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Maldives Government Holds Undersea Cabinet Meeting

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the or-we-could-evolve-gills dept.

Earth 271

Hugh Pickens writes "The president of the Maldives and 11 ministers, decked out in scuba gear, held a cabinet meeting 4m underwater to highlight the threat of global warming to the low-lying Indian Ocean nation. While officials said the event itself was light-hearted, the idea is to focus on the plight of the Maldives, where rising sea levels threaten to make the nation uninhabitable by the end of the century. President Mohamed Nasheed and his cabinet spent half an hour on the sea bed, communicating with white boards and hand signals and signed a document calling for global cuts in carbon emissions. The Maldives has already begun to divert a portion of the country's billion-dollar annual tourist revenue to buy a new homeland as an insurance policy against climate change that threatens to turn the 300,000 islanders into environmental refugees. Emerging out of the water, a dripping President Nasheed removed his mask to answer questions from reporters and photographers crowded around on the shore. 'We are trying to send a message to the world about what is happening and what would happen to the Maldives if climate change isn't checked,' he said, bobbing around in the water with his team of ministers. 'If the Maldives is not saved, today we do not feel there is much chance for the rest of the world.'"

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271 comments

Cue the puns... (4, Funny)

SigILL (6475) | more than 4 years ago | (#29782753)

Apparently they were under a lot of pressure.

Re:Cue the puns... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29782829)

Typical Niggers..Pfft. Kill them all please.

Re:Cue the puns... (0)

martas (1439879) | more than 4 years ago | (#29782849)

They're real wet blankets for the world's economy...

Re:Cue the puns... (2, Interesting)

DreamsAreOkToo (1414963) | more than 4 years ago | (#29782975)

More so than you even intended. If Maldives goes under water, 1 billion dollars a YEAR will be lost. Literally, all the tourism "goods" that Maldives can generate will disappear.

Showboating (0)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 4 years ago | (#29782985)

>>If Maldives goes under water, 1 billion dollars a YEAR will be lost. Literally, all the tourism "goods" that Maldives can generate will disappear.

And the odds of it going underwater are? The science seems pretty clear that it won't.

Tag: Showboating

Re:Showboating (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29783101)

And the odds of it going underwater are?

proportional to the amount of media coverage they will get.

Re:Showboating (-1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#29783133)

And the odds of it going underwater are? The science seems pretty clear that it won't.

On what do you base that? Ice is melting faster than expected and ocean levels are still due to rise at least a few meters.

Re:Showboating (1)

Ex-MislTech (557759) | more than 4 years ago | (#29783565)

There has been some sea level rise, but in the last 2,000 years the rise has been almost flat.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Post-Glacial_Sea_Level.png [wikipedia.org]

It is funny to think that man made lakes may have reduced sea level rise, albeit a very small amount.

Re:Cue the puns... (1)

martas (1439879) | more than 4 years ago | (#29783041)

well, the "demand" will still be there in the form of people with money and vacation time. it's just that other popular destinations will take up the slack.

Re:Cue the puns... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29783479)

And if the GM fail, then no-one in America will have a car!!!1111one1one!eleventy1one!one

oh wait, there is more than one car manufacturer in the world

My secret confession: I smell my farts. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29782765)

It's true- I'll waft them up to my face, or fart on something then smell that. I've noticed a difference between smelling farts off my fingers and farting into a towel and smelling that. I prefer the towel. Sometimes, right before I take a shower, I'll wipe my ass with a towel or my underwear to smell my butt-perfume. I frequently pull the covers over my own head when I fart between the sheets. Oh, and I love the smell and frequency of my hangover farts. I love leaving my room for a few minutes and coming back to smell my still-lingering farts hanging in the air. To me its kind of like climing out of the swimming pool, getting in the hot tub for a few minutes, then going back into the pool. If I want to fart without making a lot of noise I'll reach into my pants and hold my buttcheeks apart with my fingers so the gas can leave my asshole unobstructed. it actually makes a very audible "pssssssssssssss" sound. Like if someone was in earshot but they couldn't see me, they would probably be wondering if i was farting with my fingers in my ass.

Sometimes if I'm in public I'll find "discreet" ways to indulge my fart-sniffing penchance. For example I'll try to pass gas as quietly as possible, then discreetly fan my thighs open and closed so the gas is wafted up to my face.

Yeah, Um, Maldives... (4, Funny)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 4 years ago | (#29782769)

No one's listening, OK. Perhaps you might considering enriching uranium instead. Squeaky wheel gets the grease and all that. You words might have more urgency if they were backed by NUCLEAR FORCE. That's all I'm saying...

V=IR (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29782953)

Oh my god Im going to poop...
 
There will be 'So' much poop!

cash cow (2, Insightful)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 4 years ago | (#29782771)

yeah right they are going to buy a new homeland. that money shall land in the pockets of politicians and the islanders will shake their fists at westerners and make bombs, because brave president whatever his name was, tried to show us.

CO2 cutbacks cannot stop climate change (4, Insightful)

Morgaine (4316) | more than 4 years ago | (#29782789)

No amount of CO2 cutbacks is going to stop climate change and the sea levels rising, even if CO2 emissions dropped to zero tomorrow. The relevant time constants are from hundreds to thousands of years.

