Why are winters today so warm?

The International Compost Sanitation Forum and Message Board: Global Warming and Other Environmental Threats: Why are winters today so warm?
Author: Alan J Marshall (Ecointerest)
Saturday, March 15, 2008 - 12:19 am
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Ok, ctlynx, thanks for your reply.

Could it be that the task before us can seem so huge, so mind-boggling, that many of those so far unconverted think "it's too much for me, let those that know do what's necessary. I will just carry on as I have been doing."

My answer to that is: The world does not so much need just a few to do big things. It is more important that a large number of people each do a few little things, and THAT WILL MAKE A HUGE DIFFERENCE.

So, instead of trying to convince everyone in the world to convert to a Humanure Toilet, which would be an impossible task, encourage more of our friends to think along the eco- path, and make a choice of what small thing(s) they will try to change in their life/habits/concepts. The Thin End of the Wedge, so to speak.

For sure, have the info. like Joe's Humanure Handbook out there for people to see and adopt if they have a desire to go along that path. They (we) will be the vanguard of progress, gaining the experience and first hand knowledge to guide others as they in turn, hopefully, follow suit.

Isn't there some kind of saying about the first hundred in use is the critical mass which is needed to get a big increase of users? Anyway, you know what I mean.

I have a composting grey water filter, a sawdust/vermiculture toilet system, a general compost bin for kitchen waste and paper, plus a small solar power system which gives me 3-4 hours of TV, Internet and lighting each evening. There have been several people, of all ages and persuations, visiting me since Christmas. Each person has gone away with a different perspective, but each also has become AWARE of different ways of doing things. What they do with that awareness is up to them.... none of my business, really, but we can all live in hope.

Happy composting everyone! Alan

Author: TCLynx (Tclynx)
Wednesday, March 12, 2008 - 11:21 am
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Good point Alan, the Challenge is that a paradigm shift can be a very difficult thing for people to undergo. Even more difficult in cases where the reality might not be plainly visible which can be the case sometimes in environmental issues.

The discomfort of admitting in ones own mind that their previous views were wrong in order to changer their stand is capable of stopping many people from making such a shift. This is not to excuse the horrible actions that can result from refusing to accept reality. It is to try and explain what is going on in hopes that we can figure out ways to help those people along in their acceptance of reality so they can become part of the solution rather than extending the problem.

All that rambling aside. I agree that we are on the verge of disaster. I don't know what we really should do about it. I also don't think we really know just how that disaster will happen. The planet is an incredibly complex piece of work and I doubt we really understand what we are part of. Heck, most people think they are separate and not part of anything.

So, for my part, since I don't really know exactly what needs to be done or what to prepare for, I just do my best to be frugal in energy consumption. I do my best to reduce what waste I send to landfills. I support diversity in my garden. I compost and conserve water. I share my enthusiasm for organic gardening, composting and conservation. What else should one do?

Author: Alan J Marshall (Ecointerest)
Wednesday, March 12, 2008 - 1:03 am
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I would like to "chip" in here, just to hopefully add another line of thinking on your topic.

Most of us, regardless of our education and ethnic background, tend to make our judgments/decisions based upon emotional considerations. We can know and see all the available scientific and rational arguments, and often agree with them... but when it comes to the crunch, our emotions will usually prevail, and wisdom flies out of the window.

I know many of you guys are very well versed in your subjects. Your technical and practical experience will have convinced you beyond reasonable doubt. However, I suggest you are still human, and therefore you will also have pet opinions.

It has immense benefits, opening one's mind to other possibilities. Isn't this precisely what we are asking the unconverted to do when they are assessing the concept of "Humanure" and non-flushing toilets? I.E., to be willing to look beyond the square; get over the "yuck!" hurdle and accept that one's own prejudice might be flawed.

Author: John Smith (John)
Monday, March 10, 2008 - 3:06 pm
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I apparently misunderstood that post and was looking for some clarity and/or elaboration on your feelings for those who question the science involved.

Your March 3rd post is vague.

When I read your March 8th post, the question begs.

John

Author: Demeter (Demeter)
Monday, March 10, 2008 - 11:10 am
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Please re-read my March 3 post.

Author: John Smith (John)
Monday, March 10, 2008 - 10:10 am
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For sake of clarity, are you suggesting that:

Everyone who questions anthropogenic global warming has a financial interest in doing so?

John

Author: Demeter (Demeter)
Saturday, March 08, 2008 - 3:05 pm
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"Absolutely, but politics should never impact on the scientific process."

But they do. In a perfect world, pure research would be politic-free. But most of scientific research is funded by either the government or government sponsored agencies (NIH, NSF, AEC, etc.). If you can't get a government grant, go to a private agency, like maybe an oil company. :-)

About 40 years ago, the tobacco industry was pouring big bucks into research to "prove" that tobacco tars do not cause cancer. At first, results were inconclusive. So they got away with it. But then the data kept pouring in that it does.

