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Carbon Emissions Reached Record High In 2010

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the posted-from-my-wood-burning-tablet dept.

Earth 520

iONiUM writes "Last year, greenhouse gas emissions rose to a record amount of 30.6 gigatons, according to estimates from the International Energy Agency. From an article at the Guardian: 'Professor Lord Stern of the London School of Economics, the author of the influential Stern Report into the economics of climate change for the Treasury in 2006, warned that if the pattern continued, the results would be dire. "These figures indicate that [emissions] are now close to being back on a 'business as usual' path. According to the [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's] projections, such a path... would mean around a 50% chance of a rise in global average temperature of more than 4C by 2100," he said.'" jamie points out a recent report that the cost of solar cells has dropped about 21 percent this year, leading to predictions that solar power may become cheaper than nuclear and fossil power within five years.

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There is a simple solution (-1, Troll)

Dr.Bob,DC (2076168) | more than 3 years ago | (#36296452)


This isn't good news from either an environmental standpoint or that of human health. There have been several informative studies which have shows that an increase of carbon dioxide intake (through soda) leads to an increase in obesity, diabetes and overall ill-health. As the amount of carbon dioxide is taken into the body it reduces oxygen concentration at the celluar level.

Think back to the dawn of the industrial revolution. People were happy and died of old age. As carbon dioxide started to be pumped into the atmosphere people began to get sick at younger ages. No one died of cancer in Egyptian times but now around a quarter of us will! If you feel a bit run-down or your Chiropractor finds serious subluxations due to chronic carbon dioxide intake, there's a simple method to help: DRINK PLENTY OF WATER!

Yes, it's that simple: increase your water intake.

As your body breaks down the water, the oxygen within floods to all your cells helping to push out the bad CO2. Also try eating water-rich foods such as organic celery, watermelon, tomatoes and cucumbers. Refrain from eating leafy things, they contain LOADS of carbon dioxide and will counter any water you take in.

There are many, many well researched YouTube videos (look for "chiropractic" or "maximum living") which will help you in your studies. Be sure to view the ones which have many thumbs up. Those are, basically, peer reviewed and sure to be informative.

Reduce your intake of carbon dioxide, go vegan and organic, get plenty of sleep, visit a chiropractor for regular adjustments to promote optimal nerve function. Enjoy long life!

Take care,
Bob.

Re:There is a simple solution (1, Insightful)

tgatliff (311583) | more than 3 years ago | (#36296624)

I personally think this is overplayed... The worst we can do is to put the CO2 levels back to what they were in the dinosaur days... Yes, I agree that the atmosphere this time is much thinner, and I also agree that it will create a different equilibrium of weather patterns. As always, we will get by, however...

Re:There is a simple solution (1)

gilleain (1310105) | more than 3 years ago | (#36297014)

Dinosaur propaganda!

More seriously : a) we are not dinosaurs and b) the sun is hotter now than it was then.

Re:There is a simple solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36296640)

Sooo....

reduce my Pepsi intake + get my spine "adjusted" by one of you quacks == live forever!

Re:There is a simple solution (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 3 years ago | (#36296774)

There have been several informative studies which have shows that an increase of carbon dioxide intake (through soda) leads to an increase in obesity, diabetes and overall ill-health.

I'm sure the high sugar content has nothing to do with it.

So is this a call to belch more?

Re:There is a simple solution (1)

Dr.Bob,DC (2076168) | more than 3 years ago | (#36296816)


The sugar in soda is converted to glucose very fast. What you don't burn up is mostly passed out in the urine while a small amount goes to fat. The vast bulk of the problems with soda isn't the sugar, but the carbon dioxide you bring directly into your body. Even diet drinks can make you fat, because they're carbonated as well!

Re:There is a simple solution (2, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#36296820)

Oh my frikken god. Are you out of your mind?

People have died of cancer from the earliest of times -- they just called it something else, and quite often "a curse."

Carbon dioxide is a naturally occurring gas that is even generated by the human body. We exhale it all day long! "Taking in CO2" also happens all day long unless you can somehow magically clear it from the atmosphere prior to inhaling. (At which point, you will get amazingly high from having too much O2)

GO TO SCHOOL or something. Your snake oil is simply disgusting here.

Increasing water intake is good for most of us unless you are already taking in a proper amount each day. But did you know that taking in too much can cause problems too? Some people have even died from it. So doling out advice like "drink plenty of water" is potentially dangerous as there is no specification as to what "plenty" means and is potentially subject to misinterpretation.

It's lovely that you sprinkle in some "good advice" with your quackery. But that's how religion and other lies get spread and become believable.

At the dawn of the industrial revolution, people did get sick and die of all sorts of terrible things INCLUDING cancer and now treatable conditions. They did die of "old age" when it was considered natural for people to lose their teeth in their 30's and to die before 50. Deaths of the sort that were experienced in those days were considered "natural causes" back then. So when your assertions are wrong from the start, your conclusions are unquestionably broken at the end.

You are probably the most dangerous sort of pseudo-intellectual. You actually don't know what you don't know.

Re:There is a simple solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36296872)

The trolls... don't feed them.

Re:There is a simple solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36296882)

Yes, it's that simple: increase your water
intake.

  As your body breaks down the water, the oxygen within floods
to all your cells helping to push out the bad CO2.

