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Scientists Contribute to Greenhouse Gas Emissions

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the doh dept.

Science 62

dus writes "Many of the 10,000 scientists attending this week's annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) study climate change. Collecting them all in San Francisco undoubtedly increases our understanding of global warming, but it releases more than 12,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, pointed out one of this year's delegates."

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Michael is a horrible editor who should be fired: (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7769342)

Why? Why fire one of the most active editors on slashdot?

Although they claim this is a news site, michael openly admits [] his extreme bias and his affinity towards slanting the facts to fit his predetermined notions.

michael was hired in the middle of hijacking the [] website in a very immature, unethical, and corrupt manner.

michael will frequently censor entire threads down to -1 [] , simply because he doesn't agree with it.

Even worse, sometimes michael (or some other slashdot editors) will mod a thread [] down to -1 [] , and revoke mod point priveledges if anything, *anything* in that thread is modded up.

Of course, this is just a partial list. michael's unprofessionalism, hypocrisy, and immaturity are well known to most long term slashdotters. It's amazing that despite this, and despite everyone's complaints to him and CmdrTaco, he has yet to change. This should not continue. michael should be fired now.

In other news (4, Informative)

njchick (611256) | more than 10 years ago | (#7769397)

Re:In other news (1)

cymen (8178) | more than 10 years ago | (#7769486)

Off topic? Come on, this is in the exactly same line as the submitted story. Doing good can be bad.

Re:In other news (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7770560)

Come on, this is in the exactly same line as the submitted story.

If it was exactly the same it would be redundant. AGU people aren't all fighting global warming. Most of them don't even care. Geophysics is largely used to find oil, so the analogy isn't very good either, unless, of course, those SARs guys are largely making bioweapons.

Re:In other news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7771720)

yeah, and then when it got modded redundant a bunch of people who don't know what redundant means would start bitching about how nobody said it before

Re:In other news (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7769496)

You fight greenhouse effect, you cause it. You fight SARS, you spread it. You preach morality, you ruin it. You love children, you abuse them. You hate war, you start it. You love democracy, you destroy it.

Sometimes things don't work the way they are supposed to. Welcome to the real life.

Re:In other news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7770663)

You fight activism, you encourage it. You haven't even seen real life.

Good point. (-1, Offtopic)

jotaeleemeese (303437) | more than 10 years ago | (#7769412)

They should all gather by burro and colect the manure to use it to make natural gas.

Yeah, it may teake three months from NY or Washington but hey, they should not be such hypocrates.

fffrrrpbpbpbpb (5, Funny)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 10 years ago | (#7769452)

"Contribute to Greenhouse Gas Emissions"

One scientist flatly denied emitting greenhouse gasses, suggesting that maybe the dog did it.

Re:fffrrrpbpbpbpb (4, Funny)

momerath2003 (606823) | more than 10 years ago | (#7771829)

Well, we must not forget the Golden Rule:

"He who Smelt it, Dealt it."

Re:fffrrrpbpbpbpb (0)

beefneck9 (733633) | more than 10 years ago | (#7771969)

Maybe a ban on German food, brussel sprouts, 3-bean salad, and warm pilsners would be in order. While we are at it, lets produce flat cola so as to limit drink emissions. I think some fast food joints are already doing their part with that.

Re:fffrrrpbpbpbpb (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7772410)

Ahh, but he who made the rhyme, did the crime.

Re:fffrrrpbpbpbpb (1)

ralphclark (11346) | more than 10 years ago | (#7776132)

A fox always smells his own hole

Re:fffrrrpbpbpbpb (1)

ralphclark (11346) | more than 10 years ago | (#7776147)


He who denied it, supplied it.

Re:fffrrrpbpbpbpb (1)

Lady Jazzica (689768) | more than 10 years ago | (#7773058)

No, that's the Sulfurous Rule.

But.. (0, Redundant)

cfreeze (146454) | more than 10 years ago | (#7769457)

Ya gotta breathe somewhere..

Like anyone cares (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7769467)

If they cared, they would hold AGU someplace other than one coast or the other. The current system of alternating coasts is not exactly optimium for travelers.

Virtual conferencing still needs work (4, Insightful)

GuyMannDude (574364) | more than 10 years ago | (#7769473)

Other scientists are lobbying for increased virtual conferencing.

