Google: Our Carbon Footprint is Zero

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sammy_sam

Sooo what about the 28,000+ google employees that commute to and from work?

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TerribleToaster

Either they didn't take them into account or they are using a carbon sink to offset that.

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szore

 

The fact is, there is and always has been, and always will be, natural climate change, but the contribution of human activity is necessarily so minuscule as to be nearly undetectable. Here’s why:

Carbon dioxide, considered the main vector for human-caused global warming, is 0.039% of the atmosphere- a trace gas. Water vapor varies, but averages around 1%, and is about ten times more effective a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. So water vapor is about 25 times more prevalent and ten times more effective; that makes it 250 times more important to the greenhouse effect than carbon dioxide. The TOTAL contribution of carbon dioxide to the greenhouse effect is therefore about 0.004%. The total human contribution to carbon dioxide since the start of the industrial revolution has been estimated at about 25%. So human greenhouse effect is a quarter of 0.00%, works out to about 0.001%. Since TOTAL greenhouse effect on temperature is estimated at around 63 degrees Fahrenheit, that would come to human-caused warming of about 0.063 degrees Fahrenheit.

But that’s only the beginning. We’ve had global warming for at least 10,000 years, since the end of the last Ice Age. Whatever caused that, it was not human activity. It was not all those power plants and factories and SUVs being operated by Stone Age cavemen while chipping arrowheads out of bits of flint. Whatever the cause was, it caused the glaciers, which once extended south to Long Island and the northern suburbs of New York City, to not only melt back, but completely disappear (except for a few mountain remnants). That’s one big greenhouse effect! If we are still having global warming – and I suppose we should presume we are, given a 10,000 year trend – it is as close to a certainty as one can get that it is still the overwhelmingly primary cause of continued warming, rather than our piddling 0.001% contribution to the greenhouse effect.

The science is now all-but-settled on global warming. Convincing new evidence demonstrates cosmic rays and the sun — not human activities — as the dominant controller of climate on Earth. The research, published with little fanfare in the prestigious journal Nature, comes from über-prestigious CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research. They demonstrate that cosmic rays promote the formation of molecules that in Earth’s atmosphere can grow and seed clouds, the cloudier and thus cooler it will be. Because the sun’s magnetic field controls how many cosmic rays reach Earth’s atmosphere (the stronger the sun’s magnetic field, the more it shields Earth from incoming cosmic rays from space), the sun determines the temperature on Earth.

 

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thetechchild

After having read every post up to this point in time (for this article), I'd like to point out that CO2 is NOT the only climate change variable; other air pollutants factor in as well. As humorous as it sounds, cows' gas (farts) account for a huge amount of methane being released into the atmosphere, and some sources say that this accounts for the majority of climate change.

Moreover, fluctuations in the global climate are obviously normal; if you thought that scientists had somehow overlooked that in every single study done, then you're underestimating academia. They definitely take into account normal changes, and then see if our rate of change is exceeding that.

Plus, aside from climate change, other environmental changes are severely detrimental. Dumping manure (TONS of it) into rivers, landfills, smog, oil spills, etc. If you would ignore these as well, and still make the claim that humans are somehow not affecting the world negatively at all, you might do well to think about exactly how many humans are on the Earth, and how many people are supposed to be able to fit. One only has to look at starvation and lack of living space (not necessarily homelessness, for instance Japan has a very high population density but is far from being a 3rd world country) and other various measures of inefficient resource distribution, to see that we're surpassing our limits.

I don't doubt mankind's ability to change the world (including the environment), but one would be an optimistic and relatively ignorant fool to pronounce that this ability only produces positive effects (in the environment).

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win7fanboi

+1. Not to mentioned that as the standard of living improves in a country like China with 1.3 billion people it will further tax the planet. The emerging markets that multinational companies droll over and the shareholders love are the ones that have been having minimum impact on the environment (compared to the population) but that is changing. I don't understand how morons use partial science to support their asinine claims that changes are normal and this isn't anything new.

