Language fanboyism on /.



  •  WTF:  http://developers.slashdot.org/story/09/12/20/1433257/The-Environmental-Impact-of-PHP-Compared-To-C-On-Facebook

     

    How can anyone make a statement like that without profiler results from the entire stack, complete with cache analysis, network latencies, etc...

     

    Simple answer: You can't.

     

    And I seriously doubt it run that much more efficiently with C or C++.   Bah.

     

     



  • The auther is clearly an idiot, also the blog mentioned in the article returned a 503 so i can't verify what kind of credentials he has, but i seriously doubt he does anything with web and/or high performance websites.

     



  • The benchmarks referenced are: from http://shootout.alioth.debian.org/u32q/benchmark.php?test=all&lang=php&lang2=gpp&box=1

    That is a shootout of a number of set tests on a single intel chip.

    Facebook has a set of php scripts across tens of thousands of servers, possibly with different cpus, billions if not trillions of db rows with a fuckload of them being selected per second, and trillions of files to pick from.

    So obviously the given analysis is a near perfect comparison to Facebook's setup.



  • @stratos said:

    The auther is clearly an idiot

     

    Any person that argues that this company shouldn't do that activity solely on the basis of "it's bad for the environment" has a few screws loose. If Facebook can afford to use up whatever amount of extraneous resources because they like PHP, by all means they are entitled to do that. Seriously, how many polar bear fetuses are aborted for every server FB keeps turned on?

     Plus, just from the introduction you can tell he just hates PHP for the sake of hating PHP. When the idiot comes up with an argument against PHP other than PHP is not "energy efficient,"then I will start assuming he still has some functioining brain cells.



  • @bob171123 said:

    Plus, just from the introduction you can tell he just hates PHP for the sake of hating PHP. When the idiot comes up with an argument against PHP other than PHP is not "energy efficient,"then I will start assuming he still has some functioining brain cells
     

    The argument was "PHP is not energy efficient in a massive operation like Facebook" because compiled applications run much faster than interpreted apps and you could use thousands fewer servers if you wrote all of Facebook in a compiled language.  He's not an idot for hating PHP, he's an idiot for not understanding that Facebook isn't constrained by CPU speed but is constrained by disk/dtatabase access and  if Facebook's database is full of WTFs then re-writing everthing in See Plus Plus might not help much.

     



  •  I think we should just replace everything with assembly. Clearly it's the most eco-friendly choice.



  • @DOA said:

     I think we should just replace everything with assembly. Clearly it's the most eco-friendly choice.

    Yeah, and then, nobody will complain about eco-unfriendliness any more, because they will be too busy complaining about bugs. Okay, they would still be complaining about the language of choice, but for different (i.e., better) reasons.



  •  @derula said:

    Yeah, and then, nobody will complain about eco-unfriendliness any more, because they will be too busy complaining about bugs. Okay, they would still be complaining about the language of choice, but for different (i.e., better) reasons.

    I'm already looking foreward to the x86 vs x64 vs Cell vs Experimental-Processor-Architecture-No-One-Ever-Heard-Of flamewars.



  •  nice one .. and I love the first comment:

     

    What about all the cycles compiling and debugging C++ code? Or all the
    trees torn down for C++ books? Or the environmental impact of C++
    developers? I mean, have you ever had to share a cube with one of them?
    Pheewww.



  • Think of how efficient it would be if we just did away with all of the servers. It could be a local application, and you just post updates to yourself. At least then I wouldn't get 100 mafia wars "gifts" every day.



  • @renalexam said:

    Think of how efficient it would be if we just did away with all of the servers. It could be a local application, and you just post updates to yourself. At least then I wouldn't get 100 mafia wars "gifts" every day.

    Think of how "eco-friendly" it could be if it wasn't an application at all.

     

    Instead, your "wall" could literally be the wall of your carbon-neutral, bamboo hut and your friends could make the 30-mile round-trip hike to write a comment on it about how drunk they were last night and how much the puked.  Using natural inks made from carbon-neutral berries, of course.



  • If the author's analysis were correct, wouldn't a better solution be to just compile the PHP rather than interpret it? Wouldn't that get you something close to the efficiency of other compiled languages without needing to rewrite a single line of code? When all you have is a hammer...



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    ...and your friends could make the 30-mile round-trip hike to write a comment on it about how drunk they were last night and how much the puked...

    Drunk on moonshine they made themselves from the stuff that leaks out of their compost heap, using a still made entirely out of the hollowed-out bones of climate change deniers, of course.



  • @dcardani said:

    If the author's analysis were correct, wouldn't a better solution be to just compile the PHP rather than interpret it? Wouldn't that get you something close to the efficiency of other compiled languages without needing to rewrite a single line of code? When all you have is a hammer...
    I thought of this too.  It would probably require some voodoo, but it would just be added to the list of rituals that they perform nightly to keep the servers alive.



  • @dcardani said:

    If the author's analysis were correct, wouldn't a better solution be to just compile the PHP rather than interpret it? Wouldn't that get you something close to the efficiency of other compiled languages without needing to rewrite a single line of code? When all you have is a hammer...

    I haven't had experience with the PHP compilers available, so you can disregard the rest of this post.

    However, I've found that compilers for dynamic languages tend to produce much worse results than a direct translation to the language itself.  In at least three cases (where I had such a compiler and I was able to find out how it actually worked), this was because someone apparently was only able to fathom one way to write the compiler: hook into the engine for the dynamic language, and simply invoke the routines that would be invoked by parsing the code.  As I've only worked with three compilers for dynamic languages, my standard deviation on this is pretty low.

    I think if someone had a compiler that actually converted the PHP code into the equivalent stand-alone code, you probably would get similar performance to the destination target language.  But I wouldn't expect to see such a product any time soon.

    (Note: I'm not saying the compilers didn't improve things; they just didn't improve things nearly as much as they could have - maybe a factor 3-4 improvement, when a manual conversion to C produced a factor 150 improvement.)



