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Did the burning of fossil fuels save virtually all life on Earth?

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  • Did the burning of fossil fuels save virtually all life on Earth?

    Historical atmospheric CO2 levels:

    source



    source


    source



    According to these different graphs of historic atmospheric CO2 levels, the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere has been dropping for hundreds of millions of years. (The PNAS graph shows an increase then a decrease). If this natural trend towards lower and lower atmospheric CO2 ppm levels had continued unabated, plants would stop growing when CO2 levels dropped below 200 ppm.

    Once the plants and trees started dying, there would be an uptick on CO2 back into the air from the decaying trees. But the oceans are huge CO2 sinks and I believe this uptick would eventually give way to the ocean sinks. At such point, with CO2 levels below 200 ppm, the plants and trees would vanish. When this happened wouldn't most other life on Earth also die off?

    Now since it is the view of most scientists that the burning of fossil fuels is mainly responsible for reversing this trend of lower and lower atmospheric CO2, is it fair to suggest that Exxon, Standard Oil, Atlantic-Richfield, BP, Shell and other fossil fuel companies have saved the Earth and virtually all life on it?

    And if the burning of fossil fuels did save the Earth, would it be fair to suggest that environmentalists and others who want a carbon-free world are (unknowingly) supporting conditions to end virtually all life on Earth?


    Thoughts?

  • #2
    Re: Did the burning of fossil fuels save virtually all life on Earth?

    Interesting theory, but I think you meant life those companies didn't have a direct hand in destroying. Those oceans don't pollute themselves you know!

    מה מכילות החדשות?


    • #3
      Re: Did the burning of fossil fuels save virtually all life on Earth?

      Originally posted by AJG View Post
      Interesting theory, but I think you meant life those companies didn't have a direct hand in destroying. Those oceans don't pollute themselves you know!
      True, but they do seem to pretty well clean themselves.

      מה מכילות החדשות?


      • #4
        Re: Did the burning of fossil fuels save virtually all life on Earth?

        Originally posted by AJG View Post
        Interesting theory, but I think you meant life those companies didn't have a direct hand in destroying. Those oceans don't pollute themselves you know!
        I've read that the Earth seeps more oil naturally into the oceans then what is spilled by humans.

        מה מכילות החדשות?


        • #5
          Re: Did the burning of fossil fuels save virtually all life on Earth?

          Originally posted by OldmanDan View Post
          True, but they do seem to pretty well clean themselves.
          True, but species can't repopulate once they go extinct. Extinction is a problem that can't fix itself. It's hard to say how much humans have contributed to the current mass extinction, but it certainly doesn't seem natural at any rate.

          מה מכילות החדשות?


          • #6
            Re: Did the burning of fossil fuels save virtually all life on Earth?

            Originally posted by AJG View Post
            True, but species can't repopulate once they go extinct. Extinction is a problem that can't fix itself. It's hard to say how much humans have contributed to the current mass extinction, but it certainly doesn't seem natural at any rate.
            I would say that most mass extinction events had little to do with humans. Most probably, it will be humans, through DNA technology that will preserve species. Maybe even bring some back from extinction.

            מה מכילות החדשות?


            • #7
              Re: Did the burning of fossil fuels save virtually all life on Earth?

              Originally posted by OldmanDan View Post
              I would say that most mass extinction events had little to do with humans. Most probably, it will be humans, through DNA technology that will preserve species. Maybe even bring some back from extinction.
              Yeah, you are right because the mass extinctions that occurred millions of years ago happened before humans even existed on earth. But we were almost a victim in one of those later mass extinctions, as we now know that the pool of genes left after one of those later ones was very small. Humans almost went the way of the Dodo bird.

              It just seems to me that many of us don't give Mother Nature her due. Life has a way of changing, evolving to meet the changes and life is very tenacious overall. The history of the earth is one where certain lifeforms went extinct allowing others to gain a foothold and then evolve, bringing forth new species. So I don't lay awake at night worrying about losing some of the species left today. In fact, as far as I am concerned, we could make certain shark species go extinct and humans would be better off because of it. My life was not direly affected when we killed out the bears here in the south, my ancestors were safer. The same can be said of wolves, no love lost when we killed those out either. If man didn't do it, Mother Nature eventually kills out many species, so you can blame her.

              Even if the globe is warming up from co2 levels, it is a fact that a warmer earth sees more diversity and the number of life forms, so the big picture isn't as bleak as some of the hysterical folks make it out to be. The earth acts like a living organism in that it tends to balance, and as great as man thinks he is, there is no comparision between what man can do when compared to the geologic changes that is the norm for the earth. We are lightweights, when it comes to monster volcanoes, and large space debris that strikes earth. I think we give ourselves far too much credit in causing changes in this biosphere. We have tremendous egos, even in this area.

              We should of course be intelligent and good husbands of this ball we live on, but you can go overboard with it and cause humans to suffer. And it isn't the elites who ever suffer, but the average man. It is no surprise that the hysteria over global warming and co2 levels finds a good home with this elite class of people. And if there is a profit to be made from it, they will position themselves to insure even the average folks believe in their self made hysteria. As they laugh all the way to their banks.

