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Advantages of Treating Climate Issues as "Goals to Achieve" Rather than a "Problem to
4

Advantages of Treating Climate Issues as "Goals to Achieve" Rather than a "Problem to

Advantages of Treating Climate Issues as "Goals to Achieve" Rather than a "Problem to

(OP)
I have always believed there is a big difference in determining how to Achieve a Goal versus Solving a Problem. I think the reason we make no progress on treating any climate issue as a Problem to Solve is that we do not all agree it is a problem in the first place. The debate then gets bogged down in politics to some degree. Once politics is introduced, that impressive ability to achieve results goes out the window sadly.

Why not look at is as a Goal to Achieve. If someone came into this forum and asked how many different ways we could come up with to reduce carbon emissions, we could come up with a lot of possible ways to achieve this even though we may not believe it is a problem. There would be no debate on the problem issue, just ways to achieve the goal. We do not even have to come up with where to get the money. We would work as engineers to come up with ways to achieve this goal. At that point we have done our job. Later when the time comes to determine how much $$$ to spend, we can get involved separately as citizens. But at least we know the viable options to compare.

The absolute first step in Problem Solving is "to accurately define the problem". I am yet to see that happen on the issue of climate change. Defining a Goal seems an easier path to me. We have let politics make it a Problem to Solve because they have elections every 2 years in USA and therefore need "urgency". Change elections to every 20 years and you won't hear a peep until 18 years have elapsed.

Any thoughts?

RE: Advantages of Treating Climate Issues as "Goals to Achieve" Rather than a "Problem to

We had a saying at a former employer, "Requirements are mandatory, goals can be ignored." There are plenty of examples in the real world where the last recalcitrant continues to do nothing until some severe penalty is imposed, such as jail time, then, "all of a sudden," everyone is compliant.

Defining a goal is indeed easier, but that doesn't mean that any solution will get implemented, and in fact, it likely won't at all. A goal is treated as a "nice to have" and there are ALWAYS actual, pressing "problems" that should and will have priority over "nice to haves." Defining a goal is essentially the same as "we need to study it more, maybe even get a blue-ribbon commission to issue a report."

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

RE: Advantages of Treating Climate Issues as "Goals to Achieve" Rather than a "Problem to

Why would you have a goal of reducing carbon emissions if carbon emissions are not a problem? It seems you are suggesting that everyone should turn off their minds and do as they are told. That would be an approach attractive to climate activists, but it does not solve any problem, like getting people to support reducing carbon emissions or actually reducing emissions. It strikes me as a rather bizarre thought process.

RE: Advantages of Treating Climate Issues as "Goals to Achieve" Rather than a "Problem to

(OP)
Defining a goal is the first step in achieving it just like defining a problem is the first step in solving the problem. My post says treat is like a goal to achieve not define.
Lets say everyone but me thinks it is a problem. I however view it as a goal to achieve. I can still participate where applicable even though I do not think it is a problem.

I also stated we would collectively come up with the ways to reduce emissions. Getting them implemented is then more possible because we have the possible solutions and can weigh cost to benefit. Right now, we have an argument about whether it is a problem in the first place. And even if we all agreed it was a problem, I bet we would not all agree on how much of a problem it is.

I can afford how much money I spend each month, it is not a problem but I have a goal of reducing how much I spend. See the comparison? I do not see anywhere that I advocate "blank stares" from people as they do as they are told. The statement is we can come up with solutions first, argue later. I guess some would rather argue now, solve later.

Figuring out it really is a problem has the same end result, can't force any changes unless you jail someone.

RE: Advantages of Treating Climate Issues as "Goals to Achieve" Rather than a "Problem to

2
Three things you cannot credibly dispute here, because they are based on measurements NOT models:

1) CO2 has increased from 280 ppm, where it was stable for over 1000 years, to over 415 ppm, where it hasn't been in over a million- not since there was anything recognizably human on earth
2) We caused it. Isotopic measurements and a mass balance both conclusively demonstrate that we've burned enough fossil fuels to account for about twice as much extra CO2- the other half ended up in the oceans and biosphere
3) Extra CO2 narrows the IR re-radiative wavelength window into outer space, resulting in climactic forcing.

We can argue about how much of the effect we've seen so far, relative to the noise in global mean temperature measurements. We can argue about the extent of the effect, or more properly how long we can go on wasting fossils for their lowest value use- directly as fuels- before we get into serious trouble. And we can, and should, debate what we can do about it that will be effective, what that will cost, and how much to spend on that relative to solving other problems of global importance.

