Gransnet forums


Climate Change

(336 Posts)
carboncareful Wed 08-Jun-11 19:09:27

I would like to sugest that there be a continuous discussion on Climate Change in gransnet (i.e. not just for a few days or weeks) - in fact I have suggested to gransnet that there should be a new branch called climatenet (and I think they may be interested if there is enough interest from you). There is a need for discussion about how to combat climate change; how to reduce our personal carbon footprints and how to deal with effects of climate change as they arise. It could also could be a place to air ideas big or small for sustainable living and clean energy.
As grandparents we owe this to our grandchildren. Please, all of you out there, respond to this plea.

Anneof20000days Thu 09-Jun-11 07:15:56

Very good idea carboncareful! We can all pass on any tips we have to each other on lifestyle changes small or larger.
I think one of the best ways to help us all live with climate change is to be able to predict what the weather will do - accurately. Resources need to be put into this quickly, look at all those terrible tornadoes in the states recently and the loss of life there.

carboncareful Tue 14-Jun-11 18:22:29

Very disappointed to see only one response to this subject. Climate Change is the MOST IMPORTANT subject we could possibly discuss. What is the matter with all you grans - don't you care what happens to your grandchildren?????

JessM Tue 14-Jun-11 18:53:04

Carboncareful I am sure there are many gransnetters that are very concerned about the environment. I speak as someone who has solar electricity panels all over the roof. But didn't feel moved to respond to your post.
Possibly you arrived on the site full of missionary zeal, waving your green flag and people were taken aback a bit. Or felt they were being preached at. Or that you had joined just to promote a single cause. Your choice of name is interesting. It is a bit like if someone joined the forum with the name ONAFEMINISTMISSION or DAVECAMERONFAN. It gives a certain message and may put backs up before you get a hearing.

It is a new forum and we are all learning how to get on with each other at the moment. Group norms are being established.

Had to stop typing then 'cos a woodpecker arrived on the peanut feeder 5 meters from where I a sitting. Doing our bit for wildlife in the backyard.

baggythecrust! Wed 15-Jun-11 06:37:33

jessm — well said. There are plenty (too many) of climate missionaries already and not enough sceptical enquirers. Climate science is in its infancy. We are kidding ourselves if we think we know how it all works yet. We are also kidding ourselves (megalomaniacs that we are) if we think adding a bit of a minor trace gas (which, incidentally, plants absolutely adore) to an atmosphere and a biosphere that has coped with much bigger changes over millenia already, and still is doing in my opinion. Right now I'm more concerned about getting clean water, health care, education and other benefits that we currently enjoy to those people who don't have them. The climate will change whatever we do. It always has and it always will. It is far too complicated for a bunch of self-glorifying apes to control.

harrigran Wed 15-Jun-11 12:19:17

A few well meaning people are not going to change the climate, to make a difference you have to convince the whole world to change. It is not going to happen, enjoy what you have now and stop trying to influence the future.

baggythecrust! Wed 15-Jun-11 12:27:57

And the majority are not going to be convinced, not after Climategate and all the other shenanigans of Warmist brigade — shenanigans that are still going on too.

effblinder Wed 15-Jun-11 12:36:24

I can see where you're coming from carboncareful. I think it is really important to think about the future, and not give up! It's only by individual actions that the world can change. Yes, it's a mixture of big picture, but the pressure to change the big picture CAN come from individuals if they push hard enough. The "self-glorifying apes" made enough of an impact on the planet to change the climate once, hopefully they should be able to change it back!

When you look at the consequences of continuing to use fossil fuels etc it does make you want to shout about it, but this is a place to chat too, and making people feel bad I think does more harm than good. Can we just talk about how great it is that most people have recycling facilities now?

It's a contribution to the kind of mindset that will make cutting packaging, switching off lights etc a part of 'what people do', like not dropping litter or letting your dog foul the street - something that people naturally feel bad about but not because you told them to, because they know it's socially wrong.

