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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2008 8:37 am 
I am amazed at how many people seem to think everything is a conspiracy! Ok I accept a degree of political meddling in many parts of the world but these 'Grand Plans' you would think could only be sustained for a few years.

Who stands to gain from hyping up global warming? Certainly not the US or the CIA. The Russians? The Chinese? Gordon Brown?

No it's the ordinary people who are saying something is afoot. Those who have been affected by extremes of weather with previous records being broken and weather patterns turned upside down. Even last night in the South was the warmest night in January (at 13 degrees) since records began.

The Ice Age may have been a phase that Man survived. But what was the population of the Earth then? If it happened now imagine how many billions would be affected. Excess CO2 might be a man-made problem, or may just be a natural phase in Earth's life, but the extremes of weather now being experienced are probably a sign of worse to come.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2008 9:47 am 
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At the risk of fuelling the conspiracy theorists - Shankers - you are beginning to sound a wee bit like the gimp -masked arachnid, Ja?


Steady, Erik, you naive Scandian knave, you slanderer you, please don't confuse me with the dreaded dinosaur Shankers, who clearly is in denial of science. Rather I would have been flattered if you had confused me with the excellent Hebrides, whose utterings are impressive and correct. I have long been a proponent of man-induced climate change and the main mechanisms are rather well known and generally accepted nowadays.

Returning to the original question about changes on Seil in the next 10 years, surely a good idea is to look at those in the past 10 years and then extrapolate? My personal take on the former is that many of the changes have been excellent, including: new water supplies, new sewage management infrastructure, more robust electricity supply, new medical centre, much improved local shop, improved bus services (free to over-60s), new voluntary car transport scheme for the frail and elderly, new public halls on Seil and Easdale, expanded local seafood and building industries, more ecotourism, improved housing stock (in terms of appearance, maintenance, extensions, heating, insulation etc), improved golf course, improved local management of moorings, the local development of broadband-based IT (allowing working from home, improved communications, internet shopping etc), better preventative medicine, increased life expectancy, more environmental awareness, greater access to land, better facilities for recycling and management of waste, influx of new people, from UK and abroad (thereby widening the knowledge-base and probably increasing the average IQ!), more varied and interesting politics, more colourful decor opposite the TnT etc etc - you can all add your own.

So generally I think the future is bright - OK, we need more affordable housing and so on. But my guess based on extrapolation is that in 10 years from now, we'll be having things like a new 2-lane road to Seil, new links with Luing and Easdale, round-the-clock/7-days-a-week local GP care, even more environmental awareness and of course a ubiquitous mobile phone signal....

:) 8)


Last edited by spiderman on Sun Jan 20, 2008 12:14 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2008 11:31 am 
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Well said Eric, proves you're more than half a bee.

Just trying to make sure the Hammer of the Scots doesn't get it all his way this time :wink:
Of course the whole climate change debate has become politicised, to the point where both sides of the debate are quite happy to publish outright untruths to try and reinforce their argument, so the truth is very hard to find. I am no climatologist, but I am a trained chemist, with enough knowledge to understand at least part of the debate. Enough to allow me to rely on the interpretations of others who are experts in the field. The overwhelming majority in the field are of the opinion that the climate IS changing. The argument is what is causing it, and are we to blame?

I do find it interesting that the bulk of opinion claiming that is an entirely natural and inescapable phenomenon comes from those funded by organisations with a vested financial interest. Of course it is not in the interests of the oil companies, for example, that we should be encouraged to use less of their product. Neither is it in the interests of those with substantial financial ties to these organisations, by whom I refer of course to the current administration of the USA (among others). This has come to mean that if one supports the Republican administration, one beleives the antis as a matter of political faith, rather than through any understanding of the subject. We see this a lot.

We of course also see the opposite - those who oppose the forces of darkness will favour the anthropogenic model simply because it causes discomfort to their political opponents, again without any great understanding of the subject. I would venture that 90% of people who have a professed opinion on the matter have little understanding of the subject at all, and it becomes a matter of faith rather than judgement.

Almost everyone agrees that climate is changing, and that this is likely to make life nore difficult. My position is that there are very strong arguments that human activity is playing a role. Until and unless compelling evidence to the contrary becomes available, common sense should dictate that we try and ameliorate our impact. If we do and we were wrong, we lose some money. If we don't and we are wrong, we may lose considerable chunks of our habitat.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2008 1:04 pm 
This may seem a little obscure in the current debate, which is about what does the future hold, but I think the Chinese may have more effect on our lives than anyone might think, even on Seil.