As to the OP's suggestion that AGW reductions become a goal rather than a problem to be solved: we've been doing it that way for the past 30 years. Results have been poor to say the least.

What we need to do is to stop treating the atmosphere as if it were a free and limitless public sewer. Otherwise, we're fighting the market, which rewards making use of a "free" resource like a free public sewer. And until we're willing to do that, this discussion is all just hot air- regrettably not enough of it to spin a wind turbine to make some useful electricity.

RE: Advantages of Treating Climate Issues as "Goals to Achieve" Rather than a "Problem to

I guess I am reading the original post differently than some. I see this as a way to frame up our discussion here on this forum. I don't see this as a way to take action or do something out in the real world. It is a way to remove some of the politics from the conversation. For example, I could ask how we could achieve a goal of putting a human on the surface of Mars and returning them safely to earth. We could discuss ways to achieve that goal. We would not need to discuss if this was a good idea or if it was economically feasible. It becomes an academic engineering exercise. But, it can still be an interesting exercise to talk about options to achieve that goal. If you feel strongly that we absolutely should not send a human to Mars, then you could opt to not enter the discussion. Or, you could participate in a purely technical discussion even if you don't think it is a worthy goal.

If I pose my Mars question and the discussion breaks down into a debate about NASA funding, then it gets political. And, I assume most of us are not politicians. We could talk about the engineering challenge of a given goal and leave the politics to another place and time. Ron247, is that what you had in mind?

Johnny Pellin

RE: Advantages of Treating Climate Issues as "Goals to Achieve" Rather than a "Problem to

(OP)

Quote (JJPellin)

Ron247, is that what you had in mind
Yes,that is exactly what I was advocating. I think we could collectively achieve more if we kept to the engineering first, politics later.

Kennedy's man on a moon was a goal that started with a Democrat and ended with a Republican. His announcement framed it as a goal. It was a goal both parties acknowledged and worked towards. Now had the Democrats said we are running out of cheese and need to go the moon to get some, the Republicans would have said we are fine on cheese and would point out the spaceship would hit that cow jumping over the moon. By 1969 we probably would still be arguing the cheese thing. The difference in a Problem versus a Goal.

For me, Man on the Moon was an extremely proud moment for all Americans and a very difficult goal was achieved. Apollo 13 if I have my Apollos correct, would be a huge accomplishment in the Problem Solving setting.

RE: Advantages of Treating Climate Issues as "Goals to Achieve" Rather than a "Problem to

But, Apollo 13 is a poor example here, since it wasn't just some arbitrary "difficult goal" to bring them home; it was a literal life and death situation where "Failure is not an option." Everyone who worked the problem believed implicitly that there was an existential threat to 3 astronauts' lives, and that they would have to do whatever it took to bring them back safely. There was no doubt in ANYONEs' minds that the cheese had already run out. There was no one saying that we don't need to do anything because they'll just magically get back safely.

In the abstract, we already know what things can physically be done, because that's already been the subject of pretty much every IPCC report. The issue is two-fold at that point; certain people implicitly reject anything published by the IPCC, just because, and because these potential solutions are already tainted by being associated as climate change mitigations. Unless you agree there really is a problem, why would you waste time and effort to fix something that you think isn't broken?

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

RE: Advantages of Treating Climate Issues as "Goals to Achieve" Rather than a "Problem to

2
If we consider ourselves to be carbon fuel addicts, and look to the behavior of conventional addicts, we can see that there will be a spectrum, from those that fight to kick the habit every day and earn their 30-day or 1-year chips, and those that deny that there's a problem at all, since they think they're fully functioning, even though they're not. There are addicts who will demand their next drink or next cigarette, even as they are on their deathbeds, dying from cirrhosis or lung cancer.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

RE: Advantages of Treating Climate Issues as "Goals to Achieve" Rather than a "Problem to

(OP)

Quote (Ron247)

Apollo 13 if I have my Apollos correct, would be a huge accomplishment in the Problem Solving setting

I never said Apollo 13 was a Goal, I specifically cited it as Problem Solving.

Problem Solving is used when you are already doing something and some phase or item used in it fails, breaks etc. That was Apollo 13. The saying is "If it is not broke don't fix it". The saying is NOT "If it is not broke, do not improve it".

Goal Achievement is something you decide to do to improve something, create new business or in some manner alter what you are already doing. We were not running along with a concerted effort of trying to improve the planet's environment and something in improvement process broke. We have decided we need to improve the environment and are looking at not only how to do it, but also get more people involved. I see that as a Goal to Achieve. The saying for that would be "Even if something is not broke, you can probably improve it".

