Tuesday, July 11, 2006

 

Inconvenient Truths

I haven't seen "An Inconvenient Truth" nor do I plan on seeing it. I go to movies to be entertained not to listen to the messages of an inflated ego and mediocre mind. It's not that I necessarily don't believe that the Earth is warmer I believe Al Gore is primarily interested in self promotion. I guess that being the inspiration for "Love Story" and the driving force behind the Internet wasn't enough.

Searching a few sites relating to global warming I find a few interesting facts. In this table of geologic time the statement, "climate stabilizes," concerning the last 11,000 years jumps out at me. In geologic time 11,000 years in a blink of the eye. Has the climate really stabilized or is it a lull between storms?

Elsewhere, I find this statement,
"Pre-industrial levels of carbon dioxide (prior to the start of the Industrial Revolution) were about 280 parts per million by volume (ppmv), and current levels are about 370 ppmv. The concentration of CO2 in our atmosphere today, has not been exceeded in the last 420,000 years, and likely not in the last 20 million years.
20 million years is less than one half of one percent of the age of the Earth. Thus even 20 million years may not give a representative sample of possible cycles in the Earth's climate.

Indeed, there is cause for concern but I doubt the near hysterical rantings of Gore are needed. As a leader of a cause he lacks the ability to attract the ears of many.

All that being said, what are you doing to fight global warming? Curiously, everyone I personally know that has seen the movie drives a car that get poorer gas mileage than my own. I also have installed highly efficient fluorescent bulbs in about 75% of my lights. A fellow blogger who rants about global warming, hates the evil corporations and loves Al Gore, recently built a house and purposely avoided fluorescent lights because he and his wife don't like them and have had "trouble" with them in the past.

I've taken these actions because I save money and save the environment by requiring less and thus less pollution being created to provide the goods and services to meet my needs and desires. I'm not doing this out of some altruistic motive but out of greed. I like clean air, clean water, large tracts of forest. I want the water in the creek behind my house to be clean enough to eat the fish that live there. Currently, the fish aren't safe for consumption.

It really pisses me off that many of those who scream about global warming, etc. aren't doing their part. If your car(s) don't get 30 mpg or better, shut up. If you're not using fluorescent light bulbs where ever possible, shut up. If you consume far more than you reasonably need, shut up. Hell, I don't even agree with you and I'm doing more for your "cause" than you.

UPDATE: In the comments to this post Ken Mithchell mentions the Vikings, Greenland, Iceland and Vineland. I got curious and found this at archeology.org:
Greenland's climate began to change as well; the summers grew shorter and progressively cooler, limiting the time cattle could be kept outdoors and increasing the need for winter fodder. During the worst years, when rains would have been heaviest, the hay crop would barely have been adequate to see the penned animals through the coldest days. Over the decades the drop in temperature seems to have had an effect on the design of the Greenlanders' houses. Originally conceived as single-roomed structures, like the great hall at Brattahlid, they were divided into smaller spaces for warmth, and then into warrens of interconnected chambers, with the cows kept close by so the owners might benefit from the animals' body heat.
So a little over a thousand years ago, Greenland was warmer and then got significantly colder. Makes me wonder.

Plus, some people just can't stand it when you insult Al Gore(as if he's never insulted anyone). At least, Patrick Armstrong can get past that and see what I'm really talking about. In the future I'll be more conservative with my insults because the message is more important.

Comments:
Well said, dad. Excellent points, all. People want what they want and they're not about to sacrifice their creature comforts. I don't completely blame them, but a little perspective would be nice. They want air conditioning and many choices of what to buy, etc., etc., etc....
 
the problem with some flourescent lights in some cases they can trigger a slight epileptic siezure, if the cycle time isnt right, the flashing can cause it.

i live in the UK, the problem is the opposite (in the north anyway) we strive to keep warm, it has been known to get very cold, the coldest was a few years ago, minus 15C minus 27 in scotland..

i try to be as green as i can, i recycle a lot, moldy bread for the birds, and so on, we have a lot of wildlife so, we recycle it that way.. we do our best, but if i could i would want a completle efficient house..
 
mercurior - That's cold! The climate where I live is very temperate. Winters can be cold and bitter at times but rarely like you're describing.

You're right about the flourescent ligts. In fact, flashing lights in public are cycled so as not to trigger a petite mal seizure. But we can all do more than we do to protect the environment, including myself.

One other little thing I do is use small towels or dishcloths for napkins. It's cheaper than using paper and according to what I've read (somewhere) it's more environmenntally friendly even though you must wash them. The small towels work better also.
 
(That's why I could never, ever live in England or Scotland)

This is populist environmentalism and it is the single best way to be green. All the feel-guilty movies, non-meat eating, and freeganism in the world don't hold a candle to the average family doing what they can, when they can, to both save economically and environmentally.

Environmentalism is not some big, complicated mantra that means giving up all creature comforts to save the spotted owls. It's more like what you learned in Kindergarten: don't be a glutton, turn off the lights if you're the last one to leave a room & if you make a mess clean up after yourself.
 
Absolutely.
 
Global Warming; You can fight fears of Global "Warming" by reading history. I recommend the story of the Vikings. They were the guys who named that big island west of Iceland for the color of the coastline, and started dairy farms. You know, that cow-covered paradise, Greenland.

Or Leif Erickson, who sailed further west to the coast of North America, and called the place "Vinland" for all the grape vines they found there. Recent archaeologists have been excavating the site of "Vinland"; we call it Labrador.

These places, so warm only 1000 years ago, are notably cooler now. Forget tree-ring carbon-14 variations as proxies for temperature; the Vikings may not have had thermometers, but they knew what the climate was - and we know what it is now.

Yes, the temperature changes in long cycles. No, we're not causing it.
 
KM - excellent points. I had read this before bur forgotten.

I try to minimize my pollution of the planet, directly and indirectly. But, Al Gore is more interested in self-aggrandizement and power grabs.
 
I'm so concerned about global warming that I moved my air conditioner from 74 to 72 degrees to cool the atmosphere around me.
 
woody - when I was a kid we never had air conditioning in our house or cars (except my parents' bedroom). It gets pretty hot in Tennessee in the summer. I loved going on vacation because we either slept in an air conditioned motel or camped in the much cooler mountains.

I love air conditioning. My son just commented yesterday that he likes getting in my car because it's always cool and rock and roll in on the radio.
 
the weather like that is rare, but it easily gets to zero in winter, lot of clouds and rain too. we get the cold winds from the artic, and the warm from the gulf, otherwise the UK would be like alaska, the other side of the pennines, gets the cold from siberia, also cold.. but warmer than most..

i try to minimise my impace, as much as i can, all you have to do is look at certain familes, disposable nappies, disposable everything. and thats better than the cloth type.. that could be used hundreds of times..its a disposable culture at least now it is..
 
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