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Warnings of Global Warming
A troop of hysterical monkeys or doomsday looming?  Cynthia Macgregor has a section in her great newsletter - Rants 'n' Raves - where you can air your gripes and opinions.  (Subscribe at EZineDoesIt@cynthiamacgregor.com )  This week's rant was something I think about a lot, as so do lot of others, as follows.


"There are parched conditions in some parts of the country, flooding in others, high temperatures that are way out of range for normal...how can anyone NOT believe in global warming? Are we that selfish that we don't care what we do to the country as long as we can continue our profligate way of life? WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COFFEE! Pressure your legislators to DO SOMETHING! Before it's too late...which it may be already."        Tina


My take on the global warming "crisis"; we may or may not be making global warming come on with our actions, but in my opinion the whole thing is a massive attempt - on purpose or by accident depending on the person or organization - to mislead ourselves and others.

We have ALWAYS had massive climate swings. These are caused by many things; the state of the sun, asteroid collisions with earth, the cyclical wobble of the earth in its orbit, volcanic activity and much more. Did you ever wonder why Greenland, a huge hunk of icy barren land, got its name? It used to be warm; the primary grape growing area generations ago for northern Europe. Iceland was a garden spot, and man's overpopulation and overgrazing of that island hastened its natural decline. Why did early man migrate to the cold northern areas? Because of global warming. It's assumed mankind migrated to the Americas over a land bridge between Russia and Alaska; that means the sea was at some time much lower. The last mini-ice age was about 1850, during which multitudes died due to crop failures. What brought it on? Partly a period of global warming, topped off with a big volcanic explosion. I live in South Florida. Most of Florida is - ready? - dried out coral, which means the whole area was underwater long ago. Then it pushed upwards and the sea fell. We even have a massive volcano buried deep under mid-Florida!

We know about misdirection; politicians do it regularly, as do religious leaders, parents... even animals. An embarrassed cat begins nervous grooming, especially of its shoulders. Scientists who protest the "global warming" crisis are hushed up or otherwise required to shut up.  More than one business or government employee, or researcher, has lost his or her job due to nay-saying that buzz-word phrase - global warming crisis.

Does this mean we don't have a problem? Quite the contrary. But we should quit harping on global warming, even though our actions are undoubtedly bringing it on worse and sooner. We have MUCH more serious things we should be worrying about, and let global warming take care of itself:

1. Depletion of natural resources such as coal, oil, and other minerals. These items are NOT infinite - they will be harder and harder to extract, and eventually run out.

2. Destruction of the natural environment caused by mining or drilling for these resources.

3. Air pollution (and noise) caused by the burning of these fuels and ores, which causes illness, stress, and birth defects of all sorts.

4. Pollution of waterways and especially the ocean, which will have MUCH worse consequences that mere global warming.

5. Chemicals and pharmaceuticals of all kinds polluting the air, the earth and the water with short-term and unknown long-term consequences.

6. Radiation - not just nuclear leakage as in Japan, but the unknown and unproven effects of electric, voice and image transmissions.

7. Deforestation - on a massive scale worldwide.

8. Over-population; not an easy problem to solve. Until the elderly are assured of better care, and world-wide epidemics of disease are controlled as most could be, easily, education assured for all and birth control widely available, we won't even begin to have a handle on this one.

We are destroying the earth on an unprecedented scale. Tackling these problems would come at a price the governments, big businesses and the general population are unwilling and/or unable to pay - although the solutions are right there and doable. Therefore our leaders - governmental, scientific and business - misdirect with a danger call like a troop of startled monkeys - global warming, global warming, run for your lives.


From my brother Lloyd: "I agree with some of what you say. I believe that global warming is caused by humans and I believe it is supported by the evidence--although cyclic weather is probably partly to blame. But I really don't think it matters. Your #8 (overpopulation) is the doomsday scenario for mankind and is the root cause of all the rest of the list, including global warming. In the end, the planet cannot support the number of any species--let alone humans--that we have laid on it. Look at your list: All of them would be greatly improved by having 1/2 the population that we currently have. With 1/4 the population we'd have few of those problems at all. Yes, we need to wake up-- and realize that over-breeding of humans is the issue. I don't think it will happen-- everything about our economy and society is geared towards growth. I hear today that the US economy is growing at a 1.7% rate but that rate is insufficient to support new workers coming into the market. Assuming population growth tracks that growth (it isn't-- population growth is much greater) we'll have 14 billion people on the planet in 40 years. Short of something technologically miraculous that is totally unsupportable.

Humans may not become extinct but we are headed for population collapse on a global scale at the rate we are going. Maybe during that process people will wake up and see the real problem--but then what? Draconian measures to control population, like China had? It is doubtful-- the world's religions will never buy into what that means. And religion is a bigger factor in most peoples thinking than anything else. We are probably headed for another dark age--that is the historical record for collapse of civilizations of the past."

Lloyd Williamson, Mechanical Engineer
Family Care Research and Engineering
 


From Walt Mills:  "All of those other problems are real enough, but how does that relate to global warming, which has been well understood for more than 50 years?