I think treating it as a problem rather than a goal will make it much harder to achieve. It is my opinion, I never said it was a fact. Fix versus improve have different meanings. I say improve, others say fix. Please quit trying to attach "fix" to my viewpoint. It has never been fix, always improve. I can improve something that I do not think is broke.

RE: Advantages of Treating Climate Issues as "Goals to Achieve" Rather than a "Problem to

Ok, I'll bite - possible specific goals to discuss:

* Grid scale electricity storage (what's the most promising technology in prototype stage to see real life implementation next?)
* Make AC for individual houses obsolete by interseasonal thermal storage & district cooling & better building design (bonus points for making this work in a sprawling suburbia)
* Fully decarbonized (or rather de-fossilized) Haber Bosch

Ron, did you have conversation starters like these in mind?

RE: Advantages of Treating Climate Issues as "Goals to Achieve" Rather than a "Problem to

(OP)
The topic of this post has to do with people picking topics or items that would ease any potential climate change negatives and then initiating the discussion and design of those topics. Your list are examples of some possible topics. Rather than all this creativity getting bogged down in whether something is a problem or not, just work on improvements to what we are currently doing. We can improve almost anything we are doing.

The success of implementing anything has to do with getting more people involved in achieving the goal. Participation will be necessary to actually change the current course of events.

RE: Advantages of Treating Climate Issues as "Goals to Achieve" Rather than a "Problem to

Grid scale electric storage would be huge for renewables. It is being worked on. Considering the economics along with the physics, it is hard....

The problem with sloppy work is that the supply FAR EXCEEDS the demand

RE: Advantages of Treating Climate Issues as "Goals to Achieve" Rather than a "Problem to

"just work on improvements to what we are currently doing. We can improve almost anything we are doing."

Yes, but...

Yes, but there are two issues with looking at only improvements in the abstract; the degree of improvement needed/desired/required and the timescale. If there is no climate change problem, then we muddle on and do improvements as time and money permits; if there is a climate change problem, then we need to be really cranking along, and if the climate change problem is near anything resembling a tipping point, we need to go to warp speed.

I think we need to put the issue in a better context. Consider climate change to be like your roof. If it's a minor leak, then you can use a pail to catch the drips and patch the roof when you get a round tuit. If it's a major leak, and there's water running down the walls, then you'd better get up there and throw a tarp over the leak and schedule a guy to make the repairs when the weather clears. If rainwater is gushing through the roof and the second floor is flooded and the drywall is disintegrating, you're going to need emergency repairs and you're going to be paying out lots of money or possibly declare a loss and move to another house (planet) tomorrow.

Because we can't agree there's a problem, we can't agree on the degree of improvement and the timescale. That's why the current administration is willing to corporate average fuel efficiency (CAFE) standards fall be the wayside, so we making zero improvements for at least the duration of Mr. T's tenure.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

RE: Advantages of Treating Climate Issues as "Goals to Achieve" Rather than a "Problem to

(OP)
Designing the improvements versus enacting the improvements are two different things. But until the improvement is identified, had a some form of a cost affixed to it, and had some projected improvement level attached to it, we have nothing to enact rapidly or slowly.

I will say it again, treating it like a problem has not gotten us anywhere that I can see. We just argue that point. We are more than several years into the topic, and I do not see a working framework of a solution that has the needed support of the people to enact it. And politicians making mandatory laws that are highly unpopular will not work either. You have to have the support of the world's people, not North America only. 100% compliance in North America still will not correct the problem on a world basis. I have no idea how severe the problem is and really do not think anyone really knows. I have little faith in the current IPCC approach.

Why mention only Mr. T? What has any politician done about it pro or con other than talk about it. No specifics. No proposed actual solutions that really work.

RE: Advantages of Treating Climate Issues as "Goals to Achieve" Rather than a "Problem to

As I stated, the CAFE standards that were a continual improvement on fuel economy, and exhaust emissions that had been mandated for more than 20 years by both parties are now dead in the water. Since fuel economy directly impacts CO2 emissions, there's case where improvement goals have been terminated because the battle between fiscal expediency and climate change has been swayed to the side of fiscal expediency.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

RE: Advantages of Treating Climate Issues as "Goals to Achieve" Rather than a "Problem to

Maybe, one improvement we can do is to ourselves: https://www.cell.com/molecular-cell/pdfExtended/S1... Tardigrades can survive absurdly extremely environments, so if we can genetically engineer some gene changes, we could survive, boiling water, space vacuum, space radiation, and complete desiccation; then, we wouldn't care what happens to the climate. They are supposedly even tougher than the proverbial H-bomb surviving cockroach: https://www.livescience.com/59796-tardigrades-will...

