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Carbon Dioxide Emissions Fall Worldwide In 2009

kdawson posted more than 3 years ago | from the is-it-warm-out-here dept.

Earth 221

Hugh Pickens writes "The Christian Science Monitor reports that the good news is that emissions from burning coal, oil, and natural gas fell 1.3 percent compared with emissions in 2008 primarily because of the global economic downturn and an increase in carbon-dioxide uptake by the oceans and by plants on land. One big factor was La Niña, a natural seesaw shift in climate that takes place across the tropical Pacific every three to seven years, where the climate is cooler and wetter over large regions of land in the tropics, encouraging plant growth in tropical forests. However the bad news is that even with the decrease in emissions the overall concentration of CO2 rose from 385 ppm in 2008 to 387 ppm in 2009, as concentrations continue to rise even as emissions slip because even at the reduced pace, humans are pumping CO2 into the atmosphere faster than natural processes can scrub the gas. Many countries have agreed in principle to try to stabilize emissions at 350 ppm by century's end, which would result in a 50 percent chance of holding the increase in global average temperatures to about 2 degrees C over pre-industrial levels."

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That's clearly impossible (3, Funny)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 3 years ago | (#34317774)

After all, it's much warmer where I am right now than it was at the same time 4 years ago. 4 years ago in my region, we had a blizzard on Thanksgiving. This year, it's about 50F. Clearly, the globe is warming uncontrollably, and since we all know CO2 emissions are causing climate change, CO2 emissions must have gone up.

(No, I'm not being serious)

No, you're just being intellectually dishonest (-1, Redundant)

apparently (756613) | more than 3 years ago | (#34317940)

After all, it's much warmer where I am right now than it was at the same time 4 years ago. 4 years ago in my region, we had a blizzard on Thanksgiving. This year, it's about 50F. Clearly, the globe is warming uncontrollably, and since we all know CO2 emissions are causing climate change, CO2 emissions must have gone up. (No, I'm not being serious)

While you're not being serious, you are being wholly dishonest and wholly inaccurate in your portrayal of the argument presented by global-warming proponents. It's akin to the Fox News assholes gleefully commenting on the storm that hit DC last winter, stating that Al Gore had been proven wrong, because it snowed. In D.C.. In the winter.

Re:No, you're just being intellectually dishonest (3, Informative)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 3 years ago | (#34317990)

Of course my argument is completely bogus - that was the point. The "(No, I'm not being serious)" was to indicate that I was aware of all the problems you mentioned, and was making an attempt at satirizing exactly the stupidity you describe.

Dumb fucking mods. Holy shit!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34319756)

Holy shit!! First, dkleinsc makes a lame joke and gets modded "Funny". After being questioned about it, he offers an explanation and gets modded "Insightful", instead of "Informative".

Come on, mods - are you fucking people stupid?

What's next? Are you going to mod me a troll, instead of insightful?

Whoosh. (1, Informative)

HeckRuler (1369601) | more than 3 years ago | (#34317996)

That's the joke. Really, you hit it right on the head. It's exactly like that. That's why it's funny. Or at least it was, till you showed up.

Re:Whoosh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34318372)

Well said.

Re:Whoosh. (0)

bunratty (545641) | more than 3 years ago | (#34320330)

But the argument for AGW isn't like that at all. The warming was predicted from first principles over 100 years ago [wikimedia.org] . The idea that burning fossil fuels will increase the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and the increase in this greenhouse gas will cause warming is pretty obvious when you know basic chemistry and physics. The fact that we've observed the predicted warming at a rate and during a time that we would expect verifies the hypothesis. Among climatologists, only a select few still won't accept that the hypothesis has been confirmed.

Re:No, you're just being intellectually dishonest (0)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 3 years ago | (#34318032)

Well, for every Fox News story stating global warming is wrong because of cold weather, there's a couple of NBC/ABC/newspaper/etc stories which discuss heat waves and the like and say that they are evidence of global warming, and two or three politicians using it to justify some measure. It may not be what The Scientists with half a brain are saying, but it's out there.

The "dishonest and wholly inaccurate portrayal" angle cuts both ways.

Re:No, you're just being intellectually dishonest (1)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 3 years ago | (#34318584)

Well, for every Fox News story stating global warming is wrong because of cold weather, there's a couple of NBC/ABC/newspaper/etc stories which discuss heat waves and the like and say that they are evidence of global warming, and two or three politicians using it to justify some measure.

[Citation needed]

Seriously. I want to read them.

Re:No, you're just being intellectually dishonest (3, Interesting)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34319834)

Difficult to cite television shows. But just last week NBC, MSNBC, CNBC, Syfy, Bravo, Telemundo, etc celebrated "green week" and it included some of those tales about how heat waves prove global warming.

I also thought it was funny when they said last winter's record snowfall proved global warming as well. Something about warmer air holding more snow. Yeah. Sure. Except it wasn't a record anywhere but Baltimore and DC. Elsewhere like PennsylvaniA the snowfall was not unusual, AND the record was set in the 1950s (5 feet).

Re:No, you're just being intellectually dishonest (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34318090)

>>>wholly inaccurate in your portrayal of the argument presented by global-warming proponents.

Not really. I remember three years ago when Washington and Philadelphia had an unusually warm and almost snow-free winter, and NBC, ABC, et cetera had their reporters discussing how this is clear evidence that global warming is happening." And no it wasn't just an off-the-cuff remark, but repeated day after day, with an "in depth report" on the warm winter during one of those days.

So wholly inaccurate? Nope. Very accurate, because that's what actually happens. If we have a warm winter this year, just pay attention. The anchors on the National TV will be discussing how this demonstrates global warming is real, just as they did three winters ago.

Re:No, you're just being intellectually dishonest (2, Insightful)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | more than 3 years ago | (#34318680)

There's a difference between television sensationalism with the sole intent of capturing the interest of ignorant viewers, and actual scientific discourse. I don't think anyone qualified to have an opinion in the matter is taking the position dkleinsc parodied.