  • @tgape said:

    @dcardani said:
    If the author's analysis were correct, wouldn't a better solution be to just compile the PHP rather than interpret it? Wouldn't that get you something close to the efficiency of other compiled languages without needing to rewrite a single line of code? When all you have is a hammer...

    I haven't had experience with the PHP compilers available, so you can disregard the rest of this post.

    However, I've found that compilers for dynamic languages tend to produce much worse results than a direct translation to the language itself.  In at least three cases (where I had such a compiler and I was able to find out how it actually worked), this was because someone apparently was only able to fathom one way to write the compiler: hook into the engine for the dynamic language, and simply invoke the routines that would be invoked by parsing the code.  As I've only worked with three compilers for dynamic languages, my standard deviation on this is pretty low.

    I think if someone had a compiler that actually converted the PHP code into the equivalent stand-alone code, you probably would get similar performance to the destination target language.  But I wouldn't expect to see such a product any time soon.

    (Note: I'm not saying the compilers didn't improve things; they just didn't improve things nearly as much as they could have - maybe a factor 3-4 improvement, when a manual conversion to C produced a factor 150 improvement.)

    Trying to compile dynamic languages into machine code is usually nasty.  I'm sure FB uses PHP opcode caching, which makes PHP pretty damn fast.  Better results would be achieved by using JIT (tracing, maybe?) compilation.



  • @Someone You Know said:

    using a still made entirely out of the hollowed-out bones of climate change
    deniers
    Something that's had me puzzled for a while.. (while the UK does it's usual December shutdown because of a few flakes of snow...) when (and why) did 'global warming' become 'climate change?'



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @tgape said:

    @dcardani said:
    If the author's analysis were correct, wouldn't a better solution be to just compile the PHP rather than interpret it? Wouldn't that get you something close to the efficiency of other compiled languages without needing to rewrite a single line of code? When all you have is a hammer...

    I haven't had experience with the PHP compilers available, so you can disregard the rest of this post.

    However, I've found that compilers for dynamic languages tend to produce much worse results than a direct translation to the language itself.  In at least three cases (where I had such a compiler and I was able to find out how it actually worked), this was because someone apparently was only able to fathom one way to write the compiler: hook into the engine for the dynamic language, and simply invoke the routines that would be invoked by parsing the code.  As I've only worked with three compilers for dynamic languages, my standard deviation on this is pretty low.

    I think if someone had a compiler that actually converted the PHP code into the equivalent stand-alone code, you probably would get similar performance to the destination target language.  But I wouldn't expect to see such a product any time soon.

    (Note: I'm not saying the compilers didn't improve things; they just didn't improve things nearly as much as they could have - maybe a factor 3-4 improvement, when a manual conversion to C produced a factor 150 improvement.)

    Trying to compile dynamic languages into machine code is usually nasty.  I'm sure FB uses PHP opcode caching, which makes PHP pretty damn fast.  Better results would be achieved by using JIT (tracing, maybe?) compilation.

     

    I think the problem is that languages like PHP aren't designed to be compiled. Just as an example, consider static vs dynamic typing. C(++) uses statically typed variables and predefined structs. Whereas PHP basically has just ... hashmaps. And hashmaps containing hashmaps. Variables are dynamically typed and thanks to undef() and $$, at compile time you can't even know for sure how many of them are there. And I didn't even start with eval()...

    I'm not saying there is no way to write an efficient compiler for PHP, only that it's much harder to write one than for, say C++ or Java. Simply, because there are significantly less compile-time hints and invariants you can use to optimize.

    I agree, though, that JIT would help here.



  • @PJH said:

    Something that's had me puzzled for a while.. (while the UK does it's usual December shutdown because of a few flakes of snow...) ...

    Humbug! We had snow here in Herts in October last year -- autumn leaves decked with snow. Most strange; quite pretty though. Was definitely not expecting that. I guess it would be nice if the snow in the south could decide what month it wants to snow in and be consistent about it!



  • @tgape said:

    I think if someone had a compiler that actually converted the PHP code into the equivalent stand-alone code, you probably would get similar performance to the destination target language.  But I wouldn't expect to see such a product any time soon.

    This isn't just about "interpreted" versus "compiled". PHP, like a lot of modern development environments, takes care of a bunch of stuff for you at runtime, like memory allocation, garbage collection, boundary checking, type checkiing, linking, etc.

    You could cut a lot of slack by optimizing out these costly operations in a compiled version.

    I'm not suggesting that this is a sensible thing to do... just that I don't see a 10x improvement by compiling PHP code to native instructions. Especially if you're already caching your bytecode.



  • This guy on /. pretty much nailed it:

    C++ is much too slow and carries too much of an overhead. And it usually requires an operating system on a general-purpose processor. You could go to hand-optimized binary code written directly for the processor but that still leaves us with inefficiencies.

    Imagine if every website was implemented as an ASIC. Then we could talk about efficient datacenters. Maybe, if you're relly strapped for cash, you could implement each website in an FPGA. But that should only be a stopgap measure until you can afford a proper implementation.



  • How about instead of porting to C++, they just fix whatever terrible nonsense code they have now? It'd probably be more efficient, and you'd have less users venting hot air in rage at the numerous bugs.@PSWorx said:

     @derula said:

    Yeah, and then, nobody will complain about eco-unfriendliness any more, because they will be too busy complaining about bugs. Okay, they would still be complaining about the language of choice, but for different (i.e., better) reasons.

    I'm already looking foreward to the x86 vs x64 vs Cell vs Experimental-Processor-Architecture-No-One-Ever-Heard-Of flamewars.

    Z80 FTW!



    (btw, I think the idea was that the reasons are better, not the language. I'm not sure how you draw CPU wars from that.)



  • Thousands of facebook's servers are running non-PHP services, like Memcached and databases.

    Which were written in C.