You may be confusing CO (binds in place of oxygen, e.g. to hemoglobin) with CO2 (does not bind in place of oxygen, so even if your stomach was the electrolysis chamber you seem to think, there's no plausible mechanism for oxygen to "push out the bad CO2."

And what happens to the hydrogen, eh?

50% Chance (1, Insightful)

KermodeBear (738243) | more than 3 years ago | (#36296482)

> a 50% chance of a rise in global average temperature of more than 4C by 2100

And a 50% chance of it not rising by more than 4C degrees by 2100.

Re:50% Chance (2)

Shadis (934448) | more than 3 years ago | (#36296512)

But there is only a 10% chance of that.

Re:50% Chance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36296524)

So let me get this straight. Maybe? Maybe not? Toss a coin your guess is as good as mine. Not science...

Re:50% Chance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36296852)

That's right, because science does not deal with probabilites, ever. :rolls eyes

Of course, if you prefer statements made with absolute certainty: The Rapture happened on May 22, 2011.

Re:50% Chance (4, Funny)

bunratty (545641) | more than 3 years ago | (#36296544)

You've got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?

Re:50% Chance (4, Insightful)

wjousts (1529427) | more than 3 years ago | (#36296556)

But rising by 3.9C is almost as bad. It's not 50% chance temps rise 4C or 50% chance it doesn't rise at all.

Re:50% Chance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36296594)

But rising by 3.9C is almost as bad. It's not 50% chance temps rise 4C or 50% chance it doesn't rise at all.

Why? Why is a 4C temperature rise necessary bad?

Re:50% Chance (1, Interesting)

mellon (7048) | more than 3 years ago | (#36296682)

Tends to exacerbate drying and wetting conditions. So you get persistent droughts in places that were arid, and persistent flooding in places that were wet to begin with. Sea levels rise, meaning that you now have levee walls to protect cities that used to be dry. Storms have more energy (more heat == more energy) and therefore do more damage.

The worst thing though: no skiing.

(Okay, that's not really the worst thing)

Re:50% Chance (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36296756)

Is it really that black and white, though? Why couldn't weather patterns change completely? I know geography plays an important role in many cases, but this straight line extrapolation seems oversimplified.

Re:50% Chance (0)

pixelpusher220 (529617) | more than 3 years ago | (#36297058)

Is it really that black and white, though?

More heat = more energy available, so yes it is that 'black and white'.

The effects, as described here and as predicted, won't be black and white. Some places get too much rain others get less rain. The Sea level rise is going to be pretty constant across the global since water tends to self level :)

Re:50% Chance (4, Informative)

bunratty (545641) | more than 3 years ago | (#36296706)

Sea level rise wiping out coastal cities [newscientist.com] , droughts [grist.org] , flooding due to excessive rainfall [tumblr.com] , to name the most important problems with warmer temperatures.

Re:50% Chance (1)

DarenN (411219) | more than 3 years ago | (#36296990)

The second and third scenarios mentioned are genuine worries, but the first really isn't. The worst case scenario sees sea levels rise something in the region of four feet in a century, while the expected case is between 1 and 2 feet. All major cities can handle that. More worrisome is increased acidification of the oceans and the disruption of oceanic food chains which would put even more pressure on food prices which are already increasing very rapidly.

Immediately followed by killer tornadoes (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36296486)

There is certainly a connection here. There are now hundreds of people that have been killed due to the climate change resulting from carbon emission from fossil fuel burning. If this is not a wake-up call, I don't know what is.

Re:Immediately followed by killer tornadoes (1, Insightful)

wjousts (1529427) | more than 3 years ago | (#36296584)

I believe the climate change deniers logic goes something like this:

  1. 1) It ain't happening
  2. 2) It's happening, but it ain't our fault
  3. 3) It's happening, it's our fault, but it's too expensive to fix
  4. 4) It's happening, it's our fault, not fixing it is more expensive but now it's too late
  5. 5) ?????
  6. 6) Rapture

Re:Immediately followed by killer tornadoes (1)

Inda (580031) | more than 3 years ago | (#36296700)

How about:

No one important seems to give a shit, so why shoud I?

My parents caused all this, and they don't give a shit, so why should I?

I'm lied to daily, and I no longer trust anything that's said.

I need to pay my bills or I'll die. I'll worry about climate change when my other problems are sorted.

Life is just too short to worry about climate change.

-- or maybe something inbetween?

Re:Immediately followed by killer tornadoes (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#36296968)

"I need to pay my bills or I'll die."

Wow! what country has executions for not paying your bills?

Re:Immediately followed by killer tornadoes (2, Insightful)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | more than 3 years ago | (#36296832)

I believe the global warmist argument goes like this:

  1. 1. The environmental needs protection and too much carbon emission is one of the problems.
  2. 2. Reducing carbon emissions is the #1 most important environmental issue.
  3. 3. We need a global governance solution that reduces carbon emissions and population.
  4. 4. 3rd world countries need lots of carbon credits so they can catch up. We need significant amounts of wealth redistribution.
  5. 5. ??????
  6. 6. Global Communist Government.

Re:Immediately followed by killer tornadoes (1)

XanC (644172) | more than 3 years ago | (#36296858)

Excellent summary!