This pretty much highlights how it's all primarily a media circus and political game. The science is lost entirely in the noise.

Re:CO2 cutbacks cannot stop climate change (3, Interesting)

omfgnosis (963606) | more than 4 years ago | (#29782811)

Are you suggesting that it's an entirely non-man-made catastrophe, which was in the works long before industrialism? If so, got any citations to back that up? If not, will you clarify?

Re:CO2 cutbacks cannot stop climate change (5, Informative)

DiamondGeezer (872237) | more than 4 years ago | (#29782919)

No, I think he's suggesting that there is no catastrophe. The Maldives are 1 metre above sea-level because they are coral atolls. When the sea-levels rise (as they have done in the past, the coral simply grows upwards - when the sea-level falls, the coral erodes, leaving them constantly about a metre above sea-level.

Its the same with coral atolls everywhere.

Re:CO2 cutbacks cannot stop climate change (1)

ls671 (1122017) | more than 4 years ago | (#29783003)

All atolls are islands of coral !!! ;-))

So "coral atolls" is kind of redundant. Yet, a search for "coral atoll" on Google reveals several links using the term. Go figure ! ;-)

Re:CO2 cutbacks cannot stop climate change (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29783103)

CO2 + H2O = H2CO3 (carbonic acid).
As the CO2 is absorbed into the sea, the acid content goes up = dead coral!

Re:CO2 cutbacks cannot stop climate change (3, Informative)

nadaou (535365) | more than 4 years ago | (#29783255)

also temperature shocks (like 1998 el nino) make the coral symbiosis into a parasitic situation and now-harmful zoanthids are expelled from the structure leading to "bleached coral sydrome". This dead coral has nothing to repair the small cracks & so breaks up after the next year or two of storms.

Basically the coral can't adapt fast enough and it may be 1000 years before it's back on track. By which time it has sunk far enough below the exponential decay of underwater sunlight not to regenerate back up to the surface with any great pace. Wave energy probably doesn't get below 100m depth, while the smallest amount of sunlight may make it down that far, so there is some hope for eventual regeneration.

Re:CO2 cutbacks cannot stop climate change (2, Funny)

Temporal (96070) | more than 4 years ago | (#29783105)

No, I think he's suggesting that there is no catastrophe. The Maldives are 1 metre above sea-level because they are coral atolls. When the sea-levels rise (as they have done in the past, the coral simply grows upwards - when the sea-level falls, the coral erodes, leaving them constantly about a metre above sea-level.

Well shit, maybe you should tell the leaders of the Maldives about that! I mean, they've spent, like, millions of dollars trying to find a solution. I guess if they only thought to ask you they could have saved a lot of money!

Re:CO2 cutbacks cannot stop climate change (4, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#29783123)

The catastrophe is not for nature, it's for man.

P.S. Corals worldwide are dying. The two culprits fingered so far are rising oceanic acidity (caused by excessive atmospheric CO2 being gas-exchang'd right into the ocean) and human herpes simplex viruses, which apparently kill off some of the important organisms responsible for helping to build and maintain coral.

Re:CO2 cutbacks cannot stop climate change (3, Interesting)

martinX (672498) | more than 4 years ago | (#29783135)

And no-one has considered that fishing with explosives or cyanide on coral reefs could be causing a problem? Interesting.

Re:CO2 cutbacks cannot stop climate change (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#29783307)

And no-one has considered that fishing with explosives or cyanide on coral reefs could be causing a problem? Interesting.

No, I said the top culprits are. I didn't say the only culprits are. Counter-intuitive? Perhaps, but that's true all over. The oceanic acidification from CO2 ought to be obvious to anyone with a degree in chemistry, though; that doesn't include me but it's enough people to make the point. Additionally, we've known about global warming since the fifties, and many proposals were made to limit greenhouse gases way back then. Of course, we know how that turned out; they're a problem for us today.

Re:CO2 cutbacks cannot stop climate change (0, Flamebait)

martas (1439879) | more than 4 years ago | (#29783139)

so corals have herpes? wow, your mom's really been busy, hasn't she...

Re:CO2 cutbacks cannot stop climate change (0, Troll)

Burnhard (1031106) | more than 4 years ago | (#29783155)

The Ocean is not becomming "more acidic". It's still very alkaline. You should say "over the very brief period of time we've been testing the PH of the ocean with any degree of accuracy, it's alkalinity has decreased by a very small amount. We have no way of knowing whether or not this is a natural cycle, or whether or not the measurements we take today, with different instruments from yester-year, account for the difference; in any case, we're pretty sure life in the Ocean will adapt to such a small change with relative ease, although this would mean our research grants to study it being severely curtailed, hence we need lots of alarming headlines in the mainstream media".

Re:CO2 cutbacks cannot stop climate change (4, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#29783289)

The Ocean is not becomming "more acidic". It's still very alkaline.

The car is not going slower, it's going 200 mph! Or in other words, you're an ass. Is this the kind of thing you bring up in ordinary conversation? You must be a hit at parties. I'd hit you twice.