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TerribleToaster

 

Technically it Climate Change that is in dispute, Global Warming is a part of that. But the scientific consensus on climate change is "that [the] climate is changing and that these changes are in large part caused by human activities [...] and that this change is largely irresviable" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_opinion_on_climate_change). There is not a single scientific body that disagrees with this stance, though there are some who hold a "no-comment" position.

The "Global Warming Controversy" is purely a political/media generated debate. In the scientific world it has long been considered that humans have had a large impact on the climate. So if you get caught with someone whose political views don't allow them to consider human impact on climate then simply refer to comparing human activities to volcanism. There is no person, political or otherwise that denies a volcano’s ability to affect climate change. To just take CO2 into account, humans produce 300 times more CO2 than all volcano’s do. Even the supererruptions that formed the "original" shape and climate of the Earth are eclipsed by the CO2 generated by humans in a year (and this is the same atmospheric CO2 that changes the climate, we are ignoring all the CO2 humans sink). So it seems ridiculous to think humans have little effect on our climate when something universally accepted as having a large impact on climate puts out 1/300 of our output.

 

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szore

 

Want more?

 

Evidence is that the Medieval Warm Period in the 1200s was somewhat warmer than we are now, and the climate was a lot colder in the Little Ice Age in the 1600s than it is now. So we are within the range of normal up-and-down fluctuations without human greenhouse contributions that could be significant, or even measurable.

The principal scientists arguing for human-caused global warming have been demonstrably disingenuous. They have proved they should not be trusted.

For an entertaining and devastating critique of the alleged “science” behind the AGW argument, check out this video:

http://blog.american.com/2011/03/climategate-youre-not-allowed-to-do-this-in-science/

Richard Muller is a physicist at the University of California campus at Berkeley (!). He is a bit of a showman, but he is also a serious scientist.

 

The idea that we should be spending billions upon billions of dollars to reduce carbon dioxide emissions is beyond ludicrous in light of the facts above; it is insane. The true motivation underlying the global warming movement is almost certainly ideological and political in nature, and I predict AGW, as currently preached, will go down as the greatest fraud of all time. It makes Madoff and Ponzi look like pikers by comparison

 

http://opinion.financialpost.com/2011/08/26/lawrence-solomon-science-now-settled/

 

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bloodgain

Can you provide a scientific reference for your human/volcano CO2 numbers? People throw a lot of numbers around (on both sides), so it's best to make sure they came from a real scientific source. I've heard at different times that humans produce 3% of the total CO2 produced each year, 25% of it, 90% of it, and several numbers in between.

I've seen human CO2 production compared to many different items, including volcanoes. Generally, this isn't supported by numbers about the effect of that thing on climate, just general phrases like yours ("no person... denies a volcano’s ability to affect climate change"). For example, you're describing volcanic CO2 output, but all the scientific data I remember shows that volcanoes cause more of a cooling effect than a greenhouse effect. The ash and particulate they generate reflect and absorb the sun's radiation, as well as increase clouding, which has a similar effect. Most importantly, volcanoes release sulphur dioxide, which has been shown to have a cooling effect on Earth (again, mostly due to increased aerosols and therefore cloud cover). In fact, volcanoes are the reason we know about this effect, which some scientists believe is the best way to slow down global warming -- that is, inject extra sulphur dioxide into the atmosphere.

I'm not saying you're wrong, or that humans don't affect the climate (we definitely do, at least at smaller levels, if not globally). I'm just saying we have to be careful where we get our "facts," and that it's a good idea to show other people where that information originates.

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TerribleToaster

Well first, everything I mentioned can be found thorugh that wiki link I posted along with orginal soruces where they were pulled from.

 

Second, as I mentioned before, it's "Cimate Change" that's in debate and Global Warming=/=Climate Change. The reason I solely mention CO2 is because it is the best understood. Realsitcally humans surpass volcano's in all outputs into the atmostsphere ( I'll ask you take my world for it as a civil engineer, rather than have me run around pulling up information on sulfur mining and fly ash production).