Re:No, you're just being intellectually dishonest (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34318822)

Yes and that's what "dkleinsc" was making fun of. Television sensationalism and other pundits.

Re:No, you're just being intellectually dishonest (1)

operagost (62405) | more than 3 years ago | (#34319108)

The beauty of calling it "global climate change" is that the temperature doesn't matter. We had a cold winter with lots of snow last year, and they blamed that on CO2 emissions as well.

Re:No, you're just being intellectually dishonest (1)

tautog (46259) | more than 3 years ago | (#34318596)

After all, it's much warmer where I am right now than it was at the same time 4 years ago. 4 years ago in my region, we had a blizzard on Thanksgiving. This year, it's about 50F. Clearly, the globe is warming uncontrollably, and since we all know CO2 emissions are causing climate change, CO2 emissions must have gone up.

(No, I'm not being serious)

While you're not being serious, you are being wholly dishonest and wholly inaccurate in your portrayal of the argument presented by global-warming proponents. It's akin to the Fox News assholes gleefully commenting on the storm that hit DC last winter, stating that Al Gore had been proven wrong, because it snowed. In D.C.. In the winter.

Thanks for stating the obvious, Captain "Apparently".

Re:No, you're just being intellectually dishonest (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34318616)

After all, it's much warmer where I am right now than it was at the same time 4 years ago. 4 years ago in my region, we had a blizzard on Thanksgiving. This year, it's about 50F. Clearly, the globe is warming uncontrollably, and since we all know CO2 emissions are causing climate change, CO2 emissions must have gone up. (No, I'm not being serious)

While you're not being serious, you are being wholly dishonest and wholly inaccurate in your portrayal of the argument presented by global-warming proponents.

It's not dishonest to suggest that some global-warming proponents make exactly that argument. They do. There is plenty of idiocy to go around on every side of a major public debate, and global warming has got it worse than most.

Re:No, you're just being intellectually dishonest (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#34318876)

Hey! IT snowed in Argentina last June! and we all know it's HOT down there in South America! and then it happened in the Summer months of June!!!!

SKY FALLING!!!!!!

Re:No, you're just being intellectually dishonest (1)

operagost (62405) | more than 3 years ago | (#34319172)

Apparently, Vanessa Williams never went to Argentina. IRONY FAIL.

Re:That's clearly impossible (2, Informative)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 3 years ago | (#34318104)

I just took off my jacket, so that's probably doing my part to reduce global warming. It's chilly though, so I'm going to have to turn on the heater.

Re:That's clearly impossible (1)

LynnwoodRooster (966895) | more than 3 years ago | (#34318378)

No, not at all! Four years ago, it was 50 deg F and cloudy here in Seattle. Now it's 20 deg F and we have snow on the ground. Clearly CO2 emissions have been reduced too much!

Re:That's clearly impossible (2, Insightful)

Dausha (546002) | more than 3 years ago | (#34319092)

I know you're being cheeky, so I'm a fellow traveler.

A friend's son's research suggested that CO2 levels correlated with temperature change, but only after the temperature had shifted. So, no causation. Of course, there is also the historic data that shows that our temperature swing is not unprecedented, nor accelerated by us.

And while we're trying to create cars that somehow magically scrub CO2 from the air, the quality of air in Beijing is being given "hella bad" ratings.

I wish the focus would be on something akin to "quality of life" or "being good stewards of our environment" than some quasi-religious tilt to Gaia.

Re:That's clearly impossible (1)

TrancePhreak (576593) | more than 3 years ago | (#34319558)

I totally agree with this. Air quality to me is much more important than maybe the weather will be different and we'll all have to adjust. (Seeing as most of the bigger claims have not come to be).

As winter in the norther hemisphere sets in, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34317780)

Allow me to voice my wish that CO2 levels continue to rise, and temperatures in Maine become more like those in South Carolina.

Re:As winter in the norther hemisphere sets in, (1)

martas (1439879) | more than 3 years ago | (#34317798)

And temperatures in South Carolina become more like those in Maine! Wait, that's not how it works...

Re:As winter in the norther hemisphere sets in, (1)

martas (1439879) | more than 3 years ago | (#34317808)

OR IS IT???????

Re:As winter in the norther hemisphere sets in, (1)

Reziac (43301) | more than 3 years ago | (#34317840)

It's supposed to be 16 degrees tomorrow night, here in the southern California high desert. This is about 6 weeks before we'd normally reach such low winter temps (and most years it never gets below 21 degrees at the very worst). We've already had snow down to 2700 feet, also vanishingly rare this time of year.. in fact the first time I'd seen either in 26 years here.

Did I move back to Montana, and miss the trip??

Re:As winter in the norther hemisphere sets in, (1)

ChipMonk (711367) | more than 3 years ago | (#34317872)

Billings, MT is reporting -2 deg F (-18 deg C) as I type this. I expect 16 deg F would be a heat wave right now.

Re:As winter in the norther hemisphere sets in, (1)

Reziac (43301) | more than 3 years ago | (#34318030)

Yeah, my friends along the Hi-Line were complaining about it being below zero already. Snow all over the state, too.

A few pictures for those who have no idea where we're talking about: http://www.stephenlehmer.com/Montana%20Hi-Line/Montana%20Hi-Line.html [stephenlehmer.com]

 

Re:As winter in the norther hemisphere sets in, (1)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | more than 3 years ago | (#34318748)

Wow, I wish those were wallpaper sized. They're stunning.

Re:As winter in the norther hemisphere sets in, (1)

Bucc5062 (856482) | more than 3 years ago | (#34318386)

From one who lives in this state...maybe rethink that wish. Oh yes the winters are mild here, sort of, but do you really want day after day of unrelenting 95 degree temps with 80-90% humidity in the summer? Day after day of glorious sunshine that after two weeks begins to rot your brain and you ponder when did this state become a desert? Even the winter is looney here. One day 70, the next 20. Hell, I carry two types of coats just to deal with temperature ranges in a given day.