I would have preferred that the scientists lobby for increased funding in virtual conferencing technlogies instead. I have yet to be part of a videoconference that could hold a candle to face-to-face meetings. No, I don't work in sales: I'm a scientist. I just feel that you lose an awful lot when you try to replace a meeting with a virtual one. A lot of the excited interchange that occurs in a face-to-face meething becomes a jumbled "who said that?" or "wait, did someone say something?" puzzle. I think the idea of virtual conferencing is a nice idea but still needs a lot more work before we can expect widespread adoption from scientists or businessmen. And that requires money.

The rewards of a well-developed virtual conferencing technology would go far beyond environmental concerns. By not having to spend so much time enroute to the destination (or back to your home), standing in airports, etc., people could gain back some of those "lost hours" that invariable occur during business travel. Not to mention it would save a lot of us the stress and hastle of breaking up our normal routine and enduring the growing hell of airport quagmire.


Re:Virtual conferencing still needs work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7770572)

There's nothing quite like eating a meal with someone (or getting drunk). I doubt virtual meetings will ever be the same, but I hope so.

Re:Virtual conferencing still needs work (1)

addaon (41825) | more than 10 years ago | (#7771341)

The technology is out there, it's just expensive. Check out some of Kurzweil's toys.

Re:Virtual conferencing still needs work (1)

lommer (566164) | more than 10 years ago | (#7773824)

I actually would be disappointed to see virtual conferencing take over face-to-face meetings. I actually enjoy traveling, regardless of the standard airport snafus, and would be sad to see travel opportunities in buisiness disappear. I do however realize the economic and environmental gain to be had by videoconferencing, and I can sadly see buisiness travel slowly shrinking into oblivion...

kill all scientists (0, Funny)

RevAaron (125240) | more than 10 years ago | (#7769479)

well hell, we should just kill all scientists. i mean, they all contribute to most environmental problems in one way or another. they put out waste, drive cars, live in buildings, use computer which were manufactured with very dangerous methods, etc etc.

they must pay for their crimes!

Re:kill all scientists (1)

RevAaron (125240) | more than 10 years ago | (#7771692)

a troll? Wow, good work guys.

the phrase "toungue in cheek" and word "sarcasm" come to mind.

Re:kill all scientists (-1, Troll)

Guitronics (734542) | more than 10 years ago | (#7778450)

The vast majority of Scientists who are qualified to publish their veiws (and are recognized as researchers),have always fought the notion of global warming.
Global warming is a theory,as is Global cooling.There isn't any "Scientific" proof that the earth is historically growing warmer, or cooler. In fact, Carbon Dioxide increases in the atmosphere are thought to have a *positive* effect upon the plant life of the planet.
Food production,Trees,most vegetation (if not all) thrives on CO2. The whole idea of "Critical Earth Biosphere" is a political ploy. If there were no World Crises,how could civilians be convinced to pay more taxes to support more studies?
How could the UN make a convincing case that more nations should turn over their soverignty?

There MUST be *more* crises of all types:Climatic,Political,Economic,Wars,Disease,Fam ine,Ecological.

The UN will cure every ill of the world, and it's inhabitents. Hah!

Re:kill all scientists (1)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 10 years ago | (#7781006)

I think there should be a big DO NOT MOD WHEN DRUNK message given when you are handed mod points.

You weren't trolling, that's for sure. Maybe someone will metamoderate this correctly, but in the meantime, your post is at 0 while it should be at 2. And actuall trolls out there are being modded +1 Funny as we speak
: (

Hot Air... (-1, Flamebait)

Ianoo (711633) | more than 10 years ago | (#7769516)

I would imagine that the hot air produced by their speeches would have more of an effect than their travel to and from the conference itself. Certainly contributes to global warming...

SlashDot Personals? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7769603)

Does anyone know the UserID of that chick in the red in that ad for SlashDot Personals? I wanna make her my Friend, if you know what I mean!

On the Agenda (4, Interesting)

theMerovingian (722983) | more than 10 years ago | (#7769640)

While at the conference, be sure to attend:

ExxonMobil Morning Mixer for Students: Wednesday, 10 December, Yerba Buena Ballroom Salon 9, San Francisco Marriott, 6:30-8:00 A.M

A complimentary breakfast will be held in honor of all graduate and undergraduate students registered for the meeting. Students will have the opportunity to hear an overview of AGU programs that serve its student members, meet with AGU leadership and representatives from ExxonMobil, and network with other students and future colleagues attending the meeting.