You should say "over the very brief period of time we've been testing the PH of the ocean with any degree of accuracy, it's alkalinity has decreased by a very small amount. We have no way of knowing whether or not this is a natural cycle, or whether or not the measurements we take today, with different instruments from yester-year, account for the difference;

This is extremely disingenuous. It's the same retarded argument as "even though we know CO2 is a greenhouse gas and we put out ten times more CO2 than volcanism every year, and we know volcanism to be a major driver of global CO2, we don't believe that there is a greenhouse effect, and by the way global temperatures have only risen a little over one degree, that's a tiny shift!" But it's a fucking stupid statement because 99% of everything interesting on the planet occurs in a narrow temperature range, and by the same token, the ocean functions in a very small Ph range.

in any case, we're pretty sure life in the Ocean will adapt to such a small change with relative ease,

You are either ignorant or outright lying, since we know that small shifts in Ph have severe ramifications for much ocean life, including all marine mammals, and especially including coral reefs (where most of the ocean's diversity is) and algae (where most of the world's oxygen comes from.) Why don't you stop spreading the lies of the deniers? We're not even in Egypt... although, come to mention it, have you seen the Nile?

Re:CO2 cutbacks cannot stop climate change (-1, Troll)

Burnhard (1031106) | more than 4 years ago | (#29783421)

The car is not going slower, it's going 200 mph! Or in other words, you're an ass. Is this the kind of thing you bring up in ordinary conversation? You must be a hit at parties. I'd hit you twice.

I think you're over-egging your pudding, to coin a phrase. The fact of the matter is that you have no idea and nor do Scientists what the "ideal" PH of the Ocean is, how Ocean PH changes over time (years, decades, centuries, millennia), how creatures adapt to such change (as they surely must be able to) or whether or not any change is due to Human activity. Any one of these should cause you some pause for thought, but collectively they amount to what is essentially the speculations of a few activist Scientists desperate for their next research grant, doing Science by press release in order to get their particular study or proposition into the mainstream media. The mainstream media are very happy to publish any and all research no-matter how idiotic it is, provided it's bad news, because bad news sells (people like you enjoy the feeling of righteous indignation when you read it, don't you?).

That you dribble while spouting such nonsense reveals to me with some clarity that you have fallen passionately for this new Green Religion and are prepared to believe anything an Earth Scientist will tell you without question, regardless of the whether or not the actual evidence has been conjured out of nowhere by the use of unsuitable mathematical techniques and cherry-picked data, combined with unbelievably stupid press releases. When the power goes out, I'm betting you'll be the first to fire up his diesel generator in order to continue posting such drivel to these forums.

Re:CO2 cutbacks cannot stop climate change (0, Flamebait)

Ex-MislTech (557759) | more than 4 years ago | (#29783629)

Got a link that shows we put out 10 times as much CO2 as the volcanoes ???

Last I heard it was the other way round, kinda like the fact that the temperature
goes up and 800 years later the CO2 goes up, ie. 800 year lagging.

Mr. Gore failed to mention that in his Inconvenient lie.

Re:CO2 cutbacks cannot stop climate change (1)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 4 years ago | (#29783665)

Oh yeah?

Ocean is now as acidic as it was 20 _million_ years ago. And it became that acidic in less than 150 years!

But surely, that's just a natural cycle. WTF is wrong with you?

Re:CO2 cutbacks cannot stop climate change (4, Informative)

newhoggy (672061) | more than 4 years ago | (#29783273)

Corals grow within very narrow limits of temperature, irradiance, salinity, pH and turbidity; all variables which are influenced by climate and weather. More CO2 means more acidic ocean water, which would retard coral growth. Warmer oceans would also reduce carbonate ion saturation, having the same effect.

Re:CO2 cutbacks cannot stop climate change (1, Informative)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 4 years ago | (#29782921)

for a start, there is no catastrophe. the sky is not falling.

and here is your evidence it was in the works before industrialism really kicked in http://www.smh.com.au/news/opinion/cold-hard-facts-take-the-heat-out-of-some-hot-claims/2007/08/17/1186857765035.html [smh.com.au]

Re:CO2 cutbacks cannot stop climate change (4, Informative)

Temporal (96070) | more than 4 years ago | (#29783089)

Your source sucks. [scienceblogs.com]

Here's a better one. [climateprogress.org]

Re:CO2 cutbacks cannot stop climate change (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29783363)

Actually, yours sucks. "Climate Progress". Nope, no self-interest on their part.

Re:CO2 cutbacks cannot stop climate change (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29783621)

Better because it fits your narrative. Got it.

Re:CO2 cutbacks cannot stop climate change (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29783251)

A Michael Duffy opinion piece is hardly a valuable addition to the debate. I am not familiar with the "cold hard facts" of the article so I can't comment on them, but a few primary sources wouldn't hurt...

Re:CO2 cutbacks cannot stop climate change (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29783285)

> for a start, there is no catastrophe. the sky is not falling.

FOX News confirms it!

Re:CO2 cutbacks cannot stop climate change (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#29782823)

Of course its a political game. People of the Maldives are going to ask for land and money.

And I don't blame them.

Re:CO2 cutbacks cannot stop climate change (2, Insightful)

V!NCENT (1105021) | more than 4 years ago | (#29782851)

I totally agree. I loved it when I watched a Dutch talkshow about a year ago where some 'experts' were talking about global warming and one guy said: "Look guys, I have two graphs here. In the first graph you can see the global warming measured per year. In the second paragraph you can see the carbondioxide emissions meassured per year. Now let's fold these two together, shall we?" And they totally did not match. Man that guy made my fucking day!