I don't say that for purely environmental reasons. It is true that China is increasing its manufacturing base at an incredible rate and building power stations to feed that industry. And that it's own massive population rapidly is demanding more energy to power the trappings that come with a higher standard of living. Already China is becoming the world's factory and we are becoming dependant on goods manufactured there.

Soon China will be so cash rich, every western country will be indebted to it, that eventually the only thing left to sell to China will be the military technology that still just about keeps us safe.

China will demand more energy, and like everyone else they have to have it. Already we are seeing them move aggressively into areas such as Sudan to grab the oil (I am quite sure this is why the US is in Iraq, and Saudi Arabia, and may well be in Iran soon).

But what happens when China wants more. It may one day have all the money in the world, it may well soon have the military might: will it then turn the world upside down and take what it wants?

Such a scenario could happen in a decade and it could affect everyone, even in sleepy Seil. Your local Chinese might not be a takeaway, but a party official who returns us to the lives of peasants!


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2008 4:06 pm 
Herbie; you may just be as dazed and confused as Al Goretex. You state that climate change can be explained and understood by: "Very simple chemistry, and chemistry which has been well understood for over a century. " To enlighten you a bit I need to tell you that the study of energy and the transfer of energy falls quite clearly into the lap of Physics!
Of course climate is changing, it always has and always will; we live on a dynamic planet. In the past these ongoing changes have often been rapid and large. The shift from the medieval warm period into the victorian mini-ice age was one such example. We appear now to be moving out of the latter. All climate energy on this planet originates from the Sun. It's changes in solar radiation received caused by slowly shifting orbits, tilts and sunspot activity which dictate the levels of energy we receive and thus the shifting patterns of our climate.
Those who are worried by our blind belief in CO2 global warming are basing their fears of the consequences of our politicians deciding their policies (and taxes) on the assumption that CO2 is the threat.
A simple example is that our Government have decided that no new generation nuclear power should be built in Scotland and our existing ones will have to close. We will rely, instead, in the main, on wind power and just accept the destruction of our landscape and hope that in future wind blows 24/365. Meanwhile England will be building 10 or 12 new gen nuclear stations.
We, the anti CO2ers, can then see a time post independence when the Socialist Republic of Scotland will have to beg The Kingdom of England for electrity because the wind has dropped for a couple of days. Not a good scenario.
Sleep well and btw; still got any canned food left over from the Y2K stocks you no doubt built up?


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2008 5:34 pm 
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It's changes in solar radiation received caused by slowly shifting orbits, tilts and sunspot activity which dictate the levels of energy we receive and thus the shifting patterns of our climate.

Wrong - another popular myth spouted by the CCD lobby.

Switch off the Sun and Earth would become a very chilly place. No one denies our star's central role in determining how warm our planet is. The issue today is how much solar changes have contributed to the recent warming, and what that tells us about future climate.

The total amount of solar energy reaching Earth can vary due to changes in the Sun's output, such as those associated with sunspots, or in Earth's orbit. Orbital oscillations can also result in different parts of Earth getting more or less sunlight even when the total amount reaching the planet remains constant – similar to the way the tilt in Earth's axis produces the hemispheric seasons. There may also be more subtle effects (see HERE)

On timescales that vary from millions of years through to the more familiar 11-year sunspot cycles, variations in the amount of solar energy reaching Earth have a huge influence on our atmosphere and climate. But the Sun is far from being the only player.

How do we know? According to solar physicists, the sun emitted a third less energy about 4 billion years ago and has been steadily brightening ever since. Yet for most of this time, Earth has been even warmer than today, a phenomenon sometimes called the faint sun paradox. The reason: higher levels of greenhouse gases trapping more of the sun’s heat.

Nearer our own time, the coming and going of the ice ages that have gripped the planet in the past two million years were probably triggered by fractional changes in solar heating (caused by wobbles in the planet’s orbit, known as Milankovitch cycles

The cooling and warming during the ice ages and interglacial periods, however, was far greater than would be expected from the tiny changes in solar energy reaching the Earth. The temperature changes must have been somehow amplified. This most probably happened through the growth of ice sheets, which reflect more solar radiation back into space than darker land or ocean, and transfers of carbon dioxide between the atmosphere and the ocean.