The global warming issue has so many more variables than the tobacco-cancer issue that it is easy to interpret data to suit one's own agenda. The truth will eventually come out. I just hope it won't be too late.

Author: John Smith (John)
Friday, March 07, 2008 - 11:48 am
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Joe, I agree.

I believe we should reduce consumption of fossil fuels for reasons we know already exist. There are plenty of valid, reasonable, irrefutable reasons.

There's no need to rationalize resource conservation and environmental protection upon a theory that is proving to be on shaky scientific grounds lately.

John

Author: Joe Jenkins (Joe)
Friday, March 07, 2008 - 11:22 am
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Nova Scotia, Canada, is the world's leader in the composting of organic materials. They achieved this when their political leaders developed the political will to ban organic material from landfills, which occurred in (I think) November of 1998. So it became illegal to throw a banana peel into the trash in Nova Scotia back then. The government set up organic material collection via private industry and now the Province produces tons of high quality compost sold for profit while their landfill is clean enough that it is bird free. They have something like a 95% compliance rate among the citizens, largely through educational efforts. None of this would have happened if not for the political process. The U.S. lags *way* behind in organic material recycling, not because of lack of scientific ability, but because of lack of political will.

I mention this as an example of how politics is necessary to make changes in society, especially in the environmental arena, where people will not separate their trash unless the law requires it. Same for driving on the right side of the road - if it wasn't required by law and enforced with penalties, people would drive where ever they could. That's what happens in much of the third world.

Author: John Smith (John)
Thursday, March 06, 2008 - 11:46 am
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Demeter wrote:
"ROFLMAO! Who is painting with a broad stroke?"

Uh, you.


"And do you really thing hydrogen-powered engines are the answer to fuel conservation?"

No, but many do. I was using it as an example of how your win-win logic is flawed. Politically driven science = skewed results.


"If water vapor is "the major contributor to global warming," then perhaps we should dry up the oceans. There's your source of water vapor. And by all means cut down the forests. They transpire a lot of that nasty water vapor."

Exactly.

"Science has an impact on politics, as does art."

Absolutely, but politics should never impact on the scientific process.

John

Author: Demeter (Demeter)
Thursday, March 06, 2008 - 11:20 am
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ROFLMAO! Who is painting with a broad stroke? And do you really thing hydrogen-powered engines are the answer to fuel conservation? If water vapor is "the major contributor to global warming," then perhaps we should dry up the oceans. There's your source of water vapor. And by all means cut down the forests. They transpire a lot of that nasty water vapor.

I am well aware that science, even good science, should be questioned. If it hadn't been for people like William Harvey and Galileo, someone else would have probably made the same discoveries eventually, but not so elegantly.

Science has an impact on politics, as does art. Sometimes these discoveries have bigger impacts than others. When they do, the Shinola hits the air conditioner (can I say that here?). Examples: Darwin and Einstein. They both knew the two-edged swords they were working with.

Author: John Smith (John)
Thursday, March 06, 2008 - 9:02 am
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Demeter,

I suppose I misunderstood your previous post. Mea Culpa.

However, I disagree about it being a simple win-win scenario.

Please read my reply to Joe for an example of why this logic is flawed.

Your views of those who question the science behind anthropogenic global warming are unfortunately shared by many, it seems.

Not so long ago, the same king of stereotype had scientists burned at the stake for being heretics.

You shouldn't paint with such a broad stroke.

John

Author: John Smith (John)
Thursday, March 06, 2008 - 8:52 am
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Joe,

I mostly agree with your post below, however it again suggests we look beyond science and involve political views as a drive.

When you back up science with politics, the results are junk and often quite skewed.

Regardless of how 'right' something seems, it is not science and should not be intermingled as such.

The danger that lies in such compromised studies is that the wrong solution is attained.

For instance:

We change all of our petroleum-burning, CO2 emitting, nasty combustion engines to cleaner, more efficient hydrogen-powered engines.

Then we find that water vapor (comprises 90% of greenhouse gases) is the major contributor to global warming.

Hydrogen-powered engines emit many times more water vapor than petroleum powered engines.

We've just done more harm than good.

I understand and share everyone's resentment towards the current pilfering of the earth's resources.

We cannot,however, let our emotions drive the scientific process. If so, our solutions will be nothing more than a guess and the credibility of the environmental sciences will be lost, if they haven't already.

