in maintaining and increasing funding than providing scientific value does.

NASA's brief is not science -- science is a rare but happy side-effect which they use to justify their budget.*

The reason they exist is to funnel taxdollars to favored companies, largely defense contractors, and congressional districts.

* No intellectually serious person could suggest that the shuttle program is an effective use of R&D dollars. NASA *loves* the shuttle. In terms of press mentions gained per billion dollars spent it is their best investment since going to the moon. Plus if you have the shuttle around you've got to be able to use it, which justifies spending several hundred billion on an equally purposeless space station. Construction began in '98, is projected to complete in 2011, and if things go according to plan they'll be using it until 2016, after which it is "please insert 100 billion to continue".

Oh, and check this out -- NASA is pleading for extra money to keep the Shuttle running so they can actually *visit* the Space Station they built so as to have something to do with the Shuttle!

http://www.space.com/news/080907-nasa-griffin-email.html [space.com]

Yes, but what if (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25781319)

This is all fun and games until the Italians get a hold of the ducks and hold them for ransom. Then our world will have no defense against global warming. What will these "scientists" be saying when the Italians control our weather with their nefarious ices?????

Re:Yes, but what if (2, Funny)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 5 years ago | (#25781601)

See, if I found one of these I don't think I could restrain myself from doing one of either (a) sending the duckie to Switzerland and claiming it had washed up at the beach, or (b) giving it to my kids and telling them to keep it until THEY get old at which time they should report it found.

Re:Yes, but what if (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 5 years ago | (#25781633)

Your sig works out great for this post.

Re:Yes, but what if (1)

narcberry (1328009) | more than 5 years ago | (#25782271)

"Um, yeah hi, I want to collect the reward for finding your duckie...
"oh, well I found it in the stomach of this endangered peregrine falcon...
"hello?"

Spam begets research begets spam (5, Funny)

Valacosa (863657) | more than 5 years ago | (#25781369)

Each duck was imprinted with an email address and, in three languages, the offer of a reward.

"This duck was lost by a Nigerian prince. Email this address to claim your reward."

Re:Spam begets research begets spam (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 5 years ago | (#25782105)

"This duck was lost by a Nigerian prince. Email this address to claim your reward."

Ha ha! Like anyone would believe that a Nigerian prince could have accidentally lost a rubber duck in Greenland (AND that he could have been so long-headed that he had written a message in advance) and reply...oh, wait a minute...

The Reward...? (1)

Zathain Sicarius (1398033) | more than 5 years ago | (#25781371)

"Each duck was imprinted with an email address and, in three languages, the offer of a reward."
Congratulations! You found one of our rubber ducks! Now send us an email and we'll let you keep it!

I do wonder what they are offering though...

Suggested Sesame Street Tags (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25781391)

cute and yellow and chubby
rub-a-dub-a-dubby
woh woh, bee doh
doo doo, be doo

Rubber Duckie - You're the One (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25781427)

Sing it, Ernie... [youtube.com]

GPS tracker anyone? (1)

Blazeheart (1330013) | more than 5 years ago | (#25781447)

Okay, yeah, sure. Rubber duckies floating in the middle of the ocean and hoping someone will find it is always a fun idea. I never really thought it should be practiced however. As much as I do love the rubber duckies wouldn't it be a better idea just to use a GPS tracker instead?

Yes, a GPS. While sending 90 GPS systems might be a little expensive, you wouldn't send off 90 of them. How many of the 90 duckies would they expect to get back? 5, maybe.

It would be way more efficient for the scientist to throw some GPSs into the ocean than some ducks. Now they could see where they would end up and where they went to get to where they ended up. Much better way to track ocean currents right?

Well the probable truth is that this is just a fun way that they can waste their time, still get paid, and not actually do any research... Go our environmentalists!

Re:GPS tracker anyone? (3, Informative)

Ironsides (739422) | more than 5 years ago | (#25781495)

The Greenland Glaciers can be over a mile thick in places. I doubt GPS signals can penetrate 10 meters of ice. Sorry, but there really is no way to track them. Even supplying a power source for that long in that small of a package would be dificult.

Re:GPS tracker anyone? (1)

Ambitwistor (1041236) | more than 5 years ago | (#25781793)

Nobody's talking about tracking anything under the ice. You can't track rubber ducks under the ice either. It's when they're on the open sea that people want to track them. (Well, they'd like to be able to track things under the glacier, but they can't. They have to wait for whatever it is to emerge in the ocean.)

