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toaster_rancher


Mar 13, 2005, 6:12 PM
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Himalayan Glacial Retreat
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http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/4346211.stm

I knew it was happening but I had no idea that it was this serious. This article is truly worth a look.


cintune


Mar 13, 2005, 6:40 PM
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It'll only become really obvious in five or ten years just how serious this is now.


timstich


Mar 13, 2005, 6:41 PM
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How is this "serious" other than "serious geology"? We have been coming out of an ice age for many thousands of years. It's a good thing that a lot of glaciers retreated, since they left most of North America behind them. That talking monkeys noticed in the last 100 years is of no consequence at all.


veilneb


Mar 13, 2005, 7:54 PM
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Next thing you know they will be telling us that Our pollution is contributing....

Maybe you will tell me evolution is real too, huh?!? What will they thinnk of next?


cintune


Mar 13, 2005, 8:36 PM
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What I meant was how serious or how equally not serious it will end up being. It will certainly be serious to millions of people downstream if they end up having to relocate or adapt to drought conditions. It will be serious to alpine climbers who will have to contend with increasingly unstable pitches that used to be frozen solid. But then again, there's a lot of climate fluctuation that can be considered "normal" during interglacial periods. Human input is just one variable, but relatively sudden massive changes can happen just as well without any help from the puny humans.


nonick


Mar 13, 2005, 9:08 PM
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The consquences of the Himalayan glaciers retreating are fairly serious. Many people here in India do feel that the climate has changed...the monsoon has been pretty erratic in the last few years.

It would be trivialising the issue to talk about the impact on mountaineering or climbing in this subject especially to those people in the Himalaya who have experienced the drastic consquences of climate change. Last year a huge flood threatened the mountain state of Himachal Pradesh. This situation, which happened due to the formation of a dam in Tibet is directly related to glaciers melting. Fortunately the natural dam didn't burst - but it could happen in April this year.

This is indeed a serious issue - not just a matter of debate amongst ivory tower scientists..


cintune


Mar 14, 2005, 8:11 AM
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Is anyone doing anything to breach the dam or prepare the people downstream?


dingus


Mar 14, 2005, 8:48 AM
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The article's conclusion is funny... that 20 industrial nations 'had better do something to stop global warming.'

LOL. Who burns the most coal right now???

The good people of India, China, Nepal, Pakistan, Bangledesh, etc should stop expecting others to solve their own self-created problems for them.

The over population of these countries seems to be the root cause of their risk imo... so that the slightest interruption of natural systems causes massive repercussions. Maybe they should stop producing so many children and stop living on flood plains (it is not smart to live on a flood plain). I don't see what the industrialized nations can do to help save people who live on flood plains, save perhaps paying them to move. In which case, others will just move in behind them, as there is nowhere for them to go.

I do not believe climate prediction science is up to the job of telling us whether there will be more or less water running down those rivers in 100 years, so this news blurb, and the underlying announcement, is just sensationalism, pure and simple, issued for purely political purposes. I'm not moved, sorry.

DMT


paulraphael


Mar 14, 2005, 10:27 AM
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I don't think so, Dingus.

As India and China and other less industrialized countries continue developing, they do risk becoming the major contributor to greenhouse gasses. But currently, the U.S. and Europe consume WAY more fossil fuels per capita, and produce correspondingly more greenhouse gasses.

Besides, how are we ever going to convince developing nations to spend money on conservation as they strive to compete with us, if we refuse to set an example? Currently, with the Bush administration unravelling 30 years of environmental policies, we are setting the greatest negative example I can imagine.

It's not solely our problem, but it's definitely our problem.


dingus


Mar 14, 2005, 10:56 AM
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I don't think so, Dingus.

But currently, the U.S. and Europe consume WAY more fossil fuels per capita, and produce correspondingly more greenhouse gasses.

Besides, how are we ever going to convince developing nations to spend money on conservation as they strive to compete with us, if we refuse to set an example? Currently, with the Bush administration unravelling 30 years of environmental policies, we are setting the greatest negative example I can imagine.