JessM Wed 15-Jun-11 15:13:56

Baggythecrust - I don't think carbon dioxide is a minor trace gas. When you stop and think about the last 200 years. All the coal and oil that has been burnt. All those millions of tonnes of carbon were trapped beneath the ground. The carbon in coal for instance was trapped when the world was a much warmer place. Tropical forests on the south pole sort of place.
All that extra carbon is now been added back to the atmosphere. The plants etc can only get rid of so much - it is as if we have had the taps running into a bath and the plug has been out. But the taps are running in faster than the water is going down the plughole. The science that more CO2 in the atmosphere is going to warm us up is very very clear. It is just a case of when, and how bad it is going to be.
What to do about it not that easy though.

baggythecrust! Wed 15-Jun-11 15:39:31

And where did that carbon come from in the first place? All living things contain carbon, including us. The coal and oil seams are made of decayed organic material (e.g. Plants). How did those plants grow? By utilising carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. I'm sure you have heard of the carbon cycle. This is it. We are part of it. Carbon dioxide is less than half of one percent of the atmosphere. That's a trace gas. The world has been warmer than it is now many times, and colder, and life thrives in warmer conditions. The poles have been free of ice before. And so on and so on and so on. Nothing new is happening except that governments want to tax us for releasing carbon dioxide. You might as well stop breathing and have done with it.

As you say, the world has been much warmer before. It survived and life on it thrived. So why would it be a problem if it should happen again?

I have read several books on the subject on each side of the debate and what strikes me most is the contrast between the cool, calm, evidence-justified arguments of the sceptical side and the alarmist ranting of the other side. I used to be extremely concerned about climate change. I investigated the available evidence on both sides of the debate and now I am not worried at all.

JessM Wed 15-Jun-11 18:45:01

Well there is a very good answer baggy to "where did the carbon come from"
In the age when the coal was laid down, for instance, the world was warm and steamy and plant life was booming. Tree ferns at the south pole etc. As the vegetation gradually went in the coal direction vast amounts of carbon went out of circulation. This carbon has been underground for millenia. Then we go releasing it in a 150 years or so.
When that carbon was all up and cycling in the carboniferous era, the world was hot. Sea levels were meters higher than they are today. Now we are bringing the carbon back into circulation and artificially pushing the natural cycle of the earth in the warmer, higher free carbon, higher sea level direction.
It seems to be that the rate at which the sea level will rise is the only topic for debate amongst climate change experts. Is Bangladesh going to be underwater in 20 years, 100 years, 500 years or 5000 years. No-one knows. That is what scientists are grappling with because the science involved is very difficult.

baggythecrust! Wed 15-Jun-11 22:28:28

Jess, your description is very good and succinct. Before I had read any of the sceptical views I was convinced by the global warming scenario you describe. However, there are now publications that suggest the world may be entering a cooling period. I daresay only time will tell if they are right. But the point I was trying, not very clearly, to make above is that yes, the world was much hotter during the Carboniferous period and CO2 levels were higher, but it was certainly not human beings who were causing the CO2 to rise then. To me this single fact suggests that we don't understand what is going on now and it is simplistic and not useful to pretend that we do. Some of the stuff I have read says that rises in CO2 follow rises in temperature (there is apparently a lag of about 800 years). It is, as you say, very difficult, very complex, and not well understood, and that's why I think it is unwise (and rather more than unwise) to pretend that the process is well understood. There are far more things than CO2 affecting climate and we're only just beginning to find out about them.

Joan Thu 16-Jun-11 03:18:17

I don't care whether climate change is man-made or a natural cycle or both - what I do hate is pollution, so all the effort to reduce emissions is fine by me - more than fine, absolutely necessary for our well being.

Remember the clean air act of the 1960s? It made a huge difference to our quality of life in West Yorkshire. I had no idea all those jet black buildings were honey coloured sandstone underneath, until the sand blasters got busy!

