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PhinPhan1227
07-18-2007, 01:12 PM
Just read that the "dead zone" in the Gulf is getting even bigger. It's a huge zone where no fish can live because the oxygen has been leached out of the water. The most likely culprit is nitrate runoff from agriculture which feeds into the Mississippi and runs off into the Gulf. There are other, similar dead zones all over the world, and they are all expanding.

And what are we doing while this is going on? Of course, we're finding even MORE ways to increase our agriculture production to make ethanol to help reduce CO2 emissions. Nifty. We'll have cleaner air, but the ocean will be empty. And if anyone is curious, not only does most of the planet eat directly from the sea, we also use ocean products to feed our livestock, and our crops.

So, we can keep screaming about Global Warming while we continue to pollute our oceans. The good news is that the massive famines will kill off a significant portion of the people and livestock on the planet, so we won't be contirbuting all that CO2 to the atmosphere anymore. Mission accomplished.

ckb2001
07-18-2007, 01:51 PM
Everything comes with a trade-off. The question is which trade-offs are best. That, by the way, isn't easy to answer. The uncertainties there are higher in general than the kind of stuff I keep defending about the IPCC report regarding the likelihood global warming in recent decades is anthropogenic and predictions about the average global temperature in a century.

Also, something that hasn't been considered enough is whether it's better to simply try to adapt to global warming than to stop it.

Of course, the danger there is too much warming might take us past a tipping point that leads to catastrophe, but again that science isn't well-developed either.

Den54
07-18-2007, 02:19 PM
Envoke a world wide one child law.

Stitches
07-18-2007, 04:11 PM
Envoke a world wide one child law.

lol. That will never fly, not to say I'm completely opposed. I would think a 2 child law would be more acceptable, that way the human race wouldn't be dropping at such a considerable rate.

I do think that you shouldn't be able to have kids when you can't afford them, but that is a completely seperate animal from cutting down on pollution.

Den54
07-18-2007, 04:19 PM
lol. That will never fly, not to say I'm completely opposed. I would think a 2 child law would be more acceptable, that way the human race wouldn't be dropping at such a considerable rate.

I do think that you shouldn't be able to have kids when you can't afford them, but that is a completely seperate animal from cutting down on pollution.


The Chinese and Mormans are going to do us in.

Stitches
07-18-2007, 04:39 PM
The Chinese and Mormans are going to do us in.

I don't know enough about either, but considering some of the standards in China, I would guess they would do themselves in before us.

PhinPhan1227
07-18-2007, 04:55 PM
Everything comes with a trade-off. The question is which trade-offs are best. That, by the way, isn't easy to answer. The uncertainties there are higher in general than the kind of stuff I keep defending about the IPCC report regarding the likelihood global warming in recent decades is anthropogenic and predictions about the average global temperature in a century.

Also, something that hasn't been considered enough is whether it's better to simply try to adapt to global warming than to stop it.

Of course, the danger there is too much warming might take us past a tipping point that leads to catastrophe, but again that science isn't well-developed either.

I'd say this is a pretty clear cut. We don't know what will happen in a world 1-7 degrees warmer. We have a pretty good idea what would happen in a world with dead oceans.

ckb2001
07-18-2007, 05:23 PM
I'd say this is a pretty clear cut. We don't know what will happen in a world 1-7 degrees warmer. We have a pretty good idea what would happen in a world with dead oceans.

Wait.. that's one local effect you mentioned. I mean if you want to look at the world's oceans, we also know with quite high accuracy that increasing the acidity of them will probably lead to a mass extinction. And that's going to happen if you put too much CO2 in the atmosphere, even without any global warming. So, regulating CO2 emissions is important even IF global warming isn't a big problem.

Point is, you pointed to one detrimental effect, and what I'm saying is there are thousands of those, many that might occur with global warming and some that might occur with increased CO2 emissions even without any global warming.

So, you can't point to one (comparatively) small thing (yes, it's big if that's all you look at, but not really if you look at all the other effects) and say we should do this or that (unless it's a purely local policy that won't affect other parts of the Earth much).

