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Fake Ice Bergs

Polystyrene platforms for exhausted polar bears
  (+15, -4)(+15, -4)
(+15, -4)
  [vote for,

For some time now, it has been apparent that the retreating Arctic ice cap has been imperilling polar bears. The ice floes are so far from land that bears become exhausted swimming between them and drown.

While this is good news for the seals and other prey animals, it's a big enough problem that even the US government has taken notice.

Since global warming is not going away any time soon, and would be occurring even without mankind's efforts, albeit more slowly, I think a permanent solution is needed.

I have previously suggested painting Antartica white (once the snows melt), and sowing the seas with polystyrene beads to act as fake whitecaps (whitecaps being a major reflector of sunlight). So now I propose that we seed the Arctic waters with floating platforms, to serve as substitute ice floes for exhausted bears.

There is the important question of how the bears will find the manmade floes in the vast ocean. To that end, they will be fitted with bells: bears are smart critters, and they will soon enough learn to follow the bells to find a resting place. (While their prey will also learn to avoid the bells, that should not be a problem for the bears, who are only resting there, en route to their hunting grounds.)

As to how we construct the platforms, obviously, we need something inert and non-toxic. Extra wide concrete boxes would probably be the easiest solution, except that would probably hurt shipping in the area (no more so than ice, admittedly). Another alternative would be weighted polystyrene superblocks.

So, we are confidently awaiting Federal funding for this important project. We would, of course, site the factory on Gravina Island.

DrCurry, Dec 28 2006

Discussion of Australia http://www.eia.doe....eu/cabs/ausenv.html
[jhomrighaus, Dec 28 2006]

Statistics http://www.eia.doe.gov/environment.html
[jhomrighaus, Dec 28 2006]

Global Warming is a hoax http://www.americas...nov97/97-1123a.html
this is what we up against [xenzag, Dec 28 2006]

Senate rejects Plan to Curb CO2 http://www.cbsnews....cs/main580915.shtml
enough said... there are hundreds more [xenzag, Dec 28 2006]

others have the same idea http://www.psotd.co...ts/1163695769.shtml
[xandram, Dec 30 2006]

Global Greenhouse Gas statistics http://news.bbc.co....ci/tech/3143798.stm
Looks who's way out in front. California has taken a modest step in the right direction, but the need to do more is of a dire urgency - see link below this one. [xenzag, Dec 30 2006]

Another massive ice shelf breaks free http://www.cnn.com/...rctic.ap/index.html
This is a dramatic and disturbing event. It shows that we are losing remarkable features of the Canadian North that have been in place for many thousands of years. We are crossing climate thresholds, and these may signal the onset of accelerated change ahead," Vincent said Thursday. [xenzag, Dec 30 2006]

Flocking Iceburgs??? Flocking_20Road_20Cones
[jhomrighaus, Dec 30 2006]

Use these novelty_20iceberg
[theleopard, Apr 24 2008]

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       fill containers with a certain amount of water so that it will freeze...
po, Dec 28 2006

       I'm assuming if it's warm enough to melt the natural ice floes, it's warm enough to melt giant ice cubes.
DrCurry, Dec 28 2006

       yeah but it might get chilly again.
po, Dec 28 2006

       But then we'd have no problem...
Germanicus, Dec 28 2006

       Since the USA is world's largest producer of the greenhouse gasses that have been proven to cause global warming, then it is incumbent on their recalcitrant society to put its house in order, and stop destroying the world's climate.   

       I have thought long and hard about the idea of poly-foam as a interim solution, but the areas involved are vast, and the foam would end up as a polluttant one way or another.   

       The real solution lies in America ridding itself of an arrogant and vile junta, headed up by Exxon/Mobil patsies, and instead showing some decent, enlightened leadership to a problem they have largely created.   

       My own answer would be to feed the bears with fundamentalists, dressed up in seal outfits. They could be pushed out the back of low flying Hercules aircraft, skidding across the water and ice like the bouncing bombs used at the famous Dambuster raids.   

       Being well padded with plenty of excess blubber, I'm sure they would float quite well, so they could preach their "global warming is a myth" sermons to the approaching hungry bears. I hear they are very good listeners.   