Re:GPS tracker anyone? (1)

BluBrick (1924) | more than 5 years ago | (#25781859)

They don't need to know where it is if it's still ice-locked. However, if they included a solar panel and a supercapacitor that could supply power to a little GPS tracker when the rubber ducky is bobbing about on the surface of the ocean, that could possibly supply some very useful data.

Re:GPS tracker anyone? (3, Funny)

narcberry (1328009) | more than 5 years ago | (#25782285)

Embed a hit single from Mariah Carrey in each one. Let the RIAA find them.

Re:GPS tracker anyone? (3, Informative)

Ambitwistor (1041236) | more than 5 years ago | (#25781501)

The article says he already tried a GPS tracker, and it failed to report in. I suppose he figured that rather than continuing to toss in expensive devices, he'd try a larger number of cheaper objects. If nobody finds them, at least it wasn't a big waste of money.

By the way, there are already robot floats in the ocean which can be tracked to show ocean currents (ARGO). Most of them don't use GPS, though, but Doppler radio tracking (here [argos-system.org] ).

Re:GPS tracker anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25781629)

There are a few problems with that though.

First of all, GPS devices aren't cheap, and I'm guessing that since we don't know where the device will emerge, we don't know WHEN it will as well. Secondly, getting a GPS to fit in a small package with enough power to keep them going for a significant period of time is not only expensive, but technically challenging. And thirdly, and possibly most importantly, the thickness of the ice would make such a GPS device pretty much useless until it emerged from the other end in who knows how much later, coming back to the power requirements problem. That is, the device can receive GPS signals to know where it is, but how will it transmit this data back home? Considering the battery life of my iPhone 3G (with GPS), and the unlikeliness that there is a cell tower north of the arctic circle, power requirements become an even bigger headache.

There's a reason that a lot of ocean current monitoring buoys don't use GPS, and power is one of them. (Size is not a consideration for those however, thus the same techniques being impractical for this kind of a glacier dive.) The rubber duckies provide a very economical way to "just try it".

Saving the world (1)

davidfromoz (801492) | more than 5 years ago | (#25781487)

Without dismissing the value of research, I'd say we already know what we can do today with today's available tools to reduce our impact on the warming of the planet.

Stories like this make us feel better that we are doing more to combat global warming. But actually, if we rode our bike to work, bought less stuff and used things that required less power then we'd be making a positive difference.

Or we could wait for researchers and government to come up with a silver bullet. Human interest, feel good articles like this don't make me think this is imminent.

I know opinions like this aren't popular on Slashdot where its more important to find a way to justify upgrading the next gadget. But really, if its no the intelligent, wealthy population of the planet who will lead us to a solution by example, exactly who is it?

cheers,
david

Re:Saving the world (1)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 5 years ago | (#25781643)

if we rode our bike to work

What the hell do you think? Muscle energy isn't free energy, it comes from food, and food is anything but green energy. Funny you should talk about "making us feel better", because it's exactly what the type of stuff does, with disputable benefits.

bought less stuff

So your idea of saving the world is downscaling the economy and living like Cubans?

Re:Saving the world (1)

davidfromoz (801492) | more than 5 years ago | (#25781809)

What the hell do you think? Muscle energy isn't free energy, it comes from food, and food is anything but green energy.

Are you seriously suggesting that riding a bike to work and driving your car to work have a similar impact on global warming? Or are you just suggesting that leaving the solution to our duck lobbing scientist friends is preferable to doing something yourself?

Driving your car to work does release carbon into the environment that was not there last year. Riding your bike does not. The reduction of carbon in the environment is behind the discussion of carbon capture.

So your idea of saving the world is downscaling the economy and living like Cubans?

No, I do however suggest that our living environment is more important than our economy. If its necessary for me to make some changes to my life in order to reduce global warming then thats OK with me. People repeatedly accept changes to their life to improve the economy.

Your hostility to a proposal to actually make some personal changes is exactly the attitude that I sought to highlight in my previous post. In my post I meant to say that people could take action to help with the situation or they could wait for the scientists and government to solve the problem.

Re:Saving the world (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#25781943)

Most food comes from farms that transform natural gas (fertilizer) and diesel (tractors) into calories. I guess some agriculture might be carbon-neutral, but a great deal of it simply isn't.