              Global warming hysteria is just another tool to be used by a few to get even more wealthy. I think it is just another confidence game played on average people, with a nefarious motive. The same motive that has driven the elites to be the elites. These elites keep their hands in the pockets of those that make them their fortunes, as they cannot help themselves. Greed is so transparent, and obvious. And lives to dig in the pockets of others. The new means is global warming. And co2 levels.

              If man were to become too great of a problem, for the earth, she will shake herself like a dog shaking off fleas. And fix the problem. But I don't think we can do enough to cause that, as much as we would love to think that we can.

              מה מכילות החדשות?


              • #8
                Re: Did the burning of fossil fuels save virtually all life on Earth?

                Originally posted by Blue Doggy View Post
                Yeah, you are right because the mass extinctions that occurred millions of years ago happened before humans even existed on earth. But we were almost a victim in one of those later mass extinctions, as we now know that the pool of genes left after one of those later ones was very small. Humans almost went the way of the Dodo bird.

                It just seems to me that many of us don't give Mother Nature her due. Life has a way of changing, evolving to meet the changes and life is very tenacious overall. The history of the earth is one where certain lifeforms went extinct allowing others to gain a foothold and then evolve, bringing forth new species. So I don't lay awake at night worrying about losing some of the species left today. In fact, as far as I am concerned, we could make certain shark species go extinct and humans would be better off because of it. My life was not direly affected when we killed out the bears here in the south, my ancestors were safer. The same can be said of wolves, no love lost when we killed those out either. If man didn't do it, Mother Nature eventually kills out many species, so you can blame her.

                Even if the globe is warming up from co2 levels, it is a fact that a warmer earth sees more diversity and the number of life forms, so the big picture isn't as bleak as some of the hysterical folks make it out to be. The earth acts like a living organism in that it tends to balance, and as great as man thinks he is, there is no comparision between what man can do when compared to the geologic changes that is the norm for the earth. We are lightweights, when it comes to monster volcanoes, and large space debris that strikes earth. I think we give ourselves far too much credit in causing changes in this biosphere. We have tremendous egos, even in this area.

                We should of course be intelligent and good husbands of this ball we live on, but you can go overboard with it and cause humans to suffer. And it isn't the elites who ever suffer, but the average man. It is no surprise that the hysteria over global warming and co2 levels finds a good home with this elite class of people. And if there is a profit to be made from it, they will position themselves to insure even the average folks believe in their self made hysteria. As they laugh all the way to their banks.

                Global warming hysteria is just another tool to be used by a few to get even more wealthy. I think it is just another confidence game played on average people, with a nefarious motive. The same motive that has driven the elites to be the elites. These elites keep their hands in the pockets of those that make them their fortunes, as they cannot help themselves. Greed is so transparent, and obvious. And lives to dig in the pockets of others. The new means is global warming. And co2 levels.

                If man were to become too great of a problem, for the earth, she will shake herself like a dog shaking off fleas. And fix the problem. But I don't think we can do enough to cause that, as much as we would love to think that we can.
                Pretending that global warming is something we can completely overlook is a similar mistake that alarmists make. We really don't know what will happen as co2 levels continue to rise, but imo that's not even our biggest concern. Our biggest concern is that we're not really in control, and that might spell disaster for us if after all our polluting shit finally hits the fan there's nothing we can do about it. And I don't think you give humans enough credit; we've had the power to end all life since the cold war. What we lack is the power to save it.

                I'm not an alarmist and I don't think we should do anything rash that might hurt our economy. Renewable energy's time hasn't come yet and switching to it on a massive scale prematurely would be a mistake. But doing nothing is also a mistake that will actually hurt our economy as well as nature. You say alarmists invest in global warming to keep the cash flowing, but I also think businesses that deal in fossil fuels use the doubt surrounding global warming as an excuse to not invest in alternative energy sources which won't bring them any profits short term. Big business seems favor short term over long term gains these days. They want immediate results, which isn't a bad thing as long as it isn't at our expense years from now. Business owners won't protect our interests, but I think could with government intervention. That doesn't mean government should invest in companies that make clean energy infrastructure that doesn't produce. Tipping the scale artificially in favor of some technology that might not even be our future is a mistake. Instead, government should create incentives for businesses to look long term and invest in R&D so that when shit finally hits the fan, we have the knowledge and power to fix things.

                מה מכילות החדשות?


                • #9
                  Re: Did the burning of fossil fuels save virtually all life on Earth?

                  Originally posted by AJG View Post
                  Pretending that global warming is something we can completely overlook is a similar mistake that alarmists make. We really don't know what will happen as co2 levels continue to rise, but imo that's not even our biggest concern.
                  Did you see the graphs I posted in the OP? They show that CO2 was many times higher in the past than what it is today.

                  מה מכילות החדשות?


                  • #10
                    Re: Did the burning of fossil fuels save virtually all life on Earth?

