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What causes global warming?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by Blanchflower, Sep 22, 2009.

  1. mariogreymist

    mariogreymist Deity

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    But even a meltdown or an explosion does nothing in regards to global warming...so a very little is different. It's part of the same socio-political dynamic by which certain segments of the population (in this case misguided environmentalists) try to get us scared of things which are incredibly small threats (in the case of nuclear power) to push forward a political agenda. If later technological or scientific advances disprove those fears, the science is labeled suspect (often using ad hominem or guilt by association in the reasoning), and the technology untested and unsafe.

    I mention this because the phenomenon permeates even the best popular culture (like Civ IV) and people should be aware of the cultural cues around them, and how inaccurate they often are.

    And it's not just nuclear...some other often overstated threats:
    Global Warming (overstated, not non-existant)
    Terrorism
    Nuclear proliferation
    Iran (in general)
    Communism/Socialism (somewhat less now than when I was a kid)

    Do some primary source research on any of these topics and you'll discover threats are less significant than the voices in the media would have you believe.
     
  2. binhthuy71

    binhthuy71 Emperor

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    I don't think that it's anything that sinister. They were probably just casting around for a certain down side to nuclear plants. After all, coal plants give you a hit in :yuck: and hydro plants are limited to cities on river tiles.
     
  3. TheLazyHase

    TheLazyHase King

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    "incredibly small threat" for nuclear power may be a little bit exagerated, too.

    As far as I remember, Tchernoobyl did not go unnoticed. My father work for a bif compagnie who run nuclear plant, and you should not think that nuclear is a really ultra safe technology. And if :):):):) hit the fan, then they is really nothing you can do to repair - look at Tchernobyl, again.
    FACT : most technology ARE untested. And a lot of them are somewhat unsafe. If you think that we knwo exactly the effect of OGM, for example, you're wrong. Best part : pesticides have not been thorougly tested. I'm not joking, product used for growing food all the last century has never be really tested to see whatever effect it may have on human. Even now we simply don't know the real effect, but pesticids definitely don't seem to be totally safe.
    Some are true, like Iran and communism. The other make me laugh, like global warming (so you're so good at weather theory to say it's overstated ?), or terrorism (more because nobody can govern a country and underestimate terrorism. What will you say to victim ? "sorry, from time to time they kill some dozen of people, but it would be overdoing it to tighten security" ?).

    Now, we dramatize everything. The next trend will be to make the complete opposite, it seem, since I see more and more people that claim that everything is dramatized.
     
  4. mariogreymist

    mariogreymist Deity

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    That's because new reactors haven't been built since the 1970's. Our nuclear plants are AMC Pacers, while modern, european plants are Mercedes 600's. As much as I love to see Pacers on the streets, I'd rather drive the 600.

    Or to drop the metaphor: Modern technologies have drastically reduced the risk of nuclear meltdowns. The danger of spent fuel leaking from storage devices is statistically insignificant. (They have been rammed with speeding locomotives with no leakage)

    But, thanks to a coalition of big oil and Greenpeace (how's that for strange bedfellows) the US hasn't built a new reactor since we were all anxiously awaiting the sequel to the first Star Wars movie...and not the one with JarJar Binks.

    Look objectively at the effects of pulling DDT from the market...No wait...I don't mean in the US/Europe, but in the third world. Millions of preventable Malaria deaths. (And yes, I know DDT is still legal for export, but most humanitarian programs refuse to use it based on the writings of an idiot)


    I have studied the environment pretty well (better than 99.9% of lay people, I'd wager) and I can say without fear of contradiction, that the most common depictions of global warming are drastically overstated. For anyone who keeps up with the science, An Inconvenient Truth was questionable on release, and qualifies as a sci-fi thriller today. (which makes one wonder about the Nobel committee)

    Terrorism...what do you say to the people whose lives have been ruined because they had the wrong name or religious ideas and who were thrown in prison for it? (yes, I know a natural born American citizen to whom this occurred) And that's not even to mention that terrorism is a propagandandistic term for assymetrical warfare. When the US kills 3000 civilians to achieve a political aim, it's called collateral damage. When some box-cutter wielding Saudis do it, it's terrorism... So the solution to terrorism is to think about it before we have bikini-clad US service women driving topless jeeps around Mecca (okay, that's an exaggeration, but you should get the point if you know anything about the reasoning behind 9/11).