Analysis of ice cores from Greenland and Antarctica shows a very strong correlation between CO2 levels in the atmosphere and temperatures. But what causes what? Proponents of solar influence point out that that temperatures sometimes change first. This, they say, suggest that warming causes rising CO2 levels in the atmosphere, not vice versa. What is actually happening is a far more complicated interaction (see HERE). Ice cores show CO2 only rose after the start of warm periods.

So what role, if any, have solar fluctuations had in recent temperature changes? While we can work out how Earth's orbit has changed going back many millions of years, we have no first-hand record of the changes in solar output associated with sunspots before the 20th century.

It is true that sunspot records go back to the 17th century, but sunspots actually block the Sun's radiation. It is the smaller bright spots (faculae) that increase the Sun's output and these were not recorded until more recently. The correlation between sunspots and bright faculae is not perfect, so estimates of solar activity based on sunspot records may be out by as much as 30%.

The other method of working out past solar activity is to measure levels of carbon-14 and beryllium-10 in tree rings and ice cores. These isotopes are formed when cosmic rays hit the atmosphere, and higher sunspot activity is associated with increases in the solar wind that deflect more galactic cosmic rays away from Earth. Yet again, though, the correlation is not perfect. What is more, recent evidence suggests that the deposition of beryllium-10 can be affected by climate changes, making it even less reliable as a measure of past solar activity.
Despite these problems, most studies suggest that before the industrial age, there was a good correlation between natural “forcings" – solar fluctuations and other factors such as the dust ejected by volcanoes – and average global temperatures. Solar forcing may have been largely responsible for warming in the late 19th and early 20th century, levelling off during the mid-century cooling (see Global temperatures fell between 1940 and 1980).

The 2007 IPCC report halved the maximum likely influence of solar forcing on warming over the past 250 years from 40% to 20%. This was based on a reanalysis of the likely changes in solar forcing since the 17th century.

But even if solar forcing in the past was more important than this estimate suggests, as some scientists think, there is no correlation between solar activity and the strong warming during the past 40 years. Claims that this is the case have not stood up to scrutiny (pdf document) .

Direct measurements of solar output since 1978 show a steady rise and fall over the 11-year sunspot cycle, but [url=http://www.pmodwrc.ch/pmod.php?topic=tsi/composite/SolarConstant[/url]no upwards or downward trend[/url]

Similarly, there is no trend in direct measurements of the Sun's ultraviolet output and in cosmic rays. So for the period for which we have direct, reliable records, the Earth has warmed dramatically even though there has been no corresponding rise in any kind of solar activity.

Please try to get your facts correct if you wish to participate in this type of discussion Mr. Shanks - although I suspect you have no real interest and are merely being provocative.

Swarm


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2008 6:00 pm 
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Spiderman

I read your list of improvements in our area over the past decade and completely agree with you, except on one point; how/where do we have more ecotourism?

Your list has given me greater enthusiasm for life here in the next 10 years - I'm really looking forward to it.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2008 6:29 pm 
Crikey this is SERIOUS!

Does anyone have a comment about the Chinese being a greater threat to our way of life (in our lifetime) than global warming..........if it exists?


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2008 7:16 pm 
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PP

I worked with Chinese people for a good number of years and more recently have had the privilege of teaching Chinese students. I found them to be honest, polite and very hard working. I did not find them threatening - unlike some folk around here!

Are you referring to Chinese politicians by any chance? If so, in what way are they more threatening to our way of life than our own?


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2008 7:25 pm 
Swarm !!!
Why hide behind a new name? Post your guff using the name you've most often used on this forum.

Pentland; me young fella me lad....I guess people are wary of following your thread lest the word "racism" is uttered by the P.C. brigade eg your statement: "the Chinese being a greater threat to our way of life"
Personally I think that the P.C. wallahs are a greater threat to our way of life than CO2 global warming - oops, mustn't upset the bees or they sting.
That being said I can also say that some of my best friends are chinese.
Seriously, though, I know of one chinese lady living on Seil and another in Kilninver. There are also Danes, Austrians, Philipinos, and Welsh living here.
Anyone care to add to that list so that we can come up with the definitive range of nationalities living on Seil (+Luing and Easddale)
Might surprise us.
Hope there's no frost tonight; I'll have to run my car engine to speed up the warming process if there is.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2008 7:28 pm 
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Minimum, I suppose I meant new ventures like Seafari, plus the boat trips from Balvicar, the sailing holidays from Seil and such like, over and above a rising baseline of tourists who come here and stay in our hotels and self-catering accommodation so that they can enjoy the fabulous wildlife which abounds here. There's scope for more, I believe, and I've heard that the new Seil Natural History Group is working on that..... 8) :wink:

By the way, I also have nothing but good experience of China and think PP is way over the top. The Americans will probably remain THE problem over the next 10 years....