    I'm willing to wager that not even 10% of facebook's CPU time is spent executing PHP.



  • @PJH said:

    when (and why) did 'global warming' become 'climate change?'
     

    Probably when the winters started getting ass-freezing cold and the global warming alarmists couldn't explain that. They still needed a scare tactic so they twisted the science to explain the cold winters using the same emissions that produced global warming.



  • @bob171123 said:

    Probably when the winters started getting ass-freezing cold and the global warming alarmists couldn't explain that. They still needed a scare tactic so they twisted the science to explain the cold winters using the same emissions that produced global warming.
    More like when mouthbreather denialists started using the “but it’s colder here!!!” line as an argument to persuade people that climate change isn’t happening. Global warming will produce extreme and unpredictable weather shifts—including colder-than-average temperatures in some places. The earth’s climate is an extremely complex system, and you can’t use “well it’s colder than average this year where I am” as conclusive evidence that global warming is fake.

    As a horribly contrived example, let’s pretend that the temperature in Milwaukee is the result of a dumb function like this:

    /
     
    Gets the temperature in Milwaukee in degrees Fakelvin. This is different from
     
    regular Kelvin because it’s in degrees, and also because it’s fake and arbitrary.
     */
    int8 temperatureInMilwaukee(int8 globalTemperature)
    {
      return 20 * globalTemperature;
    }

    Everything is pretty normal until your globalTemperature rises to 7, when all of a sudden the temperature becomes -116 instead of 140. This doesn’t mean that the sudden cold snap is proof of no climate change; just the opposite, in fact. But if you decide that it’s a reason to say “everything is normal, lalalala”, you are a huge idiot.

    The thing I don’t understand about climate change denial is why anybody would want to refuse to air on the side of caution when the stakes are so high. Personally, I’d love if it all the world’s climate scientists were wrong, and that there’s some unknown variable lurking in the darkness waiting to make our huge carbon footprint OK. However, we don’t exactly have a backup earth if we’re truly fucking ourselves over and setting in motion chains of events that can’t be reversed, and it’s not like it’s that hard to live more sustainably.



  • The name change from "global warming" to "climate change" was a deliberate policy of the Bush administration.

    Marketing research (yes!) showed that people weren't nearly as concerned by "climate change" (could be good, could be bad) as by "global warming" (sounds like it could be dangerous enough to actually have to deal with it). Since science and reality were not part of their ideology, and might actually make the businesses that owned the administration take a bit of responsibility for avoiding a catastrophe, the neutral phrase became policy.

    Low areas get flooded and poor people drown? I think they showed they don't care.

     



  • @snover said:

    Personally, I’d love if it all the world’s climate scientists were wrong, and that there’s some unknown variable lurking in the darkness waiting to make our huge carbon footprint OK.
     

    You can rest easy, because all of them are full of shit. The world is so vast, and  we are so small. How can we have such a significant effect on global climate that it warrants we completely change our way of life, and pay the poor countries compensation for fucking up their way of life? Anyone who tells you otherwise is either completely brainwashed or stands to make money on cap and trade, as a lot of climate change alarmists freely admit.



  • @bob171123 said:

    The world is so vast, and  we are so small. How can we have such a significant effect on global climate?
     

    By being small-minded creatures thinking there will always be Plenty.



  • @snover said:

    The thing I don’t understand about climate change denial is why anybody would want to refuse to air on the side of caution when the stakes are so high.
     

     

    What many of the "beleivers" don't appear to understand is that many of the more aggressive solution cause a major disruption to the world economy.

    How many people must starve to death as we reduce the carbon output of farms and transportation?

    How far do standards of living have to fall as we reduce labor saving devices?

    What social advances have we gained since the industrial revolution, and how many of them will be threatened? Since many (not all) "beleivers" confuse correlation and causation, correlate Women's and Minority Rights with CO2 output. How about child labor laws? Literacy Rates? Infant Mortality?

     For all these reasons, and more, skeptics want better data as to what change is really occuring, and what the proper response would be. I just read an article (Sent to me via facebook, no less) suggesting that a pet dog contributed more to global warming than a SUV. So, should we outlaw SUV's, or dogs?

     If the answer is that we have to cut off all fossil fuels- Lots of people starve to death. Standards of living crash. City life as we know it ends. World economy dies. If the answer is we have a thousand years before it becomes significant, we allow the natural march of technology handle it. If the answer is somewhere in the middle, we can pursue various mearsured responses.

    Should we target CO2? Soot? Some other item we haven't seen yet?

     Additionally, there's the deniers who absolutely refuse to consider the issue at all. IMO, the Nutjob Fanatics are people who consider the question answered, either yes or no.

    I say we lock Al Gore and Glenn Beck in a room together. And shoot anyone who tries to let either one out again...

     

     



  • @D-Coder said:

    The name change from "global warming" to "climate change" was a deliberate policy of the Bush administration.

    Oh boy, retard alert.

     

    @D-Coder said:

    Low areas get flooded and poor people drown? I think they showed they don't care.

    Right, the failure of New Orleans and Louisiana to take care of their own citizens is clearly the fault of the President.  Really, it works with everything.

     

    Lost my car keys last night because I was too drunk?  Bush's fault!

     

    Condom slipped off and the bitch got pregnant and wants to keep it?  Bush's fault!

     

    D-Coder's shirttail is smeared with shit because he can't wipe his own ass?  Bush's fault!



  • @cdosrun said:

    IMO, the Nutjob Fanatics are people who consider the question answered, either yes or no.
     

    Agreed.  Although, it's pretty hard to deny that most of the "leaders" in the AGW movement are assholes.  They use fear and propaganda.  They pretend as if the cost of limiting carbon output isn't massive.  They refuse to consider alternative ways of combatting possible AGW, like climate engineering.  They are hypocrites who jet all over the world and produce more CO2 in a year than I will in a lifetime, but they expect me to reduce my output.  It's hard to take them seriously when they jet to Copenhagen where they ride in limos and eat expensive (and non-carbon-neutral!) foods on taxpayer money.  AGW may be real, but the science has problems, the groupthink is troubling and the "face" of the movement is the worst kind of elitist politician.