Sure, Maine's cold many months out of the year, yes, the water will freeze "junk" quicker then co2 (make the mistake of jumping in with no warning, fool of a took), but at least you don't live in a desert that fakes like it is a nice southern environment. Besides, if you get our weather, we get what? Equatorial New Guinea temps....No thanks!

Re:As winter in the norther hemisphere sets in, (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 3 years ago | (#34319770)

Oh yes the winters are mild here, sort of, but do you really want day after day of unrelenting 95 degree temps with 80-90% humidity in the summer?

Sounds normal for where I live. Well, other than the fact that it's usually more humid than that in summer. And a bit warmer....

Re:As winter in the norther hemisphere sets in, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34318396)

That would be a problem for skiing lovers...

Economic downturn (4, Interesting)

AndyAndyAndyAndy (967043) | more than 3 years ago | (#34317828)

The temporary decrease in heavy industry (and thus, fall in CO2 emissions) due to a slow economy is another reason to take advantage of the situation and re-enter with a strong economy with renewable technologies in place. Unfortunately, not many people are down for spending the money to invest in a down economy. You can bet we'll see a sharp uptick in relative emissions over the next few years as more and more areas "rebound" with the same old technologies driving it.

Re:Economic downturn (3, Funny)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 3 years ago | (#34317972)

Psst. The recession is a left-wing environmentalist conspiracy. Pass it on.

.

.

.

(that was a joke, son. easy with the modpoints.)

you know somebody's going to say it... (2, Insightful)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 3 years ago | (#34318076)

recession -> CO2 emmissions drop,
so,
mandate CO2 emmissions drop -> recession

Re:Economic downturn (-1, Offtopic)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34318248)

I've heard that even if mankind disappeared tomorrow and therefore our CO2 output dropped to zero, greenhouse warming would still be happening because it's already been set in motion. It's now being pushed forward by water vapor, CO2 from volcanoes, and other factors that represent 95% of the "push" behind the change.
(shrug)
As for "conspiracy" I don't buy that nonsense, but it's pretty obvious the Housing Boom was caused by an inadvertent mistake by the Clinton administration, specifically the HUD. They passed a regulation that made it illegal to deny a mortgage application even if the citizen was too poor to pay it back. Hence a run-away boom.

So yes we can blame the Democrats, or at least the ones who were in the white house in 1997.

Re:Economic downturn (0)

Eunuchswear (210685) | more than 3 years ago | (#34319364)

it's pretty obvious the Housing Boom was caused by an inadvertent mistake by the Clinton administration, specifically the HUD. They passed a regulation that made it illegal to deny a mortgage application even if the citizen was too poor to pay it back. Hence a run-away boom.

Aw, shit, someone's wrong on the internet again.

Nope, that's not what happened. Sorry.

(I assume you're talking about the CRA [wikipedia.org] . The majority of the bad loans were made by lenders that were not covered by the CRA.)

Re:Economic downturn (4, Informative)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34318194)

>>>not many people are down for spending the money to invest

Not quite true. The U.S. Government spent almost a billion dollars to fund a solar panel factory in California. Unfortunately it went bankrupt because the chinese undersold them. Likewise the outlawing of incandescent bulbs (soon) resulted in the factory closing here, and the new CFL factory opening in china.

If we are moving towards a green economy, it will be China/India and other cheap labor areas that benefit. Meanwhile here at home the USG will throw-away a ton of money on solar and other factories that eventually die out. Yeah I know you probably think I'm being pessimistic.

I prefer to use the word "realist" and "observant". I can SEE the powershift from America to Asia.

Re:Economic downturn (4, Interesting)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#34319250)

Yes and no.

I do a Lot of LEED certified building programming and I can tell you some real facts about this "Green" stuff...

Solar: effective in southern climates ONLY. Solar installations in Michigan, Northern Illinois like Chicago and Detroit are nothing but dog and pony shows. The numbers given to the Building customers as to the output and savings are at least 80% higher than the readings I am getting off the equipment directly. One customer has the entire building covered in solar panels on the roof and was told the solar has a 15 year payback. After 6 months of collecting realtime data from the building, I am calculating the Solar installation payback to be over 150 years. Their projected solar days is far FAR lower than actual. PLUS you have to send a crew up to the roof on the 8th floor to clean them every 2 months. AND do it after every snowfall in the winter. Now you have workers on an icy roof cleaning snow off of the solar panels after every storm. Yay...

LEED certification is for MARKETING only. it's a "look I'm green" badge and nothing more. Load shedding and consumption reduction will do 900% more to "save the environment" than any solar or wind installation. If you use 1,000,000 watts of power and you reduce it by 10% that is 10,000 watts saved, a 10% reduction in your bill, and far more C02 saved than installing $180,000 in solar panels and wind turbines that are made with nasty heavy metals and incredibly dangerous manufacturing processes.

Skylights, lots of windows, Proper building design (no not this cookie cutter crap) proper insulation and proper design of the workspaces and building saves way more than any "lok at me I'm greeen" add on crap you can make.

Problem is it requires major changes in business culture.

Re:Economic downturn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34318692)

Continuing to point out the obvious: as long as we have a "what's the stock price like this quarter?" economy very few companies will be spending money on "renewables".
They're expensive, and some take decades to make back the initial cost. Then there's ongoing maintenance and the likelihood that they won't provide enough power anyway.

What we really need is to start building nuclear, something on a 50-year plan to get us off our fossil fuel addiction (which took >200 years to acquire).
It would be quite amazing to see the golden age which could dawn if energy were no longer a concern.
Which is a definite possibility if nuclear became "cool" again (like it was in the 1950's).

Re:Economic downturn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34319894)

Continuing to point out the obvious: as long as we have a "what's the stock price like this quarter?" economy very few companies will be spending money on "renewables".

While I don't disagree with this opinion, all you can do is invest the way you want to invest. And once you, and all the other like-minded investors, have control of your special company's stock, you won't have to worry about the day-traders dinking with price, because none of you will be selling shares any more, right?