Last edited by spiderman on Sun Jan 20, 2008 7:52 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2008 7:33 pm 
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Not sure about the big engines on the tourist trip boats, but I think I know what you're saying.

I also happen to detest the ever increasing (in both size and numbers) tourist coaches, although I'm sure they contain some extremely nice people. I think we're a long way from eco-tourism.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2008 7:45 pm 
My comments have NOTHING to do with racism. How farcical that you merely mention another nation and people cry, 'racism!'. If you knew me you would find I have a far greater affinity with the Chinese than you might believe.

But when I went to China on business and ended up meeting a French guy, two Germans, a Dutch guy and one from Spain, also there persuing their own business, to a man they said how scared they were by the advance of China and the implications for the future of the West. It is something you feel as you look at what is happening to their country. This has nothing to do with your Chinese couple down the road, who may well have come to the UK because of persecution in their own country. As minimum says they are polite, etc, but the hard working bit, which is true, is part of the problem!

It has to do with the State of China which finds itself in a position where it has a huge population and needs to feed and fuel the lifestyle they now seek. If China has plans to expand its influence and use its wealth who will be able to stop them?


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2008 7:55 pm 
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What stopped us?


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2008 8:00 pm 
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What stopped us?


Perhaps its the knowledge of how other imperialist nations such as England, France, Spain, USA have conducted themselves in recent history that makes me wary of the Chinese. We've all had our empires. Perhaps it is time for China again!


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2008 8:42 pm 
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PP, give us a break, we're supposed to be discussing the future of Seil, not your personal fixation with China. Next it will probably be India. Just tell us what you predict for Seil in the next 10 years....Whatever it is, I bet it's depressing (by which I mean you worry too much!)!


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2008 10:01 pm 
"round-the-clock/7-days-a-week local GP care" It seems to me that we will probably lose this.....in fact we have lost this over the past 20 years and as NHS centralist thinking will not even have a GP....

"improved local management of moorings" you obviously havn't been to a mooring commitee meeting, due to some gerymandering it is now pretty much powerless.

As for Global Warming......think to an extent a bit of a red herring as others have said the earth has gone through a few ice ages. Although this is no reason for enviromental complacency. Eco tourism does not exist its a nonsense.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2008 10:07 pm 
Well, Spider, India is a democracy and China is not. Things are changing in the world order. The US is struggling to hold on to its domination and China is quickly gaining power.

I think it is relevant because even Seil is not immune to what happens in the wider world. It's not a 'depressing' matter, but one of concern. We can all bury our heads in the sand if we wish, ignorance is bliss, but most will find they feel more positive when they confront an issue and try to do something about it, whether it be global warming or global peace.

If you were around in 1938 and living on Seil would you have said I am worrying too much about Germany? What if Germany had invaded Britain, don't you think it would have affected your immediate future on Seil?

What do I predict for Seil then? More rain. Wider passing places on the roads. More signposts. More traffic. More overpriced houses dotted around the island in a random manner. More second homes. More incomers with grey hair. No additional shops, hotels, bars. More rain. Better mobile phone network. And still a hideaway for those who are hoping the grass is greener. And more Chinese tourists. You see Spider I am an optimist!


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2008 10:16 pm 
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Wow so many words my head hurts, you've excelled yourselves fellow posters some of these posts would take me a week to write.

Every country in the west relies on China for cheap goods ,nearly all our textile industry is gone,we wear Chinese shoes the list is endless and Britain is totally reliant on these imports if all the ships broke down at once and the cheap jeans didn't come there would be panic on the streets of Tescos.In a way that day will come in the next ten years they will turn around and demand more money for their goods because the man on the street wants to to live on 50 pounds a week not 10,a growing middle class will want more and by that time they'll have us by the testes in my humble opinion.

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Expressionism ,thats what they call it.I call it idleness


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2008 10:31 pm 
I agree, but then as the rise of the Chinese and Indian and probably the Russian economies continues, millions of hard working people in these country will want the same comfortable lifestyles we in the west enjoy. This if you believe in Global Warming is a big problem....as it is difficult to tell some one in China or India they shouldn't have an industrial revolution or expect to have a car when we ourselves had to progress through said industrial revolution to become as "modern" and enviromentaly savvy as we are now. Again I hate to agree with P.P but China's rise will be our downfall and more power to em....


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