       A natural [+] of course to the good Dr. C. for showing concern, with regard to the plight of the Polar Bears.
xenzag, Dec 28 2006

       "According to the Australian Institute, if statistics included total greenhouse gas emissions, as opposed to only energy-related emissions, then Australia would have the highest per capita carbon emissions in the developed world. Australia has comparatively higher levels of greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture and land-use change than other developed countries. " Quoted from attached link.   

       Perhaps Xenzag you should contain your vitriol and stereotyping and realize that this is a global problem, not just a USA problem.
jhomrighaus, Dec 28 2006

       The volume of greenhouse gases produced by Australia is minute when compared to the USA. It's a global problem all right, but one that the current US administration has described as "A hoax".
xenzag, Dec 28 2006

       Though the US is the worlds current largest producer of greenhouse gases it is far from the worst in its response to greenhouse gases. If one compares Total CO2 emissions in 1994 to emissions in 2004 you find that the US ranks 163rd from the top of the list for increase in its emissions with 13% increase over 10 years, the worst was the Maldives at 400% increase and the worst superpower was China at 68% followed by India and 58%.   

       See the link for statistics sources.   

       Do not attempt to blame only one party for this growing GLOBAL catastrophe.   

       As to this idea I think it actually has some merit, it is a legitmate problem(that few have heard of) and a very novel approach to solving it.
jhomrighaus, Dec 28 2006

       and thats why we voted a bunch of the lazy asses out of their jobs and shifted control of congress and will do the same in 2 years to the president. Compared to the US the rest of the world puts out a whole hell of a lot of CO2 so why is this just a US problem to solve. I am also not familiar with the government having a policy of considering Global warming "a Hoax" could you provide a reference to that policy.
jhomrighaus, Dec 28 2006

       gladly - see link.
xenzag, Dec 28 2006

       //It's not about who's destroying the ecology more than whoever else// it is when the biggest polluter is in a state of fundamentalist fuelled denial and countries like China then use this as an excuse to also do nothing. Everyone else must therefore do twice as much to make up for damage done by the deniers.
xenzag, Dec 28 2006

       xenzag: you're picking the wrong scapegoat in feeding fundamentalists to the bears - of late, the Christian Right has largely joined the Green camp - it's God's Good Earth we're all despoiling, after all.
DrCurry, Dec 28 2006

       If those are your references then you really do not understand how our government works. We are all free to stand up and say what ever we like. Its called freedom of speech. Just because some crackpot guys say that they think global warming is a hoax does not make it a policy of this country. you are making gross generalizations with no facts to back them up. There are just as many guys(actually a lot more) saying the exact opposite. Overall I think there has been a growing level of interest within this country to work to correct global warming. Some of the most important research on global warming has come from the US, Many of the most innovative technologies to combat it are being developed here and some of the most successful efforts to combat it have occurred in the US. We are doing our part same as everyone else to fix this emerging problem.
jhomrighaus, Dec 28 2006

       //We are doing our part same as everyone else to fix this emerging problem.// sighs sadly - this is why America has refused to sign up to the modest limits of the Kyoto protocol. This is depressing stuff for me. I can say no more.
xenzag, Dec 29 2006

       Can we not discuss the idea, instead of America's greenhouse gas record?
Germanicus, Dec 29 2006

       We could sit around for hours slinging mud but we'd all lose ground. I say we collect funds to supply and outfit polar bears with some very stylish water wings so they can rest when they get tired swimming from floe to floe.   

       And in response to that thought that just ran through you mind: No, thank you, you may have the honour of being the first person to put water wings on a polar bear.
Canuck, Dec 29 2006

       You know, fake bergs would also counteract one of the knock-on effects of global warming, in that they would reflect heat back into space like the disappearing real bergs, instead of absorbing it like open water does. Win for us, win for bears, win for the planet. [+]
BunsenHoneydew, Dec 30 2006

       What disgusts me is that the first viable electric auto was produced in, I forget, the nineteen twenties or something, and that the whole oil and gas based economy need never have entered the picture if not for greed.   

       I like the idea of [21 Q]'s fake ice better than some plastic, which would later turn to Ocean Junk.
xandram, Dec 30 2006

       If it's just saving the bears you're after, the fakebergs wouldn't have to be huge - they could just be large enough for a panting bear or three to take a rest before paddling off home.
BunsenHoneydew, Dec 30 2006

       "However, despite its tough stance on Kyoto, the EU is some way off its own target. It pledged to bring total greenhouse gas emissions to 8% below 1990s levels by 2008-2012, but by 2002 they had dropped only 2.9% - and CO2 emissions had risen slightly. Only four EU countries are on track to achieve their own targets."   

