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Backpacker Joe
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PostThu Nov 02, 2006 2:45 pm 
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I wish I could find some ariel pics of the Hinman glacier.  It would be great to see what it was like when it was....  Dante and I were there this summer.  I'd like to see some comparison shots.

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"If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time or die by suicide."

— Abraham Lincoln
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gyngve
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PostFri Nov 03, 2006 12:53 pm 
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whistlingmarmot wrote:
Because for billions of people using FF is the cheapest way for them to enhance their lives.

What's your plan for running the world when we run out of FF?  Whether you believe in greenhouse gases or not, or oil suppy is very much finite.  We should be devoting all our resources to alternate energy now, while we still have FF.  Unfortunately, such foresight doesn't make the stockholders rich or the politicans popular now.
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Mtn Dog
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PostFri Nov 03, 2006 1:04 pm 
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Nuclear Energy doesn't use Fossil Fuels, Gyngve; and electric or hybrid vehicles can displace a lot of gasoline use if charged electrically by clean forms of energy.

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whistlingmarmot
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PostFri Nov 03, 2006 3:42 pm 
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gyngve wrote:

What's your plan for running the world when we run out of FF?

I didn't realize I was responsible for planning the worlds energy usage.   We'll never, ever, run out of FF.  What will happen, and what is happening, is that the cost of FF will increase, and it will be used more efficiently.  Alternatives will also be found thanks to people who want to get rich.   I don't see this as a problem that requires any effort from me at all, let alone organized world wide planning.  In fact, it's really quite boring, which is unfortunate for those who like to think the future will be one of energy shocks and crisis.

Take, for example, our transition from using horses for transit in cities to using machines.  In the late 19th century horses, and their bodies, manure, urine, were seen to be a coming urban crisis.  However, with the arrival of the auto, trolleys, etc the problem naturally worked itself out.  And trust me, I’m sure the stable owners and anyone that had anything to do with getting rich off horses were troubled.
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MtnGoat
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PostFri Nov 03, 2006 4:19 pm 
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gyngve wrote:
whistlingmarmot wrote:
Because for billions of people using FF is the cheapest way for them to enhance their lives.

What's your plan for running the world when we run out of FF?  Whether you believe in greenhouse gases or not, or oil suppy is very much finite.  We should be devoting all our resources to alternate energy now, while we still have FF.  Unfortunately, such foresight doesn't make the stockholders rich or the politicans popular now.

why, the only 'plan' needed...allow the free market price of oil to reveal when alternatives are competive in the marketplace. Tell you what, apply all that foresight of yours to the alternatives market, plan it all out for yourself, and reap the rewards. Seriously, if what constitutes foresight in this matter is actually correct, then not only will you serve many people with what they need, but you'll show us to be wrong using open competition.

we need steel too, where's the Plan for that running out? Gold? Germanium? Is there a Plan? Nearly everything is finite, and we are running out.

Arguing for oil as some special case is insupportable. Economics deals with limited and finite resources as it's entire *function*.

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Diplomacy is the art of saying 'Nice doggie' until you can find a rock. - Will Rogers
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Malachai Constant
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PostFri Nov 03, 2006 5:01 pm 
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If economic considerations are the only criterion the logical substitute for oil is coal. The costs for the substitution are passed on to the next generation. Every 12 pounds of coal produces 44 pounds of Carbon Dioxide.huh.gif

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"You do not laugh when you look at the mountains, or when you look at the sea." Lafcadio Hearn
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Mtn Dog
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PostFri Nov 03, 2006 6:05 pm 
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Malachai Constant wrote:
Every 12 pounds of coal produces 44 pounds of Carbon Dioxide.huh.gif

That's atomically impossible.  If you assume 100% oxidation of the Carbon atoms then 12 lbs of Carbon would join with 32 lbs of Oxygen to form Carbon Dioxide.  The atomic weight of Carbon is 12 and the atomic weight of Oxygen is 16.

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MtnGoat
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PostFri Nov 03, 2006 6:10 pm 
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doesn't your math show MC to be right? 1x12lbs+2x16lbs=44lbs (assuming the coal is pure carbon)

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Diplomacy is the art of saying 'Nice doggie' until you can find a rock. - Will Rogers
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Pipsissewa
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PostFri Nov 03, 2006 6:44 pm 
hydrogen sulfide blooms
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This is the most depressing thing I have read in a long while, and I read all the depressing environmental disaster articles!
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MtnGoat
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PostFri Nov 03, 2006 6:51 pm 
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don't despair, the ice has been gone before and will be back again

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Diplomacy is the art of saying 'Nice doggie' until you can find a rock. - Will Rogers
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Mtn Dog
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PostFri Nov 03, 2006 6:58 pm 
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Oops!  My bad (thank God it's Friday and I don't have to think again until Monday).  You're right, Mtn Goat & MC.