It's not solely our problem, but it's definitely our problem.

China burns more coal than any other nation. Period.

I won't argue the example thing, or the 'damage' the Bush neocons have done. I might even agree to a certain extent or even large extents.

However, I emphatically do not agree that we should tank out economies on the threat of retreating glaciers. Nor do I agree that there is any clear cut consensus that we can do anything useful about it anyway. Lastly, I don't think anyone knows AT ALL what the long term results of global warming will be on those river systems anyway.

The single BEST thing these countries can do to protect themselves is to get the hundreds of millions of poor people at risk OUT OF THE FLOOD PLAINS. They should not have located there to begin with. I don't see them doing jack shit about that.

I hear you about setting an example. But I don't think any example from us is going to sway China or India to move away from industrialization and if past performance is any indicator, they will pollute far worse than anything we have EVER done... in fact China already is.

Cheers!
DMT


altelis


Mar 14, 2005, 11:55 AM
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Dingus, you might be right, that people shouldn't live in flood plains.
But here in the good ol u s of a we have millions of people living in these absurd places:

flood plains--the mississippi never overflows!
fault lines-san fransico? never
regular tornado paths-whose ever heard of kansas?
active volcanic areas-there aren't any volcanoes in hawaii!! and st. helens will never erupt again! preposterous!!
regular hurricane paths-yea, the bahamas, florida, lousiana, carolinas are all really safe during the end of summer!!
areas that relie upon regular burns-smoky the bear helped to ensure forest fires? can't be!!! there must be some other reason the west bursts into flames every summer! maybe god is angry!!!!
areas in the path of regular mud slides-surely there must be some reason all those fancy LA homes keep falling into the ocean, and why those rivers of mud keep flowing into so cal suburbs.

woops, but i forgot. if we do it, its ok, cause we are white rich pompous a-holes, but if a "poor country full of pagan darkies" does it then they should know better? its all their fault? why must we keep telling other countries what to do when our own country spends billions of dollars trying to correct, prevent, and rebuild the destruction we are just begging to happen because of the idiotic places we've decided to live!!!


ok, rant finished. i can breathe and be happy now... :?


glyrocks


Mar 14, 2005, 12:00 PM
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Yea, why the hell should we do anything? And why the hell are they there in the first place? I'm glad I chose to be born here. Besides, it's not like flood plains offer good agriculture or anything else useful to a developing country. They should just move them.

Or, in short: what a stupid fucking response. Why don't they just move them...

Now that's out of the way...


No, we don't know the long-term effects of glacial metling and global warming. We don't know everything about it. We do know that it is at least in part anthropogenic. And we know the US- that means you and me-- is really bad about excessively consuming food and fuel. That means that we are a large contributer to the known problem of greenhouse gases and the potential problems related to them. Even if we aren't the cause, why shouldn't we help fix it?


dingus


Mar 14, 2005, 12:24 PM
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In reply to:
Yea, why the hell should we do anything? And why the hell are they there in the first place? I'm glad I chose to be born here. Besides, it's not like flood plains offer good agriculture or anything else useful to a developing country. They should just move them.

Or, in short: what a stupid f---ing response. Why don't they just move them...

Stopping the use of freon to halt the retreat of glaciers is even more stupid.

It cannot be argued, living on a flood plain will result in eventual flooding, global warming notwithstanding. It is an immutable fact.

Just like coastal California dwellers must learn that no amount of money will prevent the hills from sliding into the sea, along with their houses, no amount of money or curtailing of green house gasses will relieve the risk of flooding that about 80% of humanity faces by living in proximity to water and sea level. That threat IS global and Americans face it as surely as other nations.

The vast majority of Americans live within the predicted reach of sea level rises if global warming raises it as feared, something like 90% of us, me included.

We ARE slowly beginning to learn the necessary lessons, we are trying to keep people from moving back into so-called devastated areas.

Of course they need to farm the flooodplains, my reactionary friend. That's where the best dirt is. In the past, the proscription to prevent flooding was to dike the rivers, dam the headwaters, control the rivers. Such control is an illusion.