Re:Immediately followed by killer tornadoes (1)

arglebargle_xiv (2212710) | more than 3 years ago | (#36296942)

[Complicated climate-change denier flowcharts]

My dad has a much, much simpler version of this:

  1. Ever since the fall of Communism I've had nothing to bitch about.
  2. This is something to bitch about.
  3. ...
  4. Bitchin!

Re:Immediately followed by killer tornadoes (1)

rwa2 (4391) | more than 3 years ago | (#36296854)

I believe the climate change deniers logic goes something like this:

  1. 5) ?????

5) Blame the climate scientists for not making a big enough deal about it... actually, obscuring the truth by lying about it and causing a whole lot of angsty doubt about the reliability of various measurements and how they have unequivocally supported the environment all along.

Re:Immediately followed by killer tornadoes (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 3 years ago | (#36296918)

Alternatively if it's fixed then that proves it was a hoax, just like Y2K, acid rain, and the ozone hole.

Re:Immediately followed by killer tornadoes (0)

MacDork (560499) | more than 3 years ago | (#36296940)

Climate change cultist logic goes something like:
  1. Man is causing global warming.
  2. We can't actually prove it, but correlation == causation.
  3. Okay, correlation != causation, but we have a consensus
  4. True, Earth as the center of the universe was once a consensus too, but we're right this time!
  5. ...
  6. Rapture

Have a nice day believers. (^_^)

Re:Immediately followed by killer tornadoes (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 3 years ago | (#36296608)

So if tornadoes are a "certain connection" to global warming, how come I'm freezing my ass off in New England? (And not just this year, but also the last 3 winters.) Summer has also been cooler than normal.

Re:Immediately followed by killer tornadoes (1)

mswhippingboy (754599) | more than 3 years ago | (#36296750)

Perhaps the word "global" in the phrase "global average temperature" escaped you. Perhaps New England is the whole world to you, but believe it or not, there is a world outside New England.

Also AFAIK, there is no "certain connection" between "climate change" (formerly called "global warming") and the tornadoes but there is a "possible connection".

Re:Immediately followed by killer tornadoes (1)

mellon (7048) | more than 3 years ago | (#36296822)

Winter wasn't *colder* than normal. It was *wetter* than normal. You're freezing your ass off because your house isn't properly insulated (not your fault--very few houses are, but that's why). You've been cold because it's been wet, and we've been having a lot of weather coming down from the north, rather than up from the south. The lack of sun due to all the cloudy weather has protected your house from solar gain, and kept it cool. The cold night temperatures, which are typical in may, have cooled the outside of your house further, and the thermal delay of the walls means that that cold works its way into your house over the course of the morning. This month, it's typically been warmer during the day *outside* of the Victorian-era house I'm renting than inside, because of this effect, although the last three days that hasn't been the case because it's gotten sunny.

The reason they call it "global warming" is that the average temperature goes up. The effect on local climates varies. Having said that, I'm not convinced that this is going to be a cold summer in New England. It was bloody hot on Sunday. It's not June yet, so it's not surprising that the cold trend is breaking now, and not earlier.

Re:Immediately followed by killer tornadoes (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#36296986)

"You're freezing your ass off because your house isn't properly insulated (not your fault--very few houses are, but that's why)."

If you own your house and it's not properly insulated..... it is in fact your fault. You cant sidestep that fact.

Re:Immediately followed by killer tornadoes (1)

Nrrqshrr (1879148) | more than 3 years ago | (#36296828)

I live in Tunisia, north of Africa, one country with a "moderate" climate.
Lately winters became a joke. When I was a kid I used to wear a bunch of shirts and a coat to feel warm in February. For the last 5 years: It barely rained at all.
Funny thing is, we still didn't have *hot* summer days yet, despite it being the season. (Heck, right now, it's cloudy and windy like fuck. If one day someone told me it would rain in the beginning of July here, I would have wished it was true.)

Re:Immediately followed by killer tornadoes (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#36296908)

So if tornadoes are a "certain connection" to global warming, how come I'm freezing my ass off in New England? (And not just this year, but also the last 3 winters.) Summer has also been cooler than normal.

Wow, you really are nothing more than a troll now, huh? That's too bad, I remember when your comments were cool. For those who really want to know the answer to this and have been confused by this troll, global warming is global, and what is going on in your backyard is only part of the picture; hope this helps.

Re:Immediately followed by killer tornadoes (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#36297042)

People misunderstand what climate changes actually are. So let's break it down in terms of what evidence of previous climate changes have been.

The fossil record shows that places which are now desert were once lush tropical areas or even oceans. Areas which are now rich, green life areas were also once desert or oceans.

Climate change is a shift in weather patterns. Weather, which is water moving about in the air driven by uneven heat and pressure from the sun, changes its patterns of behavior as changes in its variables are presented. In this case, we simply call it climate change or global warming, but it doesn't tell people who otherwise don't understand what it really means. Global warming is a change to the weather system. It means weather will become more severe or less severe depending on the changes in weather patterns. So places that were warm might become colder or warmer or wetter or drier, and on and on.

So you want to know why, if the planet is warming, that your winters were even more severe than you can recall in recent history? Simple -- the weather patterns and dynamics are changing. There is a LOT changing too. Personally, I wouldn't doubt that the recent increase in seismic activity is somehow related.