It's good to be suspicious, but it is better to find the facts. Real climate scientists, who are actually working in the field and publishing their research, are not in doubt of the overall facts, only about how fast and how much warming will change the world. I know some of those scientists, and they are honest, incredibly bright, and terribly worried about the future. We are running out of natural resources, and energy is the main resource we are depleting. We can solve that problem, and help solve the warming problem with the same technologies: solar, wind, possibly certain types of biofuels (not corn).

Energy is at the core of many of our worst problems - resource wars, half of the world living on $2.50 a day or less, nuclear accidents. You don't even have to believe global warming is real, manmade, and a disaster for most of the developing world to want to stop burning rapidly depleting fossil fuels and work full throttle on solar and wind energy. Both are getting rapidly more feasible. I know half a dozen scientists who are devoting their professional lives to making breakthroughs in cheap solar energy using nanotechnology and polymer science. They are among the thousands who are working every day on this, and making real progress. I would love to see manufacturing and jobs return to this country instead of sending them to China. That could revitalize our economy, provide good jobs to tens of millions of workers.

Be skeptical of everything, of global warming and the safety of nuclear energy, and all of the rest. But do look for the facts. You can find most of them as they are learned by scientists working in the field, very skeptical people indeed, at the RealClimate blog online."

Walt Mills
American Impressionist


From the "Weedy Lady":  "I agree with everything and think it is extremely well written. I would add one more point:

There is an overwhelming epidemic of obesity in most developed countries. In the United States obesity is the major health problem, above and beyond any other. This epidemic is partly a result of a sedentary lifestyle, but more due to enormous government subsidies given to huge factory farms that produce unhealthy meat and genetically modified grain products which then become the cheap junk "food" that is not only addictive but costs far less than healthy food products.

I could go on at length about this, but we are being killed by the "food" we eat and that leaves little hope at all for the future of mankind on this planet. It is certainly one way to solve the over population problem but a very nasty one.

Ginny


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From Cynthia Macgregor: "I am somewhere in the middle. I do believe global warming is PARTLY a natural cycle that the earth goes thru on its own--and I ALSO do believe that humankind is making it worse. I think there is truth in both sides... but my strong belief is that we shouldn't make it worse."


Extra comment from Lloyd:  "(.....about) geometric progression, though. The world used as much oil in the past 7 years that it had used in the previous millennia. And in 7 more years we will have doubled that. Einstein said that compound interest was more like magic than his theory of relativity. It is just grim when it applies to our energy reserves."


From Harriet, at Cynthia Macgregor's newsletter (with permission):  "I'd like to respond to Tina's rant from last week. I, for one, have never denied that we are in a period of global warming.  To deny that blatantly obvious fact would be the height of stupidity. What I do question is that we mere mortals are entirely responsible for it; perhaps to a very small extent we are, but entirely? NOT! What we definitely do not need is to have our legislators enact any more feel-good and likely unconstitutional laws, to screw up this country any more than they've already done. Humans have lots more chutzpah than I would have imagined to try claiming sole responsibility for these current weather phenomena.

This planet is 4.5 billion years old (that's a 4 and a 5 followed by 8 zeros), and scientific studies show that it has undergone many periods of global warming -- quite possibly much warmer than we're now experiencing, alternating with global cooling -- read "ice ages." Homo Sapiens, that's us, developed "only" about 200 thousand years ago (2 followed by 5 zeros).

The last ice age (so called because there were several preceding it and we've been in a state of global warming ever since) ended around 12 thousand years ago (only 3 zeros here). It's a well-documented and accepted theory that the aboriginal natives of North and South America crossed the ice bridge from Asia's Siberian Peninsula into what is now Alaska. Some stayed there, others moved further and further south until they arrived at a place that felt comfortable to them. Their descendants are what we now know as Aleut, Tlingit, Cree, Erie, Iroquois, Apache, Comanche, Seminole, Inca, Aztec, etc, etc, and so on through scores of different tribal groups. That ice bridge melted into what we now know as the Bering Strait. The Diomede Islands are right in the middle of that stretch of water, and probably indicate the path of the ice bridge. The International Dateline runs between them. Big Diomede still belongs to Russia, Little Diomede went with Alaska when the Russians sold it to us. There are roughly three miles of open water between them. I suspect these peoples walked from Asia to North America; they probably didn't drive SUVs across the ice bridge, thus precipitating the global warming which has continued to the present day.

When our meteorologists discuss the unusually large number of violent storms we've had of late, they frequently mention that these storms increase and decrease in number and intensity cyclically; we just happen to currently be in one of the upsweep cycles rather than a downward one.

By the way, even if we were to suffer additional legislation forcing us to buy ever-more energy-efficient appliances, automobiles, light bulbs for God's sake, and so on, the rest of the world is not yet forced to abide by our laws. Are we Americans so perversely narcissistic that we think we can -- or even should -- legislate for the whole world? Certainly what we do affects the rest of the world, and what they do or don't do affects us. But, as little kids might say, we are not the boss of them. And Washington should not be the boss of us."

Harriet

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