My Stance on Global Warming
I just finished watching the Larry King Live Global Warming show with Bill Nye and several other guest speakers.
I was taught to ask the following questions of anyone who said just about anything:
- What exactly are you saying?
- Who are you?
- How do you know?
So let me say this: I will say what I mean in as plain a language as possible. I’m a teacher and a scientist with a Bachelor’s degree in Earth Science and (almost) a Master’s degree in Business. I read science textbooks for fun and regularly point out mistakes in Discovery Channel programming. I have studied the issue of global warming from an environmental, geological, and economic perspective for the last 13 years. I base my statements on research done and repeated by many scientists around the world.
On Global Warming
First fact. The average temperature of the Earth has been increasing for the last 200 hundred years or so. There have been localized years, even decades were the temperature went down, but just like the US Stock Market, the trend over the period of time that we’ve been measuring it has been upward.
Next fact. The average temperature 65 million years ago was significantly higher than it is now. During the 120 million year reign of the dinosaurs, there were no polar ice caps… at all.
Final fact. Human civilization is in no danger from global warming. Individual humans may be in danger, but the civilization is not.
HOWEVER, we are not the issue. Humans have the ability to respond to environment with a speed and power that has never before been seen in the animal kingdom. What is in danger is every other living thing on the planet. We can crank up the AC to whatever point we’re willing to pay for it. Polar Bears can’t.
The economist on the Larry King show was saying how expensive it would be to change over to more efficient methods of energy production… huh? I agree that paying farmers to grow more corn to create E80 may not be the best way to go. Us Americans, for the most part, are not willing (in cases are not capable) of giving up our energy hungry vehicles and nothing can match the energy effectiveness of gasoline as a liquid fuel.
We can make real changes in the way we generate electricity though. Texas is not the largest producer of wind power in the country with two new projects under consideration; major wind-farms near Corpus Cristi and Galveston. Solar power research has also increased with nanoscale engineering creating solar cells with nearly double (the admittedly low) efficiency of current cells.
Bur remember, it’s not for us. It’s for the planet as a whole. The Earth has a huge capacity to absorb the damage humans do to her. However, she is obviously approaching the limits. We can’t blow up the planet with our powerful technology, but the fish, frogs, birds, plants, coral reefs don’t stand a chance against us.
I just read this article: Suit against Yosemite could affect access to national parks
Imagine that, our love of the parks, the peace, the quiet, the cute fuzzies are probably killing them.
In conclusion (of this fragmented, nearly incomprehensible report), the Earth’s temperature is increasing. The effect of man seems to be significant, but isn’t necessarily so. We are in little danger, but other living things (which we depend on) are. The economics and politics of the situation encourage the increase and use of technology to limit our use of fossil fuels.