PhinPhan1227
07-18-2007, 09:25 PM
Wait.. that's one local effect you mentioned. I mean if you want to look at the world's oceans, we also know with quite high accuracy that increasing the acidity of them will probably lead to a mass extinction. And that's going to happen if you put too much CO2 in the atmosphere, even without any global warming. So, regulating CO2 emissions is important even IF global warming isn't a big problem.

Point is, you pointed to one detrimental effect, and what I'm saying is there are thousands of those, many that might occur with global warming and some that might occur with increased CO2 emissions even without any global warming.

So, you can't point to one (comparatively) small thing (yes, it's big if that's all you look at, but not really if you look at all the other effects) and say we should do this or that (unless it's a purely local policy that won't affect other parts of the Earth much).


Actually, there are dead zones all over the world. The only ones that get reported here at all are the ones that impact American interests. But I know that there is one off Chesapeake, as well as the one in the Gulf. There are also PAcific dead zones as well. So this isn't an isolated incident. What makes it REALLY disturbing is that we are killing the oceans with what we are already doing. With the "ethanol craze" that everyone is jumping on, world wide you are going to see a ramping up of agriculture. That means MORE nitrates in the soil. So even if you believe that Global Warming is a major catastrophe, you aren't looking at drastic results for what, 50-100 years at best? Ramp up the nitrates going into the oceans by just 10% however and you could get drastic results in the next decade. That's just my wild guess of course, but I recall reading something to that effect. I'll try to look it up.

adamprez2003
07-18-2007, 09:35 PM
Just read that the "dead zone" in the Gulf is getting even bigger. It's a huge zone where no fish can live because the oxygen has been leached out of the water. The most likely culprit is nitrate runoff from agriculture which feeds into the Mississippi and runs off into the Gulf. There are other, similar dead zones all over the world, and they are all expanding.

And what are we doing while this is going on? Of course, we're finding even MORE ways to increase our agriculture production to make ethanol to help reduce CO2 emissions. Nifty. We'll have cleaner air, but the ocean will be empty. And if anyone is curious, not only does most of the planet eat directly from the sea, we also use ocean products to feed our livestock, and our crops.

So, we can keep screaming about Global Warming while we continue to pollute our oceans. The good news is that the massive famines will kill off a significant portion of the people and livestock on the planet, so we won't be contirbuting all that CO2 to the atmosphere anymore. Mission accomplished.

Bingo. Great Post. The damage to Ocean Life we have been doing for the past 100 years is far more significant and a more immediate danger IMO. The ocean is the food chain and if that ever goes we're probably done. Whereas I find the studies done on global warming weak, the damage to the ocean is substantiated. This should be where our focus is.

ckb2001
07-18-2007, 09:47 PM
Actually, there are dead zones all over the world. The only ones that get reported here at all are the ones that impact American interests. But I know that there is one off Chesapeake, as well as the one in the Gulf. There are also PAcific dead zones as well. So this isn't an isolated incident. What makes it REALLY disturbing is that we are killing the oceans with what we are already doing. With the "ethanol craze" that everyone is jumping on, world wide you are going to see a ramping up of agriculture. That means MORE nitrates in the soil. So even if you believe that Global Warming is a major catastrophe, you aren't looking at drastic results for what, 50-100 years at best? Ramp up the nitrates going into the oceans by just 10% however and you could get drastic results in the next decade. That's just my wild guess of course, but I recall reading something to that effect. I'll try to look it up.

OK, there's no doubt the enlarging oceanic dead zones worldwide (there are about 150 of them in the world) are a problem. BUT, that doesn't mean that our efforts to combat global warming will make the problem worse. That's the link you're trying to make that isn't really valild.

Here's one article that also explains their causes:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4624359/

"These "dead zones" are caused by an excess of nitrogen from farm fertilizers, sewage and emissions from vehicles and factories. In what experts call a “nitrogen cascade,” the chemical flows untreated into oceans and triggers the proliferation of plankton, which in turn depletes oxygen in the water."
------------------

So, how does one prevent this problem from getting worse and reverse the effect? Again, that article says:

QUOTE:
"The program noted preventive steps can be taken, citing these examples:

* European nations along the Rhine agreed to halve discharged nitrogen levels, reducing the discharge into the North Sea.

* Planting new forests and grasslands will help soak up excess nitrogen, keeping it out of waterways.