I agree, "in principle." (1)

ChipMonk (711367) | more than 3 years ago | (#34317856)

Which is just a way of telling you "go to hell" using different words.

Long Time Treehugger (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34317860)

I am a long time treehugger and hated to see any harvesting of any forests at all. This is because I feel that trees are the best way of combating climate change - they regulate climate in the surrounding area. When the Romans attacked Jerusalem in 70 AD and cut down all the olive trees around the city for combat fortifications, the water retention of the soil was reduced significantly. The place referred to as the land of milk and honey became a desert wasteland. However, in recent years I have begun to acknowledge the importance of cutting trees as much as I hate it. The main threats to the forest now are invasive species (Think Chestnut blight, Gypsy moth, etc) and brush fires. The Forest Service's budget is TINY in comparison to the cost of these threats, and so selective harvesting of trees to make up for budget shortfalls has become a necessary evil. It is better to remove a few trees in one area and be able to fight off threats to the forest as a whole than to have an entire species (Chestnut, Oak, dogwood) die off reducing diversity.

Another plus is that any harvested trees are SEQUESTERING CO2. This is important - a dead tree either rots or is burnt in a fire RELEASING the stored CO2. As part of a dining room table, the Carbon just stays there. The answer is MORE trees and MORE harvesting of trees, as must as I hate the latter part.

Really Bad idea (0)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 3 years ago | (#34318806)

Forests naturally deal with fire quite well thank you. Happily modern forestry realizes this and lets the forest cycle happen naturally, where possible... sometimes housing around an area means you have to harvest.

Re:Really Bad idea (3, Insightful)

rufty_tufty (888596) | more than 3 years ago | (#34319566)

"Forests naturally deal with fire quite well thank you"
Agreed, but that's not the point the gp was trying to make. The average stable forest isn't the o2 source or co2 sink that some environmentalists would have you think. Only by removing matter from the forest and using it/burying it where it won't rot will it sequester co2 thereby reducing humanity's effect.
The point being a stable forest releases co2 from wood rotting or being burnt. If it absorbed co2, then its mass would constantly increase. What is actually happening in a stable forest is that there is an almost perfect balance and therefore a healthy stable forest is more or less carbon neutral.

Now if you were to occasionally cut down the wood and put it to other uses (e.g. housing or tables as gp mentions) and allow new growth, then you have a co2 capturing scheme. If you cut it down and build concrete buildings in it's place or just let it turn to desert/scrubland then you're the human race and deserve what you'll get...

I've 75% sure that 50% chance is voodoo science (3, Insightful)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 3 years ago | (#34317874)

But I'm 100% sure that I'd prefer to live in a world where we don't give trillions to greenie scam artists in return for them telling us that they can fix that pesky human inclination to have kids and give them a decent standard of living.

We need to lose about 3 billion people, then keep the numbers down there until we get our eggs out of this basket. Anyone not engaged in trying to find a way to achieve that solution humanely is just profiting from the problem.

This is getting creepy common (0, Troll)

HeckRuler (1369601) | more than 3 years ago | (#34318200)

We need to lose about 3 billion people,

I'm sorry, but this line right here makes you evil. Plain old fashioned evil. The type of evil megalomaniac that wants to KILL OFF THREE BILLION PEOPLE.

Now now, I guess I have to take that back. If you're willing to make a show of good will, and volunteer to be one of the first of the 3 billion, then I guess you're not evil.
Well?

Re:This is getting creepy common (4, Insightful)

Duradin (1261418) | more than 3 years ago | (#34318698)

People die on their own. Life has a 100% mortality rate. Wait a while, don't replace 3 billion people that died of natural causes (i.e. life) and you've lost 3 billion from the total population without actively killing anyone.

kneejerk much? (1)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 3 years ago | (#34318704)

He didn't specify how to get the population down to that level. [lmgtfy.com]
Since some studies show that the birth rate drops as societies become more prosperous, maybe he's proposing to make us all rich. I could get onboard on that.

Re:This is getting creepy common (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#34319396)

Not kill them, I think what his point is we do too much to make it safe for the stupid people.

WE don't "cull the herd" anymore. The complete morons of the world are protected from danger. And the ones that do hurt themselves from being stupid, they are saved from death.

Re:This is getting creepy common (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34320022)

Good luck with stopping that "dumb" breeding you smartie.

President Comacho: I thought your head would be bigger.

or

Secretary of State: But Brawndo’s got what plants crave. It’s got electrolytes.

Re:I've 75% sure that 50% chance is voodoo science (0, Flamebait)

JDmetro (1745882) | more than 3 years ago | (#34318284)

And why don't you be the first to volunteer? At the very least be spayed or neutered. Or maybe you could never find anyone to have babies with so now your a bitter asshole. Or maybe you lost your job to someone in China/ India and you want to get back at that guy who got your job when MS moved their tech support call centre to India. Or why don't we start with the wealthiest 10 percent and then we could re distribute their wealth. But let me guess mr.douchebag you want to start by killing off the poor in third world countries. Then the lower classes in the first world countries hell they don't need that fancy car or big house we can put them to work on a farm or factory give them a little straw to sleep on then they won't need a car to get to work or a big house and if we castrate them no more little poor people. And shit why bother paying them they get everything they need to live, they should be happy they are so lucky. Then the people who are actually entitled to fly their private jets, or take their fancy boats to the lake can do so in the privacy they deserve. With none of us middle class assholes using up their resources or crowding them on the beach.

Re:I've 75% sure that 50% chance is voodoo science (5, Informative)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34318344)

>>>We need to lose about 3 billion people

You've been unfairly marked troll.

But if the US, EU, AU, and Asian communities enacted a 1 child per family policy like China has done, their respective populations would drop to 1/10th present levels by 2110. i.e. From ~3 billion to 300 million. That alone would solve our pollution problem, and yes it would be humane (no need to kill anybody).