Re:CO2 cutbacks cannot stop climate change (2, Informative)

s-whs (959229) | more than 4 years ago | (#29782901)

> I have two graphs here.
> In the first graph you can see the global warming measured per year.
> In the second paragraph you can see the carbondioxide emissions meassured per year.

> Now let's fold these two together, shall we?" And they totally did not match.
> Man that guy made my fucking day!

I'm sure he did. He's probably a member of a liar-club called "Groene rekenkamer" or associated with it. Or something. Those are all people who have no clue what reasoning is (even if some have a university degree) and no idea about the facts or to interpret them.

I examined many of their claims/reasonings and found them all to be lies and extremely poor reasonings respectively.

And btw. for your information, of course those graphs don't need to match. There are obvious delays as energy can be used e.g. in extra tree growth (which will come to haunt us later when those trees decay and the limit of extra tree growth caused by higher CO2 levels is reached), and in e.g. acidification of the ocean, absorbtion of energy where it's not directly visible at this moment etc.

Re:CO2 cutbacks cannot stop climate change (5, Funny)

MrMr (219533) | more than 4 years ago | (#29782963)

extra tree growth (which will come to haunt us later when those trees decay and the limit of extra tree growth caused by higher CO2 levels is reached)
You're right! lets cut down all the rain forests to prevent that disaster from happening.

Re:CO2 cutbacks cannot stop climate change (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29783245)

Q: When was the last Ice Ace?
A: It ended right around the time of the founding of the United States of America. This is fact.

Q: What happens between Ice Ages?
A: The Globe warms up.

Q: What happens to water when it warms up?
A: It loses its ability to retain gas dissolved within it. (i.e. CO2 et al)

Now do you see why we question science when they ignore the above for political gain?

Re:CO2 cutbacks cannot stop climate change (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29782981)

I assume you have taken into account that there are delays in the events of systems that effect the climate? Otherwise you might have a made a silly assumption about how the data should look. Do you really think you can just take two graphs and overlay them and think you have automatically made a logical and scientific conclusion? Don't be so daft.

It seems clear that you have some disdain towards people who take the issue of global warming seriously, and that this means more to you than being objective about the issue. No wonder you are making silly mistakes.

Re:CO2 cutbacks cannot stop climate change (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29783141)

I have two graphs here. In the first graph you can see the global warming measured per year. In the second paragraph you can see the carbondioxide emissions meassured per year.

Those two graphs shouldn't match. Measured global warming (if you mean rate of change of temperature) should be proportional to the amount of excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. This is the integral of carbon dioxide emissions.

If you don't have even a basic understanding of the science, please don't try to contribute to the debate - all you're doing is parroting the arguments of whichever lobby group got to you first.

Re:CO2 cutbacks cannot stop climate change (5, Informative)

Temporal (96070) | more than 4 years ago | (#29783151)

Under what mathematical law does the fact that two graphs don't look the same mean that they are not related? This is really sad: Experts spend years analyzing the data, come to an extremely complicated conclusion based on mountains of evidence, and then someone who has not the slightest fucking clue about science or mathematics walks in and says "But those graphs look different!" and decides those experts are all wrong. And worse, other people who share this guy's lack of clue believe his argument because it's the only one simple enough for them to understand.

Roughly speaking, more CO2 in the atmosphere causes the temperature to rise faster, and yearly CO2 emissions are adding to what is already there. So the CO2 emissions graph is something like the second derivative of the temperature graph. That means that if we keep emitting CO2 at a constant rate (flat graph) then temperatures will rise faster and faster over time (quadratic curve). Yeah, the graphs don't look the same, but they are related. (And in reality it's much more complicated than this.)

Re:CO2 cutbacks cannot stop climate change (1)

Bongo (13261) | more than 4 years ago | (#29783569)

Under what mathematical law does the fact that two graphs don't look the same mean that they are not related? This is really sad: Experts spend years analyzing the data, come to an extremely complicated conclusion based on mountains of evidence, and then someone who has not the slightest fucking clue about science or mathematics walks in and says "But those graphs look different!" and decides those experts are all wrong. And worse, other people who share this guy's lack of clue believe his argument because it's the only one simple enough for them to understand.

Roughly speaking, more CO2 in the atmosphere causes the temperature to rise faster, and yearly CO2 emissions are adding to what is already there. So the CO2 emissions graph is something like the second derivative of the temperature graph. That means that if we keep emitting CO2 at a constant rate (flat graph) then temperatures will rise faster and faster over time (quadratic curve). Yeah, the graphs don't look the same, but they are related. (And in reality it's much more complicated than this.)

Any fool knows it is more complicated than that. Look into the matter of whether more CO2 always means higher temp. Look into the matter of how many more degrees of warming can be attributed to CO2 alone. Look into how they know how much feedback there will be from water vapour. Look into how they know how to correct for biases. Look into all of it, please, do look. But please don't just sit there and say there's "mountains of evidence"--that is just hearsay. Actually go and look and whenever you read something, ask yourself, ok, how do they know this?