The thing that bothers me about that statistic is that it is actually more accurate to say that 12 lbs of Carbon (coal) and 32 lbs of Oxygen combine to make 44 lbs of CO2.  The way it reads implies that for a relatively small portion of coal a whole lot of CO2 is formed, and that's misleading.  This doesn't concern me a whole lot because we also produce CO2 when we exhale.  Plant life converts CO2 back into oxygen.  So if we are going to burn coal we can offset the byproducts of the combustion by providing ample plant life to process it.

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Malachai Constant
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PostFri Nov 03, 2006 7:32 pm 
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No that does not work either, the only part of the carbon that plants remove is that is added to the mass of the plants i.e. tree trunks leaves etc. That is only removed as long as the plant lives and then it becomes carbon dioxide when the plant burns or rots. The amount of plants (biomass) is fixed by a number of things such as water, sunlight, and minerals. Carbon dioxide is among the least important of these. In addition when out of the sun the plants burn sugars created by photosyntheses to produce, you guessed it carbon dioxide. We are actively reducing biomass in the tropics but it is increasing in some temperate areas. The only way to reduce carbon dioxide emissions is the use of alternative forms of energy production such as hydro, nuclear, wind and solar. Hydro is nearly completely exploited here although there may be some in Canada and Siberia. Burning biomass is pretty much a wash. Hydrogen is an energy carrier only as it requires more energy to produce than it provides same for ethanol and biodiesel. All of these facts are fixed by chemistry as is 12g. C + 32 g. O2 > 44 g. CO2. No amount of wishful thinking or argument alters that fact. Here MG and I are in agreement tongue.gif

At standard temperatue and pressure 20 degrees C. 67 degrees F. one atmosphere 760 mm/Hg. 12 g. of coal just over the weight of a couple nickles will prouce 22.4 l. of CO2 enough to fill a large daypack

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"You do not laugh when you look at the mountains, or when you look at the sea." Lafcadio Hearn
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Justan
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PostSat Nov 04, 2006 8:42 am 
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Hope no one minds a late comer to this thread. It has been an interesting read. The thread has attempted to illustrate the greater impacts implied by the receding of many glaciers. Perhaps the greatest concession would be the one that “humans caused” global warming. The pragmatic perspective is often acknowledgement that average temperatures have increased recently, but we don’t really know why.

Then there is the issue of what energy consumption patterns you, me, the nw hikers gang and several billion of our best friends are sharing and if that energy consumption is having any impact. And lastly, if that impact in fact has anything to do with global warming.

Most definitely, glaciers have been receding and many are projected to disappear in the near term. Our country, and iirc the planet as a total has experienced record or near record setting warm temps year round for the last several years. According to a recent article in the Seattle Times, since 1972 there has been a reported reduction of 1.7 million trees in the Seattle area. That is reported to be “more than half” of the trees in the area. They disappeared for a number of reasons, but all were centered around patterns of an expanding civilization. This model of tree reduction has been more or less duplicated in most developing cities throughout the planet.

To the broader question of energy consumption and it’s impact, all life forms use energy. There is no energy consuming organism that does not have an impact on its environment. Human kind is no different. We can, at best, slow the rate of energy consumption, but as long as the population continues to expand so will populations’ effects upon our environment.

BTW as suggested above, there have been many cataclysmic events, some of which have tossed phenomenal, even cataclysmic amounts of contaminants into the atmosphere. Most of those events lasted days to weeks. What is different about modern culture is that the process is continual and progressive over a period of decades.

As a recent model of what a major change in environment can achieve in very short order, review literature on the “global dimming” phenomena.

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-Justan Elk
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Andrew
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PostThu Nov 09, 2006 12:06 pm 
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I stumbled across NASA's satellite imagery site that has a bunch of high-resolution images of geographic features from around the world.  Here is a series of 3 images showing the retreat of glacier in Greenland.


Another, sure beats Google Earth: The Bear Glacier, AK
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Jamin Smitchger
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PostSat Dec 23, 2006 8:22 pm 
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I bet the guys in greenland are actually happy about this. wink.gif
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