Re:I've 75% sure that 50% chance is voodoo science (2, Insightful)

Feyshtey (1523799) | more than 3 years ago | (#34318548)

And if we're lucky families in the US, EU, AU and Asian communities will all enact the practice of killing less valuable babies like girls and those with disabilities in hopes of trying again until they get their one alloted good baby. Just like China!

Yes, it's sarcasm.

Re:I've 75% sure that 50% chance is voodoo science (1)

cobrausn (1915176) | more than 3 years ago | (#34318644)

Wish I had mod points for you.

Re:I've 75% sure that 50% chance is voodoo science (2, Informative)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34319008)

>>>killing less valuable babies

Murder would still be illegal Mr.. Just because you impose a "one child per family" limit does not mean parents would be allowed to go throwing unwanted babies in dumpsters.

Of course we don't have to impose this policy. We could just let Mother Nature solve the overpopulation problem and believe me, her approach is far less pleasant (starvation, black plague, etc).

Re:I've 75% sure that 50% chance is voodoo science (0, Flamebait)

superdave80 (1226592) | more than 3 years ago | (#34319198)

Yeah, because there is no way to tell the sex of the baby while it is still in the womb, and we don't have test to detect certain disabilities either. Oh, shit, we do have those capabilities? Well, then women can just murder their unwanted babies while still in the womb. Oh, but that isn't 'murder' to you.

Re:I've 75% sure that 50% chance is voodoo science (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34319416)

Strawman argument == fail. Address ME not your imaginary pro-abortion scapegoat.

Also now you're changing the original poster's message. He said BABIES not unborn fetuses, and that was the point I was addressing. Killing of babies is not allowed now and would not be allowed under a One Child Per Couple policy.

Re:I've 75% sure that 50% chance is voodoo science (2, Insightful)

operagost (62405) | more than 3 years ago | (#34319296)

Telling people how many children they can have isn't very libertarian. Your difficult to figure out. I guess everyone needs to troll once in a while.

Re:I've 75% sure that 50% chance is voodoo science (0, Flamebait)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34319516)

Neither is forcing people to fund an army but sometimes it becomes necessary to lose a *little* liberty in order to avert future disaster (i.e. invasion or overpopulation-induced starvation).

You see... you confuse libertarianism with anarchy, and they are not the same thing.

Re:I've 75% sure that 50% chance is voodoo science (1)

gnesterenko (1457631) | more than 3 years ago | (#34319544)

And not being allowed to do something has always prevented people from doing that thing. Yep. I've no examples at all from anywhere or anytime that would prove that statement wrong.

"The views expressed here are mine and do not reflect the official opinion of my employer or the organization through which the Internet was accessed."

Re:I've 75% sure that 50% chance is voodoo science (1)

phoenixwade (997892) | more than 3 years ago | (#34319294)

And if we're lucky families in the US, EU, AU and Asian communities will all enact the practice of killing less valuable babies like girls and those with disabilities in hopes of trying again until they get their one alloted good baby. Just like China! Yes, it's sarcasm.

You know, all the rhetoric doesn't quite obfuscate the basic truth there. We do need to downsize the population before some natural mechanism kicks in and does it for us. There is an upper limit on how many people this planet can support regardless of the technologies we apply to extending it, and how much of the rest of the biosphere we're willing to sacrific to make it happen. The question isn't "IF" we need to reverse population growth, it's "HOW". And it's telling that you can only see how population control is a bad thing, rather than look toward solutions that are acceptable.

Re:I've 75% sure that 50% chance is voodoo science (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34319636)

>>>You know, all the rhetoric doesn't quite obfuscate the basic truth there. We do need to downsize the population before some natural mechanism kicks in and does it for us. There is an upper limit on how many people this planet can support....
>>>

+1 diplomatic

Re:I've 75% sure that 50% chance is voodoo science (1)

Feyshtey (1523799) | more than 3 years ago | (#34319848)

I don't disagree with you in this regard: There are too many people, and too few efforts to curb population growth.

What I was more interested in pointing out was that someone was holding up a brutal communist regime guilty of a plethora of human rights violations as a beacon of enlightenment. Of all the nations and peoples we should emulate, China is pretty far down on the list. A cavalier dismissal of their lack of compassion to justify social engineering is either ignorant or disgusting.

Re:I've 75% sure that 50% chance is voodoo science (1)

guanxi (216397) | more than 3 years ago | (#34319512)

And if we're lucky families in the US, EU, AU and Asian communities will all enact the practice of killing less valuable babies like girls and those with disabilities in hopes of trying again until they get their one alloted good baby. Just like China!

Considering that there are more women in the U.S. workforce than men, and that there are many more women in college, and that men commit a disproportionate number of crimes, it's questionable who is more valuable. Also, women are necessary for reproduction, but men are not.

Re:I've 75% sure that 50% chance is voodoo science (1)

Feyshtey (1523799) | more than 3 years ago | (#34320026)

Are all of you people completely ignorant to the fact that I was criticising the use of CHINA as an appropriate source for social policy?

Are you so completely stupid that you
a) didnt understand the sarcasm disclaimer
b) actually believe I'm the one placing value on one human life over another
c) I'm supportive of any mandated regulation over my reproductive activities?

How is it, exactly, that a Mormon can be told that he has to forgo his religious teachings and stop having kids, but we need to have compassion and understanding for radical muslims who have sworn to kill us in the name of their God?

Re:I've 75% sure that 50% chance is voodoo science (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34320108)

Are all of you people completely ignorant to the fact that I was criticising the use of CHINA as an appropriate source for social policy?

Are you so completely stupid that you
a) didnt understand the sarcasm disclaimer
b) actually believe I'm the one placing value on one human life over another
c) I'm supportive of any mandated regulation over my reproductive activities?

How is it, exactly, that a Mormon can be told that he has to forgo his religious teachings and stop having kids, but we need to have compassion and understanding for radical muslims who have sworn to kill us in the name of their God?