The Mississippi River floods of the past 10 years have once again demonstrated the folly associated with this, not only will the dikes occasionally fail anyway, with catastrophic results, but the flood plains die a slow, sinking death because they are no longer recharged with annual flooding. New Orleans and the Mississippi delta are sinking BECAUSE of the efforts to control the river.

The right thing to do is to move out of the flood plains and let them flood, knowing it is to everyone's eventual benefit to do so. Of course it takes time, idiot... but it has to be done. Because if the dire predictions are true, those people are going to die anyway.

Better to move out slowly, and encourage them to do so, starting now. Do we hear anyone talking about it? No. Only people like you dismissing them as too stupid to move.

But no, instead, we ban freon in the vain hope that it will save people from themselves.

Now get the hell off your high horse and engage instead of belittling. You aren't well armed enough to pull it off.

DMT


tradklime


Mar 14, 2005, 12:35 PM
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In reply to:
As India and China and other less industrialized countries continue developing, they do risk becoming the major contributor to greenhouse gasses. But currently, the U.S. and Europe consume WAY more fossil fuels per capita, and produce correspondingly more greenhouse gasses.

Ya don't forget that "per capita" at the end of the sentance too.

Paul Harvey told me over the radio the other day that the largest contributor to global air polution are the cooking fires of Southeast Asia. Two thoughts on that: 1) It actually makes a lot of sense, and 2) He is just as good of a source as any of you have. So take it for what it is worth.

A point that should be clarified and considered. It is not, nor should it be, up to the industrialized nations to fix the problems created by, or significantly contributed to by, the industrializing nations. Every country has their own stake in the problem, and suffers their own consequences. And each nation should start by addressing their own problems first, and not expect others to fix them or point fingers. All nations live in glass houses, as it relates to pollution.


harrisha


Mar 14, 2005, 12:36 PM
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The problem with global warming isn't that it will flood flood plains or something like that. The major problem is that global warming is melting glaciers and the polar ice caps. These two sources hold the majority of the earth's fresh water. The ice caps are melting into the oceans and the glacial melt will eventually reach the ocean. So the biggest problem is that were melting our nonereneuable fresh water supply.


tradklime


Mar 14, 2005, 12:41 PM
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In reply to:
No, we don't know the long-term effects of glacial metling and global warming. We don't know everything about it. We do know that it is at least in part anthropogenic.

No, we know that the greenhouse effect is real, and in part anthropogenic. Now whether it will ultimately contribute to global warming, and thus glacial melting, is up to debate, still.


tradklime


Mar 14, 2005, 12:50 PM
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So the biggest problem is that were melting our nonereneuable fresh water supply.

Ya good point since most people get fresh water directly from the polar ice caps, ya that's it. :roll:

There exists this neat little phenomena called evaporation, well and then there is rain, and then there is evapotranspiration, and then there's...


glyrocks


Mar 14, 2005, 12:53 PM
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I certainly did not dismiss them as too stupid. Sarcasm, my reactionary friend. I did say your response to just move them was stupid. And, as originally stated, it is a stupid answer. Qualified, it isn't as stupid. Though I don't know one, I'm still not sure moving that number of people is a plausible solution.

All I said was we should help b/c the US is a huge part of the anthropogenic-side of pollution and its subsequent problems.

Dikes and dams are definitely not good solutions. I aruge about that all time, with remarkably-limited success. I don't know why people think they are good ideas. Maybe because they've just been around for so long. I also don't know why most of us help pay for the subsidization of insurance on homes and property in flood plains.


dingus


Mar 14, 2005, 12:54 PM
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In reply to:
The problem with global warming isn't that it will flood flood plains or something like that.

Hehe, you obviously didn't read the article cited in the OP. They made a direct correlation!

Cheers
DMT


dingus


Mar 14, 2005, 12:57 PM
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In reply to:
Dingus, you might be right, that people shouldn't live in flood plains.
But here in the good ol u s of a we have millions of people living in these absurd places:

You're right and I think the people of India, Nepal and China should damned well do something about it!!!111???HHHVVVaaa222999

Otherwise global warming from cooking fires in SE Asia is going to kill us all.

