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Author Topic: Improved "Elevator Pitch" on AGW  (Read 3501 times)

MusicScienceGuy

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Improved "Elevator Pitch" on AGW
« on: April 28, 2015, 08:33:08 AM »
As discussed in an earlier thread, a good quick pitch is important and hard to write.
Here's my best effort, distilled from the feedback in the earlier thread. 


The Earth has an invisible secret: we are covered with a very effective, very warming blanket. This blanket is our atmosphere, and it contains a crucial ingredient; thin heat-trapping gases. These so-called “greenhouse” gases are dilute; just 1 part per thousand. Without this insulation warming us the Earth would average a chilly -18 °C. The blanket warms our planet up by an amazing 33 °C.

Here’s the problem: we are steadily making the blanket much thicker. Compared to a century ago, our air now contains over twice (~110% more) the insulating gases. With steadily increasing insulation over us, the Earth is inevitably heating up, and at an increasing pace. 

Luckily, the added blanket or two won't double-up the heating by another 33 °C: we'd all be pretty sunk if the Earth were heading for average temperatures above +40 °C. With blankets one naturally gets diminishing returns; the first one gives the most warming, the second one, not so much. Climate scientists have carefully measured, calculated and checked, but blankets, even earth-sized ones, are basically simple. With the gasses added to date they can’t see how Earth can avoid warming by at least 2 - 3 °C. Worse, when we hit blanket number 3 (or 4) Earth's average warming will inevitably pass 6 °C.

So warming is going to and is happening. The only real questions are: how long will it take, and what will the peak be?

So far so simple. Now, how do I get this out to people that can make use of it? E.g. Peter Sinclair

anotheramethyst

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Re: Improved "Elevator Pitch" on AGW
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2015, 10:16:59 PM »
you get it out to people by repeating it.  to counter the mentality that says "earth is so big, how can we puny humans affect it?"

burning one gallon of gas creates about 20 pounds of co2.

http://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=307&t=11

hope the link works :) now i feel all sciency haha

Stephen

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Re: Improved "Elevator Pitch" on AGW
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2015, 02:14:37 AM »
you get it out to people by repeating it.  to counter the mentality that says "earth is so big, how can we puny humans affect it?"

burning one gallon of gas creates about 20 pounds of co2.

http://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=307&t=11

hope the link works :) now i feel all sciency haha

Mixing units is just confusing.  I'm referring to your statement that 1 gallon of gas creates 20 pounds of CO2.  I would avoid doing that.

Most people cannot understand how burning 1 kilogram of Carbon can create 3 kilograms of CO2. But there's really no need to use units of measurement.  Just talk in terms of individual atoms.  You need to explain to them that it's not just the Carbon that is burning but also the Oxygen in the air.  So for each Carbon atom that "burns" you are adding 2 heavy Oxygen atoms from the air to create that Carbon Di-Oxide.
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MusicScienceGuy

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Re: Improved "Elevator Pitch" on AGW
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2015, 05:46:08 AM »
I'm back from vacation.  8)   Thanks for commenting.

Repeating and spreading the word around is not a bad idea, but the signal will likely get lost in all the other GW messages.  Especially a message that is deliberately made to be simple.
OTOH, there are some media that favor simplicity. Cartoons strips perhaps?

Ken.

MusicScienceGuy

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Re: Improved "Elevator Pitch" on AGW
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2015, 07:04:54 PM »
Re: getting the 60-second elevator pitch into the minds of cartoonists.
I looked into xkcd.com. but they don't seem to take external suggestions.
Any one else you can suggest?  Dilbert?
Ken.

anotheramethyst

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Re: Improved "Elevator Pitch" on AGW
« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2015, 09:12:31 AM »
stephen , your way probably works much better for you.  as a waitress in the us, nobody i hang out with uses any aspect of the metric system (except, ironically, those who buy and sell illegal drugs).  everyone here knows how much gasoline is in one gallon and can easily and intuitively grasp the scale because they think in terms of gallons of gas already.  the 20 lbs of co2 just sounds like an impossibly large number, so i do explain the carbon and oxygen atoms in follow up sentences.  no i will not be switching to a metric explanation any time soon.  but if you can tell me how many gallons of co2 weigh  20 pounds i would change that :)

seaicesailor

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Re: Improved "Elevator Pitch" on AGW
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2015, 11:55:12 AM »
stephen , your way probably works much better for you.  as a waitress in the us, nobody i hang out with uses any aspect of the metric system (except, ironically, those who buy and sell illegal drugs).  everyone here knows how much gasoline is in one gallon and can easily and intuitively grasp the scale because they think in terms of gallons of gas already.  the 20 lbs of co2 just sounds like an impossibly large number, so i do explain the carbon and oxygen atoms in follow up sentences.  no i will not be switching to a metric explanation any time soon.  but if you can tell me how many gallons of co2 weigh  20 pounds i would change that :)

LOL!!

Just if it helps only 0.0165 pounds of gaseous CO2 fit in one US gallon, so about 1200 gallons of gaseous CO2 weigh 20 pounds at standard temp and atmosphere (the CO2 is gaseous then)
« Last Edit: July 18, 2015, 12:00:51 PM by seaicesailor »

anotheramethyst

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Re: Improved "Elevator Pitch" on AGW
« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2015, 06:46:00 AM »
stephen , your way probably works much better for you.  as a waitress in the us, nobody i hang out with uses any aspect of the metric system (except, ironically, those who buy and sell illegal drugs).  everyone here knows how much gasoline is in one gallon and can easily and intuitively grasp the scale because they think in terms of gallons of gas already.  the 20 lbs of co2 just sounds like an impossibly large number, so i do explain the carbon and oxygen atoms in follow up sentences.  no i will not be switching to a metric explanation any time soon.  but if you can tell me how many gallons of co2 weigh  20 pounds i would change that :)

whoa!! thats a HUGE number!!! hmmm they probably mean liquid co2 then... i hope!!!

LOL!!

Just if it helps only 0.0165 pounds of gaseous CO2 fit in one US gallon, so about 1200 gallons of gaseous CO2 weigh 20 pounds at standard temp and atmosphere (the CO2 is gaseous then)