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A Simplified Global Warming Question


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Initial post: Jun 11, 2012, 2:35:49 PM PDT
The Weasel says:
Without going into any of the theoretical arguments I want to posit a simple question:

Is it reasonable or unreasable to believe that man having cleared about 40% of the earth's land area for farming, grazing and habitation would have a significant effect on the temperture of the planet?

Then a pair of follow up questions please:

If 40% clearance is not significant, would 90%-100% be significant?

Given the current birth patterns in the world is there a logical limit to how much land will eventually be cleared (if you think 100% is not a problem then this question is moot)?
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In reply to an earlier post on Jun 11, 2012, 3:54:28 PM PDT
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In reply to an earlier post on Jun 11, 2012, 4:11:54 PM PDT
@The Weasel
Actually there are some who say you're exactly right about the 40%. The peak temps of our current interglacial were 4000-8000 years ago. There is a conjecture that we would now be heading back into an ice age without rice farming in Asia & forest clearing in Europe & elsewhere for agriculture.

In other words, we actually began affecting the climate thousands of years ago rather than in 1850 when CO2 levels really began to rise due to the Industrial Revolution.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 12, 2012, 2:51:26 PM PDT
The Weasel says:
Elaborate. The question was simply does clearance of land affect global temperature - given 40% as of today (so either yes or no on that one) - and then if "no" would 90%-100% affect it?

Again just a simplified question since 40% of land has been cleared by man -- but then land is less important to climate than the seas -- so what do you think - any real effect or not?

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 12, 2012, 2:55:43 PM PDT
Ku says:
Did it happen in 250 years?

Posted on Jun 13, 2012, 5:54:29 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 13, 2012, 6:01:49 AM PDT
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In reply to an earlier post on Jun 13, 2012, 5:56:20 AM PDT
Ku says:
Is this satirical?

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 13, 2012, 8:47:47 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 13, 2012, 8:48:15 AM PDT
Agriculture is a significant source of greenhouse gases, including CO2, methane, and nitrous oxide. According to Wikipedia, about 20% of annual anthropogenic greenhouse gas production can be attributed to agriculture. So the answer to your question is: yes, the current level of human agricultural activity causes a significant warming effect.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_change_and_agriculture

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 14, 2012, 5:12:29 AM PDT
Brian Curtis says:
Still running and hidiing from the question you're scared to answer, eh Haynes? Too bad it's not going to work.

Here it is again:

"So basically, every sighting of a UFO, dragon, ghost, Superman, sharks with lasers, or any other outrageous claim made by someone actually DID happen because, after all, they observed it happening, right?"

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 14, 2012, 5:13:04 AM PDT
Brian Curtis says:
"Is this satirical?"

Sarah Palin definitely is. Many of her devoted followers, however, really ARE that dumb.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 14, 2012, 6:19:21 AM PDT
Ku says:
These people amaze me. I'm never sure if they're for real.

Always wondering what the next line of reasoning is gonna be:

- Salt is a daily necessity. It's essential for life. This is why I eat four pounds of the stuff every 24 hours.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 14, 2012, 7:19:31 AM PDT
Ku: Salt is a daily necessity. It's essential for life. This is why I eat four pounds of the stuff every 24 hours.

BPL: ROFLMAO! You get the award for best post today.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 14, 2012, 7:31:51 AM PDT
Ku says:
:)

Thanks.

Posted on Jun 14, 2012, 8:45:31 AM PDT
Is there a correlation between GW deniers and evolution deniers? I ask because both require the abject dismissal out of hand of mountains and mountains of evidence, a complete rejection of logical thought processes, and/or a pathological distrust of science and scientists...I understand that for the evolution denying crowd, these axioms are necessary to fit their faith based viewpoint; however, with GW, I am not aware of any contridictory faith viewpoint that would require the kind of categorical denial so often seen. Does anyone have any hypothesese or additional data points that could help explain this?

Posted on Jun 14, 2012, 9:03:13 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 14, 2012, 9:16:09 AM PDT
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In reply to an earlier post on Jun 14, 2012, 9:17:45 AM PDT
Brian Curtis says:
Still running and hidiing from the question you're scared to answer, eh Haynes? Too bad it's not going to work. Here it is again:

"So basically, every sighting of a UFO, dragon, ghost, Superman, sharks with lasers, or any other outrageous claim made by someone actually DID happen because, after all, they observed it happening, right?"

Why can't you answer the question, Haynes? Why are you so scared?