       Also note comments on Japan, China, and India.   

       From your link Xenzag!   

       Instead of trying to blame someone take a hint from Dr. C and come up with a way to solve the problem. investing energy in placing blame just accelerates the problem. Investing in solutions now that is a different story.
jhomrighaus, Dec 30 2006

       The way to solve the problem is simple. Stop producing so much CO2. The biggest source of man-made CO2s are motor vehicles. America is still way ahead of everyone else in sheer volume of CO2 emission, but only represents a tiny fraction of the world's population. So they need to do much more than anyone else to curb their greed for energy and resources.   

       Let's hope that under a more enlightened administration that CO2 reductions will be taken seriously and not dismissed as being "harmful to the US economy" It's leadership that's needed, and not defensive, "don't blame us attitudes."   

       Go and see the film "An Inconvenient Truth" - I'd make it compulsory viewing in all schools.   

       Anyone who knows me, understands my passion for this issue. I hope I have offended no one with my views, but I'm not behind the wall with my thoughts on anything, and certainly not about Global Warming.   

       I'm saying no more as I think the good doctor's idea has its own life to lead, and I have already bunned it, and said my piece.
xenzag, Dec 30 2006

       what about making them semi autonomous with hydro sensors tuned to the sound of swimming polar bears. That way the little burgs could follow in the general vicinity of swimming bears that way the bears will always have a near by rest spot and the total number of burgs would be greatly reduced. Solar cells could easily provide the needed power. this has the added benefit of not producing sound pollution like the bells. Small solar powered refrigeration units could do their part to keep the water colder when there is excess power.   

       You could use similar principles as the Flocking Road Cones to atract multiple Burgs to areas of bear activity.
jhomrighaus, Dec 30 2006

       i saw a guy on tv once   

       he made a house on a bunch of old   

       empty plastic bottles.   

       recycling and environmentalism.   

sooriir, Apr 22 2008

       Being a well rounded engineer, (I think I’m one of only about seven still currently living), I have read a few historical textbooks. I very telling one, dated 1807, contains the following statement, “… we should see the temperature of the Earth continue to rise, as we continue to come out of this current ice age.”   

       A few thousand years ago glaciers covered about half of the US. They have been receding a mile or so a year for those thousands of years and still continue to do so. It does not surprise me that the Al Gores of the world have finally noticed that the glaciers are receding and proven that it is the Capitalist Pigs that have caused the whole thing. And now they are stirring us into a tizzy because our world is so precariously balance on the edge of total disaster.   

       Let’s think (that means use our brains) for a moment. They cry that within a hundred years or so the seas will rise eight feet and cover much of our coastal lands. Up to twenty feet in two hundred years. Claiming we have already seen what the devastation will be like from watching the hurricane hit New Orleans. Setting aside the fact that because of the debauchery that celebrated itself every Fat Tuesday in the city, I had for years been afraid to go to New Orleans for fear that God would choose that time to finally smite it, eight foot of water rise over one hundred years is not a hurricane. Let’s face it, if I can’t out run less than a foot a decade I deserve to drown. What percentage of homes even last a hundred years.   

       If you have done any serious study of nature you will have to come to the conclusion that the balance of nature is not like a balancing act precariously aligned and ready to fall if bumped. The balance of nature is more like a marble in a bowl. Push the bowl a little and the marble rest safely in a new location within the bowl. Wildlife moves out of and back in to an area depending on food supply, natural predators, weather conditions, etc. The coalfields of Antarctica prove that the Earth’s climate has been much warmer in the past. For all we know, as the growing season lengthens and Antarctica turns green, the extra green growth will need the CO2, use the CO2, deplete the CO2 and push us right back into another ice age.   

       Is man having an effect on the global warming? Of course we are. Are we the driving force? No way! We are secondary at best, probably more like tertiary or less. Can we stop it? No! What can we do? I’m going to calculate just where the shoreline will be, buy it all up and leave it in my will to my great-great-grand kids so they can have fun surfing.
Ozone, Apr 22 2008

       //The coalfields of Antarctica prove that the Earth’s climate has been much warmer in the past.// That's assuming that when they were laid down, Antarctica was where it is today.