John

Author: Joe Jenkins (Joe)
Monday, March 03, 2008 - 10:16 pm
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Oil resources are like money in the bank. But in this case, the money is unguarded and a tiny minority of people have learned how to essentially rob the bank and gain fabulous wealth. It's only a matter of time before humanity wakes up and realizes that the bank is being robbed - that all of the Earth's oil resources ever available for all of humankind are being rapidly squandered and exploited for the personal gain of few people today. The "oil industry" has managed to gain controlling positions in the US government and elsewhere, and seem driven to get it all and get if fast before someone shuts off the spigot. In any case, it seems to me that the bank will continue to be robbed as long as those responsible for the exploitation can continue to get away with it, regardless of the long-term or even immediate environmental consequences. Greed distorts values. Public concern for the environment is simply an unpleasant annoyance that is impeding the exploitation of the resources.

Author: Demeter (Demeter)
Monday, March 03, 2008 - 10:59 am
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I said nothing of the sort. I just said you have two choices. In the first case, it's a win-win situation; in the second, it's lose-lose.

Having said that, I am in general agreement with Joe that those who question human-caused global warming do not want to assume any responsibility for it.

The oil companies are where the tobacco industry was 50 years ago. It will not be a pretty sight if the industrialized world continues in its present rate of wasteful use of resources.

Author: John Smith (John)
Monday, March 03, 2008 - 9:29 am
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Demeter,

What makes you think that those who question the science behind these studies doesn't also want to conserve energy?

You're bringing politics into science.

These are the stereotypes we need to get beyond.

John

Author: John Smith (John)
Monday, March 03, 2008 - 9:26 am
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Joe,

Well, if you need to categorize, put me in your "a" group.

Stereotyping scientists who actually question the scientific process behind anthropogenic global warming studies is a hurdle we need to cross. All to often this topic takes a religious fervor. It's science and it should be debated and discussed.

John

Author: Joe Jenkins (Joe)
Saturday, March 01, 2008 - 12:35 pm
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It seems that the debate is broken into two sides: a) those who are pro-environment, or people who are concerned about the global ecosystem, our impact on it and its impact upon us, and 2) those who advocate fossil fuel consumption, many of whom have a vested interest in maximizing that consumption regardless of any environmental impact it may have. The oil industry is perhaps the most lucrative industry remaining on this planet that is based upon resource extraction. It seems obvious to me that concerns about global warming threaten oil industry profits. This makes me very suspicious of people who ridicule global warming data.

Author: Demeter (Demeter)
Friday, February 29, 2008 - 10:46 pm
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Well, here you have two choices: 1)conserve energy, especially in the form of fossil fuels, or 2) continue in our present, wasteful fashion.

Who wins? In the case of (1) we do, and our resources are saved. In the case of (2), the oil companies get rich, gas prices and everything else gets more costly, and more greenhouse gases are produced.

You don't have to be a climatologist to figure this one out.

Author: John Smith (John)
Friday, February 29, 2008 - 10:04 am
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I suppose it's only fair to also include how some of those past and present ipcc members actually feel about the conclusions made:

http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Minority.Blogs&ContentRecord_id=f80a6386-802a-23ad-40c8-3c63dc2d02cb

or a shorter link:

http://tinyurl.com/2hmrer

John

Author: Joe Jenkins (Joe)
Thursday, February 28, 2008 - 6:07 pm
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Here's a graph from their report:

climate change graph

Author: Joe Jenkins (Joe)
Thursday, February 28, 2008 - 6:03 pm
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The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (recent Nobel Prize winner) has a summary about climate change that's worth looking at: http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar4/wg1/ar4-wg1-spm.pdf.

Author: Demeter (Demeter)
Thursday, February 28, 2008 - 2:08 pm
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An acquaintance used the stock market as an analogy for global warming. As analogies go, it works pretty well. Global warming is like the stock market. In the big picture, the earth is getting warmer since the industrial revolution. There may be a few cold years (such as now for us) and there, but humans have been contributing to global warming for about 8,000 years.* About 8000 years ago, the previous pattern of cooling did not happen. They attribute this slowing of cooling to the practice of agriculture.

*According to Ruddiman, Scientific American, March 2005, p. 46.

Author: John Smith (John)
Thursday, February 28, 2008 - 1:48 pm
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Daniel,

Where are you located?

So far this winter, my area made the top 10 (since 1890) in snowfall. Last year we had the largest snowstorm since 1885.

Obviously, there's no easy answer to your question. It would be much simpler to assume any temperature/weather anomalies were due to human-influenced global warming. Unfortunately, that seems to be the catch-all for any significant weather recently.

In reality, there are infinite, interdependent factors involved in our climate.

With all due respect, there is also the possibility of inaccurate recollections involved on behalf of your parents.

John

Author: Joe Jenkins (Joe)
Sunday, February 24, 2008 - 10:09 pm
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Read this thread: Joseph Jenkins, Inc. Publications Message Board: Global Warming and other Environmental Threats: Is Global Warming Real or a Fantasy?

Author: Daniel (Prorok)
Saturday, February 23, 2008 - 4:34 pm
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My parents say that 20 years ago winters were cold and severe. Now the things are quite different.

What are the reasons for this?

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