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 14, 2012, 9:26:20 AM PDT
<<with GW, I am not aware of any contridictory faith viewpoint that would require the kind of categorical denial so often seen.>>

Often, GW deniers aver that God's creation is too vast and out of proportion to meager human endeavors for us to have any effect on it. This claim is offered in the same reverent tone as other religious doctrinal assertions such as that the rationality of humans demonstrates we are made in God's image as stated in Genesis and are not evolved from non-human organisms.

However, I am not aware of scriptural or even longstanding doctrinal bases for the GW denial claim. Indeed, on the contrary, passages in Genesis have typically been taken to mean that God gave humans the responsibility of caring for the broad Creation; an obvious implication of this responsibility is that the possibility exists of us failing in our responsibility, which would necessarily take the form of humans harming the broad Creation.

I think the faux-religious basis for this GW denial works because, when you say that humans are miniscule and God's creation totally beyond our grasp, you are implicitly exhibiting a degree of humility that is considered very pious in the Abrahamic tradition. So this approach to GW denial takes on an air of religious legitimacy, at least as perceived by some. However, speaking as a non-Christian educated in the Protestant tradition, my immediate thought on this topic is to consult Scripture, which seems to indicate that humility in this context is misapplied: in Genesis 1 and 2 humans are given dominion over the entirety of Creation, then tasked by God to make the Earth flourish. Or look a little later in Genesis, at the story of Babel, and you see the claim that when all of humanity is united in the same activity, we can reach a God-like status in looking down upon the Earth.

So, to address the OP, if every culture plows up its corner of Creation, if every human becomes a car driver, if people of every culture focus their lives on maximizing consumption, then does a Christian have reason to see a parallel to the construction of the Tower of Babel? Does a Christian have reason to see mankind as abdicating its responsibility to make the Earth flourish?

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 14, 2012, 11:10:13 AM PDT
SM: Is there a correlation between GW deniers and evolution deniers? I ask because both require the abject dismissal out of hand of mountains and mountains of evidence, a complete rejection of logical thought processes, and/or a pathological distrust of science and scientists...I understand that for the evolution denying crowd, these axioms are necessary to fit their faith based viewpoint; however, with GW, I am not aware of any contridictory faith viewpoint that would require the kind of categorical denial so often seen. Does anyone have any hypothesese or additional data points that could help explain this?

BPL: In the case of global warming denial it's a political faith viewpoint--taxes and regulation are bad, period. There are many cases of overlap. Dr. Roy Spencer is an example--"Intelligent Design" maven and global warming denier. GOP members are more likely to be creationist and anti-AGW-theory than Democrats by about two to one.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 14, 2012, 11:11:36 AM PDT
Y: Does a Christian have reason to see mankind as abdicating its responsibility to make the Earth flourish?

BPL: No way. Psalm 24:1 -- "The Earth is the LORD's, and the fulness thereof." It's not ours. We're supposed to take good care of it, not trash it.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 14, 2012, 12:23:14 PM PDT
I can't tell if we're misunderstanding each other, BPL. Here's a rephrase of my line--

Y: Are there currently reasons for which Christians should conclude that mankind has abdicated a God-given responsibility to make the Earth flourish?

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 14, 2012, 1:10:33 PM PDT
Rev Otter says:
<<Is there a correlation between GW deniers and evolution deniers?>>

the Venn Diagram is nearly a circle.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 14, 2012, 4:58:56 PM PDT
The Weasel says:
I don't know -- I'll try to find out -- my guess would be that it's been a geometric progression though.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 14, 2012, 5:01:27 PM PDT
The Weasel says:
Barton Paul Levenson says:
Y: Does a Christian have reason to see mankind as abdicating its responsibility to make the Earth flourish?

BPL: No way. Psalm 24:1 -- "The Earth is the LORD's, and the fulness thereof." It's not ours. We're supposed to take good care of it, not trash it.
**
BPL-The earth will be fine at today's temps or 100 degress hotter -- life may or not adapt.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 15, 2012, 2:20:07 AM PDT
Y: Are there currently reasons for which Christians should conclude that mankind has abdicated a God-given responsibility to make the Earth flourish?

BPL: No.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 15, 2012, 2:21:15 AM PDT
TW: The earth will be fine at today's temps or 100 degress hotter -- life may or not adapt.

BPL: I think a garden where the gardener let all the plants die, and the soil turn to stone in the sun, would not be regarded as having taken good care of the garden.
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Discussion in:  Science forum
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Initial post:  Jun 11, 2012
Latest post:  Jun 22, 2012

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