     

    @cdosrun said:

    I say we lock Al Gore and Glenn Beck in a room together. And shoot anyone who tries to let either one out again...

    Yes.



  • @D-Coder said:

    The name change from "global warming" to "climate change" was a deliberate
    policy of the Bush administration.
    [citation needed]. Seriously.



    I, too, have heard (unsubstantiated) rumours. "That it's because most people weren't experiencing 'warming' they had to change the name."



    When you come back with some credible (note the qualifier?) evidence of your claim, I may take your rumour more seriously.



    In the meantime, I find it hardly credible that the Bush administration effected a wholesale name-change of the phenomenon on a global scale in the English speaking world.



  • @cdosrun said:

    What many of the "beleivers" don't appear to understand is that many of the more aggressive solution cause a major disruption to the world economy.
    As compared to the major disruption to the world economy that will be caused when we have no choice, because we’ve destroyed the planet to a point that we can’t fix it?

    @cdosrun said:

    How many people must starve to death as we reduce the carbon output of farms and transportation?
    People are starving to death now because their formerly arable land is turning to desert. Australia is experiencing the worst drought in recorded history; last year, rainfall amounts were just 5-10% of the historical average. Glaciers around the world, used to provide potable water and energy to many communities, are disappearing at alarming rates. For example, in 1998, the Chacaltaya glacier was predicted to disappear by 2015—it’ll be gone early next year. More people will certainly die if we do nothing than if we make some meaningful changes, but right now all we have are politicians giving lip service, and it’s not helped by people pretending everything is fine and that if we try to change we will DESTROY SOCIETY.

    @cdosrun said:

    How far do standards of living have to fall as we reduce labor saving devices?
    Probably not that much. As just one example, we could start by making all consumer electronics power off completely when they are turned off. It wouldn’t be possible to use a remote control to turn them on any more, but it would reduce annual residential energy consumption by as much as 13% with no real loss to a standard of living. (If you’re so fat that you can’t get out of your recliner to press an “on” button, maybe you shouldn’t be watching so much TV.)

    @cdosrun said:

    What social advances have we gained since the industrial revolution, and how many of them will be threatened? Since many (not all) "beleivers" confuse correlation and causation, correlate Women's and Minority Rights with CO2 output. How about child labor laws? Literacy Rates? Infant Mortality?
    Enough with the loaded questions.

    Qatar is highest in CO2 emissions per capita, but is 49th in infant mortality and 81st in literacy. The United States is 9th in CO2 emissions but is 33rd in infant mortality and 19th in literacy. Iceland has the lowest rate of infant mortality, is also 19th in literacy, but is 52nd in CO2 emissions. Cuba, despite embargos and the corruption, has the highest literacy rate of any country, the 28th lowest mortality rate, and is way down at 110th in CO2 emissions.

    While there may be an argument to be made for the need to emit higher than normal levels of CO2 initially to provide a proverbial “jump start” to a society, there’s no evidence to suggest that CO2 emissions need remain high in order to maintain a reasonable standard of living, nor that they need to be anywhere near as high as they are in many first-world countries currently (especially the US).

    We can use the wasteful technology of the past to build better, more efficient products for the future, but only until our short-sightedness causes us to waste all of our resources and we no longer have any available to build those future technologies.

    Anyway, I don’t have any more time to talk about this or address the rest of what you said. Acting like resource conservation is going to destroy society is a pretty foolish position to take, though, since there’s absolutely no evidence that suggests that 19.1 tonnes of CO2 per capita (that’s how much the US emitted in 2007) is necessary to provide a high standard of living.



  • @snover said:

    @cdosrun said:
    What many of the "beleivers" don't appear to understand is
    that many of the more aggressive solution cause a major disruption to the world
    economy.
    As compared to the major disruption to the world economy that
    will be caused when we have no choice, because we’ve destroyed the planet
    to a point that we can’t fix it?
    That appears to assume that the planet will be 'destroyed.' Despite recent rises in CO2 and recent declines in global temperature. And also against recent news that (previously) global CO2 levels seem to follow temperature rises rather than be the cause of them.



    No cites on this; I don't have access to the sources in this pub.



    I'm all for reducing energy usage, if only to mitigate the usage of the finite stocks of petrochemicals in the ground, and reducing air polution but proposing a tax on people on the premise of CO2 usage/generation (a minor player in the greenhouse(!)[1] gasses) is bordering on the crass.



    [1] Another essay I read pointed out that 'greenhouse gas' is actually a bad metaphor for CO2. Synopsis as I remember it: Greenhouses have glass to trap heat. How does CO2 trap heat? It doesn't.



    Is Climate Religion the new Gun Control thread? ;)



  •  Things that have amused me today:

    The following quotes are by the same person.

     @snover said:

    More like when mouthbreather denialists started using the “but it’s colder here!!!
    line as an argument to persuade people that climate change isn’t
    happening. Global warming will produce extreme and unpredictable
    weather shifts—including colder-than-average temperatures in some
    places. The earth’s climate is an extremely complex system, and you
    can’t use “well it’s colder than average this year where I am” as
    conclusive evidence that global warming is fake.

     @snover said:

    Qatar is highest in CO2 emissions per capita, but is 49th in infant mortality and 81st in literacy. The United States is 9th in CO2 emissions but is 33rd in infant mortality and 19th in literacy. Iceland has the lowest rate of infant mortality, is also 19th in literacy, but is 52nd in CO2 emissions. Cuba, despite embargos and the corruption, has the highest literacy rate of any country, the 28th lowest mortality rate, and is way down at 110th in CO2 emissions.