"Hard Times" are unquestionably ahead. Will it mean the extinction of the human race? I seriously doubt it. We're simply too good at adapting and adjusting to the changes. But we really do need to keep on top of things. It will mean relocating where we grow our food crops or even adapting existing crops to new climates. It will mean relocating animal species or watch thousands of species go extinct. It will mean spending a lot of money for survival and the development of new technologies. In short, it will mean a lot of human suffering because there is little to no profit in saving human lives because most humans don't have enough money to survive.

Re:Immediately followed by killer tornadoes (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 3 years ago | (#36296712)

Weather is complex. Global Warming may have a large or small effect on these tornadoes. The Global Warming debate is more about politics then science. Back in the 70's and 80's they were complaining about smog (as it was a major political issue, it can be seen, smelt and noticed) Rules and regulation made automobiles and factories to greatly reduce smog in cities. However during that fight they were the anti-car group of political active environmentalist, who really has been trying to get rid of cars. As cars stop producing mass amount of the really nasty stuff and mainly CO2 the global warming CO2 connection got their attention and allowed them to continue the fight (as any activists groups biggest fear is winning, because then they loose a voice and loose funding and will need to get a different job).
These most vocal people on both sides have little or nothing to do with science, they will scrape for reports that support their idea and put a marketing push to get their ideas out.
We need alternate energy. Because we need to keep our options open, Nuclear, Solar, Hydroelectric, other methods are important, we need to keep our sources diverse

Re:Immediately followed by killer tornadoes (0)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#36296834)

Thought you said "killer tomatoes" for a second there...

I don't believe in science (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36296500)

I believe the retard republican politicians that claim warming is not happening.

we've got nothing to worry about.

Cost of solar cells (0)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#36296504)

Polycrystalline PV cells went down this year because there is a glut, a crapload of panels were produced for an order and then not purchased and now they are being dumped into the retail channel with benefits for all who are not making them. This is a momentary lull. And where the fuck is my Nanosolar? I want some to cover a 1962 Streamline travel trailer. It has a curved roof and I don't want to use trackers (I want to maintain aerodynamics) so Nanosolar glued to the roof panels would be an ideal solution.

Re:Cost of solar cells (1)

chemicaldave (1776600) | more than 3 years ago | (#36296740)

And where the fuck is my Nanosolar?

They're working on it. It's not as easy as baking a cake.

Re:Cost of solar cells (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#36296876)

They're working on it. It's not as easy as baking a cake.

That is bullshit. The product has existed for years. All of the production of the very first year was purchased by a single party. You still can't get any. If they're selling out, why are they not increasing production and making more?

Re:Cost of solar cells (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#36297008)

You can buy Flexible Panels now and have been able to for a decade.

I was waiting for it, and you did not deliver (1, Flamebait)

SengirV (203400) | more than 3 years ago | (#36296536)

You can NOT have a story about solar power without a prediction somewhere with the ole "in the next 5-10 years". It's amazing that 15 years of reading such articles, the solar power industry always seems to be 5-10 years away from a major boom.

Re:I was waiting for it, and you did not deliver (2)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 3 years ago | (#36296606)

Sort of like the Fusion is 20 years away and has been for the last 50 years.
Or the car of the future. All someone really has to do is pick up Popular Science from 1973 to 1980 or so and you will see pages and pages about solar, wind turbines, alternative fuel cars, fuel cells, electric cars, gas electric cars, Stirling engine cars and so on.
It is funny but progress always seems to be much slower or much faster than predicted. The early home computer crowd really missed out on the potential of the Internet. Of course there is a great story written by Winston Churchill in the late 40s where he seem to predict the Internet.

Re:I was waiting for it, and you did not deliver (1)

mspohr (589790) | more than 3 years ago | (#36296994)

Which part of "the cost of solar cells has dropped 21 percent this year" didn't you understand?

Re:I was waiting for it, and you did not deliver (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36296612)

If you don't like predictions, do yourself a favor and price a photovoltaics installation now. If you're in a country with high electricity prices and can use or sell all the electricity when it's produced, then it's already competitive.

Re:I was waiting for it, and you did not deliver (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36296632)

That's funny, they've been booming for a while now. Oh look, why is there a goalpost here in the middle of the field? Oh dear, someone must have moved them [wikipedia.org] .

Technology will solve these problems. (2)

yog (19073) | more than 3 years ago | (#36296546)

There are lots of excellent alternatives to fossil fuels coming down the pike: solar, wind, nuclear, geothermal, fuel cells. I like the idea of solar cells on every rooftop, with hydrogen fuel cells in the basement to capture the surplus daytime power and recharge the electric cars overnight. I also like the idea of a windmill at every major intersection, to power a square mile or so of residences and businesses.

They're building a big solar thermal power plant [ca.gov] in the Mojave desert, to accompany several others [wikipedia.org] already up and running. Arizona's building a big one as well.

Solar photovoltaic technology is advancing, both in efficiency and in cheaper manufacturing costs. I think ultimately solar will provide 20-25% of people's electric needs.

And transportation is going to be electric, as batteries improve. Hybrid car sales are huge, and every manufacturer is getting into the act. They're somewhat expensive today, but economies of scale and improvements in the tech will only bring down costs and increase profits. Probably in 20 years every car on the road will be either a hybrid or fully electric.