Going further, western society would not function without transportation fuels, and 10% of people opting out isn't going to do much to change the final outcome.

Re:Saving the world (1, Informative)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 5 years ago | (#25782369)

Driving your car to work does release carbon into the environment that was not there last year. Riding your bike does not.

That's because you're an idiot. You only see what's obvious, i.e. "look, there's no nasty gases coming out of my bike" ADUH OH YOU THINK?? What you don't see is the pollution that goes into the making of your food, that you need to make that bike move forth, which you'll eat more of unless you hate your silhouette. The tractors and trucks used in the making of your food ate gas too, lots of it, and it's not the only thing. For more elaboration on this see the other comments I posted as a reply to the other replies to the GP post.

Re:Saving the world (1)

davidfromoz (801492) | more than 5 years ago | (#25782939)

I think its hard to infer that I'm an idiot for simple stating an opinion counter to yours.

I don't know why you suggest riding a bicycle is more environmentally expensive than driving a car. Lets play with the numbers shall we?

A bunch of banana's costs about $2 where I live. Lets assume that the component cost of bananas in terms of fuel is close to 100%. That would mean that to produce those bananas less than $2 of fuel was been spent. Probably much less, but lets keep the number at $2.

Lets assume you drive a fuel efficient vehicle. I'll give you 40 mpg. Lets say that your round trip drive to work is 20 miles. Lets price petrol about $2 a gallon.

Lets also a assume that I eat an extra 2 bananas over my friends who drive to work. I believe it to be less than that. Lets say there are 6 bananas in a bunch. So your driving to work costs:
20 miles / 40 mpg = 1/2 a gallon a day. (plus your car maintenance expenses)

My costs of riding to work:
$2 a bunch * 1/3 of a bunch a day / $2 a gallon = 1/3 of a gallon a day. (plus the cost of maintaining my bicycle.

Now I would contend that you might well drive a more expensive vehicle than that, I eat less than 2 bananas a day to drive my bicycle, the environmental cost of producing a banana is less than 100% of its total cost, there are more than 6 bananas in a bunch of bananas where I live and that the mileage related costs of maintaining a car vs. a bicycle are relevant. I admit I do own a car so I can't claim all the production costs of a car as an advantage. Also I admit that it is possible that the environmental cost of making a banana _could_ be more than 100% of its cost in fuel, but I don't think so. I'm not sure about the cost of fuel, but I think if that is higher (as it is in banana producing nations like Brazil and India) that works to strengthen bicycles advantage too since it would mean using less fuel to make the banana at that price.

But anyway, bicycles are cheaper. Probably much, much cheaper, but even giving you _every_ benefit of the doubt bicycles win.

cheers,
david

PS. Most upsetting of all is you force me to sound like a rabid greeny just to argue a ridiculous contention with you. I'm not, I'm just a person who would like to personally do something about a problem that I judge to be real. On the other hand thank you for forcing me to do the exercise, I thought it might turn out to be many orders of magnitude better, but now I think I can just say riding a bicycle is much better.

Re:Saving the world (0)

Ambitwistor (1041236) | more than 5 years ago | (#25781877)

What the hell do you think? Muscle energy isn't free energy, it comes from food, and food is anything but green energy.

Unless you're proposing that riding a bike to work will cause people to consume vastly more food than they otherwise would, that's a moot point: switching from driving to cycling will eliminate greenhouse gases from vehicles, but won't substantially increase greenhouse gases from agriculture.

So your idea of saving the world is downscaling the economy and living like Cubans?

Hyperbole much?

Re:Saving the world (2, Informative)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 5 years ago | (#25782303)

It will make people eat more, you could expect it to make them eat just enough to make up for the energy spent. The point being, that food is everything but green. There's lots of trucking/tractoring involve in the making and transportation of everything you eat, your food itself produces polluting crap (i.e. how pig shit pollutes underground water), and so on. Unless they're all trying to become skinny, people are going to eat more if they spend more. i'm just knocking on the myth of green/free human energy, which is complete hippie bullshit, and a fallacy comparable to the broken window fallacy.

Re:Saving the world (0)

arkane1234 (457605) | more than 5 years ago | (#25781881)

What the hell do you think? Muscle energy isn't free energy, it comes from food, and food is anything but green energy. Funny you should talk about "making us feel better", because it's exactly what the type of stuff does, with disputable benefits.