Where's my chicken? Have you seen my little chicken???

Cheers man
DMT


tradklime


Mar 14, 2005, 12:58 PM
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I also don't know why most of us help pay for the subsidization of insurance on homes and property in flood plains.

Well now there's actually a good point. We should create disincentives for living in flood plains, not incentives. That's how you actually get people to move out of flood plains, you don't friggin rebuild their house when it floods. And you don't compensate people for loss when they loose something out of stupidity. Symptomatic of many other problems in our country, the sense of entitlement.

How they deal with the issue in other countries is their problem.


dynosore


Mar 14, 2005, 1:01 PM
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timstich wrote:

In reply to:
How is this "serious" other than "serious geology"? We have been coming out of an ice age for many thousands of years. It's a good thing that a lot of glaciers retreated, since they left most of North America behind them. That talking monkeys noticed in the last 100 years is of no consequence at all.

This has got to be one of the best replies ever. I'm so sick of "the sky is falling" environuts. Our last couple winters here in Michigan have been c-c-c-older and snowier than those in many years. I'll extrapolate that out forever and declare that a new ice age has started :roll:


dingus


Mar 14, 2005, 1:02 PM
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woops, but i forgot. if we do it, its ok, cause we are white rich pompous a-holes, but if a "poor country full of pagan darkies" does it then they should know better?

You simply can't have an energetic discussion without resorting to this sort of low brow shit, can you?

DMT


dingus


Mar 14, 2005, 1:13 PM
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I did say your response to just move them was stupid.

No, you said it was "fucking stupid."

My response did not say, 'just move them.' I said no one wanted to talk abou this and these emotional responses I received are evidence enough of that!

In reply to:
And, as originally stated, it is a stupid answer. Qualified, it isn't as stupid. Though I don't know one, I'm still not sure moving that number of people is a plausible solution.

The long term health of those river systems requires it. We call them setbacks here in the US and the cost estimates for the Mississippi alone are in the trillions.

Another example... the single most productive ag region in the United States it literally just outside my door, the delta region of the Central Valley of Cali. Because of the farming and flood control practices employed here, the farm land has sunk up to 30 feet below the level of the rivers that once ran through it. Those rivers are now on man made pedestals. Last fall, a levee broke and a tract of land, ironically called an island, flooded. You and I are picking up the tab to pump out the water and rebuild the levee, to the tune ot 20-40 millions bucks... for the benefit of 7, count em 7 farms.

I say make the famers pay the entire bill (they are paying some of it, gld bless em), let em go out of business and leave the island flooded. The land will be better off underwater.

But oh no, you mention that around here and its like some of you in this thread..."that's fucking stupid."

Fact... our curtainling of green houses will do nothing to address the charges layed out in the OP article. Moving out of the flood plains WILL.

DMT

All I said was we should help b/c the US is a huge part of the anthropogenic-side of pollution and its subsequent problems.

Dikes and dams are definitely not good solutions. I aruge about that all time, with remarkably-limited success. I don't know why people think they are good ideas. Maybe because they've just been around for so long. I also don't know why most of us help pay for the subsidization of insurance on homes and property in flood plains.


altelis


Mar 14, 2005, 1:13 PM
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seriuosly not trying to be low brow-we need to honestly ask ourselves where our motivations come from in terms of being able to criticize others without at the least conceding that we have an equal responsibility. i'm not advocating 'let he without sin cast the first stone", no, let the "sinful" cast that stone as hard as he can, just don't be dishonest about your "sin".

i think (and i want to just say that this is somebody who has studied race, racism, classism, etc. extensively in an academic setting) that at root of a lot of comments made about what other countries or people should do is a certain ingrained hierarchy based on features or qualities believed, at some level, to be inherent, when they really aren't and don't actually even exist....just be careful. sorry if i came across as low-brow. but i won't apologize for the meat of my comment, that was intentional and right.

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