And just for the record, I'm very green at heart. Oh, and you'd getter get your ass down to a meditation class, because the only thing that will change people to become less selfish, is to take up a long term and high quality meditation exercise. If we are heading for disaster, be it from climate change, water depletion, nuclear proliferation, mass crop failure due to genetic engineering, or just another dumb war started over some stupid event that spirals unpredictably out of control due to everyone selfishly making a grab for power, the only thing that can save us is if we have started transcending our limited selfish egocentric psychology, the same psychology that is more interested in the next iPod than in the Constitution, that is more interested in the next pizza than in giving to charity, the same selfishness that is more interested in copying DVDs than in equal healthcare, the same selfishness that is unable to see the point of view of an Iraqi, of a Chinese person, or of an Indian. And there is only one thing in existence that has ever been shown to do be able to do that, namely meditation.

Re:CO2 cutbacks cannot stop climate change (2, Insightful)

cbope (130292) | more than 4 years ago | (#29783715)

What's more sad, is the state of mathematics and science education in the US today. It's no wonder Joe Sixpack comes to this kind of conclusion.

really because venice is fucking underwater (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29782891)

i guess its gods punishment for being them being gay? or european? or something.

Re:CO2 cutbacks cannot stop climate change (3, Informative)

KeensMustard (655606) | more than 4 years ago | (#29783013)

It is certainly true that climate change due to anthropogenic causes is now inevitable - it's already happening, and, as you say, even if we went straight to zero (net) emissions, the imbalance we have created will take a long time to rebalance. The temperature has already risen by 0.75 degrees - 2 degrees is in the zone which scientists call 'dangerous' climate change - we are nearly half way there already. However, drastic cutbacks in our emissions are inevitable. Option 1 is to make those cutbacks now. Under this option, we avoid what is euphemistically called 'the worst' of climate change. There is still damage to the global economy, but it is minimised. Option 2 is to not make those changes based on some ridiculous premise. Under this strategy, we will need to mitigate the effects, that is 'adapt' -adaption is much, much more expensive than mitigation. Inevitably, the cost will be such that industry, commerce and agriculture are reduced, as is personal finance to purchase fuel etc. These reductions will forcibly reduce our emissions. The options are - pay a little now, pay a LOT later.

Re:CO2 cutbacks cannot stop climate change (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29783115)

What balance are you talking about?

Re:CO2 cutbacks cannot stop climate change (2, Interesting)

jabithew (1340853) | more than 4 years ago | (#29783171)

This is the argument of the Stern review [wikipedia.org] conducted by the UK government.

The problem is that the cost of reducing CO2 is largely unknown, as is the damage caused to the global economy. So this trade off between now and later is largely based on which made-up numbers you put into the balance.

One thing is pretty clear; if we want to reduce carbon emissions, we need to put a price on CO2, and it needs to rise fast. And it will be painful. Will it be more painful than the consequences of global warming? Who knows. More importantly, who wants to bet?

Re:CO2 cutbacks cannot stop climate change (1)

KeensMustard (655606) | more than 4 years ago | (#29783465)

This is the argument of the Stern review [wikipedia.org] conducted by the UK government.

Yes, these are the uncontradicted projections laid out by Stern, the economist.

The problem is that the cost of reducing CO2 is largely unknown, as is the damage caused to the global economy. So this trade off between now and later is largely based on which made-up numbers you put into the balance.

Who says the numbers are made up? Where is the evidence for this claim? Where are the counter projections? Surely, since Stern has made a study of these projections, and is an expert in the field, logic would suggest going with THOSE results, rather than random people who claim without any supporting evidence, that the model is only as accurate as a random guess?

One thing is pretty clear; if we want to reduce carbon emissions, we need to put a price on CO2, and it needs to rise fast. And it will be painful. Will it be more painful than the consequences of global warming? Who knows. More importantly, who wants to bet?

Sure, it will be painful. Cancer treatment is also painful. At this juncture, gambling that "adaption" would cost less than mitigation is like gambling that you will recover from cancer without the expense of treatment. What do you really think happens if we continue to warm the earth? Do you really think, like the cancer, that after "a little while" it will "just get better by itself"?

Re:CO2 cutbacks cannot stop climate change (1)

jabithew (1340853) | more than 4 years ago | (#29783529)

Sure, it will be painful. Cancer treatment is also painful. At this juncture, gambling that "adaption" would cost less than mitigation is like gambling that you will recover from cancer without the expense of treatment. What do you really think happens if we continue to warm the earth? Do you really think, like the cancer, that after "a little while" it will "just get better by itself"?

That was, in fact, my point. I favour a carbon tax in some form or other and realistically it will have to be much higher than the current price of a European permit (c. €13/t and falling).

And there are plenty of criticisms of Stern's projections if you bothered to read the wikipedia page I linked to. The discount rate, for example, was 1.4%, which is likely to be less than inflation over that time period. By using such a low value he has inflated future costs over their real value. This favours more drastic action than is necessary to reduce future costs more than they need to be.

In terms of the cost of reducing CO2 emissions being largely unknown; I studied this issue as part of my (undergraduate) Masters degree. My considered opinion, having looked at many research papers on many different means of reducing carbon emissions, is that the experts in the field are largely taking best guesses, which are probably correct on an order-of-magnitude level. But since most methods of, for example, carbon capture and storage have yet to be run on even a pilot scale, we genuinely have little idea what it will actually cost.

However, I think that Stern was right overall, even if his methods were dubious.