I recycle, compost, and grow my own veggies. I use public transport whenever possible, and walk too. I would have solar panels if I owned this house, but it is a commission(council) house. Our car is a small, low petrol consumption model. This is how we do our bit, and I wish more people did the same.

baggythecrust! Thu 16-Jun-11 06:25:34

Joan, I do the same. I belonged to 'green' movements before most people had heard of global warming. Not sanctioning waste is a good thing in its own right and I'm all for it. However, please let me reiterate one thing and state another. The reiteration: CO2 is not a pollutant: it's necessary for life to thrive. The statement: all the predictions warmists have made so far have failed; they are produced from models (not real data) which are not working. From a scientific point of view both those points are particularly pertinent. Good science makes good predictions. The IPCC reports, on which most people base their global warming judgements, are not based on good science: they are politically based and they are based on manipulated data. That's why I'm not convinced by them.

baggythecrust! Thu 16-Jun-11 09:06:27

A thought: I wonder if people are confusing carbon (which is the black stuff on burnt toast) with carbon dioxide (which is an invisible gas essential to life)?

absentgrana Thu 16-Jun-11 10:25:35

I recycle, buy local, seasonal produce that hasn't been transported long distances, rarely fly anywhere, don't have a car, switch lights and stand-by switches off when they're not required, have dual flush loos and shower rather than bath – because that's my lifestyle. It's hardly a major contribution towards preventing global warming – if preventing it is possible – and apart from adapting my house for reusable energy, there's probably not much more I could do if I wanted to be greener. It's not individuals whose actions will make a difference; it's not even governments; it's multinational companies. Fat chance.

Grandmacool Thu 16-Jun-11 10:30:21

I would also have solar panels if we could afford it on the house... but the 30.000Euro is just not on at the moment. We also have a veg patch and do all sorts of recycling etc etc. I don`t use my tumble dryer anymore either and as soon as I am finished with the pc it is turned off, which I am doing now as I have an appointment at the Docs.

Wishing you all a lovely day.

harrigran Thu 16-Jun-11 11:12:19

This is all admirable, but I spent the first 45 years of my life making do and recycling, everything we take for granted now were not even invented. I would like to be able to enjoy a few little luxuries without being made to feel guilty. I was a stay at home mum, cooked meals from scratch every single day, never had a car, did not have holidays, no washing machine for years.

JessM Thu 16-Jun-11 15:38:25

baggy of course it is the same carbon. Don't play dumb smile

I don't trust these global warming deniers, there are huge vested interests - we know who they are - funding these characters.
Apart from all other considerations we are using all the fossil fuels up greedily. There will be an energy gap when the north sea gas runs out etc.
Other sources much more difficult and expensive.

Should we be guilty? I do feel a pang of guilt when doing long haul to see my inconveniently located kids and grandkids. So I try to do my bit to compensate for this e.g. trying to drive with a light foot on the accelerator, wearing warmer clothes instead of turning heating up etc etc

absentgrana Thu 16-Jun-11 16:10:15

JessM Of course it's the same carbon, but in one instance it's just solid carbon (coal and diamonds), and in the other it is locked together with oxygen to make carbon dioxide. Just as the oxygen in water is the same oxygen as oxygen in the air – but try breathing it.

baggythecrust! Thu 16-Jun-11 18:10:52

Well said, absent. Soot, which is largely carbon, is a pollutant once it starts floating around in the atmosphere and sticking to buildings or the insides of people's lungs. Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant.

jess, When the science of anthropogenic global warming is convincing, I'll be convinced. Until then, no. I don't trust the IPCC. They've just been caught out again with a flagrant conflict of interest, as if manipulating and hiding data were not enough.

JessM Thu 16-Jun-11 19:18:49

That is your choice I guess. I don't trust the petrochemical industry not to be doing everything they can to keep the USA guzzling oil as fast as they can, and the rest of the world catching up with them. The same thing happened with tobacco companies trying to discredit the evidence that smoking causes lung cancer.

Who has the greater vested interest I wonder.

baggythecrust! Thu 16-Jun-11 19:32:55

The next ten years should be very interesting.

baggythecrust! Fri 17-Jun-11 16:09:09

Heh heh! It's getting interesting already! This is specially for you, jess. wink

baggythecrust! Fri 17-Jun-11 16:27:32

And here's some more interesting stuff: