Cosmos - With Neil deGrasse Tyson

Discussion in 'TV & Media' started by Ancient Mariner, Jul 23, 2013.

  1. publiusr

    publiusr Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Pre-Kolchak even.

    There does seem to be some movement in CO2 capture
    http://cosmoquest.org/forum/showthread.php?142807-New-quot-MOM-quot-for-CO2-Capture
    http://www.ulitzer.com/node/2927308 http://up-ship.com/blog/?p=24817

    I wonder if this might help
    http://www.unisci.com/stories/20013/0802016.htm

    I had no idea about the solar plant wrecked to make weapons in WWI.

    A little off topic, but I also watched last night's Inside Man--with Morgan Spurlock.

    He was exploring income inequity, showing how the well to do can afford to take risks a lot of us can't
    https://flipboard.com/section/morgan-spurlock-inside-man-bryhu2

    He did an interview with one of the more favorable one percenters, who was open to the idea of a higher wage. This was a Louisiana attorney who made a killing off Katrina/BP lawsuits or something.

    A pair of ear-rings were auctioned off, and about 30,000 was raised for a local charity. Earlier, of course, he remembered fondly the first million dollarcheck he wrote to himself--but at least he was more open than the slime running Congress--and the largest check that charity ever got was $1,000, or so.

    Gusees what big risk he and his were going to take?

    Investment in oil and gas exploration in Louisiana.

    Gee, thanks pal

    This is why you have to make people do things. Then too, the President just using executive orders to do things will give big utilities an excuse to gouge consumers, Obama will get the blame, and a lot of former coal mining union democrats will break ranks. regulation is fine--but innovation is better.

    Therefore for every dollar oil stock, x dollars of green investments must be required....that may be a smarter way of going about business.

    These for starters
    http://cleantechnica.com/2013/04/24...fficiency-potable-water-and-air-conditioning/
    http://cleantechnica.com/2014/05/07/solar-jet-fuel-kerosene-sunlight-water-co2/

    Yes you will still need kerosene--due to energy density. I thought Neil might talk about carbon's power to hold hydrogen chemically, instead of mechanically--tell a joke about how carbon is the Bill Maher of elements--will bond with anything, and how it gets lonely if it is left alone for too long.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2014
  2. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    I thought it was a pretty good episode.
     
  3. gturner

    gturner Admiral

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    Well, he got Venus completely wrong from the get go. We don't know that it was like Earth at any point in its past. There's no evidence that it ever had an ocean. The green house effect has been questioned there, since Venus is about the same temperature as the Earth's sea-level at the equivalent pressure. If not for the sulfuric acid, at 50 km Venus is a shirt-sleeve atmosphere, just like Florida, despite having an atmosphere that's almost entirely CO2 and being 30 percent closer to the sun. The radiative equilibrium of Venus is set at the cloud tops, which are over 200,000 feet above the surface. Due to ideal gas laws, the temperature below the cloud tops has to keep going up, just as it does here, and the surface of Venus is much farther down in the soup than that of Earth. He also fails to mention that Sagan's calculated temperature of Venus was a hundred degrees hotter with a nitrogen atmosphere instead of CO2, but then he also never mentions that the greenhouse effect has nothing to do with what makes a greenhouse warm. In fact, greenhouses are commonly made with plexiglass and Lexan, materials that are so IR transparent that even when black, are used to cover your TV's IR sensor that picks up the weak signals from your remote control.

    He omits that we've slipped into ice ages with CO2 levels running over 1000 ppm, and that there's no correlation in the geologic record between CO2 and temperature, or to temperature change, other than that CO2 follows temperature and follows delta T, with evidence of a 90-degree phase lag.

    He also errs when he says we benefited from a stable climate, because the climate has been wildly unstable during the low CO2 epochs in the later half of the Cenozoic era. We've only been out of a glaciation period for 17,000 years, and are on the downward temperature slope leading to the start of the next one, though rebounding from the little ice age that followed the medieval warm period.

    It's just a very sloppy program, as when he said in an earlier episode that the Arctic will be healed when the last internal combustion engine is put in a museum. The Arctic sea ice extent is set to cross above normal this August, and we're probably never going to abandon internal combustion engines, especially for aircraft that need to carry a significant payload at speed for more than 10 minutes.

    As for solar roadways, those would have to transmit significant power, which requires stepping the voltage up to very high levels. But roads also wear badly, especially when the ground underneath gets saturated with water, leading to potholes, sometimes huge ones. Like I really want to step into a pothole filled with saltwater from de-icing trucks that is directly connected a 60,000 volt power line that had its insulation torn by a passing truck.

    So you'd have to move the high-voltage power lines out from under the roadway and over to the side, and elevate them to keep the costs down, and won't that be pretty? Of course, even worse would be all the guard shacks you have to install to keep people from stealing all your solar panels. Heck, in California they're stealing copper power lines, and solar cells are worth vastly more, which is probably why so many solar farm proposals include big giant chain link and concertina wire fences around the entire installation.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2014
  4. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    Global Warming has become a religion. Last night I watched an hour of evangelism.

    Mind you I'm not a denier - of COURSE it's real. Of COURSE we should be doing things. I just get tired of being beaten over the head with it. At least Neil wasn't as shrill as Gore. It's performances like Gore's that turn people off. Neil was quite reasonable about it.
     
  5. Kenbushway

    Kenbushway Captain Captain

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    I watched the first episode the first night but I didn't like it. However, one night I watched the 2nd episode and then I watched the rest of them because It really grew on me fast. I like the show now and hope it continues.
     
  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    It's not evangelism, it's mobilization. There's an existential threat facing civilization, as dangerous as any invasion, and we need to inspire and motivate people to take action -- especially since there are so many people spreading propaganda against such efforts. If it weren't for the denialists having such influence over policy, it wouldn't be necessary to keep talking about these things, since we'd already be doing them. But unfortunately that's not the case.

    There was a time when inspiring the public to do great things, like defeat Hitler or go to the Moon, was not seen as an annoyance to complain about, but as a worthy and noble pursuit. We live in more cynical and self-absorbed times now, looking skeptically on any attempt to inspire us to believe in anything -- and that leaves us susceptible to those who prey on that narrowness of vision, who exploit our lack of attention for their own gain. "The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    / Are full of passionate intensity." We could use some of that old passion and belief again.
     
  7. Jedi_Master

    Jedi_Master Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Great post. Many of the same individuals and groups resisting climate change have fostered that feeling of cynicism.

    I do wonder what our grandparents or great-grandparents (in America) who kicked the Nazi's in the teeth, who defeated the militarists in Japan, then came back and built the world's number one economy would think of their children (Baby boomers) who can't even agree that the world is facing ANY crisis, who spend more time worrying about a comfortable retirement than the future of the human race?
    What would they think of their grandchildren who guzzle down energy with countless devices, but are consider hashtagging on Twitter to be "social activism"?
     
  8. tighr

    tighr Commodore Commodore

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    Defeating Hitler and landing on the Moon are identifiable goals with clear end-states.

    Defeating global warming is not, because it's a continuously evolving goal for which no clear equilibrium state exists. The closer comparison would be trying to win the War on Drugs or War on Terrorism, both things that cannot possibly be "won". Global Warming will ALWAYS exist, because we are humans and we add CO2 to the air simply by being here. The best we can do is minimize it's impact, but to what level?

    I'm not saying we shouldn't put effort into reducing our effect on global warming, because we should. But there is no definable goal for us to work towards.
     
  9. gturner

    gturner Admiral

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    It's evangelism, as you've just illustrated. How on Earth is a temperature rise of even a couple of degrees C an existential threat to civilization? That's just nuts.

    Note that there is currently evidence of human civilization in Miami and Orlando, yet Florida has an average annual temperature of 21.5 C. There is also civilization in New York, with an average temperature of 7.4 C, which is 14.1 C colder than Florida. The planet is usually about 10 C hotter than it currently is (when life thrives), with CO2 levels over a thousand PPM, and even that wouldn't make New York as warm as Miami. In fact, based on where New Yorkers retire, Miami's climate is an improvement over New York's. So how is this civilizational collapse supposed to occur?

    It's like being terrified of universal phone sanitizers, and being willing to destroy all of civilization to eliminate their use. Once you buy into it, your brains fall out and you'll go along with any crazy scheme.

    Take wind power, since it was preached so promisingly by NDT in the last episode. Warmists hold up wind turbines as the solution to all our problems, pointing to installations in parts of Great Britain, Denmark, or the shallows of the North Sea around Scandinavia. The other places where it's practical are Tierra del Fuego, Elephant Island, and Seal Island (where almost nobody lives), where wind speeds are 10 m/sec or more.

    World wind speed map.