* Requiring vehicles to reduce nitrogen emissions.

* Fostering alternative energy sources that are not based on burning fossil fuels.

* Better sewage treatment would reduce nutrient discharges to coastal waters.
-------------------------


Those measures are ALL either part of a solution to global warming or not inconsistent with them. And of course fertilizer release goes into either better treatment plants or possibly more organic farming. But, none of this requires or even suggests measures to reduce dead zone problems are counter to those of reducing global warming.

Not only that, look at this:

QUOTE:
"But the report also noted new research that indicates global warming could aggravate the problem. Should humans double emissions of carbon dioxide, a key gas that many scientists fear is warming the Earth, that could change rainfall patterns, according to the research."
--------------

So, global warming might actually make the problem worse.

So, this thing about dead zones really only reinforces the need to combat pollution AND global warming.

Having said that, note that no matter what we do to combat global warming, there will be tradeoffs, but it looks like it's not that big a problem in the case of dead zones.

Coral Reefer
07-18-2007, 10:38 PM
Just read that the "dead zone" in the Gulf is getting even bigger. It's a huge zone where no fish can live because the oxygen has been leached out of the water. The most likely culprit is nitrate runoff from agriculture which feeds into the Mississippi and runs off into the Gulf. There are other, similar dead zones all over the world, and they are all expanding.

And what are we doing while this is going on? Of course, we're finding even MORE ways to increase our agriculture production to make ethanol to help reduce CO2 emissions. Nifty. We'll have cleaner air, but the ocean will be empty. And if anyone is curious, not only does most of the planet eat directly from the sea, we also use ocean products to feed our livestock, and our crops.

So, we can keep screaming about Global Warming while we continue to pollute our oceans. The good news is that the massive famines will kill off a significant portion of the people and livestock on the planet, so we won't be contirbuting all that CO2 to the atmosphere anymore. Mission accomplished.

This type of stuff isn't news to any of us that follow environmental issues and see the facts behind the problems instead of dismissing them as fiction.

Florida Bay has had the same problem now for over a couple of decades.
There is a huge dead zone there many attribute to farming chemicals and especially to Big Sugar.

The problem with your complaint here is that you are attempting to negate one side effect of human contanimation of the earth with yet another clear example of how humans are contaminating the earth without having to face restrictions.

You don't ignore one problem because you want to argue that solving one causes another. The solution is to solve all of them as best you can by monitoring the situations and putting strict regulations as to how/how much of these wastes and pollutants can be released by big farming and big corp. entities.

Your argument simply suggests that anything we do will cause similar damage on another end so why bother. Typical argument presented by big business and Pub viewpoints who want to see zero environmental restrictions that cut into bottom line profits.

Would be like saying "hey if I tell my kids not to drink they'll just turn to drugs so why bother trying to keep them off either". Sorry but that's an easy out for a situation some want to ignore.

Coral Reefer
07-18-2007, 10:44 PM
OK, there's no doubt the enlarging oceanic dead zones worldwide (there are about 150 of them in the world) are a problem. BUT, that doesn't mean that our efforts to combat global warming will make the problem worse. That's the link you're trying to make that isn't really valild.

Here's one article that also explains their causes:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4624359/

"These "dead zones" are caused by an excess of nitrogen from farm fertilizers, sewage and emissions from vehicles and factories. In what experts call a “nitrogen cascade,” the chemical flows untreated into oceans and triggers the proliferation of plankton, which in turn depletes oxygen in the water."
------------------

So, how does one prevent this problem from getting worse and reverse the effect? Again, that article says:

QUOTE:
"The program noted preventive steps can be taken, citing these examples:

* European nations along the Rhine agreed to halve discharged nitrogen levels, reducing the discharge into the North Sea.

* Planting new forests and grasslands will help soak up excess nitrogen, keeping it out of waterways.

* Requiring vehicles to reduce nitrogen emissions.

* Fostering alternative energy sources that are not based on burning fossil fuels.

* Better sewage treatment would reduce nutrient discharges to coastal waters.