What'll be interesting will be to see just how much impact this eventual shift away from combustible carbon fuels has on the climate. The scientific community largely agrees that humans have caused global warming, but what happens if we stop being the cause and it still gets warmer? All that carbon we've already produced is to blame? Or is it a few major volcanoes in the past century? Or climate shifts that have little to do with human activities? Should be an interesting 88 years coming up; wish I could be around to see it happen. But my daughter will, I hope.

Re:Technology will solve these problems. (4, Informative)

bunratty (545641) | more than 3 years ago | (#36296582)

Even if we immediately stop burning any fossil fuels, it should still get warmer. It takes hundreds of years for the carbon cycle to take the excess out of the atmosphere. We're committed to continued warming right now. The only thing we can do is commit to less warming or more warming.

Re:Technology will solve these problems. (1)

yog (19073) | more than 3 years ago | (#36296806)

What about reforestation? That should help reduce atmospheric CO2.

Also, maybe try to prevent/reduce pollution of the oceans, to restore algae. But that's a tall order, because everyone's fishing the hell out of it and basically destroying the food chain out there. I don't see any near term mitigation for that, unfortunately. If it were up to the Asians, they'd deplete much of the ocean's stocks to extinction. Maybe fish farms will help, eventually, except that they're not healthy for some reason.

Re:Technology will solve these problems. (0, Troll)

dAzED1 (33635) | more than 3 years ago | (#36296840)

Don't be ridiculous; we in the US demand our beef with every meal, and slowly but surely that mindset is spreading. Where do you think the old forests went? Same place the remaining forests will go - to cattle land. Want to reforest? Stop eating beef.

Re:Technology will solve these problems. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36297052)

We can eat turkey instead. Turkey used to live in forests.

Re:Technology will solve these problems. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36297066)

It is insane and so many people don't see it. Meat eating is just about the most detrimental thing that the average person does to the environment and is one of the easiest habits to change. Even many environmentalists refuse to see it. Another symptom of the NIMBY way of thinking. The bottom line is that you cannot consider yourself green and eat meat. Any form of meat.

Re:Technology will solve these problems. (1)

bunratty (545641) | more than 3 years ago | (#36296896)

We're emitting 30 billion tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every year. Every person on the planet would have to plant tons of trees every year to keep the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere constant. We simply don't have enough land to hold that many trees. We've tried adding iron to the ocean to help algae production, but it didn't work out. You can read more about carbon sequestration [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Technology will solve these problems. (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#36296830)

I like the idea of solar cells on every rooftop, with hydrogen fuel cells in the basement to capture the surplus daytime power and recharge the electric cars overnight. I also like the idea of a windmill at every major intersection, to power a square mile or so of residences and businesses.

You like some really goofy stuff. First of all, only about 15% of roofs are suitable for solar. Second, only so much of the country is suitable for solar. Third, windmills make noise and small ones are basically worthless as the large ones produce in more conditions and more windmills means more points of failure. Fourth, hydrogen is an incredibly stupid way to store power, especially in your basement since it rises and will just come up into your house if there is a problem.

I agree that solar should be on all the roofs that will sustain it, but we have to knock down and rebuild more than 50% of the houses in this country anyway if you want to put it on all of them, relocate houses out of shadows of hills, cut down trees, et cetera. So it is not remotely a reachable goal.

I agree that power should be stored for use when it is needed later, but hydrogen is an idiot way to do that. You either have to crack it and then recombine it in a fuel cell later, and the efficiencies on that and the fuel cell lifetimes are both shit; or you have to crack it and then burn it in an engine later, and there are many problems with that. You have to use expensive alloys to prevent hydrogen embrittlement, for example. Flywheels are the right answer; you bury them under the house before you build it. Kinetic safety is achieved either with earthworks or with self-destroying flywheels that shred themselves into fibers if they fail rather than delivering their energy all at once.

Windmills at every intersection is a hilariously bad idea. Offshore is where the steady wind is. When an offshore wind farm breaks and all the wind spills out, nothing bad happens. Having a zillion tiny windmills at intersections where they will cause traffic problems when they must be maintained (seriously, at the intersections? You didn't think about this at all did you?) is an utterly nonsensical idea with a trillion logistics problems.

Let's talk about some of your other ideas while we're at it...

solar, wind, nuclear, geothermal, fuel cells.

Solar is great but not as you envision it. Wind, ditto. Nuclear is utterly unacceptable so long as we are not using breeders to reprocess fuel, which will give us a couple orders of magnitude more efficiency. Geothermal is a gigantic boondoggle, especially in the USA; the world's largest geothermal power plant in the world's most geothermally active field has not only created a superfund site but also endemic earthquakes for which Calpine will pay people who live close enough to the site who can show anything that looks like earthquake damage. In order to increase capacity they have to drill through hard rock which they wanted to fracture in a way that caused quakes elsewhere. Geothermal is a boondoggle just like hydro. And fuel cells I discuss above; they are not an energy source even to the degree that Solar is; you actually have to get some energy somewhere else and then turn it into something usable in a fuel cell, usually at great expense in energy. Fuel cells wear out and have to be recycled and they contain heavy metals so this is easy to do wrong.