                    Originally posted by kramer View Post
                    Did you see the graphs I posted in the OP? They show that CO2 was many times higher in the past than what it is today.
                    Yes, I did see the graph. Do you think your graph settles the global warming debate?

                    מה מכילות החדשות?


                    • #11
                      Re: Did the burning of fossil fuels save virtually all life on Earth?

                      [QUOTE=AJG;2185114] We really don't know what will happen as co2 levels continue to rise, but imo that's not even our biggest concern. Our biggest concern is that we're not really in control, and that might spell disaster for us if after all our polluting shit finally hits the fan there's nothing we can do about it. [QUOTE=Good1;2185121]

                      Might is speculative. It is logical to dismiss alarmist claims in the absence of evidence.

                      You and I do not share the biggest concern. The biggest concern is not the possible change to weather from our life styles but the certain loss of freedom in following alarmist prognostications, which manage to always prove false.

                      Originally posted by AJG View Post
                      I'm not an alarmist
                      You just acceptthe premise of alarmists.

                      Originally posted by AJG View Post
                      Yes, I did see the graph. Do you think your graph settles the global warming debate?
                      Yes. The graphs clearly show CO2 was higher in the past. In addition, the graphs show the CO2 levels were highest when the planet was least hospitable to life.

                      מה מכילות החדשות?


                      • #12
                        Re: Did the burning of fossil fuels save virtually all life on Earth?

                        Originally posted by AJG View Post
                        Yes, I did see the graph. Do you think your graph settles the global warming debate?
                        It answers your question about what will happen with CO2 rising..., not much.

                        מה מכילות החדשות?


                        • #13
                          Re: Did the burning of fossil fuels save virtually all life on Earth?

                          Originally posted by kramer View Post
                          It answers your question about what will happen with CO2 rising..., not much.
                          But scientists are still debating global warming and your graph isn't particularly ground breaking. I'm no expert on the subject, but perhaps co2 levels going back millions of years doesn't tell the whole story?

                          Originally posted by JohnLocke View Post

                          Might is speculative. It is logical to dismiss alarmist claims in the absence of evidence.

                          You and I do not share the biggest concern. The biggest concern is not the possible change to weather from our life styles but the certain loss of freedom in following alarmist prognostications, which manage to always prove false.



                          You just acceptthe premise of alarmists.



                          Yes. The graphs clearly show CO2 was higher in the past. In addition, the graphs show the CO2 levels were highest when the planet was least hospitable to life.
                          Alarmists call for extreme measures which is something I don't do. They believe the global warming debate has been settled which is something I don't believe. That's why I don't consider myself an alarmist.

                          Also keep in mind that just because I disagree with you that doesn't mean I'm an alarmist. It's just that I don't trust scientists who say global warming is myth or people who believe in this far-fetched comspiracy theory that it's some bs invention of liberals anymore than I trust alarmists.
                          Last edited by AJG; 08-11-2013, 04:39 PM.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Did the burning of fossil fuels save virtually all life on Earth?

                            Originally posted by AJG View Post
                            But scientists are still debating global warming and your graph isn't particularly ground breaking. I'm no expert on the subject, but perhaps co2 levels going back millions of years doesn't tell the whole story?
                            You think going back to the Industrial Revolution - rather than millions of years - does tell the whole story?

                            Originally posted by AJG View Post
                            Alarmists call for extreme measures which is something I don't do. They believe the global warming debate has been settled which is something I don't believe. That's why I don't consider myself an alarmist.
                            I am not saying you are an alarmist. I am saying you accept the alarmist premise. Once you think in fundamentals, you will realize accepting their premise is what is extreme and their supposed extreme measures are merely the logical consequence of accepting their flawed premise.

                            Originally posted by AJG View Post
                            Also keep in mind that just because I disagree with you that doesn't mean I'm an alarmist. It's just that I don't trust scientists who say global warming is myth or people who believe in this far-fetched comspiracy theory that it's some bs invention of liberals anymore than I trust alarmists.
                            See how the acceptance of the alarmist position shows itself? You reject out of hand those that reject AGW but readily embrace what seems to you to be reasonable measures in adopting a false premise.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Did the burning of fossil fuels save virtually all life on Earth?

                              Originally posted by JohnLocke View Post
                              You think going back to the Industrial Revolution - rather than millions of years - does tell the whole story?
                              No?

                              I am not saying you are an alarmist. I am saying you accept the alarmist premise. Once you think in fundamentals, you will realize accepting their premise is what is extreme and their supposed extreme measures are merely the logical consequence of accepting their flawed premise.



                              See how the acceptance of the alarmist position shows itself? You reject out of hand those that reject AGW but readily embrace what seems to you to be reasonable measures in adopting a false premise.
                              There are two extreme side in the case of global warming: One side rejects any possibility that global warming is man made or that it even exists, and the other side believes global warming is happening right now and we have to take drastic measures immediately otherwise we're all doomed. I fall somewhere in the middle of these two extremes. You seem to side with the first extreme, but somehow you've come to the conclusion that I'm the extremist here and you are not.

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