Those measures are ALL either part of a solution to global warming or not inconsistent with them. And of course fertilizer release goes into either better treatment plants or possibly more organic farming. But, none of this requires or even suggests measures to reduce dead zone problems are counter to those of reducing global warming.-------------------------

Not only that, look at this:

QUOTE:
"But the report also noted new research that indicates global warming could aggravate the problem. Should humans double emissions of carbon dioxide, a key gas that many scientists fear is warming the Earth, that could change rainfall patterns, according to the research."
--------------

So, global warming might actually make the problem worse.

So, this thing about dead zones really only reinforces the need to combat pollution AND global warming.

Having said that, note that no matter what we do to combat global warming, there will be tradeoffs, but it looks like it's not that big a problem in the case of dead zones.


As usual you present very pertinent points in a very well presented manner.
The article you presented citing viable solutions is something I was about to go looking for.

The point of all of this is that IF govt. would make the commitment to tackle these issues rather than belittle those presenting these obvious problems and ignoring them we'd be able to start reversing some of these problems.

Boik14
07-18-2007, 11:19 PM
Envoke a world wide one child law.
Thats generous. Some people shouldnt be allowed to reproduce at all for a variety of reasons.

My guidelines for reproduction in the future:
1. If you cant spell it or figure out how to do it, youre not allowed :kick:

PhinPhan1227
07-19-2007, 02:59 PM
OK, there's no doubt the enlarging oceanic dead zones worldwide (there are about 150 of them in the world) are a problem. BUT, that doesn't mean that our efforts to combat global warming will make the problem worse. That's the link you're trying to make that isn't really valild.

Here's one article that also explains their causes:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4624359/

"These "dead zones" are caused by an excess of nitrogen from farm fertilizers, sewage and emissions from vehicles and factories. In what experts call a “nitrogen cascade,” the chemical flows untreated into oceans and triggers the proliferation of plankton, which in turn depletes oxygen in the water."
------------------

So, how does one prevent this problem from getting worse and reverse the effect? Again, that article says:

QUOTE:
"The program noted preventive steps can be taken, citing these examples:

* European nations along the Rhine agreed to halve discharged nitrogen levels, reducing the discharge into the North Sea.

* Planting new forests and grasslands will help soak up excess nitrogen, keeping it out of waterways.

* Requiring vehicles to reduce nitrogen emissions.

* Fostering alternative energy sources that are not based on burning fossil fuels.

* Better sewage treatment would reduce nutrient discharges to coastal waters.
-------------------------


Those measures are ALL either part of a solution to global warming or not inconsistent with them. And of course fertilizer release goes into either better treatment plants or possibly more organic farming. But, none of this requires or even suggests measures to reduce dead zone problems are counter to those of reducing global warming.

Not only that, look at this:

QUOTE:
"But the report also noted new research that indicates global warming could aggravate the problem. Should humans double emissions of carbon dioxide, a key gas that many scientists fear is warming the Earth, that could change rainfall patterns, according to the research."
--------------

So, global warming might actually make the problem worse.

So, this thing about dead zones really only reinforces the need to combat pollution AND global warming.

Having said that, note that no matter what we do to combat global warming, there will be tradeoffs, but it looks like it's not that big a problem in the case of dead zones.


But in the instance of Ethanol, what we are doing to combat Global Warming IS making the problem worse. Worldwide FEWER forests and grasslands are being planted. Quite the opposite, in many third world countries grasslands and forests are being cleared to grow ethanol crops. The more cars that run on ethanol, the more crops need to be planted to fuel them. And in the cases of those third world nations, they won't or can't install the cleaner methods available to European nations. You're talking about doubling the output of CO2. How likely is that? Compare that with what we are already seeing in increased production of ethanol crops. We ARE making the DZ problem worse. And we're doing it today, in pursuit of a GW solution that isn't a solution at all.

That's my point CKB. I wasn't attacking GW as a whole, I was attacking the shortsightedness that some of it's champions are indulging in. Ethanol at BEST can have a tiny effect on Global Warming. Hardly any at all since the refinign of it produces almost as many GH gases. But it's impact on the oceans could be huge.

THAT was my point. We are further killing ourselves today in an effort to save ourselves tomorrow. Doesn't make sense.

PhinPhan1227
07-19-2007, 03:05 PM
This type of stuff isn't news to any of us that follow environmental issues and see the facts behind the problems instead of dismissing them as fiction.