I'm just going to repeat that so you don't skim over it and miss the point of my post (again).

I think that Stern was right overall, even if his methods were dubious.

Re:CO2 cutbacks cannot stop climate change (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29783113)

No amount of CO2 cutbacks is going to stop climate change and the sea levels rising, even if CO2 emissions dropped to zero tomorrow. The relevant time constants are from hundreds to thousands of years.

This pretty much highlights how it's all primarily a media circus and political game. The science is lost entirely in the noise.

Uh... I don't think you thought that one through.

Of course we cannot change what we have already done, the CO2 (and other gases) that are already released are out there and will cause some climate change. We CAN however stop making it continually worse and worse by releasing even more!

The least we could do is decrease the CO2 release instead of increasing it for every day that passes...

Re:CO2 cutbacks cannot stop climate change (4, Insightful)

nadaou (535365) | more than 4 years ago | (#29783193)

yeah, it's better if we do nothing but get really drunk and mock the folks who are trying to do something to save your sorry ass.

It's the can-do attitude which made America what it is today!

We may not be able to alter the momentum for 50 years from now at this point, but we can do a lot to affect it 500 years from now, probably no less than saving civilization in the process. One thing is for sure, if you never try you'll never achieve anything.

In other news...Krakatoa (1)

Chas (5144) | more than 4 years ago | (#29783387)

Yes Bob. Today, the mayor of the island of Krakatoa held a city council meeting in the caldera of the volcano to draw attention to the fact that the island will, eventually, blow up again and to urge the world to find some way to stop plate tectonics and cool the core down until such a thing isn't possible anymore.

Unfortunately, they forgot one thing Bob.

THEY WERE IN THE CALDERA OF A VOLCANO!

Needless to day, the loss of life was total, save for three councilmen who boycotted the meeting in protest.

As of this hour, an emergency vote is taking place to replace the dumbass...err deceased (always get those mixed up) politicians'.

Also, there's some sort of festival going on. The natives tell me the name translates into "We have cleansed the gene pool, THANK GOD!".

Re:CO2 cutbacks cannot stop climate change (1)

dvorakkeyboardrules (1652653) | more than 4 years ago | (#29783657)

The science is lost entirely in the noise.

Most of the temperature data is seriously flawed in that there is a great influence of the urban heat island effect on the overall data.

If you look only at the rural sites in the US over 111 years, you see a cyclic pattern but no overall warming. The cities are getting warmer but overall, the real temperatures are not going up. Its like measuring the temperature in the forest near a campfire. That does not reflect the real temperature.

Check out Youtube, Global Warming Urban Heat Effect.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LcsvaCPYgcI [youtube.com]

enjoy. By the way, I am a scientist and do a lot of data analysis. This was done with my son. I have spent hundreds of hours checking the data at the GISS site. It is sadly to say, very flawed. I did not believe it until I checked it myself.
Thank you

Well, good for them. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29782801)

Because we all know the Dutch use SCUBA all the time, or moved somewhere else, right?

Maybe they should work on civil engineering instead; dikes and/or submersible domes seem a lot saner than their current plan of buying a new homeland...

Re:Well, good for them. (1)

omfgnosis (963606) | more than 4 years ago | (#29782819)

Really? Intensive construction projects seem more "sane" than purchasing real estate?

Re:Well, good for them. (1)

MrMr (219533) | more than 4 years ago | (#29783617)

Yes, purchasing real estate outside your jurisdiction puts you at the mercy of an external party.
Traditional methods to mitigate this problem (genocide for instance) are frowned upon.

Re:Well, good for them. (1)

Sique (173459) | more than 4 years ago | (#29782881)

Because we know that the Dutch live in a region with extensive mudlands, which the Maledives miss. And we know that the Dutch don't live on about 1200 atolls (hey, the word atoll even origins from the maledivian atolhu), but on the deltas of two large european rivers, Meuse and Rhine.

Re:Well, good for them. (4, Interesting)

DiamondGeezer (872237) | more than 4 years ago | (#29782907)

That's right. But a lot of the Netherlands is below sea level whereas the Maldives are above sea-level. So who has most to fear?

Around 1970 the sea level dropped by 20-30 cms and since then there has been no sea-level rise: http://gsa.confex.com/gsa/inqu/finalprogram/abstract_54486.htm [confex.com]

But don't let scientific and historical facts get in the way of a good piece of hysteria.

Re:Well, good for them. (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 4 years ago | (#29782949)

are you telling me the media, politicans and "experts" have been lieing to us?!?! say it it's so!

Re:Well, good for them. (2, Informative)

Sique (173459) | more than 4 years ago | (#29783035)

That's right. But a lot of the Netherlands is below sea level whereas the Maldives are above sea-level. So who has most to fear?

The Maledives, because their ratio of land area to coast line (yes, I know, a natural coast line is infinitely long, but we are talking dikes here, which have a minimum size) is much worse than that of the Netherlands.
And you forget that all dutch land that is below sealevel is artificial anyway and won by closing off vast areas from the Northern Sea with large embankments, which in turn are built to be as short as possible for a maximum of land gain.
Whoever suggests that this is a feasible way for the Maledives where the average distance between two atolls is much longer than even the large Afsluitdijk (20 mls), got something wrong.