 

GHG's are thermal masses. They can abosrb and retain thermal energy for long periods of time, this also means that it takes a long time for them to absorb all the thermal energy they can before radiating it. This mean that they can both help to heat the world or help to cool it. Think of it like insulation, if the earth is cold then GHG's will keep it cold, if the earth is hot the GHG's will keep it hot. GHG's make the extreme temperature more extreme. Thus GHG's do contribute to Global Warming, but at the same time, if the Earth was going through a cooling period, they'd be contributing to global cooling.

 

What most people seem to forget (on both sides of the debate) is that all scientists gurantee is that humans have a major impact on the climate. What that impact(s) might be, is still being researched. Why we are pushing for "green" tech is because we know we are having a large impact on the earth, but we don't know what all of that impact is. So rather than risk us doing something terrible, we'd rather have the climate change as little as possible until we better understand how it all works.

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MaximumMike

So, if the science is settled, then can you explain this article? http://news.yahoo.com/nasa-data-blow-gaping-hold-global-warming-alarmism-192334971.html

Also, this is probably one of those arguments for which you shouldn't rely on Wikipedia.

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MrBlueCheese

For one, not all climate change scientisits are alarmists. Second, just because more heat is escaping into the atmosphere, doesn't mean climate change doesn't exist, and humans are playing a part in it. Third, the planet is still feeling the effects of this climate change, and if we don't do anything to bring down CO2 levels to 350 parts per million, the planet will be in a position, where reversing the effects is next to impossible.

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MaximumMike

>>For one, not all climate change scientisits are alarmists.

Yea, Roy Spencer, for instance, isn't an alarmist. 

 

>>Second, just because more heat is escaping into the atmosphere, doesn't mean climate change doesn't exist, and humans are playing a part in it.

Ummm yea, it does. The premise of anthropogenic global warming is that CO2 traps a certain amount of heat at a certain level in the atmosphere. If that isn't happeneing, then it is hard to assert that man is causing global warming. 

 

>>Third, the planet is still feeling the effects of this climate change

Yes, everyone agrees that the climate is changing. But nobody can say for sure how. Thirty years ago scientists thought we were heading into an ice age. Today, alarmists such as yourself are saying we're all gonna fry. But some dissenting scientists still say we're headed into another ice age. There seems to be alot of uncertainty there- more than I would like when foreign and economic policy that could radically shape the future of my nation are on the table.

 

>>and if we don't do anything to bring down CO2 levels to 350 parts per million, the planet will be in a position, where reversing the effects is next to impossible

This certainly souds like alarmism to me. If alarmist models are correct, then anything above 350 parts per million could be detrimental to the planet. But the models have been shown to be incorrect. So, would you like to venture a guess at what the new numbers should be based on actual data, or do you prefer to stick to the alarmism advocated by your erroneous computer models?

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hookem123

That is some cool info would could you post the name of the Article or even better a link to it.

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whiskeymcclinton

I am less worried about climate change, and more worried about air, land, & water pollution from oil and coal use. It's not normal to have smog, barren land, & oilslicks. Let's not forget the negative economic effects of sending money out of the country.

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bloodgain

I agree. I've been arguing for a while that attaching an anti-pollution movement to global warming was bad for many reasons. First, it was based on incomplete research, which always means major political movements will get out of hand, because both sides can argue from figurative scientific vacuums. Second, if it turns out that we are not the primary cause, the movement will lose momentum. This is always the problem with self-hating causes that try to guilt-trip people into balancing some inherent evil in the human race with good works.

There are much better reasons than small amounts of warming to make many of these changes. Take fossil fuels, for instance. Overuse reduces air quality (proven, and shown to affect quality of life), the resources are (most likely) limited and growing more expensive, and our economy is tied too tightly to a few large petroleum-based corporations and foreign interests. You can make similar arguments about other changes.

There's almost always a better reason than a possible effect on climate to make changes. If global warming slows down in the process, great!

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