    But that solution means less defense for Saudi oil fields, and the American petro dollars that rely on them. So rather than change that dynamic, we take over the second biggest oil reserves in the world and hold the Iraqi government hostage to ensure US companies get preferential bidding treatment on the oil. This guarantees more 9-11s, regardless of whatever totalitarian steps you take to "protect" people.
     
  5. mariogreymist

    mariogreymist Deity

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    I don't think it's a deliberate attempt...just a carryover of a negative stereotype (nuclear power is dangerous) which is common in the media and popular culture. Most people see or hear things like this without thinking about what they mean, and how inaccurate the underlying assumptions might be. Then, when such a person designs a video game...
     
  6. mechaerik

    mechaerik Tuturuu!

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    Civilian deaths in Iraq are tremendous...... far greater than 9/11.
     
  7. r_rolo1

    r_rolo1 King of myself

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    .... you see Al Gore face as the icon for Internet :p

    Seriously, if you consider nuclear plants so dangerous that a meltdown needs to be of the same magnitude as a nuke blast ( that had never happened... even Tchernobil was far far away of the damage Hiroshima or Nagasaki suffered ), why not add a "Major Fire eats half of city" feature for cities with Coal plants.... or a "Dam break floods and destroys half of city" feature for cities with Hydro plants?
     
  8. mariogreymist

    mariogreymist Deity

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    Great example. Another is the use of the Hoover Dam for the big hydro-energy producing wonder in previous civ versions, while the Grand Coulee dam has always been bigger and produced more electricity, albeit with less fame. (I was glad to see the Hoover dam replaced)

    I also think it's particularly insightful of the designers to recognize the connection between facism and Mt Rushmore. So they get some wrong, they get some right... they must be humans.

    So much of what we believe (Writing as an American) is based on questionable premises, if we have the courage to step back and look critically. Most people don't have the inclination to even consider that much of what they've been thinking their whole lives consists of PR, advertising slogans and base propaganda. Anyone who's ever taken a college level history class from a reasonably good professor will know that much of what was taught in basic HS courses was fundamentally inaccurate. Those flawed courses, btw, are the extent of many people's knowledge of history.
     
  9. whitelaughter

    whitelaughter Warlord

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    Not everything. The slaughter on the roads isn't, although hopefully that is changing.
     
  10. TheLazyHase

    TheLazyHase King

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    I talk about european plants. I'm a foreigner, and I can ensure you that even the most recently build plant cause headaches.

    The best security, if I believe my father, is in Japan, because they really are paranoid, by the way. The country itself may be not the better one though. (earthquakes, and tsunamis, can happen more often here)
    You underestimate the "no turning back" factor. Nuclear wastes (normal one produced by reactor) juste never go away, and are dangerous for so long time that nuclear plant are really a lot of trouble. And long-term troubles.

    I tend to agree that more nuclear plant should be done. Simply because there is not really other way.
    You're right that thoses untested product can save life. But still, DDT had been untested for ages, and is not exactly a safe product to eat. My point is just : like most modern product, it IS untested and not so safe.
    Well, I don't study this for a living, and I don't see movies anyway (just read book and newsmagazine), but as far as I know, there is an awful lot of uncertainty. The last 10 years were for exemple a lot hotter than 1900-1910. Coincidence ? Hard to see. Honest scientific tend to say "we don't know, but it smell fishy". And, if it smell fishy, I would be glad to have people actually care about that, and that's not really the case today.
    he problem is not "terrorism is overstated" here. The problem is that anti-terrorism were running in circle like headless chickens.

    I will try to put it clearly : terrorism is not overstated in that the problem it is a big problem. But antiterrorism were not overdone by Bush. A lot of the "antiterrorism" measure were using terrorism as decoy to real objective. Irak war were one of them for sure , and I know a french prime minister that have try to explain this at ONU.
    You're just right. I tend to say that it meant "Bush undestimate terrorism" for me. Maybe he is less of an idiot than I believe, but it's hard to say.
     