Florida Bay has had the same problem now for over a couple of decades.
There is a huge dead zone there many attribute to farming chemicals and especially to Big Sugar.

The problem with your complaint here is that you are attempting to negate one side effect of human contanimation of the earth with yet another clear example of how humans are contaminating the earth without having to face restrictions.

You don't ignore one problem because you want to argue that solving one causes another. The solution is to solve all of them as best you can by monitoring the situations and putting strict regulations as to how/how much of these wastes and pollutants can be released by big farming and big corp. entities.

Your argument simply suggests that anything we do will cause similar damage on another end so why bother. Typical argument presented by big business and Pub viewpoints who want to see zero environmental restrictions that cut into bottom line profits.

Would be like saying "hey if I tell my kids not to drink they'll just turn to drugs so why bother trying to keep them off either". Sorry but that's an easy out for a situation some want to ignore.

Either you didn't read my whole post, or you didn't understand it. My point was that the ETHANOL solution to Global Warming is going to cause more damage than it attempts to fix.

PArt of the problem with the global warming crowd is that they become myopic. The tiny decrease in global warming which ethanol might bring about is drastically overset by the damage that extra agriculture will do to the oceans. That was my point.

ckb2001
07-19-2007, 04:00 PM
But in the instance of Ethanol, what we are doing to combat Global Warming IS making the problem worse. Worldwide FEWER forests and grasslands are being planted. Quite the opposite, in many third world countries grasslands and forests are being cleared to grow ethanol crops. The more cars that run on ethanol, the more crops need to be planted to fuel them. And in the cases of those third world nations, they won't or can't install the cleaner methods available to European nations. You're talking about doubling the output of CO2. How likely is that? Compare that with what we are already seeing in increased production of ethanol crops. We ARE making the DZ problem worse. And we're doing it today, in pursuit of a GW solution that isn't a solution at all.

That's my point CKB. I wasn't attacking GW as a whole, I was attacking the shortsightedness that some of it's champions are indulging in. Ethanol at BEST can have a tiny effect on Global Warming. Hardly any at all since the refinign of it produces almost as many GH gases. But it's impact on the oceans could be huge.

THAT was my point. We are further killing ourselves today in an effort to save ourselves tomorrow. Doesn't make sense.

So, the solution lies in adding filters for nitrates at water treatment plants and implementing as many of the measures you could implement against nitrate fertilizer runoff as stated in my previous post + more organic farming, etc... You get the best of both worlds then. No need to limit our fight against global warming in this case, although in general you may have trade-offs.

PhinPhan1227
07-20-2007, 01:49 AM
So, the solution lies in adding filters for nitrates at water treatment plants and implementing as many of the measures you could implement against nitrate fertilizer runoff as stated in my previous post + more organic farming, etc... You get the best of both worlds then. No need to limit our fight against global warming in this case, although in general you may have trade-offs.


Great idea, but it won't happen. Here's what will happen. The price of those crops which can be used for ethanol has already gone through the roof. Countries in Asia, South America, and Africa that have been battling to keep their rainforests intact are going to lose the battle because while they could keep some poor farmer from burning down a few hundred acres to feed himself and make a little money, they can't keep that guy from burning those acres down for an actual CASH crop. And those countries can't afford those filters either. Heck, America won't even put those filters in place because a lobby strong enough to push ethanol down our thoats certainly isn't going to cut it's profits just for a little thing like filters.

Ethanol is a joke. Worse, it's a crime. It has little impact on global warming, and hurts the economy on top of that. Add in the effect it has on increasing nitrogen runnoff and it's a disaster from beginning to end. It's what happens when a lobby gets a good PR piece in it's teeth and runs with it.

ckb2001
07-20-2007, 01:22 PM
Great idea, but it won't happen. Here's what will happen. The price of those crops which can be used for ethanol has already gone through the roof. Countries in Asia, South America, and Africa that have been battling to keep their rainforests intact are going to lose the battle because while they could keep some poor farmer from burning down a few hundred acres to feed himself and make a little money, they can't keep that guy from burning those acres down for an actual CASH crop. And those countries can't afford those filters either. Heck, America won't even put those filters in place because a lobby strong enough to push ethanol down our thoats certainly isn't going to cut it's profits just for a little thing like filters.