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

RE: Advantages of Treating Climate Issues as "Goals to Achieve" Rather than a "Problem to

(OP)
I have already stated designing an improvement and enacting an improvement are 2 different things. My original post had to do with designing the improvements. Enacting the improvements is NOT an engineering task. If you want to stay on enacting improvements, that is a worthy discussion that is probably more critical than the engineering aspect but it does not condemn my original concept of this post.

A discussion on how to get people more involved is a worthy debate but not a true engineering goal. If you want to treat CC as a problem, everyone who thinks it is a problem regardless of how serious they think the problem is, please submit a post with their problem description. Problem solving generally starts with a problem description. So lets forget about goals, lets treat it as a problem. Start the ball rolling. Separating the one problem into 2 problems will have a far better chance of success. 1. The engineering and science behind climate change of any amount. 2. How to get the world's population actively fighting CC.

As I have already stated, I have little faith in the IPCC approach. As far as politics, the US does not rule the world. We can only make changes here, not all over the world.

RE: Advantages of Treating Climate Issues as "Goals to Achieve" Rather than a "Problem to

Even "design" costs time and/or money, and getting to a design that can be funded is expensive. Typical costs up til Critical Design Review (CDR) range up to 50% of total development cost.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

RE: Advantages of Treating Climate Issues as "Goals to Achieve" Rather than a "Problem to

(OP)
There is a design cost regardless of problem or goal methodology. There is a design cost regardless of whether we think it is a crisis or not. "Design beyond conception" requires funding. Coming up with some proposed methods of achieving the goal or correcting the problem is not expensive. That is a common brain-storming exercise that generally has minimal costs but definitely is the nucleus of a working solution. Have we gotten past that stage yet? Not that I have seen. If there is, please outline it in this forum.

Below are some common initial steps in either problem solving or goal achievement. These "initial" steps take very little if any funding. These could be easily done in this forum if we decided to undertake the task. This forum cannot make laws, raise capital or any of a list of needed items but could do the initial framework to a working solution. I am yet to hear of a working framework other than we must all agree it is a problem and time is running out (12 years left). By the way, we are down to less than 11.5 years now. Funding is always a real problem. So make of list of what you are willing to take money away from to accomplish CC. I am in favor of a $50 tax on a cup of coffee since I do not drink coffee. I am absolutely NOT in favor of putting a $1 fee on having an opinion on something.

The Steps to Problem Solving
  • Accurately define the problem.
  • Propose multiple possible solutions regardless of project specific criteria.
  • Compile a list of the parameters of your specific situation.
  • Define the “characteristics” of the successful solution to this unique project.


  • The Steps to Goal Achievement
  • Accurately define the “primary” goal. All terms need a working definition if not obvious.
  • State the reasons the goal is desired.
  • If needed, break the Primary Goal down into Sub-Goals.
  • Define who/what is the primary beneficiary of the Goal or Sub-Goals.
  • Create a PRELIMINARY list of whose participation would be required to accomplish the goals with “qualifiers”. (EX: People, Government, Business etc.)
  • Outline “ground rules” for discussion of the project.
  • Propose methods to accomplish all or part of the goal.


  • RE: Advantages of Treating Climate Issues as "Goals to Achieve" Rather than a "Problem to

    My point, wrt to the cost, is that funding requires consensus, and no one would be willing to fund arbitrary goals with no consensus on why goal is even important, or whether the design would even get used.

    TTFN (ta ta for now)
    I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
    FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

    RE: Advantages of Treating Climate Issues as "Goals to Achieve" Rather than a "Problem to

    (OP)
    Taking the current state of the "CC problem". Do you have consensus? Do you have funding? You can get funding without consensus. If 50% of the people believe CC is a serious problem, why would they not be willing to provide funding? If consensus is an absolute must to solving the problem, I am going to enjoy my next 11.5 years and not worry. You will not get 80% consensus that the problem exists with the current plan of attack. We are supposed to believe a CC document that states as 1 of its 3 things to address is "eradicate poverty". They came out of the gate stumbling.

    Now consensus could be the agreement it is a problem. Also consensus could mean we are willing to sacrifice money and inconvenience. Which consensus are you talking about, they are not the same. Let's use military support as an example. Most people who claim to support the military may not get beyond level 2 below. Well level 3 and 4 is real support and that is the support needed to combat CC.
    1. I support the military so much I will wear a lapel pin.
    2. I support the military so much I will get in a public argument in their defense.
    3. I support the military so much I will spend my personal money to help them.
    4. I support the military so much I will endure inconvenience to support them.

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