  11. mariogreymist

    mariogreymist Deity

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    There's not much to say to someone so ill-informed (I'll give you the benefit of the doubt rather than label you immoral) as to think "antiterrorism" wasn't overdone by Bush. A friend of mine from school spent several months in prison, never charged with anything in 01-02. His crime? He was on a plane going to Saudi Arabia to get his doctorate of divinity...oh, wait...he never got on the plane. He was arrested at the airport just for having a ticket.

    And that completely ignores the fact that however pissed the average Saudi fundamentalist was in 2001, we're bound to see (at least) as many Iraqi Nationalists feeling the same way in the coming years. And what makes a successful guerrilla fighter (again, terrorist is pejorative and without definition) relies heavily on level of commitment.

    DDT: Zero proven cases of related cancer. (the main indictment against it) Millions of people die every year from malaria. Not in the US or Europe, mind you. The US and Europe used DDT to eradicate/drastically reduce biting fly and mosquito populations. The result: Malaria is all but unheard of in the modern world. In this way, Rachel Carson is responsible for more deaths than Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot combined.

    Yes, the aftermath of nuclear power is functionally perpetually toxic waste. But the toxic waste can be contained, and is relatively small in terms of volume. (AKA - There is ample storage space available) And like you said: there is literally no other form of energy which is technologically feasible in quantities sufficient to meet the world's energy demands.

    I'd go into all this in more depth, but my guess is you had to look up who the hell Rachel Carson is. I have done a large amount of research on these things (for a layperson) and a huge amount of research on the social dynamics that perpetuate fears of them (as a trained sociologist). Most of your attitudes on these issues are clearly based on belief in your own limited perceptions, and not fact.
     
  12. Silv Something

    Silv Something Pi(e) Loving Maniac

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    Lots of hammers cause global warming in Civ?
     
  13. TheLazyHase

    TheLazyHase King

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    This does not pertain to any kind of real terrorist hunting. This is just a spectacular proof of cluelessness by american service. I can't think that people doing that were stupid enough to think this will work out great.

    What I want to say is simple : Bush did not do much against terrorist. Most of what he have done were plain stupid.
    terrorist has a definition by my standard. It's when you go in perceived ennemy territory to kill random people. This will not really hamper the country in any real way except by the fear it cause and the (over)reaction it cause.
    Well, you know, there's not malaria not only because of DDT. It's also simply because developped country happen to be in zone where Malaria is not exactly an enormous problem.

    In any case, your 0 proven case does prove nothing. You can kill someone if he eat enough DDT, that's a fact, and we don't really know the long term effect, that's also a fact. Knowing them is a bit ... difficult ... since feeding an human with those product for decades to see what happen is not really possible, mouses don't live long enough, and it's difficult to have sample populations.

    Bacause other lethality problem were removed recently, it's real hard to see if there is more cancer, for example, than in middle age, because people weren(t living long enough to die from cancer, and anyway nobody were recording that.

    And there is a freakin' lot of things happening without anyone knowing what. Fish with gender problem. Mutant toad in some place. Turtle that disappear without visible reason. Coral that die. Are they pollution-related ? Hard to say. But saying that DDT had for sure not side effect is a plain lie.
    There is not real alternative, I know. But the wastes are not easy to store, because you must have a super resistant storage (so they does not leak for at least somes century - and arguably youd better counting off entire millenia), and by itself it's a big problem.

    Then there's is the "not in my backyard" effect, that you should knwo since you're sociologist. I can understand someone who duidn't want radioactive waste in his country to refuse every source of it - it make more sense to say no to the entire package than accepting nuclear plant and lobbying to stock them in africa, for exemple.
    And I think that part of it should be attribued to my not-so-good english skill.

    Anyway, I think that a lot of modern fear are not really overstated, because the worst case is really, really nasty. Most of the time, there is nothing more than news, then doing nothing (or a little communication). In addition, most of the time scientist themselves are divided. So should we take the best case of the worst case ? I think people take a little too many time the best case. It seem you think the other way around.
     
  14. r_rolo1

    r_rolo1 King of myself

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    No, but after BtS 3.13 global warming can also be triggered by high global :yuck: production, that normally is easily linkable to the time civs start buildings factories and coal plants, that also boost hammer output ;)
     
  15. mariogreymist

    mariogreymist Deity

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    you just made a terrorist out of every bomber pilot who ever aimed for a city target, and exonerated every whacko arsonist/bomber who didn't kill anyone. Good work.

    not entirely true. Malaria killed more troops in Italy than combat in ww2, but is essentially non-existent there now. Malaria killed more troops than combat in the American Civil war, but is essentially non-existent here too.