    Which is it? Does a strong trend over hundreds of years win, or does a few areas that run contrary to the trend disprove it? I don't ask that you agree with me, but I am puzzled that you aren't consistant.

     

    To clarify: Stopping the use of all fossil fuels TODAY would destroy civilization as we know it. Yes, it's insane to consider that, but it's one edge of the extreme.

    Stopping all use next week would at least let people move out of the cities that will suddenly no longer be able to import enough food...

    Slowing all use over a period of years will strave mainly people in 3rd world countries who receive subsidized food, famine victims, etc. Mostly people you don't know would die. 

    Waiting until we invent something better will not increase the rate of starvation due to the above factors (Won't reduce it, either.). It also carries the highest risk of deaths due to climate change.

     How fast and how drastic you make that change detirmines how many people die. Every ear of corn that gets turned into ethanol is an ear of corn that can't be eaten. Every gallon of diesel fuel not burned transporting that corn to ethiopia is an ethiopian who goes hungry. Every gallon of diesel fuel brings us that much closer to where the climate change becomes too much.

    It's like a Laffer Curve- End fossil fuels now, most everyone dies. Never end fossil fuel usage, everyone dies. Somewhere in the middle is the optimal solution. Any subotimal solution kills more people, and lowers the standard of living for the rest of us. Maybe you don't care because you don't personally know the people who are likely to die in a suboptimal solution?

    Do you really not realize that there are tradeoffs to both sides of this equation, and that real people live or die based on them?




  • @cdosrun said:

    It's like a Laffer Curve- End fossil fuels now
    +1



    Now, how do I stop my gubbmint spending taxing me unneccessary money so I can stay to the left of the graph? :)



  • @snover said:

    @cdosrun said:

    How many people must starve to death as we reduce the carbon output of farms and transportation?
    People are starving to death now because their formerly arable land is turning to desert...

    How about people are starving today because politicians in the United States are artificially driving up the price of corn, using arable land for fuel instead of food? You tell me which is more disruptive: having the cars that use conventional fuel spew CO2 into the atmosphere or having the same cars use some ethanol in their fuel while wasting corn and making it too expensive for poorer nations to afford? There are other alternatives being researched that would use trash such as orange rinds or banana peels instead of corn, but of course politicians have too much money invested in corn-based ethanol. 

    @snover said:

    We can use the wasteful technology of the past to build better, more efficient products for the future, but only until our short-sightedness causes us to waste all of our resources and we no longer have any available to build those future technologies.

    A little thing called the free market will take care of that long before our resources disappear. The natural progression of new resources is to be used up and as a result increase in price. Eventually the resources will become too expensive to be profitable and people will seek alternative, cheaper ways. Government intervention is not needed, and is even harmful, to force this to happen at an accelerated rate.

    @snover said:

    Acting like resource conservation is going to destroy society is a pretty foolish position to take, though, since there’s absolutely no evidence that suggests that 19.1 tonnes of CO2 per capita (that’s how much the US emitted in 2007) is necessary to provide a high standard of living.

     

    You mean that no politician has come out and attributed our standard of living to our use of energy. I guess you might be a little correct, since standards of living were highest in the Garden of Eden where the only CO2 emissions were those that Adam and Eve breathed out, but after they fucked that up standards of living were horrible. Throughout history it has been the civilizations that make the best use of natural resources that have had the highest standards of living. You can't tell me in ancient times that the standard of living of desert nomads were better than the standards of living of ancient Egyptians. You can't tell me the standards of living in 18th century Russia, where their main resource concern were the farms on which serfs slaved their lives away, were better than the standard of living in 18th century Britain, where the unprecedented efficiency and use of natural resources led to the emergence of a global superpower and the people enjoyed an unparalleled standard of living. You can't tell me that the standards of living in Venezuela, where a delusional dictator would restrict the resource use of his citizens, even compare to the standards of living in the United States, where citizens still have the freedom to use resources as they see fit. Our generation makes use of the largest amounts of resources in all of human history, but also uses these resources more efficiently than any other generation of people. This has given us the highest standards of living though all human history.



  • @bob171123 said:

    How about people are starving today because politicians in the United States are artificially driving up the price of corn, using arable land for fuel instead of food?
    What the hell are you talking about? The price of corn has been artificially deflated by the US government for decades. There are enormous corn subsidies that cause farmers to over-produce corn in this country. Between 1995 and 2006, the US government gave farmers $56.2 billion in taxpayer money to farmers just to grow corn. In combination with NAFTA, these subsidies destroyed most Mexican corn farmers by pricing them out of the market, since it is impossible to compete with a crop that is being sold below cost through government subsidy.

    @bob171123 said:

    You tell me which is more disruptive: having the cars that use conventional fuel spew CO2 into the atmosphere or having the same cars use some ethanol in their fuel while wasting corn and making it too expensive for poorer nations to afford? There are other alternatives being researched that would use trash such as orange rinds or banana peels instead of corn, but of course politicians have too much money invested in corn-based ethanol.
    Ethanol is a huge scam, no doubt about that. It takes more petroleum to grow, synthesise, and transport ethanol than it does to simply use the petroleum directly as fuel. But I never suggested that ethanol (or biofuel in general) was the solution to any problem, and you are wagging the dog by bringing it up.

    @bob171123 said:

    A little thing called the free market will take care of that long before our resources disappear. The natural progression of new resources is to be used up and as a result increase in price. Eventually the resources will become too expensive to be profitable and people will seek alternative, cheaper ways. Government intervention is not needed, and is even harmful, to force this to happen at an accelerated rate.
    Except for the problem that it’s not possible to re-synthesise an extinct species, a fundamental element, or an ecosystem.