Buddy, everything takes energy. It's all about energy efficiency and environmental friendliness.

A human riding their bike to work produces significantly lower amounts of produced environmental pollutants.

Though riding to work needs to be very well planned and preparation both before and after needs to be set up. It's not quite as simple as starting a Hummer and parking it to walk into work. At least 20 miles distance-wise in less than 1.5 hours.

Living like Cubans is not necessarily a great thing to describe a scenario like this... considering that's an embargoed country that doesn't have much money running through it. Changing your spending is not unAmerican, in spite of what anyone else has said.

Re:Saving the world (1)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 5 years ago | (#25782341)

A human riding their bike to work produces significantly lower amounts of produced environmental pollutants.

Citation needed. How do you know that? Do you have any idea how much pollution goes in average into each ounce of food you eat? No? So? Where are you pulling your facts from?

I didn't say become Cuba, I said live like Cubans, that is with like $7 a day. The economy depends on spending, people spending. Just imagine everybody is buying twice less stuff at your local Walmart, and that for the sake of simplification Walmart is where everyone in your area buys stuff. Your Walmart makes twice less money, needs a whole lot less employees/becomes smaller, buys twice less stuff from its providers which themselves downsize and lay people off, and before you know it your local unemployment is soaring. So how's spending less a good thing, do tell me? More like you didn't think about it because when you think on a nation-wide scale you just fail to see the hidden consequences.

NASA's shoddy (fraudulent?) work (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25781513)

Let's publish the rubber duckies for Global Warming Research and ignore Goddard Institute for Space Studies of NASA headed by James Hansen which published falsified data [telegraph.co.uk] . James Hansen is a global warming alarmist.

A surreal scientific blunder last week raised a huge question mark about the temperature records that underpin the worldwide alarm over global warming. On Monday, Nasa's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), which is run by Al Gore's chief scientific ally, Dr James Hansen, and is one of four bodies responsible for monitoring global temperatures, announced that last month was the hottest October on record.

This was startling. Across the world there were reports of unseasonal snow and plummeting temperatures last month, from the American Great Plains to China, and from the Alps to New Zealand. China's official news agency reported that Tibet had suffered its "worst snowstorm ever". In the US, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration registered 63 local snowfall records and 115 lowest-ever temperatures for the month, and ranked it as only the 70th-warmest October in 114 years.

So what explained the anomaly? GISS's computerised temperature maps seemed to show readings across a large part of Russia had been up to 10 degrees higher than normal. But when expert readers of the two leading warming-sceptic blogs, Watts Up With That and Climate Audit, began detailed analysis of the GISS data they made an astonishing discovery. The reason for the freak figures was that scores of temperature records from Russia and elsewhere were not based on October readings at all. Figures from the previous month had simply been carried over and repeated two months running.

This is simply another proof that the mainstream media is no longer interested in facts or reporting unbiased news, just like during the election of the Anointed One. Rather, they simply parrot agendas that fit their own opinion.

Re:NASA's shoddy (fraudulent?) work (1)

night_flyer (453866) | more than 5 years ago | (#25781735)

Im just glad to see that California with their wildfires are doing their part to reverse this cooling trend...

Re:NASA's shoddy (fraudulent?) work (2, Insightful)

fluffy99 (870997) | more than 5 years ago | (#25781749)

I doubt it was intentional, but certainly Al Gore wants Global Warming to be true since fear mongering about it makes him money.

Re:NASA's shoddy (fraudulent?) work (4, Insightful)

Ambitwistor (1041236) | more than 5 years ago | (#25781775)

Let's publish the rubber duckies for Global Warming Research and ignore Goddard Institute for Space Studies of NASA headed by James Hansen which published falsified data.

I hate to break it to you, but making a clerical mistake is not the same as "falsifying data".

This is simply another proof that the mainstream media is no longer interested in facts or reporting unbiased news

Uh, no, it's a sign that quickly-fixed data reporting errors which have no impact on any major climate studies are not front page news.

I also hate to break it to you, but minor errors are found and fixed in scientific data sets all the time. It's only news when the data error is the basis for some important scientific conclusion. (That has been the case, for instance, with the XBT ocean thermometers and the UAH satellite data.)