    It will kill you if you eat enough of just about any chemical agent. Go look up the total fatalities caused by DDT ingestion. Seriously...go find a number. It was a commonly used pesticide in highly populated areas for over a decade....some kid must have died licking the grass after a spraying right? Oh, wait...

    I have no idea why this means anything.

    And no one made such a claim. DDT clearly does have an effect on some wildlife in the amounts that were used in the US in the 60's. An amount, btw, which was dozens of times the required dosage for eradication of insects. (we americans tend to overdo it)

    It's a small problem compared to the problems the energy can solve if utilized to full potential. Like in a game of civ, taking on a particular approach is done for a purpose. When the cost of fossil fuel energy gets high enough, and we realize that solar, wind and hydro won't fill the gap, we'll go to nuclear. Like in a game of civ too, recognizing that need before it is desperate means less total resources will be spent to achieve the end goal.

    NIMBY is the primary reason we don't build nuclear plants in the US. In spite of the fact that we have a safe, multi-billion dollar storage facility ready to go, hundreds of miles from any significant population centers...that's how unreasonably afraid people are of nuclear waste. (Again, I am not saying it isn't dangerous, but that the dangers are outweighed significantly by the benefits)

    surely.

    but the worst case is extremely unlikely, in all these areas. Could spraying DDT cause health/environmental problems in the third world in spite of the fact it did not have such results in the US/Europe? Sure. Is it likely? No. Is it possible that modern nuclear plants will have meltdowns as severe as chernobyl? Sure. Is it likely? Absolutely not.

    And in the case of DDT, I kid you not: millions of preventable deaths every year are allowed because of a misconception, based on a book written by a layperson. The book Silent Spring started with the premise that DDT hurts people, and it has ever since been assumed true, in spite of no scientific findings to that effect.

    (I am going to stop now, because this isn't really the place for this kind of discussion, but I do encourage you to look for actual primary source evidence on these issues, and you'll be surprised how much of what you're saying is based beliefs, and not facts.)
     
  16. TheLazyHase

    TheLazyHase King

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    I believe that the important diffrence between the two of us, is that for you, a danger must be proved, and safety is assumed otherwise. I tend to believe to the other way around.

    And does not forget one thing when you use assertions like "bilion of death that can be avoided" : you take only the easy to see part. If a rare insect that contain an undiscovered remedy is wiped out by DDT, it can very well lead to a lot of death that could be avoided, but nobody, ever, will be able to quantify this kind of thing. Other near undectables fatality source may be added, and proper non-DDT public health measures would avoid a big chunk of theses death as well.
     
  17. whitelaughter

    whitelaughter Warlord

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    Cut and paste from wiki:
    But though Carson's legacy has been closely tied to DDT, Roger Bate of the DDT advocacy organization Africa Fighting Malaria warns that "A lot of people have used Carson to push their own agendas. We just have to be a little careful when you're talking about someone who died in 1964."
    --------------------------------------------------------------
    Now to drag this back to Civ, something that the game could easily reflect is that techs that are not safe enough for modern standards can still be a real life saver at lower levels.
    Frex, DDT: I'd make it a resource, created by an ordinary building. Cities with DDT would ignore the :yuck: from floodplains, but prevent the spread of forests and jungles within their fat X.
    So wonderful if you're behind on :health: but just a pain if you are running environmentalism.
     
  18. mariogreymist

    mariogreymist Deity

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    That's why I qualified that statemet, just so you know. The data from indoor, vector control usage of DDT is pretty clear: it saves lives. Are there health risks? Yes. Are they greater for pregnant/nursing women? Yep. Are those risks even close to the magnitude of the risk of Malaria in Africa? Don't make me laugh.
     
  19. Silv Something

    Silv Something Pi(e) Loving Maniac

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    Thanks!
     
  20. Blanchflower

    Blanchflower Prince

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    OK, first of all, I don't wish to start a new thread about this but the question is, if I play online, and modify the Global warming file, will I still be able to play? This question also applies to any other modifications I may make in the future!

    Thanks!

    :)
     

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