    @bob171123 said:

    [snip irrelevant history lesson] Our generation makes use of the largest amounts of resources in all of human history, but also uses these resources more efficiently than any other generation of people. This has given us the highest standards of living though all human history.
    If you aren’t even going to read what I write, why bother responding to it? I said there’s absolutely no evidence that suggests that 19.1 tonnes of CO2
    per capita (that’s how much the US emitted in 2007) is necessary to
    provide a high standard of living.
    I didn’t say that we should all become nomads. If you can refute my argument and claim that we do need to be able to emit 19.1 tonnes of CO2 per capita to maintain a high standard of living, please do so, but don’t ignore or distort what I said.



  • @cdosrun said:

    The following quotes are by the same person.

     @snover said:

    More like when mouthbreather denialists started using the “but it’s colder here!!!
    line as an argument to persuade people that climate change isn’t
    happening. Global warming will produce extreme and unpredictable
    weather shifts—including colder-than-average temperatures in some
    places. The earth’s climate is an extremely complex system, and you
    can’t use “well it’s colder than average this year where I am” as
    conclusive evidence that global warming is fake.

     @snover said:

    Qatar is highest in CO2 emissions per capita, but is 49th in infant mortality and 81st in literacy. The United States is 9th in CO2 emissions but is 33rd in infant mortality and 19th in literacy. Iceland has the lowest rate of infant mortality, is also 19th in literacy, but is 52nd in CO2 emissions. Cuba, despite embargos and the corruption, has the highest literacy rate of any country, the 28th lowest mortality rate, and is way down at 110th in CO2 emissions.

    Which is it? Does a strong trend over hundreds of years win, or does a few areas that run contrary to the trend disprove it? I don't ask that you agree with me, but I am puzzled that you aren't consistant.

     

    You cannot abstract and then compare them the way you did.

    In the first quote, the exceptions are assumed to be exactly that: exceptions to the trend. In the second, the mentioned items ARE the trend, which you assume to be exceptions.



  • @dhromed said:

    You cannot abstract and then compare them the way you did.

    In the first quote, the exceptions are assumed to be exactly that: exceptions to the trend. In the second, the mentioned items ARE the trend, which you assume to be exceptions.

     

     Ah. You may not be aware of this, but actually, women had less rights in the past. In broad strokes, you can correlate women's rights in medieval times to now with CO2 Production. In many areas, women had no right to property, no right to divorce, no right to, well, anything but being treated as chattel. In general, this broad trend still exists today between major Co2 producers (US, UK, etc) and lower Co2 Producers (Afghanistan comes to mind).

     

    You see a similiar trend in infant mortality rates from the middle ages to now, but since Snover specifically mentions them, lets take a bit more time to dismantle that myth, both in modern times and what I mentioned, historical trends over hundreds of years.

     @snover said:

    Iceland has the lowest rate of infant mortality, is also 19th
    in literacy, but is 52nd in CO2 emissions. Cuba, despite embargos and
    the corruption, has the highest literacy rate of any country, the 28th
    lowest mortality rate, and is way down at 110th in CO2
    emissions.

    Will [url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Mort.svg[/url] be enough? Yes, US, Europe, Russia, all blue, all blamed for high Co2 Production, Africa Red, often called the "victims" of our Co2 Production, and Asia orange to green- Yeah, the guys who have only recently begun to produce major amounts of Co2.

    How about the five worst nations- Angola, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan, Liberia, and Nigeria? Whoops, only Nigeria produces any amount of Co2 on that list! The rest, combined, are rounding errors in China's Co2 Production.

    You're talking the difference between .3% and .5%- A blip on averages! I'm talking the difference betwee 1% and 20%- You know, the historicaly IMR prior to the industrial revelotion? You do understand that not all countries have the same defination of infant mortality rates, and this affects their ranking? Japan (Among other countries) tends to underreport stillbirths. The US, on the other hand, is more likely than most countries to attempt to save a problem pregnancy, resulting in a high-risk premature birth that articificially drags down the IMR for them.

    Literacy rate? [url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:World_illiteracy_1970-2005.gif[/url] versus [url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Global_Carbon_Emission_by_Type_to_Y2004.png[/url]

    Can you see that I'm talking about 20% of the entire world population, and you're talking about rounding errors and whether the defination of literate means they can puzzle out simple writing, or they can pass a spelling test?

     















     



  • The principal problem with your argument is that the social revolution that has occurred over the last 100-200 years does not require sustained CO2 emission. If we stopped using petroleum tomorrow, women aren’t going to suddenly become servants to their husbands, black people aren’t going to suddenly be indoctrinated as slaves, kids aren’t going to be forced to forego education, etc.. Social progress isn’t going to go take a flying leap backwards just because we decide to try to save the environment. Again, you’re taking a very complex system (global social development) and trying to reduce it to one data point (CO2 production), which is a stupid thing to try to do.

    If you want to complain that the evidence I provided that refutes your leading questions is somehow invalid—that world literacy and infant mortality rate statistics are unfairly skewed—then let’s go look at the Human Development Index instead, which is a mix of life expectancy, literacy + gross enrolment rate, and gross domestic product per capita, and should provide a somewhat more complete (though still simplistic) picture.

    Norway is #1, with 40th CO2 emissions per capita. Australia #2, 11th emissions per capita. Iceland #3, 52nd in CO2 emissions. Ireland #5, 28th, Netherlands #6, 27th, Sweden #7, 62nd! Et cetera. As you can see, my original point is still borne out: you don’t need to be a huge CO2 emitter to have some of the best standards of living in the world. The US, the #9 CO2 emitter (2.4× the emissions of Norway), is down at #13, and Qatar, the world’s largest CO2 emitter per capita (7.1× the emissions of Norway!), is way down at #33.

    I won’t argue that there is a correlation between CO2 emissions and “progress”, but correlation is not causation, and humans have been progressing for thousands of years to get where we are today, most of that time without emitting huge amounts of CO2 and other greenhouse gases. I could probably show you a chart that shows an increase in the number of people drinking soda that closely matches your CO2 chart—it doesn’t mean that drinking more soda leads to civil rights. The world is not going to collapse if we decide that CO2 emissions per capita should be capped at 5 tons in every county and targeted downward from there; on the other hand, when we run out of clean drinking water because we’ve been polluting our waterways so badly that they’re no longer safe to drink from and all the freshwater glaciers have melted from climate change, standards of living as you know them will cease to exist.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @D-Coder said:

    The name change from "global warming" to "climate change" was a deliberate policy of the Bush administration.

