It is time to stop quivering in our boots in pointless fear of the future and just roll up our sleeves and build it.
- Ray Pierrehumbert

Monday, January 10, 2011

Everybody's an expert

From a discussion on two dimensional carbon sheets called graphenes:

This thoughtful if somewhat innumerate rumination
First I would like to say that Graphene is a exciting new material. The possibilities are endless and I see that in the future that carbon products will out number all others materials. Looking forward 500 years or so it's possible that carbon can become in short supply. Right now we are faced with an abundance of carbon in our atmosphere it is not that we have too much carbon on our planet it's that carbon is just in the wrong places. What if a new products start to deplete the carbon resources? What if instead of global warming we are heading towards an ice ball earth? I know this is unlikely not impossible we have always been known to overdo. We should take advantage of these new technologies and keep in mind everything has a price. I see products like Graphene and other nanotechnologies saving lives and improving our way of life. It's up to us how we proceed and keep in mind for everything we take there must be something that we give.
garnered this response:
you have touched on a very touchy subject. The politically correct statement is not global warming, but global climate change. That way when the weather warms up we can take blame for it as well as when it cools. Okay, I'm being a little facetious here. The last interview that I heard from Professor Kaku is that he believes in man-made global warming and that interview was right after the climate gate scandal. Even though I'm a big fan of Professor Kaku, I don't think we can say with absolute certainty that it is man caused. The evidence on both sides is mostly circumstantial that can point to either a natural or man caused phenomenon. What we do know is that Carbon Dioxide is higher on Venus where there is a runaway global warming, but is that a cause, effect, or because there are no plants on the surface to absorb it like there is on Earth. The evidence is very shaky on Carbon Dioxide's role in global climate change. What one group that supports man caused global climate change is saying that it is caused more by the sulfuric acid in the atmosphere which used to come out of our manufacturing plants very heavily, but no longer does due to environmental regulations in the United States. Many countries in the world don't have these regulations so sulfuric acid is still coming from their manufacturing plants. This fits with the model of Venus as well as it has several layers of Sulfuric Acid clouds caused by the much higher volcanic activity on that planet than on Earth. So now the question is, if this is the cause, does the manufacturing of Graphene and other nanotechnologies produce sulfuric acid byproduct into the air as untreated gasses from coal burning plants and other manufacturing plants do. If it doesn't, great, I hope we can move the rest of the world to manufacturing with Graphene as quickly as possible. On the other hand, if it still does can we convince the other countries to use the same scrubbers to lessen man's most probbable impact on global climate change. China has already firmly said no the last time I've heard them mention anything about using scrubbers.
I like the big think site, but its comment sections have the usual problems...


Alexander Ac said...

Australia is fuc*ed - I hope this will go through :-)

Ian Bicking said...

Perhaps relevant:

guthrie said...

Hmmm. I think I know what you mean.
Both comments exhibit a lack of knowledge. I find the digression on sulphur dioxide to be confusing to say the least. Graphene will be useful, but is hardly going to solve our problems. Finally, the amount of carbon involved in the carbon cycle etc is vast, and it is rather hard to see how it could be important with regards to the future.

There are many people who read superficially about things, and will speak about them afterwards as if they know all about them. The fact that their knowledge is fragmented and therefore of little use just does not seem to matter. Mayhap this approach is encouraged by the approbation given to those who do well at quiz's, when all that requires is a good memory. Knowledge or information is not the same as wisdom.
Anyway, I think it would be possible to be too hard on these people.
Yet I see their like all over the place, and strive not to be that way myself, easy though it is to fall into. I see one reason it exists as being the remaining, debased idea of exaltation of the amateur and problem solver, who naturally can see and do and make more sense than the narrow minded professional. Also democratic ideals pose no threat to people spouting off.
Maybe also people seem to find it so easy to speculate without taking things seriously. If people fully realised what is going on in the world, rather than talking as if they did, I am convinced things would be a bit different.

David B. Benson said...

Obtain the carbon from the air

Marion Delgado said...

I think, while like all right-thinking people I do worry about upcoming carbon shortages, we should give a care to over-use of silica supplies. It does no good to conserve on carbon only to run out of silicates. If we restrict carbon usage to control rods for nuclear energy, that should be sufficient until we can mine Venus for carbon.

And yes, the only dubious thing about what Michio Kaku has put out so far has been this inexplicable belief in something as outlandish as "climate change."

EliRabett said...

Stuff for which not even wrong was designed.