I think you've hit the nail on the head. Other people, besides you, are ignorant, stupid and murderous, and deserve only hatred and scorn.

Re:I've 75% sure that 50% chance is voodoo science (3, Interesting)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 3 years ago | (#34319230)

The problem there is that raw numbers are useful in military conquest - something that becomes even more likely as the planet's resources get strained.

Countries like the US and much of Europe have pretty dismal population densities compared to parts of Asia. Our birthrate is also not that out of kilter - our population isn't increasing all that fast. With that in mind, we certainly don't need, or WANT, to decrease our population down to dangerous levels at a time like this - because if/when China finally does get tired to being so crowded and wants to expand a bit, we wouldn't have the people to stop them.

37% of the world's population lives in either China or India. The PLANET doesn't have as much of a population problem, so much as a few specific countries do.

Or to be more direct - if the population density of the US (or many other sparsely populated countries) was applied to the globe, our population levels would be completely sustainable. Why should we adopt population limiting measures?

Re:I've 75% sure that 50% chance is voodoo science (1)

radtea (464814) | more than 3 years ago | (#34319238)

and yes it would be humane (no need to kill anybody).

By this standard waterboarding and Glenn Beck are "humane" because they don't actually kill anyone. Torturing people is "humane" unless you torture them to death. Rape is "humane" because nobody dies.

Seems like a pretty weird notion of "humane".

Here's an alternative suggestion, which unfortunately wouldn't let arrogant assholes dictate how many children people have: raise the standard of living for everyone by encouraging urbanization and free trade, and massively promote education for women. The world's population will fall: this is not a controversial claim. Prosperity and educated women produces dramatic reductions in fecundity.

THAT is a "humane" solution: giving people greater autonomy, not imposing someone else's choices on their bodies.

Re:I've 75% sure that 50% chance is voodoo science (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34319754)

>>>raise the standard of living for everyone by encouraging urbanization and free trade

Great. And what happens to that plan when oil becomes as scarce as gold and skyrockets to $1000 a barrel by 2020? It will fall apart. Depopulation is the only solution to an overpopulation problem.

Also it's not inhumane to snip a man's (or woman's) tubes after he has 1 child. It's an extremely simple and painless procedure, and not the least bit equivalent to waterboarding (suffocation).

Re:I've 75% sure that 50% chance is voodoo science (2, Insightful)

Feyshtey (1523799) | more than 3 years ago | (#34320126)

Doing anything to my body without my concent is inhumane. Period.

You or anyone else ever tries to 'snip' anything on me without my permission and I'll help to 'aerate' you in return.

Re:I've 75% sure that 50% chance is voodoo science (1)

Duradin (1261418) | more than 3 years ago | (#34320000)

Assuming free trade is like assuming that invisible pink unicorns exist and that they will buy your product.

Re:I've 75% sure that 50% chance is voodoo science (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34319730)

Considering india and china could each lose ~2/3rds of their populations and still be 1 and 2 most populous countries on the planet, it may be that china are off to the right start. If india could do something similar, that alone would get rid of close to 2 billion people. From there we probably don't need to actually reduce much, if at all. We don't exactly need to go back to pre 1800's 1 billion people on the planet. Whether we can sustain 3, 5, or 7 billion (or whatever the number is) depends very much on technology.

The 1 child policy is a crude blunt instrument. And mostly unnecessary in the west, where europe is close to flat lining population growth. The US, for all it's many faults, does seem to have room to grow, as does canada.

Asia is largely overpopulated. Japan is mostly declining, and everywhere else is trying to figure out how to decline. While we can provide them ideas, they get the problem enough that there's no value in us trying to help them along.

The question becomes south america and africa. Africa probably has quite a lot of room to grow as they get technology, but I really don't know. They are poor, and weak, china is rich, strong, and in need of space, and india is rapidly becoming the same (and is close), this makes for a dangerous combination. I think south america is on the cusp of hitting the standard of living that would push populations to a flatline of growth.

I wouldn't be all that surprised if we could comfortably sustain 5 or 6 billion people on earth. The world population was between about 700 million and 1 billion until 1800, but we've expanded to a lot more land, and had a lot of technological improvements since then. That's not to say we can't do better. But I think as places like indonesia, vietnamn and the indian sub continent all start to confront the challenges of dealing with massive populations they're going to start to decline naturally on their own. China is there already. Europe and Japan have been there for a while.

Re:I've 75% sure that 50% chance is voodoo science (1)

BergZ (1680594) | more than 3 years ago | (#34320152)

Problem: The planet's atmosphere is warming up due to human emissions of greenhouse gasses.
Solution: Reduce carbon emissions through a combination of economic incentive programs, industrial retrofitting, and renewable energy sources in time to prevent catastrophic global warming.
Proposed Alternate Solution: Just get everyone to agree to ignore their procreation instinct! How hard could that be!?!

This is what I love about slashdot: There's always someone out there with an alternative solution to a problem that is even worse than the solution they're trying to replace.

And the ugly new is... (1, Informative)

OneAhead (1495535) | more than 3 years ago | (#34317900)

According to the UN, the efforts governments are making to curb CO2 emissions are a far cry from what is needed to keep climate change within acceptable limits: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-11813578 [bbc.co.uk]

Re:And the ugly new is... (-1, Troll)

jav1231 (539129) | more than 3 years ago | (#34318026)

The U.N. is a joke. Not a funny joke, just a joke. Mentioning them as if to lend weight to a discussion is tantamount to suddenly launching into a discussion about alien anal probes.

Quit burning stuff (1)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 3 years ago | (#34317920)

That might help reduce global warming.

Makes sense, no?

Re:Quit burning stuff (2, Insightful)

jav1231 (539129) | more than 3 years ago | (#34318080)

Except that the largest sources of those burning "stuff" are not who the U.N. and those seeking to profit on climate change are going after, developing nations. Which makes sense on the one hand because they have little money, except for China. China was exempted from the Kyoto Protocols as a "developing country" which not only rendered the Kyoto Protocol a joke (because China has money), it revealed the true nature of the protocol, to fleece the West.