//Being a well rounded engineer,// I'm quite rotund myself.
coprocephalous, Apr 22 2008

       [Ozone] read up a bit on global warming: the rising sea levels are just a minor nuisance compared with other things.
FlyingToaster, Apr 22 2008

       And don't give up on stopping it. A well-rounded engineer like you should have a few ideas. That, and you are a Halfbaker. Even if warming is a totally natural process, something that we humans are not responsible for, we might not like where it's going, and may want to stop it. Besides, if you come up with a process to stop global warming, even if the process is a total fake, you can sell it for so much money that burning it would darken the sky.   

       Can we change the idea title to "Fake Icebergs For Ice Bears", please. I keep wondering what it's about.
baconbrain, Apr 22 2008

       I thought it was a product marketed to evil-genii, but for a global-warming partial solution read my "Treeline" post. PS: darkening the skies just means that the trees that pull Carbon out of the air won't be able to do it.
FlyingToaster, Apr 22 2008

       {Baconbrain] I suppose I could just aim for the cash. Plenty of ways to cool down the Earth. Paint it white (reflect the heat back out), spread fertilizer everywhere (more green, less CO2), dump unprocessed waste into the oceans (more plankton, less CO2), change all thermometers from Fahrenheit to Celsius, (212 degree F is only 100 degree C), but...   

       I am in fear of man trying to change the actions of nature. What has happened because we decided to prevent the natural forest fires out West? For thousands of years they had been caused by the naturally occurring lightening strikes. We prevented nature from cleaning out the forest’s underbrush while there was just a little there, and now there is so much underbrush in the forests that when lightening strikes quite literally the Fires of Hell break loose. It is man’s fault. We could not foresee what our actions would cause. We screwed it up, and we have even admitted it. We made matters worse!!!!!! If we can not even understand what we are really doing when putting out very local fires, why in the world should we think we are smart enough to know what our actions will cause when mucking around with the World’s total environment? What type of horrors will we unleash if we start poking around with Global Warming? We need to learn to live with the Earth, not try to mold it into our desired state, or try to keep it from going where it needs to go.   

       But what the hey. Let’s go ahead and follow Al Gore and Tipper’s trusted team of time tested tenacious, talented, topsy tervy tree huggers. Al has to know what he is doing. Trust Al. After all he claims he is so smart he invented the World Wide Web.   

       By the way [FlyingToaster], didn't you used to be a screen saver?
Ozone, Apr 24 2008

       I've diversified; screensaving ain't what it used to be.
FlyingToaster, Apr 24 2008

       Very good points, [Ozone], thank you.
baconbrain, Apr 24 2008

       I've been standing on my little finger for awhile now. I'm afraid to get off. I've been clumsy in the past, knocking dishes off the table, spilling my water... If I step off of my finger, who knows what will happen? I could knock down my house! So I had best keep standing here. I wouldn't want to take responsibility for stepping on it, after all. And hey! If I keep standing here on my finger, maybe someone will come by and push me over! Then I won't have to worry about it.
Voice, Apr 25 2008

       I know you have a point there someplace. Under your hat most likely. Any village idiot can tell you to get off your finger, but the best weatherman still can't predict the weather with surity. If you have something worth voicing [voice], please do. If not, I know of a village that could use you.   

       [FlyingToaster] lmao
Ozone, Apr 25 2008

       <rant> gotta love Ozone...   

       200 years of billions of people burning fossil fuels == 'meh'.   

       Coupla thousand sodomites == God's VENGEFUL WRATH! THE SECOND COMING OF THE FLOOD!   

       Makes one shudder to imagine what'll happen when God and Nature realise that the sexually 'adventurous' HAVE BEEN BURNING FOSSIL FUELS ALL THIS TIME, even to the extent of making their WEIRD, FREAKY, ANTI-CHRISTIAN SEX TOYS and ANTI-FAMILY DRUGS and BIZARRE PUBLICATIONS out of FOSSIL-FUEL-DERIVED chemicals, and HOLDING HANDS with their LEGIONS of SATANIC SAME-SEX PARTNERS in their GAS-GUZZLING SUVS. That'll serve those unnatural f*cks. </rant>   

       I feel better now.
m_Al_com, Apr 27 2008


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