(don't believe me?) []

Re:On the Agenda (2, Funny)

cyb97 (520582) | more than 10 years ago | (#7770000)

This Mixer would be interesting for those students enrolled in "Oilspill cover-ups 101" and "Advanced Globalexploitation".

Re:On the Agenda (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7770018)

Yes, god forbid that ExxonMobil would want to try and curb greenhouse gas emissions. They are completely retarded, have no long term strategy and have no idea that being a leader in the 'clean-burning fuel' niche will help them out immensely when (not if) the government starts cracking down on the fuel side of emissions.

Go back to pestering Monsanto, they at least deserve it.

Thank you for confessing... (1)

alizard (107678) | more than 10 years ago | (#7772407)

But I think people would take your confession on the part of Exxon more seriously were you to sign with your name, job title, and an address at exxon where you can actually be reached.

We could solve all these problems... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7769764)

...if we just started mulching our hippies.

Re:We could solve all these problems... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#7784858)

Bah! If we screw it up enough, we can simply neutralize global warming with a nuclear winter.

Who decides the "best" excuse for pollution (4, Insightful)

G4from128k (686170) | more than 10 years ago | (#7770490)

This type of ironic "look who is polluting" statement brings up the issue of how to allocate scare resources on a global basis . In this case we are assuming that the scientists' right to emit greenhouse gases (primarily C02 from all the airplane flights and maybe methane from the cows that went into the steak dinners) is a scarce resource. Personally, I argue for a market solution, such asgreenhousegas emissions credits [] , that let people or organizations with the most economically valuable applications of CO2/methane production to prevail.

The notion of any government agency ajudicating this allocation decision is appalling to me because the history of goverment is the history of undue influence by special interests. Whether that influence is the oil industry in the current U.S. government, the tyranny of the majority in all democracies, the king's cousin in an aristocracy, trade unions in communist countries, friends in high places, or Japanese farmers, I would argue that every government is subject to unfair, subjective, corruptible political influences.

By contrast I would argue that money, as evil as it seems, is purest way of "keeping score" of what a society values. Perhaps it is the fact that money is so much harder to create than the usual social-network forms of political influence that makes so many people abhor it so much.

With regard to scientists polluting to get to a conference, the price of getting to that conference should reflect the value of all the other activities that must be forgone on CO2 emissions limits. Thus, the scientists should "buy" the right to pollute from people who would sell their right to pollute. If too many other people have more valuable applications that emit CO2, then the scientists would give up their right to meet (more likely their right to fly in an airplane).

Publically traded greenhouse gas emissions credits may not be a perfect way to allocate this scarce resource, but it is better than all the other ways.

Re:Who decides the "best" excuse for pollution (2, Interesting)

Phronesis (175966) | more than 10 years ago | (#7773035)

As many economists [] have pointed out [] , a major problem with tradable emissions permits is that the government is still trying to set limits on emissions. There are two problems:
  1. How would you enforce CO2 emissions limits on things like individual automobiles (which emit about 30% of the anthropogenic CO2 produced in the US) and home heating/air conditioning, etc?
  2. How would you trust the government to come up with the optimal CO2 emissions limits and how would the government achieve the flexibility to revise these limits as new information became available?
Carbon taxes, set to the value of the social cost of climate change, offer a way for the market to achieve optimal emission levels and keep the government out of the central planning business.

Re:Who decides the "best" excuse for pollution (1)

CentrX (50629) | more than 10 years ago | (#7800916)

How would the social cost of climate change be accurately determined?

If these "carbon taxes" you speak of are taxes, wouldn't the government be setting the the value of the social cost of climate change? The same government that can't be trusted to set the optimal CO2 emissions limits? wtf?

Because.... (3, Funny)

jfdawes (254678) | more than 10 years ago | (#7771092)

These guys don't breathe (etc) when they are at home.

Re:Because.... (1)

francium de neobie (590783) | more than 10 years ago | (#7771564)

You've got it wrong, what they're counting is the amount of carbon dioxide emitted at the plane engines, when the scientists are flying to the conference.

