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FYI: What does ChatGPT "think" about Climate Change and what we are doing about it?
- Mar 4, 2023 1:43 pm GMT
It seems we all have a brand new and very interesting toy: ChatGPT. So, what does AI tell us about climate change? I am sure many Energy Central readers have learned that the answers we get from AI depend to a significant extent on the way and when we ask the question. Also, this AI web site does not provide references. So, there is no indication about where the answers come from.
Here is some more information about ChatGPT.
I asked ChatGPT this question (this is the site):
Here is the answer that the bot spit out (In this post I include unedited and complete questions put to the bot and the complete answers it provided.):
- Renewable Energy Sources: Renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, hydropower, geothermal, and biomass are increasingly being adopted globally. Their use has grown exponentially in recent years, and they are becoming increasingly cost-competitive with traditional fossil fuel sources. Renewable energy has the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve energy security, and provide affordable electricity to millions of people.
- Energy Storage: One of the main challenges with renewable energy sources is their intermittent nature, which means that energy cannot always be produced when it is needed. Energy storage technologies such as batteries, pumped hydro storage, and thermal energy storage can help overcome this challenge by storing excess energy during periods of high production and releasing it when demand is high. This can improve the reliability and stability of renewable energy systems.
- Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage (CCUS): CCUS technologies aim to capture carbon dioxide emissions from power plants and industrial facilities, transport them to storage sites, and store them underground. These technologies have the potential to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel sources and could help bridge the gap to a more sustainable energy system.
- Continued Reliance on Fossil Fuels: Despite the growth of renewable energy sources, fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and gas still account for a significant share of global energy consumption. In many cases, governments and industries continue to invest in and subsidize fossil fuel infrastructure, perpetuating their use and slowing the transition to a low-carbon energy system.
- Delayed Action: The urgency of the climate crisis demands rapid and decisive action. However, progress towards decarbonization has been slow in many countries and regions. Delayed action can make it more difficult and costly to meet climate targets and could exacerbate the impacts of climate change.
- Political and Economic Challenges: Decarbonizing the energy system requires significant changes in policy, regulation, and investment. However, political and economic challenges, such as resistance from fossil fuel industries, conflicting policy priorities, and limited public funding, can make it difficult to implement effective decarbonization strategies.
What do you think? Was that a fair question and reasonable answer? As with other computer applications, I assume that with ChatGPT, the "garbage in, garbage out" principle still applies. So, climate change skeptics might imagine that the database which the bot "learned" is just full of climate change propaganda. Still, AI is supposed to do more than just collate the information that is available to it, though I confess that I don´t understand exactly what it does and how it does it. Might there be an alternative AI system that favors alternative Climate Change developments or even deny Climate Change? Is ChatGPT a tool of the "Deep State" to enforce "climate orthodoxy"?
To my surprise, after I waited a day and asked the exact same question again, I got this significantly different answer:
Most Promising Developments:
Renewable Energy: The growth of renewable energy has been one of the most promising developments in the field of climate change. Solar, wind, hydro, and geothermal energy sources are becoming increasingly affordable and widespread. Renewable energy is now competitive with fossil fuels and can reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Energy Storage: Energy storage technology is advancing, making it possible to store energy generated from renewable sources. This is critical for addressing the intermittency of renewable energy sources, allowing for a more stable and reliable grid.
Electric Vehicles: The development of electric vehicles (EVs) is reducing the demand for oil and gas, and improving air quality in cities. The technology is advancing quickly, and the cost of batteries is decreasing rapidly, making EVs more affordable.
Carbon Capture and Storage: Carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology has the potential to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel power plants. The captured CO2 is stored underground, preventing it from entering the atmosphere.
Most Discouraging Developments:
Continued Fossil Fuel Use: Despite the growth of renewable energy, the use of fossil fuels continues to grow. Many countries are still investing in new coal-fired power plants and oil and gas exploration.
Slow Policy Implementation: Governments around the world have been slow to implement policies to address climate change. There is a lack of political will to make the necessary changes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Deforestation: Deforestation is a major contributor to climate change, accounting for around 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Despite efforts to reduce deforestation, the rate of forest loss remains high.
Methane Emissions: Methane is a potent greenhouse gas, with a warming effect 28 times greater than carbon dioxide over a 100-year period. Methane emissions from agriculture, fossil fuel production, and waste management are increasing, and there is a lack of effective policies to address this issue.
So, I can only conclude that the bot "learned" something, or at least, for whatever reason, it compiled significantly different information, a day later.
Frankly, I was surprised by at least a few aspects of the answers: CCUS was mentioned as a "promising development". Also, nuclear was not mentioned. I agreed with the addition of two "Discouraging Developments" in the second answer: "Deforestation" and "Methane Emissions". So, despite the necessary skepticism, the answer, especially the different answers to the same question on different days, makes me reconsider my own perspectives and positions.
So, I asked it this:
Yes, climate change is real. There is a wealth of scientific evidence showing that the Earth's climate is changing, and that these changes are largely driven by human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation. This evidence includes rising temperatures, melting glaciers and ice caps, changes in precipitation patterns, and shifts in plant and animal ranges and behaviors.
The overwhelming majority of climate scientists agree that human-caused climate change is occurring and that urgent action is needed to mitigate its effects. Many governments, businesses, and individuals are taking steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase energy efficiency, and transition to renewable energy sources to address the threat of climate change.
So what? Please tell me what you think. Were the questions appropriately put? Did the answers make you reconsider your own opinions? They certainly affected mine. What might you ask? I warn you, it is a bit addictive, and a little scary.
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