Re:Well, good for them. (4, Interesting)

Sique (173459) | more than 4 years ago | (#29783097)

Just to give you a better picture: Less than 5% of all Dutch people live within walking distance to the coast, but all of the Maledivians do. The largest island is Malé, with just about a square mile (2.7 sq km). So while 95% of all Netherlands can hide behind several layers of dikes, none of the Maledivians can. Or for some other numbers: The whole of the Maledives covers 298 sq km of land, stretched over 823 km x 150 km of ocean, completely different than the Netherlands with more than 41000 sq km of land stretched over 360 km x 280 km.

The whole length of the Dutch dikes is about 3000 km, so if we estimate that an average dike is 30 m wide, a similar construction would amount to 30% of the whole maledives used for the dikes, while less than 0,25% of the Netherlands are actual dikes.

Re:Well, good for them. (1)

AlXtreme (223728) | more than 4 years ago | (#29783631)

Whoever suggests that this is a feasible way for the Maledives where the average distance between two atolls is much longer than even the large Afsluitdijk (20 mls), got something wrong.

What makes things even more problematic is that the dutch North Sea coast is relatively shallow, while the Maldives are 350km out in the ocean where it is much deeper. So even if you did throw some dikes between a few atolls (which doesn't seem impossible from the looks of it [cia.gov] ) you would end up with a lot of vulnerable land much lower than sea level. A few meters of difference can be easily done, but dozens of meters? Lets hope no one has to poke his finger in that dike.

You could try to create artificial islands like they did off the coast of Dubai, but due to the underwater terrain you'd need to haul up a massive amounts of sand.

The only choice they have is to reinforce their current islands, but they probably don't want to erect concrete barriers to ward off erosion and slowly build up landmass. It's either that or pack up and leave.

New homeland? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29782865)

They should totally pick the Middle East. Lots of land, friendly people...

Re:New homeland? (3, Insightful)

adamchou (993073) | more than 4 years ago | (#29782911)

LOL i wish i could mod you funny. I say we give them some of Israel

Re:New homeland? (1)

BenihanaX (1405543) | more than 4 years ago | (#29782945)

Or give Israelis some land in the Middle East? Maybe something around the middle of a city known as Mecca?

Re:New homeland? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29783023)

I don't think the people of Israel don't want a land where people worship a rock, hump camels, rape little boys and girls and then strap bombs to them after properly conditioning them to die.

Re:New homeland? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29783205)

You're giving anonymous cowards a bad name. Please stfu.

The last desperate cries of the climate alarmists (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29783061)

We are seeing more and more articles in the major media doubting that man made carbon dioxide is causing global warming. Last week it was the BBC, yesterday it was Canada's Globe and Mail.

There are many sources of information about why global warming 'science' is bogus. A good one is www.wattsupwiththat.com . The site has links to all kinds of other sites; pro, con and lukewarm. A few hours (days/weeks) of reading should adequately demonstrate that all the assertions of the global warming alarmists have been refuted. Neither the physics or the available evidence support the theory of catastrophic global warming caused by man made carbon dioxide.

Supervillain hideout (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29783091)

Am I the only one who thought of a supervillain hideout while reading the title? Maybe if they had some flame throwing, robotic dinosaurs they could battle global warming.

No sympathy here... (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29783117)

I have no sympathy for a country that forces its people to convert to islam and subjects almost 1/3 of the population to a form of serfdom. In addition if you are not a muslim and a native then you are either executed, imprisoned or expelled. Finally the country is extremely racist when it comes to non-muslims. I've had the unfortunate pleasure of being sent to the main island a few times for work. While the country is very pretty the people are not with the exception of the lowly peasants.

Re:No sympathy here... (0)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 4 years ago | (#29783619)

Eh? So you have no sympathy for people who are forced to convert to a religion, and in serfdom? And you have no sympathy if their situation becomes even worse by having the land they live on go underwater? I'm not sure I understand.

While the country is very pretty the people are not

Oh I see, it's obviously their own fault they are brutally oppressed.

Perspective on Maldives (1)

Skapare (16644) | more than 4 years ago | (#29783131)

To get a perspective on the Maldives, start here [wikimapia.org] and then click to zoom in 14 times. I suggest opening the link in a new tab or window (Slashdot code won't let me make the link tag do that for you).

Re:Perspective on Maldives (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#29783375)

(Slashdot code won't let me make the link tag do that for you).

You mean to me. I am an adult, and I can choose when I would like to open a link in a new window. I think I've earned that right by now.

Re:Perspective on Maldives (1)

Skapare (16644) | more than 4 years ago | (#29783443)

You can always override it. The settings allow a default. Most people I have talked to prefer a new tab or new window for links to pages they are going to navigate on and come back. Many people know how to do it as apparently you do. Most don't, surprisingly. And many probably won't know this page needs it at first without the suggestion. I have made such a suggestion before only to be told by several how to make the tag do it (I already know how but they expected me to do it for them). Alas, in Slashdot that is not an option. But I head off the silliest of responses (yours isn't silly).

Clearly this is "Allah's" will... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29783187)

...or, wait, when it's something bad it's always because of the western societies, right?

Right - Good; god wanted it, Bad; due conspiracy. I keep mixing it up.

