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May 2nd, 2007, 22:58
Originally Posted by Moriendor View Post
How can it be totally wrong? What is happening to the man-made CO2? Is it -contrary to natural CO2- leaving the earth's atmosphere and flying to the moon or what?
OK. Seriously. If we go by that study that you mentioned, it should take 800 years for the effects of man-made global warming to show up, right? Well, why not begin now to do something about it? We do have a responsibility for future generations long beyond our own lives IMHO. We have pumped trillions of metric tons of CO2 into the earth's atmosphere since the industrial age began. If the 800 year theory is correct then it will bite us ("us" as in mankind) in the arse one day. The sooner we do something about it, the better.
No, you slightly misunderstood something here… I have to admit I wasn't very clear, but it's not that easy to explain. Ok, the general consensus is that there is a direct connection between an increase in Co2 and the atmosphere becoming warmer. According to the "consensus theory" there is first an increase in Co2 and therefore the atmosphere is heating up. So the Co2 is directly responsible for the rising temperature.
The "contrarian view" is featuring a different theory. They say that Co2 is not causing the temperature increase, but is following the increase. First the temperature goes up and then Co2 follows. So for them Co2 is not responsible for an increase in temperature (they trace the earth's rising temperature back to solar activity). If you look at how Co2 is actually produced (in nature) that makes sense. The ocean is in fact the biggest source of Co2 - if the temperature goes up then the direct consequence is that more Co2 will go from the ocean into the atmosphere.

And this is really where the question of the 3rd world comes in. If Co2 is not responsible for global warming can we we still demand that… let's say Africa… should not use its coal as a reliable source of energy? It is as you're saying, the industrialized countries of the 1st world have nothing to lose if they reduce their emission of Co2 since we have nuclear power to replace it. Africa on the other hand… The problem is that solar energy or better the technology to produce it is expensive, but Africa is poor. And it is inefficient compared to coal-burning power plants. So, while we might have nothing to lose, the 3rd world has.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not speaking in favour of this particular argument, but I thought it would be a good thing to mention it, because it complicates things.
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