    Oh boy, retard alert.

     

    @D-Coder said:

    Low areas get flooded and poor people drown? I think they showed they don't care.

    Right, the failure of New Orleans and Louisiana to take care of their own citizens is clearly the fault of the President.  Really, it works with everything.

     

    Lost my car keys last night because I was too drunk?  Bush's fault!

     

    Condom slipped off and the bitch got pregnant and wants to keep it?  Bush's fault!

     

    D-Coder's shirttail is smeared with shit because he can't wipe his own ass?  Bush's fault!

     

    Thanks so much for listing things I never accused anyone of. Speaking of retard alerts.

     http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2003/mar/04/usnews.climatechange

    Quoting:

    The phrase "global warming" should be abandoned in favour of "climate change", Mr Luntz says, and the party should describe its policies as "conservationist" instead of "environmentalist", because "most people" think environmentalists are "extremists" who indulge in "some pretty bizarre behaviour... that turns off many voters".

    Words such as "common sense" should be used, with pro-business arguments avoided wherever possible.

    The environment, the memo says, "is probably the single issue on which Republicans in general - and President Bush in particular - are most vulnerable". 

     

     



  • Replying again because I suck and wanted to say one other thing but ran out of edits. :(

    What it comes down to for me is that the stakes here are so incredibly high. It’s distressing to see people waffling and going “well what if we aren’t the ones causing climate change?”, against ice core data dating back 425,000 years that show that the level of CO2 in the environment now is well above what has been normal for the last half-million years. It’s like someone seeing a new mole on their arm and ignoring it until it becomes a cancerous tumour that kills them, when they could’ve gone to the doctor and had it surgically removed for a day’s inconvenience. In the long run, curbing CO2 emissions is far more likely to be more like a day at the doctor than ignoring the problem, but each day we continue to ignore it and not make changes is another day that makes it that much harder to fix the problem, and when you’ve got people injecting doubt about how serious this threat really is you make it that much harder to do anything about it.



  • @snover said:

    Replying again because I suck and wanted to say one other thing but ran out of edits. :(

    What it comes down to for me is that the stakes here are so incredibly high. It’s distressing to see people waffling and going “well what if we aren’t the ones causing climate change?”, against ice core data dating back 425,000 years that show that the level of CO2 in the environment now is well above what has been normal for the last half-million years. It’s like someone seeing a new mole on their arm and ignoring it until it becomes a cancerous tumour that kills them, when they could’ve gone to the doctor and had it surgically removed for a day’s inconvenience. In the long run, curbing CO2 emissions is far more likely to be more like a day at the doctor than ignoring the problem, but each day we continue to ignore it and not make changes is another day that makes it that much harder to fix the problem, and when you’ve got people injecting doubt about how serious this threat really is you make it that much harder to do anything about it.

     More like a woman cutting her breasts off because she might get cancer in the future.



  • Like I said, I don't require that you agree with me, I'm just puzzled that you are so inconsistant. You're focusing on a throwaway analogy I was using to show you the error in your logic. I am intentionally overblowing the scenerio to show you the extremes. 

    You show very minor, temporary differences in standards of living and choose to use that as proof that the overall trend is false? Last weekend, I had a record snowfall in my area. Is global warming false?

    @snover, edited said:

    The principal problem with your argument is that the global climate changes that has occurred over the last 300-500 years does not require sustained CO2 emission. If we stopped using petroleum tomorrow, climate change isn’t going to go take a flying leap backwards just because we decide to try to limit emissions. Again, you’re taking a very complex system (global weather patterns) and trying to reduce it to one data point (CO2 production), which is a stupid thing to try to do.

    I won’t argue that there is a correlation between CO2 emissions and “climate change”, but correlation is not causation,
    and the weather have been changing for hundreds of years to get where we
    are today, most of that time without emitting huge amounts of CO2 and
    other greenhouse gases [url="http://www.daviesand.com/Choices/Precautionary_Planning/New_Data/IceCores1.gif"]PRIOR to the temperature increase[/url].

     

     There's another question you completely missed, but since you gave a figure, lets use it.

    @snover said:

    The world is not going to collapse if we decide that CO2 emissions per capita should be capped at 5 tons in every county and targeted downward from there;

    Are you sure? How fast would that 5 tons go into effect? [url]http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/emissions/usgginventory.html[/url] suggests that to reach that figure will require huge changes in electricity use and transportation.

    If you implented this cap over the next 15 years and allowed new construction of non-Co2 emitting power plants, and we somehow also managed to make semi tractor-trailers (one of the largest transportation consumers of energy) a smaller emitter of Co2, we could probably do this this with very few changes to our current way of life. If you did it tomorrow, well, yeah, the US as we know it would "collapse". New York, San Fransico, Baltimore, DC, all the big cities would no longer have food delivered or electricity for heat.People leave, or they die.

    Do we have 15 years? Is 5 tons enough- I mean, there’s absolutely no evidence that suggests that 5 tonnes of CO2
    per capita is enough to save the world.
    In fact, there's some question as to if Co2 or Soot is a bigger cause. And that concern is from Global Warmists, not skeptics, not deniers. 

    All I want is to target the right things, to the right levels. Shooting to random "damn the soot, 5 tonnes of co2" guesstimates is just as bad as doing nothing at all and hoping it really was just a hoax.



