February 23, 2012

The global warming controversy

One of the more eerie predictions from global warming is the prediction that the warming will be more extreme at the poles than the near the equator. Because the two poles are covered with ice, the warming atmosphere and increasingly the warming ocean cause the ice to melt and the shrinking abledo causes less solar reflection and greater solar capture and thus greater warming of the polar zones. This feedback mechanism is one of the most worrying phenomena from global warming.

There are some that dismiss global warming outright. However, in the past few years we have seen increased melting at the poles that follows the predictions of climate scientists. NASA just published a study which shows that the earth is losing half a trillion tons of ice every year. And then there is this ominous crack in the Pine Island Glacier in Antarctica that will lead to the birth of an iceberg the size of Rhode Island very soon.

So when you hear Marketplace cheer on how good global warming will be for business, it might be good to remember that the melting means tremendous dislocation of seaside communities (including New York City) due to sea rise.

And when Heartland finds someone to develop classes to indoctrinate children that global warming isn't happening, then perhaps it's time to call them traitors to humanity and the rest of the earth.

Is global warming happening? The glaciers say yes. Is it good for business? Only if you don't give a f*ck about the people hurt by rising sea levels and the increasing instability of the weather.

Posted by Mary at February 23, 2012 05:02 PM | Environment | Technorati links |

Comments

I'm having a contest to find the best climate change slogans for my next west coast tour:

http://freewayblogger.blogspot.com/2012/02/oakland-ca.html

winner gets a thousand bucks.

Posted by: Freewayblogger at February 27, 2012 12:55 PM

Somewhere in the Bible I think it says: "God makes it to rain global warming down upon the righteous and the unrighteous." (I'm paraphrasing a little)

First, since God didn't make this world (God isn't insane), then God can hardly be responsible for what seems to befall us in this world, whether rain, global warming, blizzards, floods, tsunamis, earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, droughts, whatever.

Second, the latter part of this paraphrased biblical quote is true, no matter how the religious types try to spin it, trying to blame some group, claiming that they caused God to cause some localized or global catastrophe to occur, that God "sent" a worldwide flood (Genesis), "sent" fires (Sodom and Gomorrah), "sent" the 9/11 hijackers, Hurricane Andrew, Hurricane Karina (Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson) to punish the "sinners" who've offended the religious types in some way (usually involving sex).

The latter part of this biblical quote says that the "righteous" and the "unrighteous" both are affected by, get caught in the path of some type of weather or geophysical event or catastrophe, maybe even killed or severely injured, locally or globally.

In the case of global atmospheric warming, landmasses and oceans heating up, glaciers and polar ice caps melting, the "righteous" (because they're right) are the global climatologists, the reputable scientists recording and reporting on this imminent global catastrophe, while the "unrighteous" (because they're wrong) are the deniers, the naysayers, the oil industry executives and their puppets, the religious nuts, the "heads stuck in a hole in the ground" people.

And who will be caught in the path of this imminent, slowly-unfolding (yet accelerating) global catastrophe? The "righteous" and the "unrighteous" alike, displaced, livelihoods destroyed and maybe even killed by not doing anything NOW. And those like Rick Santorum deny the peril in which their denial places both themselves and their families, and everyone else. Crazy is as crazy does, and God has nothing to do with any of this, just crazy humans adversely impacting the only planet on which we all live and denying it.

Posted by: The Oracle at March 9, 2012 04:00 PM

Per Antarctic ice core samples collected in the 1990s, the last Great Ice Age over 10,000 years ago began with a heat spike, a sharp rise in atmospheric temperatures by a few degrees. Ocean and landmass temperatures rose, ice melted. But what surprised scientists at the time was that it only took 30 years between the heat spike and the beginning of the Ice Age.

30 years? Not 100 years, not 500 years, not thousands of years, but a mere 30 years in which the earth adjusted to a heat spike (caused by whatever), going in the completely opposite direction (for some similarly unknown reason), entering into an Ice Age lasting several thousand years, with the northern-most ice sheet extending far south into lower latitudes in the Northern hemisphere.

Either the international team of scientists studying Antarctic ice core samples in the 1990s got their analysis of these ice core samples wrong or they got it right. I saw this reported in the late 1990s on a 1-hour-long science program on PBS (Nova), or on The Learning Channel or Discovery, thus I consider this scientific finding reputable and accurate (no matter what caused the heat spike or subsequent abrupt reversal into an Ice Age).

So, "Houston, we have a problem," with the entire earth being Apollo 13. And in this analogy, many of the world's wealthiest and almost all Republicans in the U.S. are on "Apollo 13" telling "Houston" everything's find, that there is no problem, that even if humans "engineered" this looming catastrophe on "Apollo 13," humans can't do anything about it, so best to do nothing. Of course, the world's wealthiest and the Republicans all have children and grand-children on this "Apollo 13" ride, so their fate is sealed along with everyone else, whether of the global warming denier crowd or those shouting "Houston, we have a problem!!!".

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