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Sunday, February 06, 2005

Fight pollution, not flawed theory

The Teleologic Blog links to this intriguing letter. I'll admit that although I've denied that global warming is a problem before, I didn't know these three things myself:

Before I'll listen to anyone even express an opinion on anthropogenic (human-caused) global warming, I've been asking them to take a simple, 3-question quiz for the past five years or so:

1. What gas is responsible for approximately 95% of the "greenhouse effect" on planet Earth?

2. Are the United States a net A) Emitter, or B) Absorber of carbon dioxide?

3. Is the global climate now A) Warmer, or B) Cooler than it was approximately 1,000 to 1,100 years ago?

Answers:

1. Water vapor is responsible for about 95% of the Earth's greenhouse effect. Carbon dioxide is less than 2% of the total effect, with methane taking up most of the balance, and other gasses responsible for the remainder. But all we EVER hear about is CO2.

2. The U.S., with it's vast forests (more now than in pre-Columbian times) and farmlands is a net ABSORBER of CO2...as opposed to Europe and Japan, which are net emitters.

3. Let's see...they were raising crops of oats in Greenland, and the Icelandic/Viking explorers were calling what is now the chilly area of Newfoundland "Vinland" because of the grapes which grew there. It's an era referred to as the "Medieval Climate Optimum" in old climate textbooks, and was followed by the spread of Black Plague (the fleas of the rats taking advantage of the warmer climate to spread to northern Europe). That period was followed by what used to be referred to as the "Little Ice Age", in which England saw snow in areas never before seen, and the River Thames froze quite solidly on a regular basis. That period ended in the early/middle 1700's, and we've been in a warming trend ever since.

Teleologic also mentions a new book I haven't seen yet (thank 18 credits of engineering classes for that), called State of Fear, which is supposed to rip climatologists as politically motivated. This would not surprise me one bit.

I've been onto these paranoia-inducing creeps since my freshman year of high school. I still have a research paper and an accompanying pamphlet that I wrote five years ago, amid Al Gore's aggressive environmentalism. If I can find it and revise it, I'll post it here to supplement my argument.

For now...
  • A hole in the ozone layer is headed for Europe. That's where we need the Kyoto Protocol, not here.

  • The U.N. has been found to have faulty records on global temperatures.

  • Naturally occurring volcanoes do more "damage" to the environment than mankind.

  • Now scientists are telling us that record-breaking COLD temperatures are causing the ozone problem. How the f**k is that related to global WARMING?!?!
I'm still a Democrat, and I still give a damn about the environment. I'm angry because people need to start working on what matters, like conservation or discovering how to contain radioactive waste or controlling air pollution, not some half-baked theory that wormed its way into our minds just because a few important people said that it's true. Although I wish we'd recognize the U.N. and try to solve problems rather than ignoring them, the one good thing W. has done is acknowledged that we can in fact operate without them, finally sending the message to America that we can think for ourselves.

Unfortunately, thinking for ourselves has come at the price of our well-being.