I don't understand the calculations (1)

DefenseEngineer (1277030) | more than 3 years ago | (#34317942)

"...emissions from burning coal, oil, and natural gas fell...because of...an increase in carbon-dioxide uptake by the oceans and by plants on land." How does an increase in the uptake have any effect on what is actually emitted? Does it have an effect on the concentration? Yes, I can see that. But I can't understand how it changes what is being generated.

Re:I don't understand the calculations (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34318442)

Because either you or the journalist are sloppy. They are describing the rate of change of CO2 which is emission - uptake. The decrease in the rate of emissions is like a deceleration. However according to the rise in PPM, emissions - uptake > 0. The confusion is equating emission with rate of change of concentration, which is incomplete.

Fox News Headline (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34317962)

FoxNewsHeadline("[...] emissions from burning coal, oil, and natural gas fell 1.3 percent compared with emissions in 2008 primarily because of the global economic downturn [...]")

=>

"Bush's efforts to fight global warming continue to be more effective than anything the Democrats have done."

Let me put it like this (1, Troll)

durrr (1316311) | more than 3 years ago | (#34318010)

The market sure as hell fell more than 1.3%, would we really want to have a market running at a level equal to a 20% co2 decrease?
While i will obviously be rated trolls, some would like to see this scenario enforced globally trough opressive laws today, personally i think we should let the zombies run the apocalypse, not the enviromentalists.

Re:Let me put it like this (1)

bunratty (545641) | more than 3 years ago | (#34318824)

You're presupposing that the only way carbon dioxide emissions could fall is by a declining market. There are surely other ways, such as switching to alternative energy sources. So, yes, you're being deliberately dense, so it's no surprise if you're modded down as a troll.

LOL nice lobby work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34318042)

what kind of bullcrap article is this. China's emissions increased by 8%, India's by 6%. So not slashdot worthy.....

atomospheric CO2 still increased (1)

peter303 (12292) | more than 3 years ago | (#34318054)

More carbon is being released than absorbed by the biosphere however. The last time atmospheric CO2 decreased year-to-year (there is a slight seasonal decrease every year) was in 1992 due to massive volcanic eruption. Its acids scrubbed out some of the CO2.

Good news and bad news, and no news (-1, Troll)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 3 years ago | (#34318130)

"primarily because of the global economic downturn"

So a friend shares with me that the company cafeteria is proud of the reduction in paper napkin use in 2009, and promotes this as a collective effort and wonderful. Of course, the company laid off >20% of the workforce at the end of 2008. Yeay team! Good job reducing napkin usage! Next, we work on reducing electricity consumption by shutting down even more cubicles! And we're saving! We're saving!

Well, at least CO2 went down, apparently. I know my commute was a lot easier, should I be thinking that was a good thing?

"One big factor was La Niña, a natural seesaw shift in climate that takes place across the tropical Pacific every three to seven years, where the climate is cooler and wetter over large regions of land in the tropics, encouraging plant growth in tropical forests."

Ok, so which is it, global warming, global climate change, or climate cycles? I'm so confused.

"However the bad news is that even with the decrease in emissions the overall concentration of CO2 rose from 385 ppm in 2008 to 387 ppm in 2009, as concentrations continue to rise even as emissions slip because even at the reduced pace, humans are pumping CO2 into the atmosphere faster than natural processes can scrub the gas."

Ok, so emissions are down but the level is up. Again, Im so confused.

Let me summarize again:

Emissions were reduced due to economic decline.
Atmospheric levels were reduced due to a climate cycle that increased absorption.
Atmospheric levels actually increased due to increased emissions.

So emissions went down and up, and levels went down and up. All in the same year.

Science. We could use some here.

Re:Good news and bad news, and no news (4, Informative)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | more than 3 years ago | (#34319348)

Emissions were reduced due to economic decline.
Atmospheric levels were reduced due to a climate cycle that increased absorption.
Atmospheric levels actually increased due to increased emissions.

So emissions went down and up, and levels went down and up. All in the same year.

Science. We could use some here.

I see why you are getting confused. The climate is a complicated system. There isn't just one mechanism controlling the global temperature. The one you always hear about in the news is CO2 (which is a complicated system of its own), but as you have learned here today, there are other factors like the variations in the sun's output and La Niña & El Niño. El Niño was the reason that 1998 was so hot (which is why if anyone tries to use that year to argue either for or against climate change then you know that they are being deliberately misleading).

To explain how CO2 emissions can go down and yet the temperature can go up (ignoring the other factors), imagine that you have a bath filled with water. If you pull the plug then the water level drops. But if you turn on the tap to pour in the same amount of water that is going down the drain, then the water level will remain steady. It is not that the water stops going down the drain, but that the lost water is being replaced. This represents the CO2 levels in the atmosphere.

CO2 is absorbed out of the atmosphere by various means, and more is emitted into the atmosphere from various sources - some of which are man made.

Back to the bath, what happens if you turn up the tap so that more water is going into the bath than can go down the plug hole? The water level rises. If you put in an extra 5% of water then the level will increase by that amount because it simply has nowhere else to go.

So does the water level go down if you reduce the water emissions by 1.3%? No, because you are still adding in 3.7% more water than the equilibrium. That is why your quoted text said "even at the reduced pace, humans are pumping CO2 into the atmosphere faster than natural processes can scrub the gas".

That quote is a bit misleading, because as I said before there are many sources of CO2, so it is not just the amount pumped out by humans that is causing the problem. Some people have tried to use this fact as a reason for not doing anything about global warming, saying that it is not man's fault. It is a dubious argument, and in the end a pointless one. If we want to control the environment then the easiest solution is to adjust the portion of CO2 that is generated by man.