Carbon dioxide from respiration is not counted simply becoz there's little/no difference between the CO2 emission from a scientist at lab and at conference. If you want to reduce the respiratory CO2 emission there are two ways to do it:

1. sit in front of the computer and read Slashdot all day, DO NOT MASTERBATE in front of your computer no matter what you see

2. kill yourself and have someone bury your body in Antarctica

Re:Because.... (1)

eyenot (102141) | more than 10 years ago | (#7773135)

You don't masturbate to Slashdot? That's kinky.

Re:Because.... (1)

DakotaSandstone (638375) | more than 10 years ago | (#7773589)

Hehe. Actually, breathing is just fine for these guys -- it's a fairly closed system: (1) Plant fixes carbon dioxide from atmosphere, (2) plant is eaten by animal, (3) animal is eaten by human, (4) human breathes carbon dioxide into air. Repeat. Little net change over a suitable timescale.

The problem is that we're pumping huge oil reserves into the atmosphere, putting carbon back into commission that was taken out of circulation millions of years ago. And we're doing it so very very fast, that the natural carbon "sinks" can't ramp up fast enough to catch up.

Incidentally, the "closed system" idea is the main thrust of the argument behind biomass alternative energy. If you burn a tree, you're just putting the carbon back into the air it fixed during its lifetime (of course, you're putting particulates and other interesting compounds like PAH's into the air at the same time...)

Re:Because.... (1)

ckaminski (82854) | more than 9 years ago | (#7787550)

Kewl, maybe with a little more heat we can finally have our Jurassic Park-based dinosaurs overlords back? I'm all for staving off the next ice age.

Slashdot: News from Tabloids, stuff that .. (0, Flamebait)

dk.r*nger (460754) | more than 10 years ago | (#7771312)

Slashdot: News from Tabloids, stuff that ignorant fools care about.

Please, a little thought here. The results from that meeting could decrease pollution by hundreds or millions of tons per year... They are not hippies arguing wether it is OK to eat an apple you got off a tree, or you have to wait until it falls, or else you'll disturb the fragile balance of nature.

Tabloid?! (1)

dus (139697) | more than 10 years ago | (#7772147)

Did you check the link? You think that's a tabloid?!

Oh, I forgot, there's a more reliable source for scienctific news - slashdot comments.

Re:Tabloid?! (1)

funwithBSD (245349) | more than 10 years ago | (#7774055)

Yes, but any magazine that puts its bias so far forward is suspect.

Nature != New York Times. Who has a totally different bias.

So, here's an obvious solution / workaround... (0, Redundant)

ivi (126837) | more than 10 years ago | (#7772548)


- all of the formal presentation / sessions -and-

- as many informal BoF's as people may wish
to conduct, in groups or person to person

I'd suggest:

If / when scientists (and / or managers)
begin to utilise such systems...

We'll all be much closer to being able
to use them, ourselves.

Hot Air (0, Redundant)

rf0 (159958) | more than 10 years ago | (#7772587)

Does that number take into the account the amount of hot air the delegate might spew out


Lots of different stuff at the AGU (1)

nerdygeek (242847) | more than 10 years ago | (#7773055)

I was at the AGU - it's an extremely broad-ranging conference covering geophysics of all sorts and space and solar physics...

I'm in the space and solar side so we spend our time launching things into space with sodding great rockets. That can't the greenhouse problem much either.

Trade-off (1)

eyenot (102141) | more than 10 years ago | (#7773191)

These scientists... look, people in their class take jets at least two times a year up to twice a week. Sorry, but they aren't average americans, they are from a much smaller percentile class.

Meanwhile, I a fellow human don't take jets ever. I am making up for one scientist's transgression. There are enough like me to cover their little trist so fine. I support their conference, though I agree it could be tried by telepresence next time.

What I don't support is anybody using any excuse to peddel communism on me. Even if it's 'green', I don't agree to any method of allocating me rights I haven't earned fairly, or disallocating me any rights that I have.

This junk about the 'common good' is misleading, nobody in history has ever even proved that the common good exists. For that matter, the pre-existance of society is an inflicted myth. You make society in any given moment, not in the past. In other words, the world is what we make of it. Abstracts in the past no longer exist.

I don't like scientific myths and I don't like stupid scientists wasting grants to ritually gather. And I don't like bad math propaganda, and I don't like shock science. And I also don't like conferences, the idea itself is wasteful which is what they are actually battling, whether they realize it or not.