Your post is a prime example of how ridiculously polarized the global warming debate has become. You're grasping at straws, man. A mistake in two month's data reporting, which has nothing to do with James Hansen personally, is not a global scientific conspiracy nor a disproof of global warming.

just like during the election of the Anointed One

Anointed One? Yeah, you really sound like an impartial arbiter of scientific accuracy. You might want to tone down the hypocrisy while whinging about "bias".

Re:NASA's shoddy (fraudulent?) work (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25781885)

Sorry to break it to you. If you read TFA:

The error was so glaring that when it was reported on the two blogs - run by the US meteorologist Anthony Watts and Steve McIntyre, the Canadian computer analyst who won fame for his expert debunking of the notorious "hockey stick" graph - GISS began hastily revising its figures. This only made the confusion worse because, to compensate for the lowered temperatures in Russia, GISS claimed to have discovered a new "hotspot" in the Arctic - in a month when satellite images were showing Arctic sea-ice recovering so fast from its summer melt that three weeks ago it was 30 per cent more extensive than at the same time last year.

Clerical error does not include "hastily revising" the figures using another set of false data unsupported by satellite images.

Yeah, you really sound like an impartial arbiter of scientific accuracy. You might want to tone down the hypocrisy while whinging about "bias".

Yeah? Well, I don't claim to be a journalist and where Obama is concerned, I despise his lies (like his Pro Life Obama website despite his voting no to granting babies surviving late-term abortion their medical rights... 4 times!) and his methods to buy the US election (including how his campaign turned off the AVS so that anyone can make a credit card donation regardless if you are a foreigner, over the donation limit or is you are using stolen credit card). If you like that kind of person to be your president (hey, he is not mine), be my guest.

Re:NASA's shoddy (fraudulent?) work (0)

Falconhell (1289630) | more than 5 years ago | (#25782431)

Fuck you right wingers are morons, stop stamping your little feet, you lost, deal with it.

I would by far rather have Obama then his predecessor, and that counts for most of the non fucked in the head folk in the world.

Sore loser!

Re:NASA's shoddy (fraudulent?) work (5, Insightful)

izomiac (815208) | more than 5 years ago | (#25782069)

Clerical mistakes can happen, but in this case it's essentially falsifying data just without the intent. If something unexpected happens then one should look for errors first. Instead, it seems like this researcher just assumed that it was more support for a theory he liked. Little things like this can add up across various studies, leading to a theory being unduly strong (self perpetuating). In any case, it's pretty shoddy work to let an obvious outlier make it into a study.

how ridiculously polarized the global warming debate has become

Quite true. Personally I've become nearly apathetic upon the realization that both sides exaggerate to the point of dishonesty. Well, really it's the extremists on either side that do the lying, but since the issue is so polarized there's the illusion (perhaps becoming reality) that they speak for their respective groups.

Global Warming Partisans (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25782599)

Well, really it's the extremists on either side that do the lying, but since the issue is so polarized there's the illusion (perhaps becoming reality) that they speak for their respective groups.

It's not like everyone has to commit to being 100% sure of how Global Warming works or 100% sure that it doesn't exist. A minority may have reached 100% certainty, but most of us are still waiting for better data. (Go rubber duckies!) It is the extremists who don't think any additional data is necessary, since there is nothing left for them to learn.

Re:NASA's shoddy (fraudulent?) work (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 5 years ago | (#25782125)

It sounds an awful lot like a case of bad interpolation of missing data. Copy previous month is a heck of a lot lower order than a simple linear function, even. But some interpolation would be necessary to start working with the results. You push out the corrections in the errata when the data comes in if you miss CD press time.

Now there is definitely some question as to why the gaps would be represented by previous data instead of nulls or flag values, and clerical error is certainly a plausible reason.

But.. it's an awfully convenient excuse, especially if there was some pressure to publish quickly or the cleverly nefarious scheme of announcing "warmest October ever" then quietly correcting the data in February, followed by yet another "warmest october ever" even if one of them wasn't.

If one wanted, every year could be the warmest on record, in a big announcement, fostering the perception of ever increasing, record-setting temperatures despite a more volatile actual record. It doesn't even take a conspiracy, and it doesn't even need to be an ongoing operation. It just takes one researcher every few seasons to make a "clerical error" that happens to fit preconceived notions of article reviewers and an otherwise well-written piece.