Seriously, we have Solar and Wind technologies we could be using right now; indeed, we could have been using them for forty years. We have only barely used them for niche applications. Solar panels paid back the energy cost of their construction in seven years in the 1970s and thin-film can do it in three today. The issue is not whether we can do these things, but whether we will. If Big Energy has its way we will continue on our current, highly profitable path.

Re:Technology will solve these problems. (1)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 3 years ago | (#36296924)

There are lots of excellent alternatives to fossil fuels coming down the pike: solar, wind, nuclear, geothermal, fuel cells.

Hmmmm....not so much.

Solar thermal looks like the only viable option and that's still unproven. Solar voltaic has a long, long, long way to go yet. Wind is improving nicely, but is limited in many areas. Nuclear, by far, is still are best, strongest option. Geothermal is applicable to a tiny number of locations. Those that have tried it in other, non-classical geothermal areas tend to create earthquakes and general geological instabilities. Fuel cells are still extremely expensive and nowhere near cost effective. I've not read anything about fuel cells which hint that's likely to change any time soon.

In a nut shell, in order of promise, both immediate and the next two decades we have, nuclear, wind, solar-thermal, and maybe...possibly, iffy, solar-voltaic.

Re:Technology will solve these problems. (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#36297032)

Those that have tried it in other, non-classical geothermal areas tend to create earthquakes and general geological instabilities.

Those that have tried it in classical geothermal areas tend to create earthquakes and general geological instabilities. Plus, they have to figure out a way to dispose of a bunch of toxics that are coming up out of the vent and collect on the turbine blades. Locally it's mostly Arsenic but there are plenty of other constituents.

Wind and solar are basically the only viable technologies.

In a nut shell, in order of promise, both immediate and the next two decades we have, nuclear, wind, solar-thermal, and maybe...possibly, iffy, solar-voltaic.

PV solar has been a viable means of producing power since the 1970s, when PC PV modules could repay the energy cost of their production in only seven years. Panels had a lifetime of twenty years even back then, so on a long enough time scale it was economically viable even then. Today you can pay back the energy cost of production of thin film panels in just three years and it's not unusual for people in sunshine states with significant energy consumption to pay back their investment in less than ten. If we had net metering of power, meaning you get paid what you pay for electricity, then the free market would solve these problems nicely. In countries which have net metering they also have craploads of alt power being installed by private parties.

Solar-thermal is the untested technology here, at least as it is being implemented today. Of course, there are numerous opportunities for heating water with solar, and I don't mean with the old tired leaky collector panels on the roof. This is the real low-hanging fruit in solar power.

Re:Technology will solve these problems. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36296928)

These are cornucopian [wikipedia.org] ideas. I hope for your daughter's sake you teach her some survival skills, how to garden and raise animals.

Re:Technology will solve these problems. (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#36297080)

Technology is controlled and driven by profit interests. There is no money in human survival. There just isn't.

What is the uncertainty of the prediction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36296550)

"would mean around a 50% chance of a rise in global average temperature of more than 4C by 2100," he said.'"

Is there any chance we could see the error bar on that 4C temperature change... With that long a prediction I suspect the correct scientific representation would be

4C +- 100C (Remember, that is a 90 year extrapolation!)

Releasing breaks (1)

Pecisk (688001) | more than 3 years ago | (#36296580)

Well, I would like to see it in details. First of all there were huge wild fires last year, and we got harsh winter too - so CO2 release can easily be attributed to this. Also winter made lot of not so smart people believe that global warming is a scam or not so serious as thought and released breaks.

Anyway, we need long term technological solutions. People are working on it. So let's hope it will be good enough.

Re:Releasing breaks (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#36296982)

Dammit, you made me undo my moderations! Burning wood doesn't add to CO2; that carbon came from the air when the tree was growing. It will be absorbed by the tree that will grow to replace it. If you plant a tree for every one you burn, the carbon is neutral. Fossil fuels add to CO2 because you're releasing ancient carbon.

Now, burning down forests on purpose to make more farmland does increase atmospheric CO2.

Your buddy with a wood stove and acres of trees is carbon neutral, the other guy who heats his home with electricity from a coal fired generator is not.

I almost modded you "interesting" despite the misconception, but replied instead.

3 degree change (0)

wombatmobile (623057) | more than 3 years ago | (#36296592)

If Earth's climate warms by just 3 degrees...

adjust your air conditioner.

Re:3 degree change (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36296622)

An average change in temperature of 3 degrees across the entire Earth is huge.

Re:3 degree change (1)

jakobX (132504) | more than 3 years ago | (#36296754)

Most people interpret this as only a slightly warmer weather. The terms weather and climate mean the same thing to the majority. Thats why you get a lot of climate change is bullshit stories every time there is snow somewhere on the planet.

Re:3 degree change (1)

gblackwo (1087063) | more than 3 years ago | (#36296686)

Your solution is to increase the entropy in the environment even more? Wtf?

Re:3 degree change (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#36296694)

it doesn't get warmer, it gets more violent. like... more tornadoes

the only silver lining in the current rash of tornadoes in the country's midsection is that the country's midsection is also home to more conservatives, who are more likely to doubt climate change gloom and doom

but with twisters bearing down on the usa's conservative areas, conservatives have no more reason to doubt climate fears, and a solid incentive to make sure the atmosphere is less violent, which means less warm, which means less CO2, which means changes in their politics

one can hope, at least, that the twisters are a wake up call for some about climate change. it doesn't mean balmy weather, it means atmospheric violence

Re:3 degree change (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36296742)

And an aids epidemic in San Fransisco has the benefit that it hits more gays.