Re:Good news and bad news, and no news (1)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 3 years ago | (#34320102)

Thanks for the explanation. I actually didn't even bother to reference temperature, since the article was well into explaining how emissions were reduced but levels were still up, that emissions were down because of diminished economic activity and that levels were reduced because of cooling that inspired vegetation which absorbed more CO2 than usual, and the apparent conclusion that levels increased because generation and absorption both increased, all because while generation was down, it was actually up.

Yup. It made no sense to me either. The answer is to trust them.

Need to edit the title on this article (4, Insightful)

hAckz0r (989977) | more than 3 years ago | (#34318206)

It should read:

The Carbon Dioxide rate increased less in 2009 than in 2008, due to circumstance other than human intent or modification of behaviour.

You can thank La Niña, the souring oceans (and dying corals), and a slight downturn in deforestation due to the bad Economy. Can we reflect on this story again next year after this "improvement" has its chance to work its magic?

Stabilize emissions at 350 ppm? (3, Informative)

bunratty (545641) | more than 3 years ago | (#34318604)

We can't "stabilize emissions at 350 ppm". We can stabilize the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere at 350 ppm by reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 85%. We can do this by a combination of obtaining energy from sources other than fossil fuels (nuclear, solar, wind, biofuels, geothermal, etc.) and using the energy more efficiently (CFL and LED lighting, increased insulation, hybrid vehicles, etc.).

Sloppy Slashdot Summary Sends Senior Screaming (2, Interesting)

Levetron (175751) | more than 3 years ago | (#34318626)

Short and Sweet:
* An increase in carbon-dioxide uptake does not cause emissions from burning coal, oil, and natural gas to fall.
* Emission units are kg/s not ppm.
* Primarily should be followed be ONE cause not TWO

Too bad there's no real scientific method here. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34318710)

  Trying to correlate CO2 amounts with temperature rise to sea rise is total bullshit. There's no real science. There's only emotion fueled speculation.

  When climate scientists step away from the F.U.D. fueled power play, and generate hard, repeatable, well documented research, then people will take them seriously. And no, none of what's been done to date is well documented.

Christian Science Monitor? Really?!?!? (0, Flamebait)

ukonvasara (1801378) | more than 3 years ago | (#34319096)

Does anyone in their right mind actually consider The Christian Science Monitor a reliable source of information on any topic???? Remember these are the guys that use "e-meters" and considers them to be scientifically sound. I wouldn't believe anything they claims is scientifically proven without a RELIABLE source to back that claim up. Slashdot, I am ashamed that any of your readers are stupid enough to think The Christian Science Monitor has any scientific basis.

Re:Christian Science Monitor? Really?!?!? (1)

bunratty (545641) | more than 3 years ago | (#34319282)

Their news reporting is usually pretty good. In this case, however, there seem to be major problems with the article.

Re:Christian Science Monitor? Really?!?!? (1)

gnesterenko (1457631) | more than 3 years ago | (#34319706)

Umm, you are talking about the Christian Science Monitor as if it is an outlet for Scientology (it isn't). While I will agree with you on anything and everything negative you have to say about Scientology, this isn't it.

In fact, the website publication has always made an effort to remain non-sensationalist and publish reliable information, rooted in science and not religion (IE you won't find articles about creationism in there). I wouldn't decry this article either - although it is not very well represented in the summary on this page. But at least check out the wikipedia article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Christian_Science_Monitor [wikipedia.org] .

Sooo, perhaps you'd like to remove that foot from its current location?

"The views expressed here are mine and do not reflect the official opinion of my employer or the organization through which the Internet was accessed."

Re:Christian Science Monitor? Really?!?!? (1)

bunratty (545641) | more than 3 years ago | (#34319918)

Christian Science is also pretty goofy. Many members believe that all illness is curable by belief and prayer. One time my Dad was dating a Christian Scientist, and she initially refused to go to a doctor after she broke her leg in a skiing accident. After a few days of excruciating pain, she finally realized that having the leg set and immobilized was probably the best idea.

But, you're right, reporting from The Christian Science Monitor is usually pretty good. My dad was surprised when he realized this, of course!

No, carbon emissions did not fall (1)

rcamans (252182) | more than 3 years ago | (#34319390)

Total air carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide levels fell. Those levels are carbon emissions - carbon consumption.
Carbon consumption is done by green plants, primarily trees, and bodies of water, primarily the ocean.
        The ocean is getting overloaded.
        Forests are getting cut down without re-planting in the third world.

Carbon emissions are primarily done by man-made processes and volcanoes. The big man-made processes are:
        concrete (it emits a lot while curing), which is increasing, especially in China
        burning of forests / jungles
        coal / gas / oil burning

So your interpretation that carbon emissions are falling is probably true, but from the above, it does not make sense.

Enough already (1)

Anomalyx (1731404) | more than 3 years ago | (#34319870)

There's no question mankind has abused the environment, but it's a slippery slope towards government mandated environment control. Anyone who has studied formation of tyrannies knows that it always starts with something seemingly harmless that removes previous freedoms, and just exponentiates from there.

Re:Enough already (1)

bunratty (545641) | more than 3 years ago | (#34319944)

Got any better ideas? I'm sure many people would love to hear them if you've got them. Oh, right, it's easier just to criticize how someone else is dealing with a problem than it is to actually provide a better solution.

And emissions rise will not change until ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34320286)

all nations are working on cutting them. And China, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, etc will not cut until others do it and all are required to do so.

There is really only one way to make this happen. That is for the west to tax ALL GOODS based on emissions from where the GOOD and primary sub-component comes from. When you do that, then and only then will all nations decide that it is in their best interest to drop their emissions.
 
The other issue is that ppl think that doing emissions per capita is the way to go. That is about the stupidest idea that I have ever seen. It ranks up there with cap/trade. Emissions should be on per sq. km of land. That way a nation can decide how to attack the issue. For some in Africa and South America and Asia, they may elect to grow their forests to take up CO2. For others, they may clean up their business side. For others, their citizen side. But to do a per captia is to reward nations that lie about population, as well as it rewards those that have no birth control.

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