Re:Trade-off (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 10 years ago | (#7773457)

I don't agree to any method of allocating me rights I haven't earned fairly

What rights has, say, a baby "earned fairly"?

Re:Trade-off (1)

eyenot (102141) | more than 10 years ago | (#7774265)

pssht -- "i said to the man, are you trying to tempt me?" a baby? none! a baby is born with shit and blood clinging to it, and who cares?

theologically, many people believe we are born with a certain number of rights. they're nuts. i'm a eugenicist, and i personally don't care about a single one of them.

the true scientific nature of human conduct and socialization is that we give to each other what we need to in order to survive. we give other peoples' babies rights because we need to ensure our own babies rights so they have a better chance at surviving. arguably, some of the same theologians who 'gaurantee' our 'rights' through flowery language also owned slaves despite the fact those people were babies at one time, as well.

i'm a radical eugenicist, too, so don't bother trying to up the age-limit of 'baby', i say go ahead and kill them all the way up to around 23 years old for being degenerates. p.s. asking questions like yours counts towards degeneracy rating. have a nice life.

Phrasing it in your language (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 10 years ago | (#7774446)

we give other peoples' babies rights because we need to ensure our own babies rights so they have a better chance at surviving.

OK, what rights should be granted to pre-puberty children in order to assure the comfortable survival of Homo sapiens?

Re:Trade-off (1)

jamesh (87723) | more than 10 years ago | (#7781989)

Don't feed the trolls. It only encourages them.

Re:Trade-off (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#7784785)

> nobody in history has ever even proved that the common good exists

Sure they have. Consider why we isolate people with seriously infectious diseases.

This is ridiculous (4, Insightful)

spin2cool (651536) | more than 10 years ago | (#7773923)

Yes, they are responsible for releasing carbon dioxide in their trips to get to the conference - just as we're responsible for releasing tons of CO2 every day. My response is: so what? This group of scientists is working together to effect global change, which will hopefully result in millions of tonnes of CO2 less, and will prevent catastrophic ecological consequences in the long run. If releasing a few tonnes now ultimately leads to major changes in our society, I say go for it. The long term benefits clearly outweigh the short term damage.

Re:This is ridiculous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7776056)

So what? So this is the attitude they have to have in order to make those changes. If they say, "Oh, it's fine for us, because we're the ones fixing the problem," then they're opening the door to lots of excuses.

The alternative would be like the Crusaders setting off to the Holy Land, but drinking, whoring, and partying like there's no tomorrow because they know their sins will be washed off with the blood of the heathens. Also like politicians who go first class to conferences on cost-cutting.

And in any case, nobody's suggesting that we deny scientists the right to go on a plane if they have to. It's one scientist saying to the others, "Hey! Look where we could help."

That was an unreasonable post (2, Insightful)

mnmn (145599) | more than 10 years ago | (#7773944)

Pretty senseless to say gathering scientists in one spot increases their contribution to pollution. They would pollute in their respective cities anyway if they didnt travel.

Its fine to invest in gathering scientists despite their pollution for the purpose of deciding how to reduce pollution. Their solutions might be implemented on a global scale to reduce pollution on a much wider scale.

Better yet invite all scientists to arrive in San Francisco on bycicles. All those scientists losing weight will also fit more of them in the meeting room.

You know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7776707)

they might eat a lot of low fiber foods in San Fran as well...

-1 to anyone... (1)

The Gline (173269) | more than 10 years ago | (#7776802)

who thought Greenhouse Emissions was some kind of open-source project.

Re:-1 to anyone... (1)

-Maurice66- (728513) | more than 9 years ago | (#7784978)

It is! If we would close the source we would solve the problem.

(starting to put banana's in exhausts right now)

Greenhouse gas? (0)

Uplore (706578) | more than 10 years ago | (#7782489)

So not only do the cars they drive to get to the conference emit ozone depleting gasses, but can you imagine 10,000 scientists rabbiting on?? That's way more hot air!

Hmmmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7793528)

this michael guy sounds like a real bastard.

Oh... (1)

herrvinny (698679) | more than 10 years ago | (#7805763)

Oh dear, I just contributed to Global Warming (breathe) oops, again (breathe) oops, I did it again (pun not intended (stupid Britney Spears song...))
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