Do you see how that sounds? Prick.

Re:3 degree change (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#36296766)

what? and teach gays that they should practice safer sex?

i see how that sounds. you want us to wrap our pricks. good message

Re:3 degree change (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36296846)

Saying that the others that lived there deserved it is prickish. I lost several friends in the Alabama tornados. I'm tired of liberal climate change aficionados spouting off at the mouth that these people deserved it or that their deaths served the greater good because they raised awareness. These were PEOPLE for crying out loud. Not cannon fodder. You piss on their graves when you talk like this about them. And you sound just like a liberal Jerry Falwell when you do it.

Re:3 degree change (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#36296894)

nobody deserves to die you fucking retard. if you think that's my message, you're only broadcasting your poor social skills and low iq. my message is "please wake up and see the light." not "haha, you died." jesus what a spatic asshole you are

Re:3 degree change (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 3 years ago | (#36296874)

Actually while net energy will increase with rising temperatures cape (or the amount of wind sheer) is expected to drop thus counteracting the increase in energy. The net effect is expected to be fewer but possibly more violent tornado's. The outbreak this spring in mostly fueled by la nina which is an increase in cool waters in the norther Pacific, not something that would be expected with rising global temperatures.

Re:3 degree change (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#36296950)

you're confusing short term and long term changes, and local effects and global effects. overall, global warming is real and speaks of a more violent atmosphere, all short term and local fluctuations aside. besides, i'm just asking people to wake up to the larger picture. sometimes it takes a small and short term jump that can be, but shouldn't be, dismissed as a short term or local trend, to open peoples minds to the larger truths out there

Re:3 degree change (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 3 years ago | (#36297022)

What? I responded to your "the tornado outbreak should wake people up to global warming" with the actual expected results of long term global warning on tornado occurrence and you think I'm the one confused about short and long term changes?!?

Re:3 degree change (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36296956)

You are a sick person...

Re:3 degree change (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 3 years ago | (#36296974)

but with twisters bearing down on the usa's conservative areas, conservatives have no more reason to doubt climate fears, and a solid incentive to make sure the atmosphere is less violent, which means less warm, which means less CO2, which means changes in their politics

one can hope, at least, that the twisters are a wake up call for some about climate change. it doesn't mean balmy weather, it means atmospheric violence

Since these particular tornadoes seem to be a side-effect of the disappearance of La Nina, it's unlikely that it'll convince many people other than the True Believers.

Face it, tornadoes happen every year. A lot of them happen every year. You don't read about it so much since most of them do their thing in open country, not over towns, but they're an every year thing.

And seeing a perfectly normal event (a tornado) doesn't usually cause people to go "Ahh!!! The Sky is falling!!! Global Warming is REAL!!! Ahh!!!".

Re:3 degree change (1)

mellon (7048) | more than 3 years ago | (#36296870)

You are fortunate to live in an economy where you can afford to adjust your air conditioner...

good news everybody! (1)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 3 years ago | (#36296604)

we're coming out of the great recession!

we're not going to do anything (1)

cats-paw (34890) | more than 3 years ago | (#36296620)

and were not going to do anything even when it's too late.

the powers that be are going to let lots of people die because it's profitable.

too many people...

Nuclear power - irrational fear (2, Insightful)

vmaldia (1846072) | more than 3 years ago | (#36296638)

Its really simple. People are stupid in analyzing risk. They tend to underplay risk that is common or that they control and exagerrate risk that is out of their control or is unusual. If eating say garlic hamburgers gave you a 10% risk of death by heart attack, they wont bat an eye. But if there was a 1% chance of death from vampires, then they would gladly eat garlic hamburgers. Death by vampiric attack is more attention getting than heart attack. Is nuclear power risky? yes but the consequences are arguably less severe than global warming + peak oil. However people still irrationally fear nuclear power more since the dangers of nuclear power are more attention getting and unusual This is thinking irraitonally.

Nuclear Power - Unnecessary Risk (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#36296850)

People fear Nuclear power because the dangers are terrible. People don't fear coal power because of all the successful lobbying by the coal industry. That anyone can look you in the face and say the words "clean coal" is beyond astounding. The fact that coal is terrible, however, does not make nuclear great. The simple truth is that humans have demonstrated themselves to be generally incapable of safely operating nuclear plants under capitalism, which is how the entire world is run. (Ask China's leaders how their bank accounts are doing...)

Re:Nuclear Power - Unnecessary Risk (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#36297070)

The simple truth is that humans have demonstrated themselves to be generally incapable of safely operating nuclear plants under capitalism, which is how the entire world is run.

So EVIL CAPITALIST nuclear plants have killed far less people than hydro or coal while the Glorious People's Communist Nuclear Power Plant at Chernobly killed large numbers and spread radiation across Europe, and that means that capitalist reactors are bad?

Re:Nuclear Power - Unnecessary Risk (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#36297084)

If you really think that reactor belonged to the people, then you're a sucker of the worst kind.