Ethanol is a joke. Worse, it's a crime. It has little impact on global warming, and hurts the economy on top of that. Add in the effect it has on increasing nitrogen runnoff and it's a disaster from beginning to end. It's what happens when a lobby gets a good PR piece in it's teeth and runs with it.


I think the main reason ethanol is gaining acceptance politically is because it reduces our dependence on oil. It's not just a calculus regarding global warming where you're right it doesn't have that great an impact.

However, given how important the environment is becoming politically and the need to preserve it if we're going to survive ourselves, I'd be surprised if we don't enact tougher measures against many kinds of pollutants, including nitrate runoff. I mean precedent does exist for this - look what the Clean Water Act did.

By the way, note this article on alternative farming methods and nitrate runoff:
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070719130627.htm

"In light of growing concern over agricultural pollution, producers are looking for ways to improve their farming practices without sacrificing crop production. New evidence suggests alternative cropping systems can reduce the impacts of fertilizer runoff.

Although the addition of nutrients to soil helps to maximize crop production, fertilizer can leach nutrients, polluting the water supply. A recent study by researchers at the University of Minnesota shows alternative cropping practices may help to protect the environment by reducing high nitrate levels in surface and ground water caused by conventional fertilizer use."
--------------

PhinPhan1227
07-26-2007, 03:23 AM
I think the main reason ethanol is gaining acceptance politically is because it reduces our dependence on oil. It's not just a calculus regarding global warming where you're right it doesn't have that great an impact.

However, given how important the environment is becoming politically and the need to preserve it if we're going to survive ourselves, I'd be surprised if we don't enact tougher measures against many kinds of pollutants, including nitrate runoff. I mean precedent does exist for this - look what the Clean Water Act did.

By the way, note this article on alternative farming methods and nitrate runoff:
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070719130627.htm

"In light of growing concern over agricultural pollution, producers are looking for ways to improve their farming practices without sacrificing crop production. New evidence suggests alternative cropping systems can reduce the impacts of fertilizer runoff.

Although the addition of nutrients to soil helps to maximize crop production, fertilizer can leach nutrients, polluting the water supply. A recent study by researchers at the University of Minnesota shows alternative cropping practices may help to protect the environment by reducing high nitrate levels in surface and ground water caused by conventional fertilizer use."
--------------

Great, we reduce our dependence on foreign oil by at BEST 10%, and in return, we drive up prices on agirculture acriss the board. Nifty. And the problem as I see it isn't as much American farming as world farming. Again, it was hard enough to keep poor frmers in 3rd world countries from stripping forests to feed themselves. If they can plant an easy cash crop however, you can kiss those trees goodbye. And no, they won't use more expensive/cleaner methods.

ckb2001
07-26-2007, 01:31 PM
Great, we reduce our dependence on foreign oil by at BEST 10%, and in return, we drive up prices on agirculture acriss the board. Nifty. And the problem as I see it isn't as much American farming as world farming. Again, it was hard enough to keep poor frmers in 3rd world countries from stripping forests to feed themselves. If they can plant an easy cash crop however, you can kiss those trees goodbye. And no, they won't use more expensive/cleaner methods.

I'm not going to stand here and defend the decision to switch to ethanol.

All I'm saying is that even IF one component of our strategy for tackling the global warming problem is a switch to ethanol/biofuels, that doesn't force us to accept as a consequence increases in oceanic dead zones. You can tackle both, even with a switch to ethanol.

Eshlemon
07-26-2007, 02:09 PM
The Chinese and Mormans are going to do us in.

Not the Chinese, they have a one child law:China Turns One-Child Policy into Law (http://www.reproductiverights.org/ww_asia_1child.html)

Now if w can only crack down on Romney and those Mormons.:)

FinsNCanes
07-29-2007, 04:57 PM
lol. That will never fly, not to say I'm completely opposed. I would think a 2 child law would be more acceptable, that way the human race wouldn't be dropping at such a considerable rate.

I do think that you shouldn't be able to have kids when you can't afford them, but that is a completely seperate animal from cutting down on pollution.

I think you should have to go through screening and get a license to be honest. Some people out there just suck.