  •  It is very clear that global warming is caused by people who hate PHP

     

     



  • @snover said:

    Replying again because I suck and wanted to say one other thing but ran out of edits. :(

    What it comes down to for me is that the stakes here are so incredibly high. It’s distressing to see people waffling and going “well what if we aren’t the ones causing climate change?”, against ice core data dating back 425,000 years that show that the level of CO2 in the environment now is well above what has been normal for the last half-million years. It’s like someone seeing a new mole on their arm and ignoring it until it becomes a cancerous tumour that kills them, when they could’ve gone to the doctor and had it surgically removed for a day’s inconvenience. In the long run, curbing CO2 emissions is far more likely to be more like a day at the doctor than ignoring the problem, but each day we continue to ignore it and not make changes is another day that makes it that much harder to fix the problem, and when you’ve got people injecting doubt about how serious this threat really is you make it that much harder to do anything about it.

     

    You repeatedly say correlation does not imply causation, yet you jump the gun and claim that CO2 emissions cause climate change. Could it be higher temperatures that stimulate more CO2 to be released in the atmosphere, instead of the other way around?

    Also, from that graph you linked to, temperature highs occur in regular cycles. The amount of time between the last temperature maximum and today's temperature maximum is almost the same as the amount of time between the last temperature maximum and the temperature maximum before that. The difference this time is that we have industrialized societies instead of running around spearing animals for food.

    Had the ancients during the last temperature maximum been aware of the temperature rise, do you think they would have taken radical measures, like capping their population, dramatically reducing the number of animals they kill and the trees they cut down, and stop using fire, to attempt to control the climate? You can bet they would have felt stupid when the ice age came after that and their standards of living were dramatically reduced both from the cold and from the dramatic measures they took to make the world cold. Yeah, the ancients didn't control resources at the same magnitude as we do today, but the climate will cycle regardless of what we do to try to control it using today's technology. It doesn't even look like we've topped the temperature records the previous maximums have set.

    If you want to believe that we can have such a large effect on global temperature, great. Spread the awareness, try to get people to see things your way. Just don't petition to the government and try to get them to force everyone to see things your way.



  • @bob171123 said:

    You repeatedly say correlation does not imply causation, yet you jump the gun
    and claim that CO2 emissions cause climate change. Could it be higher
    temperatures that stimulate more CO2 to be released in the atmosphere, instead
    of the other way around?
    Apropos of nothing... Waving trees tend to cause wind. Perhaps we need to build wind turbines (at great cost to the public, of course, tax the fuckers) next to forests. That'll solve it!!one!Eleven.



    I understand the crap behind this explanation. Others appear not to.



  • I’m trying not to be inconsistent, but every time I try to address one argument someone throws out several more, often without acknowledging my response, and it’s a little hard to keep track of them all. I’m not a climate scientist, and I don’t have unlimited time to debate this. (It is very easy to ask loaded questions; it takes much more time to research to try to answer them properly.) Instead of bringing up the same myths over and over, please try to bring up reasonable arguments that at least aren’t already addressed by New Scientist’s climate myths section.


    @bob171123 said:

    You repeatedly say correlation does not imply causation, yet you jump the gun and claim that CO2 emissions cause climate change. Could it be higher temperatures that stimulate more CO2 to be released in the atmosphere, instead of the other way around?

    Not likely, for two reasons. One, as you state in your next paragraph, global temperatures aren’t yet higher than the historical maximum, so there is no natural temperature driver for the spike in CO2 emissions. Two, it is possible to roughly estimate how much CO2 we humans are pumping into the environment, and it matches the increase in environmental CO2 (taking away the 40% that is absorbed by carbon sinks). You can’t take a bunch of hydrocarbons that have been sitting in the ground for millions of years, spew them into the air, and expect that the system will remain stable through magic.

     

    @bob171123 said:

    Also, from that graph you linked to, temperature highs occur in regular cycles. The amount of time between the last temperature maximum and today's temperature maximum is almost the same as the amount of time between the last temperature maximum and the temperature maximum before that. The difference this time is that we have industrialized societies instead of running around spearing animals for food.

    Don’t look at the temperatures. Look at the red line, the atmospheric CO2 concentration. Notice how it goes way, way up at the very end of the graph, way above anywhere it has ever been before. I don’t know how you could say that it’s at all normal. Am I correct in that your argument right now is that human CO2 emissions are too tiny to matter?


    @bob171123 said:

    If you want to believe that we can have such a large effect on global temperature, great. Spread the awareness, try to get people to see things your way. Just don't petition to the government and try to get them to force everyone to see things your way.
    There are always going to be people that ignore the truth of a matter no matter the evidence to the contrary. Always. Just like there are people that think that the September 11 attacks were an inside job, that marijuana causes cancer, that black people are diseased, or that guns can never be used for good. It’s all bullshit, all based on lies and fallacies, but people believe it anyway. The problem with climate change is that it affects people whether they contribute to it or not, whether they care about it or not, whether they believe in it or not, and allowing those people to destroy the planet through ignorance would be as much my fault as it is theirs.



  • @snover said:

    Don’t look at the temperatures. Look at the red line, the atmospheric CO2 concentration. Notice how it goes way, way up at the very end of the graph, way above anywhere it has ever been before. I don’t know how you could say that it’s at all normal. Am I correct in that your argument right now is that human CO2 emissions are too tiny to matter?

     

    Look, buddy, is it temperature or carbon dioxide that drives the Earth's climate? As far as I know, CO2 does not react with ice to melt it, it doesn't cause plants to wither away and destroy crops, and in the atmosphere it is nowhere near the concentrations needed to cause humans any direct harm. It is the temperature that matters, and it looks like humans survived the last temperature maximum. In fact, people seem to thrive at higher temperatures, while they struggle when it gets colder. Just look at the effects of the Little Ice Age, particularly on crop failure in Europe, to see the evidence for that.

    You are correct in your assessment of my argument. Until human activities cause CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere to rise to the level present in the planet Venus, to the point where CO2 surpasses water vapor as the most significant greenhouse gas in the atmosphere and becomes dangerous to humans,  I will not be worrying about the effect of our emissions on global temperature.


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