Re:Nuclear power - irrational fear (2)

mellon (7048) | more than 3 years ago | (#36296904)

The main reason people fear nuclear power irrationally is that it's very difficult to model the risk of nuclear power, and proponents of nuclear power have gone out of their way to make it harder. And of course the risk of an abstract, ideal nuclear power plant is different than the risk of a nuclear power plant built by the lowest bidder, publicly rather than privately indemnified.

So whine about it if you want, but the situation exists for a reason, and whining about it doesn't change that.

Re:Nuclear power - irrational fear (2)

mlts (1038732) | more than 3 years ago | (#36297040)

The fear outshines the facts. A picture of Godzilla will outweigh a hundred statistics saying how dangerous other methods of energy generation are.

The only downside to nuclear power is the fact that contractors can get away with failing to do their part. If there are laws placed to hold people culpable (perhaps something that the company would be immediately nationalized if serious misconduct was found), this would be minimized.

The reward is more than worth the risk. No CO2 emissions. No pollution to the environment. Excellent energy density, so it can be built nearby a city, minimizing loss via power lines. Until fusion becomes a viable energy source, what else can one ask for?

ob (2, Funny)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 3 years ago | (#36296656)

the cost of solar cells has dropped about 21 percent this year, leading to predictions that solar power may become cheaper than nuclear and fossil power within five years.

Somebody had to. [xkcd.com]

Again with this... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36296674)

How long to we have to listen to endless stories on the need for "Climate Control" measures? I've been hearing dire forecast for 20 years, none of which has ever even remotely come true. Let's face it Climate control is not about Climate, it's about control.

Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36296680)

Just as the ozone layer is rebuilding itself [slashdot.org] ? Maybe it's because we cut down on all that laughing gas [slashdot.org] ?

Dumb statement (1)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 3 years ago | (#36296714)

jamie points out a recent report that the cost of solar cells has dropped about 21 percent this year, leading to predictions that solar power may become cheaper than nuclear and fossil power within five years.

Which in turn says:

If we can get solar at 15 cents a kilowatt-hour or lower, which Iâ(TM)m hopeful that we will do, youâ(TM)re going to have a lot of people that are going to want to have solar at home,

Basically, they are hoping to be competitive with consumer rates and are decades away, at best, and if ever, from being competitive with base load rates. That's an idiotic statement of someone trying to drive stock prices which have absolute no connection with reality.

For solar, it would literally be a major break through to provide peak load competitive prices and they are no where near being close to being competitive with base load generation. Even moreso, voltaic requires HALF the price of base load to be competitive with base load as it can only generate power half the time. Only solar-thermal looks to be able to ever be price competitive with base load pricing and even that is just now coming out of the gate.

Reality says the commentary is full of shit.

Peak Oil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36296818)

Haven't we hit peak oil? The problem will take care of itself when we have no fossil fuels to burn.

Re:Peak Oil (1)

mlts (1038732) | more than 3 years ago | (#36296966)

Then stuff gets nasty. We still have plenty of coal. Dirty, polluting, highly toxic lignite coal. Stuff that loves to turn water tables into cesspits that only exotic variations of bacteria can live in.

Lignite coal is cheap, and if push comes to shove, laws (like basic labor, environmental, or safety ordinances) will be set aside to get it.

Want a real solution to the energy problem? Campaign for R&D on the latest generation of nuclear reactors (Gen IV) with an emphasis on traveling wave reactor designs, and designs that are made to not just withstand hazards, but PEBCAK/ID10T errors in construction and installation.

So what (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36296862)

I'll be dead by then. I say we burn up every last bit of oil that exists and leave the next generations to be the hippies who become one with earth.

What percentage of atmosphere is greenhouse gases? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36296888)

Answer: Numbers may rise or drop by milions of percent or gazilion of gigatons, but the fact remains: greenhouse gases are still __less than 0.04%__ of earth's atmosphere. IPCC are lawyers not scientists.

again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36296932)

Someday most of us will figure out as people get more and more uneducated, they will fear and not understand technology, it's evil and causes evil things. We'll all be back in caves soon enough.

In spite of tighter emission control standards... (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 3 years ago | (#36296948)

... this continues to happen. Every year, even though standards continue to get stricter and stricter, this continues to happen.

Why? Why bother, I mean? What, exactly, are we hoping to accomplish by trying to develop stricter emission standards year after year? We're obviously not really solving the problem... and although granted, we may be possibly slowing down the rate at which it would otherwise happen if we didn't do anything, it doesn't take a genus to realize that if the measures you are taking to solve a problem aren't really getting you any closer to a solution, then perhaps it's time to try to switch tactics.

It won't be easy. It won't be cheap. But it will be worth it.

Unfortunately, it seems that the majority of the human race is either too cheap or too lazy, or else too consumed with making as much money as they can right here and now to be willing to actually do something about it. And the rest are just a vocal minority who unfortunately don't have the power to effect any significant change.

Why bother? (1)

Chemisor (97276) | more than 3 years ago | (#36297076)

In case you haven't noticed, fossil fuels are being depleted, and will all be gone pretty soon anyway. Oil will be gone in ~50 years. Coal will be gone in about ~100 years. So all these carbon emissions will eventually stop whether anybody wants to make a legislative effort or not.

Mis-informed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36297064)

Just a bunch of political nazi's trying to control the world any way they can. This is a decent article on the subject. http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig5/lowi6.html [lewrockwell.com]
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