Sometimes man gets the fate he deserves, but he always gets the fate he reaches for with his hands. I feel more sorry for the animal life in the region than the humans.

Sea level has NOT been rising (3, Informative)

Eukariote (881204) | more than 4 years ago | (#29783211)

The following interview Dr. Nils-Axel Morner, a Swedisch expert on sea-level geophysics, explains how the data has been misrepresented to feed the global warming scare http://www.climatechangefacts.info/ClimateChangeDocuments/NilsAxelMornerinterview.pdf [climatechangefacts.info] . The reality is that little has happened to the sea level over the past decades.

Re:Sea level has NOT been rising (2, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#29783351)

The reality is that little has happened to the sea level over the past decades.

Just as a quick math problem, why don't you figure out how many gallons of water are represented by a one inch rise in sea level. Now calculate how many gallons of water will be added to the ocean when the ice on top of Alaska and Greenland finishes melting. A small delta can be extremely relevant.

P.S. It doesn't matter if the floating ice masses grow during this time, for the same reason that ocean level rise can't be driven by floating ice melting. Don't forget to forget to take that into account.

Can we do it in Aus. Perhaps cut down swearing? (2, Insightful)

syousef (465911) | more than 4 years ago | (#29783327)

I have an idea. Let's do the same in Australia. The way our politicians carry on booing, jeering, calling each other names and such is disgraceful. (Actually I'm resisting the urge to suggest a 1 hour meeting under water WITHOUT the scuba gear). I guess it's similar the world over. No wonder we're in the economic, social and environmental crapper.

How long can you tread water? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29783559)

They see what is coming, so there will be no excuse for not finding other places to live.

The Earth has always changed. It will continue to change. If you can't survive those changes, you deserve to die.

How long can you tread water? Either get really good at it or relocate.

This goes for people living on fault lines, below volcanoes, and near rivers that flood too. If you are dumb enough to live in those locations, you deserve the hardships. You have two feet - start walking.

The west can help by killing Kyoto (2, Interesting)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 4 years ago | (#29783667)

Right now, everybody is after the west (including the west) to address Climage change and help little nations deal with this. Mostly by putting cap/trad on OUR energy to address this. But will it work?
it would work if all else remains static. Sadly, that is not the case. China is adding 1-2 NEW COAL PLANTS EACH WEEK. These are .5GW size plants. Worse, the coal is inferior coal. It is very low grade coal with heavy pollutants. Then add in the new cars and oil based transportation that is happening in China.
Even with the growth in hydro and wind and Solar and Nukes that China is planning, if they continue this course, they will exceed ALL OF AMERICA's emission by 2015. By 2018, they will exceed ALL OF America's AND Western EU. By 2020 (11 very short years), they will account for slightly more than 1/2 of all of the CO2 that man has emitted through history. IOW, all of the cuts that we do, will be worthless.
But it still get worse. In particular, once we push Cap/trade, other nations will have a strong incentive to grab our manufacturing. And who will be pushing "cheap" coal plants? GE coal and other companies. Many companies will work to take advantage of the difference in prices (labor and energy).
So, with knowing the above, how do drop the emissions and solve the climate change issues? Here is my idea.
  1. All western countries need to cap their single point emissions right away. IOW, no increase in emissions from Coal, Cement, etc. Obviously, emissions from transportation (which is diffuse emissions and difficult to control). Ideally, other nations would join, but that is not likely. But the west CAN and should cap it.
  2. Put a sliding tax on ALL GOODS at point of retail sale. It must be based on CO2 emissions FROM THE COUNTRY of main assembly AND the main material AND the transportation of item. Base the CO2 emissions from satellite. The tax needs to be applied as a percentage based on the above items. For example, assume something is assembled in Canada, from Canadian oil. Canada has one of the lower emissions in terms of size as well as high efficiency in terms of GDP. In addition, the transportation costs are extremely low, assuming rail. As such, they may have to pay only 5% of whatever the tax is.
    OTH, China has moderate amount of emissions based on size, HOWEVER, is one of the lowest efficiency in emissions/GDP. In addition, it has extremely high transportation costs (rail in China, then boat to here, and then rail around). As such, they would have 90-100% of the tax.
    American goods made here have a moderate emissions per land and moderate efficient emissions. OTH, our transportation emissions are minor. As such, we might see 30-40% of the tax.

Several points on this:

  • This must be applied to ALL GOODS. If we apply it only to imported goods, then it will be illegal per WTO. Likewise, if we apply it only to local goods, it would simply be the same as the Dem's Cap/Trade; Worthless.
  • It really needs to be a sliding scale to reward those nations that clean up their act.
  • the base tax MUST start low to not kill economies and then INCREASE over time. If a business knows that the tax will increase, it gives them time to adjust their plans. If we hit it fast with high taxes, it will destroy economies.

Ideally, this same approach is used for a number of pollutants. For example, Mercury is one that is screaming to be controlled. China is the largest polluter of it and it will continue to increase with the coal. Likewise, the same is true of their SO* emissions. By applying a slowly increasing tax on nations based on their emissions, we can encourage ALL NATIONS to change.
One last point. Many nations will scream that they should be exempt because they are Developing nations. If that is done, it will simply encourage them to have lower costs goods by cheating. In addition, nearly all of the smaller developing nations HAVE low emissions. They would be at the low end of the tax.

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