Tag: global warming

January 20 2010

I don’t believe what the media tells me about science because they are not experts in it. I believe what the scientists tell me because they have a long-standing history of knowing what they’re talking about. And the only scientists that doubt climate change are those who are simply taking a responsible approach to the data…as any good scientist would. They are hesitant to state with 100% certainty they know anything about anything because that’s just how science works. Even gravity is “just a theory” because we know how it works but don’t fully understand why (yet). But the numbers of scientists that outright deny humanity’s effect on climate change are a vast minority.

Long before this turned into the idiotic debate it has become, scientists were giving us plenty of warnings. The nuclear arms race came to a halt once they made it clear that nuclear winter could be a reality. Countless calculations show that an all-out nuclear war would destabilize the environment in very real and dramatic ways. It’s not too much of a stretch to imagine what billions of people, hundreds of millions of vehicles, and thousands of industries working in concert over several decades could do to a planet as delicate as ours.

If you need an example of what atmospheric destabilization can do, just take a look at Venus and Mars. Venus is closer to the sun and suffers from a runaway greenhouse effect. Mars is farther away and has lost most of its atmosphere. A little warmer and you get the insane environment of Venus; a little cooler and you get the inhospitable environment of Mars. We can literally point to our sister planets and say, “See that? That could happen to us!”

The reason they changed the name from “global warming” to “climate change” is due to simple logistics and the fact that it’s far more accurate. After all, there are people that still don’t understand what the word “theory” means, so imagine if they called it “global atmospheric and climate destabilization theory.” People misuse terms all the time, and it was quickly becoming clear that the term “global warming” was misleading people to think that it was simply getting hotter. The reality is far more complex than that.

Accept it or not, humanity is playing a serious role in the continued degradation of the environment. There are *three times* as many people alive as there were just half a century ago, and that growth shows no sign of slowing. All of those people consume and produce waste, and their lifestyles require certain levels of consumption and waste production. Without regulation, everyone’s self-concerned and short-sighted behavior is eventually going to catch up with us. We can either sit on our hands and debate it endlessly or we can be responsible humans and do something about it before it’s too late to fix.

Think about this. What if the people who are claiming that climate change is real are wrong? What harm could come about from following their advice about reducing greenhouse gases, responsible fuel consumption, and alternate forms of energy? How is improving efficiency and protecting the environment even kind of a bad thing? Now think about this. What if the people who doubt climate change are wrong? What good would come about from unregulated greenhouse gas production, wanton fuel consumption, and a single (limited) form of energy? How is running out of fuel and exploiting the environment even kind of a good thing?

Politics and the virulent nature of memes are the only reason there is even a debate on climate change. The vast majority of people talking about it aren’t even qualified to do so. Our opinions about scientific facts have zero bearing on the truth. Regardless of whether it’s true or not, we are wrong to cast it aside as the rantings of financially- and politically-motivated people just trying to impose their will upon the rest of us. We may have become cynical over the past few decades, but that is no reason to justify irresponsibility just to prove a point.

October 25 2007

It’s a simple question: What causes global warming?

Here’s a relatively simple answer: Global warming is caused by the greenhouse effect and the increase of anthropogenic (man-made) greenhouse gas concentrations.

And here’s a more complex answer: Look at Mars. It has lost most of its greenhouse gases, and now it’s oceans are gone and its surface is freezing. Now, look at Venus. It has a runaway greenhouse effect, and now it’s atmosphere is so dense that it rains diamonds and it is hot enough to melt metal. All three planets (ours included) formed in the same way at the same time, and their present atmospheres are the result of their pasts.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t think we’ll end up like either of those planets. For one thing, Venus is closer to the sun, so it’s bound to have higher temperatures. But Venus is so hot because of the greenhouse effect, not just because it’s closer. As for Mars, it’s farther away and colder, but there is strong evidence that it had complete oceans that once covered its surface. Where did the oceans go? Do you think the atmosphere had anything to do with it? Both of these planets are strong warning signs (from the heavens, I might add) about what our planet’s atmosphere is capable of becoming.

And, something is happening. Take a peek at this:

I understand taking statistics out of context can be a bad idea (because that graph only goes back a few decades rather than millions of years), but look at the years on the graph and then think about when the Industrial Revolution happened. Is it a coincidence or a correlation?

Or, lets say that we are NOT the cause of global warming. Then that frees us of the burden of having to correct it, right? Wrong. Even if we’re not the cause of it, it’s happening anyway. So, doesn’t it seem like a good idea to plan for the future? You know, get those millions (billions?) of people away from the coming tide changes, or strengthening our homes and buildings so they can survive the increasingly powerful storms, or learning how to deal with all the political unrest (like Darfur) caused by millions of migrating people who are in search of green fields, or, or, or…

The reason this whole discussion bothers me, and the reason I felt the need to talk about it, is because of the politically-motivated distractions caused by the leadership of the Democrats and the Republicans and the inexorably-corrupt media. So when someone wins an award that is supposed to raise global awareness for a cause everyone supports (i.e., a healthy environment to live in), it’s just terribly frustrating that we have to stagnate in a sea of emotion-driven, counter-productive, intentionally-divisive conversations.

October 15 2007

I recently got into another discussion about global warming, and the person I was talking to said they weren’t convinced that humans were the cause of it. Though it’s just foolish to think that the temperature isn’t rising, there is (admittedly) room for debate on how much our presence and actions are affecting the environment. So, I started compiling information into a chart.

If you have updated information or know where I can get this information, please let me know. I am planning on making the above chart much larger so that people can see the information and decide for themselves.

Feel free to bookmark this page and come back to it later (or reference it). I am going to update it as much as I can, and this will be the permanent home for it.

Things to notice:

  • World War 2 appears to have had a direct influence on the global temperature. This is very likely due to the amount of fuel that was consumed, the number of fires that burned throughout that period, and the massive increase in production from the world’s most industrialized nations.
  • Population growth seems to correlate, but does not seem to be the chief reason the temperature rises. This makes sense because it is the actions of humans that seems to be affecting the temperature, not just our mere presence.
  • Every major war seems to have some sort of effect on the global temperature, except for the Vietnam/American war, which seems to have held off the rising temperature until it was finally over. Notice that as soon as the war was over, the temperature starts to rise significantly and steadily.
  • During the gas crunch of the 1970’s, the US and other nations started recognizing the need to improve gas mileage, and yet the average crept up only slightly. If the number of vehicles does not reflect the improved gas mileage, then it stands to reason that this would increase the amount of greenhouse gases in the air.
Global Temperatures from 1880 to 2007