Sunday, June 6, 2010

I heart global warming

Global warming is a beautiful farce. It just plain isn't based in science and it is going to get us.

When I say "global warming," I am referring to the scary we'll-all-be-dead-in-100-years-unless-we-start-driving-Priuses-today stuff.

Is the earth in a warming trend? Maybe - but it depends on what timeline you are talking about. Over the last 10,000 years (as science and radio-carbon dating counts it)? Yes. 10,000 years ago we had mastodons in Texas, and I doubt they were going wild at South Padre Island in mid-March. But there were once glaciers covering much of America really far south. What happened to them? The earth warmed up! They melted!

My problem is not with the assertion that humans are effecting change. I firmly we believe we have impacted lots of things dramatically. Pollution has certainly provided acid rain and nasty smog. I think we should work to curtail harmful emissions - provided they are actually harmful.

Global warming is a complete fad that tends to be perpetrated by people who think the government should regulate more than they currently do. Or scientists looking to make a living. What ever happened with climategate? It seems to have vanished.

OK - here is the fun stuff. If CO2 is a problem, how much of that problem is caused by cars? Well, I'm glad you asked, too. about 2% of the world's co2 is from automobiles. So what will the effets be if we stop driving our cars? Not much, except a lot more people are going to be late for work. Should the government tell scientists and engineers that generations in the future will benefit if we make a bunch of battery-operated or -assisted vehicles - despite the fact that batteries are far more horrific (in nice measurable, specific ways) for the environment? My opinion is that the government doesn't know what we need better than the average American does.

Other fun fact - over the last few years, the earth has been cooling down a bit. Good evidence is what has been happening in Utah's winters the last few years. Naturally, the fad-ists have been claiming that this is "all part of the show." Now the fad term is "Climate Change."

Question: If the greenhouse gases (we know what greenhouses are used for, right? Warming things up?) are not warming up our planet despite an alarming increase in all of them, what exactly is the trouble with these "greenhouse gases?" My thinking is that if they are not greenhousing us, they are not the problem we accused them of being.

Side note - and statistics fans take note: Al Gore appeared before Congress about global warming, and he was asked if he knew that sometimes temperatures rises and then co2 levels rise. His response: "Yes, but sometimes it happens the other way around where co2 levels rise before the temperature." Wow.

If statistics are not your thing, I'll elucidate: that is an apparent correlation type of relationship. That means that co2 and temperature could very well be linked, but it is not a causal relationship. The evidence does not plainly show that increased co2 equals increased temperatures. In fact, it would seem that that has been thoroughly debunked scientifically, but I don't think this was ever about science.

Then there is the part about co2 being GOOD FOR NATURE!!! We are nowhere near approaching the levels required for being harmful to humans. But you should go on Youtube and watch plants exposed to double the amount of co2 - if you love nature, you find it your duty to buy a Lamborghini tomorrow just to save the trees.

The more legislation is talked about and passed in Washington, the more apparent all this becomes. It is easier to gain control of energy if you convince everyone (or legislate even without convincing the constituency) that energy is bad. Controlling energy controls a lot - both of power and money. That part is frightening.

But I am so tired of athletes, musicians, lawyers, and politicians telling me about this stuff that humans caused global warming - or, even better, climate change (whatever the ____ that even is). I saw a commercial a while ago with a basketball player saying, "It's a fact that humans caused global warming." It isn't. It simply is not a fact. It is a belief that is preached so vehemently that religious ministers could take notes and improve the ferocity of some good fire-and-brimstone sermonizing.

That being said, I like earth a lot. I think we should try to figure out how to wear coats made of something other than baby seal. I don't think that hunger is a good enough reason for hunting or fishing a species to extinction. I think more responsible farming practices could be practiced to avoid slash and burn tactics in rain forests. I think smog is gross and better gas mileage is good.

BUT - plastic is not bad. It is excellent energy storage we can use later (as fuel for burning - cleanly even). It is so much better than paper in that paper takes a lot of energy to process, and then if you don't hurry and burn it when you are done, it degrades, and you never get to use it. Petroleum is incredible. Gasoline is effective and fun as a means of motive force generation. Diesel is even more effective, but far less fun. Biofuels are great, and if we come up with good ways of manufacturing them without farming all the land in north america, that would be stellar. They are cleaner than petro-fuels, and obviously, they come from some living thing implying sustainability.

Anyway, I am going to make some cookies now with my wonderful gas-burning oven.

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