    Note that India, China, and Russia, the big CO2 emitters, don't have much wind at all. For most of the rest of the planet's population, wind speeds are about 3 to 5 m/sec, meaning it would take 4 to 10 times as many wind turbines to produce the same power as one off Denmark (power goes up with the square of the wind speed), where it still requires government subsidies to compete with conventional fuels. This means that for almost everyone else on Earth, the wind solution would be producing electricity probably at a cost of over a dollar per kilowatt hour, whereas coal can produce it at around 2 to 3 cents per kilowatt hour.

    We don't need passion. We need sanity and a willingness to do the math.
     
  10. Jedi_Master

    Jedi_Master Vice Admiral Admiral

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    To the level that will prevent catastrophic damage to the planet and its inhabitants.

    What is nice about fighting carbon emissions is that it also deals with some of the other issues that burning carbon to create electricity generates such as: waterway pollution, air pollution, health risks for those mining or drilling for oil, gas, and coal, as well as host of other associated environmental issues. It helps deal with the culture of cheap energy leading to conspicuous and wasteful consumption. It is a keystone issue, that dealing with head on helps EVERYONE and EVERYTHING.
     
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Goals can be defined by advocacy. We could create specific benchmarks to work toward, like Kennedy said when he pledged we would reach the Moon by the end of the decade. Ending dependence on foreign oil is certainly a goal we could get behind, and it's a clear benefit of green technology.

    Besides, what's the definable goal being promoted on the other side? Don't do anything? That's not a goal. Their rhetoric is just about deconstructing the arguments used against them, impugning the integrity and methods of the overwhelming majority of the world's climate scientists. If they've been able to influence politics and policy so much without having a "definable goal" beyond the status quo, then it can't be that hard to come up with a message to counter them. It's just a matter of figuring out how to use the mechanisms of communication and advocacy and political influence as effectively as they have (although, admittedly, they have the advantage of gigabajillions of dollars to buy politicians with). Cosmos is an important step in that direction, getting the message out in a striking way in a prominent forum. Now we need more in the same vein. And throwing up our hands and saying it's futile is not a good first step. The people who get things done are the ones who think about what they can do, not just what they can't.
     
  12. gturner

    gturner Admiral

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    Whew. We've already accomplished that goal! Even the IPCC backed away from the catastrophic damage to the planet nonsense. If damage is a function of temperature, then that tropical paradise where you're booking your next vacation is actually a mutant-infested hell filled with nothing but death and corpses, or is at this point completely uninhabitable.

    The planet does have large areas like that, above the arctic circle or in Antarctica, where you could walk for thousands of miles without ever encountering another human soul. But we don't go there because it's too cold. So instead we vacation in tropical places like Rio, where the women dance around in bikinis.

    The culture of cheap energy is what lets poor people up their standard of living. It's part of a culture of cheap food, cheap rent, and cheap clothing - with high wages.

    It's not a coincidence that the solution to the threat of global cooling in the 1970's was to reduce our incomes, abandon cheap energy, give government the power to regulate emissions, and go back to a primitive lifestyle - exactly the same solution proposed to fight global warming. The planet's temperature, or predicted temperature, bears no correlation to the demanded solution, which is a distopian social nightmare with a vast swath of mindless followers looking for any excuse to implement it.
     
  13. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    I said out, dammit!
    And yet as I read that, I pictured you standing in a pulpit with arms raised and fists clenched, shouting it to the rafters. :lol:
     
  14. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    The point of the so-called "evangelism" is trying to convince people that Global Warming/Climate Change *is* a problem and it's also a problem people want to ignore or don't believe it exists. Look at how many people will say, un-ironically, "so much for Global Warming!" when it's slightly cold outside.

    The idea here was to convince people that it *is* a problem and there are, and can be, very large and very serious ramifications if we just sit here and do absolutely nothing about it.

    Look, you can deny Climate Change all you want. Want to close your eyes and sing, "La la la la la la la." and ignore the evidence that is out there that the build up of CO2 and other gasses in the air is having impact. Fine, do it all you want.

    Want to argue that a raise of temperature of a couple of degrees has no meaning, even though that's the difference between ice and water and that we have a fuck-ton of ice sitting on a continent that when converted to water will have very, very serious ramifications for the coasts of all of the other continents? Go ahead and believe that.

    But do you really think our planet would be worse off if we stopped using fossil fuels and switched over to other, cleaner, forms of generating power? Would the planet really be *worse* if we used mostly wind, solar, hydroelectric and even nuclear technologies? Would things really be worse if our cars ran off electricity or Hydrogen fuel cells?

    At the very least the air would look and *smell* cleaner even if it's having no real impact on the actual climate.