Re:NASA's shoddy (fraudulent?) work (2, Funny)

Kohath (38547) | more than 5 years ago | (#25781899)

You don't understand. The glacier is melting at 0.2 ducks per year! Prior to this experiment, the glacier was melting at zero ducks per year. It has increased 2 whole ducks per 10 year period! At this rate of increase, the entire population of ducks will be exhausted by 2142! Don't you care about the ducks?

The only upside is that, barring any additional interference, the glacier's melting will return to zero ducks per year once all the ducks are gone.

Re:NASA's shoddy (fraudulent?) work (5, Informative)

Hellsbells (231588) | more than 5 years ago | (#25782213)

About the author of this opinion article:

He has claimed that Asbestos is "chemically identical to talcum powder", and the BBC has accused him of basing his reputation on "lies about his credentials, unaccredited tests, and self aggrandisement".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher_Booker#Criticism [wikipedia.org]

He is not a credible person.

Re:NASA's shoddy (fraudulent?) work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25782409)

Above post is troll, not insightful.

Begone denialists and right wingers you lost, learn to live with it, and fuck off.

Re:NASA's shoddy (fraudulent?) work (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 5 years ago | (#25782415)

"James Hansen is a global warming alarmist...[snip]...This is simply another proof that the mainstream media...[snip]...simply parrot agendas that fit their own opinion."

Pot meets kettle.

Reward (4, Funny)

renegadesx (977007) | more than 5 years ago | (#25781529)

Missing: One large yellow rubber duck, answers to the name 'Rubber Duckie'
Has made apperances on childrens television shows
Please report any information on the whereabouts on Rubber Duckie to Ernie, Sesame St NY. +123 (456) 789-10-11-12
Cash reward

Re:Reward (1)

KingAlanI (1270538) | more than 5 years ago | (#25782173)

The Sesame Street-themed post and your sig fit together well. :)

Disko Ducks? (2, Funny)

johnkennethhunter (1326527) | more than 5 years ago | (#25781647)

If the ducks first hit open water at Disko Bay, are these ducks intended to be called the Disko Ducks [wikipedia.org] ? [Wikipedia]

Next month's story (4, Funny)

Jade E. 2 (313290) | more than 5 years ago | (#25781651)

Scientists are extremely alarmed over a new phenomenon recently observed in the arctic glaciers. Melt water, which normally flows through micro rivers deep in the glacier until it reaches the sea, has started to flow over the surface instead, accelerating the rate at which the ice melts. "It's like something went and plugged up the flow, and now it's backing up like a giant toilet with a rubber duck stuck in it." remarked one researcher.

The researchers are currently seeking a $10 million grant to investigate the cause of this disturbing event.

Re:Next month's story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25782279)

if homo had any skillz he'd cellular enable these to 'call home' why wait?

oranges (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25781663)

They are not rubber, and biodegrade well.

They were used in a similar manner in Lake champlain.

Doubleplusgood Duckspeaker (1)

fnordtastic (1408051) | more than 5 years ago | (#25781779)

Whoever thought of this must have been a real quack.

Re:Doubleplusgood Duckspeaker (1)

davidphogan74 (623610) | more than 5 years ago | (#25782723)

Back in the days of Bush the 1st [dailymail.co.uk] (Jan 1992) the ducks left China. 10 months later, they invade Alaska. This was pre-Palin.

Three years later the fowl yellow molded ducks show up in Hawaii. We survive the first raid.

Eight years after gaining freedom, our fine feathered flightless molded friends start showing up in the Northeast US. Maine to Mass, ducks are ashore.

Eleven years after the spill the spiller offers a reward for the ducks. A $100 US Savings Bond. (Not the best deal in hindsight.) To be valid ducks must be sent to the company and must be found in New England, Canada or Iceland. Britain is warned.

2005-2008, the ducks invade again. They may have multiplied over the years. Or, we're just pussified. Either way, it's fowl.

Re:Doubleplusgood Duckspeaker (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25782755)

Go duck a fuck?

Science Project or Phishing? (2, Interesting)

doublecuffs (914081) | more than 5 years ago | (#25781823)

So do you need to send any personal information to report a rubber duckie finding? If not, how can they verify the finding? If so, and had you not read this posting, would you believe that this was a genuine scientific experiment and not a phishing attempt?

No phishing here (2, Funny)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 5 years ago | (#25782157)

That's no phishing. It sounds more like paultrying.

'great' idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25782991)

now we just need to scoop them up and say they were found headed the opposite way as expected...

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