    As it's said. The cost of being right about Climate Change and doing nothing is the planet. The cost of being wrong about Climate Change but doing something about it is money.

    Which can we more afford to lose?

    Why not err on the side of caution and start making changes on the way we generate energy? Would it really be that terrible to walk through a parking garage that didn't smell like 3-day old burrito farts from all of the car fumes?

    Would it really be that terrible to pass a factory or powerplant and not see it belching out tons of black smoke into the air? I mean, do you really think that's doing any GOOD? Do you really think things would be that terrible if we did something else to power our cities?

    Jesus, people, pull your heads out and smell the air. I mean, actually, SMELL. THE. AIR! Go to your downtown and stand on a busy street corner. Smell the air, look at the soot and crud coating the buildings, the ground, the trees lining the street. Would you really miss all of that if our cars ran on something cleaner?

    Drive through Iowa and enjoy the majesty of the hills and scenery and the occasional large-scale wind-farms there. Would it really be *that* terrible to see these things and hear their gentle hum and whooshing as opposed to passing a coal-fired plant and seeing it belching out smoke?

    But, no, I guess it's "more important" to prove the liberals and hippies wrong than to do anything that might save our planet and our futures. Problem is, how sure are you that you're right? Are you willing to gamble literally EVERYTHING on that? Because that's a pretty big gamble.
     
  15. Jedi_Master

    Jedi_Master Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Preach it brother! Preach!

    We only gots one planet folks, lets try not to screw it up.
     
  16. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    Hosanna!!

    :)
     
  17. Cyke101

    Cyke101 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Has there ever been a time in history when math and science have been doubted so much because of merely perceived stances on political opinions? Climate change, evolution, space exploration, even Nate Silver's calculations, all get shouted down as some big conspiracy -- while deniers ironically use computers and the very internet that were developed after decades of mathematic and scientific advancement.

    Edit: I went to the Philippines a couple years ago, and one of the things that surprised me was just how active their Green movement was. Folks would clean their rivers, recycle glass bottles, and contact multinational corporations requesting them to reexamine their practices. But really, it makes sense. They're a country that has tons more pollution than most of the US precisely because they get polluting products from the Western world -- the aforementioned (many American) corporations that move in and set up shop, ocean currents that drag garbage from one end of the globe to their doorstep, lack of government regulation that leads to an increasingly dense atmosphere, etc. And yet, many in the country live off the land as farmers, fishers, traders, tour guides, etc. Even if we don't think that taking care of the US environmentally is a priority, we'd have to recognize that our own work affects other countries that we depend on for trade and resources.

    And lastly: I'll never forget the day that my family drove through Jersey City, and it started to rain garbage.
     
  18. Jedi_Master

    Jedi_Master Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Maybe the beginning of the Renaissance? The "Church" was the one doing the doubting then, but it had the same base motivation as do most "doubters" today: it did not want to give up power or do anything that would make it uncomfortable.
     
  19. Coloratura

    Coloratura Snuggle Princess Premium Member

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    Mathematics don't abide bullshit, and many corporations employ massive amounts of bullshit to cover their actions, so it gets made political by any party that has a vested interest in corporations that peddle this bullshit.

    Forbin calls the show "evangelism," and in a sense, it is. It is a man trying to get the message across to people that are either ignorant, or unwilling to listen. The source of the message, however, is much more than some ethereal, supernatural one, and is a message of what will happen, what is already happening. The data is there, the numbers are sound, and we're starting to see the effects swing into motion, years after scientists predicted it would happen.

    At this point, people who deny it's happening are doing it for either political reasons, or because they don't want to face the changes that are coming. To say there isn't enough evidence is to essentially say "I haven't bothered to read and understand it." The evidence is there, the data is available for all to see, and they're free to recreate the experiments and try it for themselves. So while Forbin's use of the word "evangelism" can be applied to this past episode, since Neil really is trying to convert the climate change denial crowd to those who now understand and see what's coming, unlike the Gospel exhortations from which the word is based, the evidence for what's happening to our climate is verifiable, and ready for all who are willing to listen and make a change.
     
  20. Awesome Possum

    Awesome Possum Rated Awesome By 9 out of 10 Awesome Experts Moderator

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    He isn't trying to convince you, he's trying to convince a decent portion of the population that has been lead to believe that it isn't an issue or doesn't even exist. Some of which are running the country (at least in the US) and act like they have a better understanding of science than the actual scientists. Hell, look at this thread. We have posters claiming that there isn't a problem, although they haven't backed up a single claim yet.

    Also I wouldn't call it a religion, religion isn't based on fact.