"Global Warming": What everyone seems to be missing

By: jeffs713 , 5:55 PM GMT on November 24, 2010

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Global Warming (GW) - It’s a common buzzword of many scientists, economists, political pundits, weather fanatics, and leaders of industry. Get 10 people in a room, ask them to talk about global warming, and you will get 200 opinions. So what theory is right? What theory is wrong? Why does everyone get so bent out of shape?

Everyone gets bent out of shape because they want to be right. They want to show everyone that they are right. The stakes are HUGE, and the most supported opinion gains the most. But what really is right?

Honestly, there really isn't a single right answer. Could GW be manmade? Sure. Could it be a natural cycle? Sure. Can you prove, beyond all reasonable doubt, either side? Absolutely not. I can throw CO2 measurements at you all day. I can throw historical temperature data at you. I can throw climate data made with scientific measurements at you for the past 100 million years at you. Does that prove anything? Not really. All it proves is that you are capable of research, and compiling data.

Trying to "prove" GW is manmade or a natural cycle like trying to "prove" that there are aliens, that everything in the Bible is real, or that the guy 3 cars ahead of me on the way home from work is thinking about the metaphysical significance of the ankh.

Now that I have basically said that the entire debate about GW is mental time-wasting, up comes a new question...

"So, if debating the cause of GW is pointless, what is the key to help make sure my children, and their children, have a planet to live on?"

Sustainability.

Right now, the human race does not live sustainably. We live WAY outside our means. We take, take, take, and never give back. When we do give back, we don't give anything near what we take. Here are some examples:

-> We take oil from the ground, refine it, and either burn it or turn it into other products (like plastics). Then, we don't recycle much of that plastic, and don't do much in the way of returning the burnt oil (aka carbon) back to the earth. (by the way, life on earth is carbon-based... "returning the oil back to the earth" can be as simple as planting trees.)

-> We cut down trees to make frames for our houses, paper for our offices, and packing material for all of the goodies we get from amazon.com. But we cut down many more trees than we replant. And we don't recycle most of that paper and wood material.

-> We mine ore from the earth, refine it into usable metal, dump the "waste" back into the earth, and then don't recycle that metal when it is no longer useful. We just throw it away, and mine more metal.

-> We fish heavily in an effort to feed our rapidly exploding population, and then wonder why certain species are becoming harder and harder to find, and why food is getting so darn expensive.

-> We pollute our water, soil, and air... and then wonder why cancer rates are skyrocketing, poisons are prevalent everywhere, and we have to take a "vacation" to see nature.

So… what can we do?

1. Conserve our natural resources. This doesn’t mean start living like a Neanderthal (so stop thinking like one). This means doing things like converting all of your light bulbs to energy-efficient bulbs. Getting energy-efficient appliances. Buying a more economical vehicle (do you really need that truck that gets 10mpg?). That kind of thing. It isn’t hard, not terribly expensive (efficiency pays for itself), AND it helps support our economy.

2. Reuse. Those plastic bags you get with your groceries? They make great lunch bags if you have a fridge at work, and also make good trash bags in small trash cans at home. Lots of things you would normally throw away can be used for other purposes around the house (used coffee grounds make great fertilizer)

3. Recycle. Paper, plastic, and metal are all very recyclable materials. Not to mention, recycling them can sometimes be more energy efficient than creating a new item. Many neighborhoods have recycling programs at no charge, and some places will pay for recyclable materials (especially metal)

4. Encourage others to do the same. It is amazing what a little peer pressure can do.

Long story short, with a little bit of effort, a little bit of thought, and a lot less political grandstanding, we can become more sustainable, have a healthier economy, and most importantly, have a healthier planet. I’m not sure about you, but I want a safe and healthy place for my children, and their children to live.

~Jeff

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33. MarkusD
10:08 PM GMT on January 21, 2011
What I highlighted from your post is a prime example of propaganda. You state propaganda is left wing... where is your proof. Why are you p[oliticizing this issue? I'll tell ya why: FOX NEWS, right wing am radio... in fact, your talking point is right wing propaganda. Dishonesty is at the root of this debate, and it's not coming from some weird made-up conspiracy theory, such as liberals lying to everybody because we want people to pollute less. No, it's propaganda coming from the likes of Limbaugh, Hannity, and FOX News itself, and you have fallen for it. The misinformation in this country in regards to stuff as serious as this speaks volumes of how politically brainwashed people are here. No wonder we see political violence again is "liberals". I'm sick of it, and I ask that if you have an issue with science, don't politicize it and blame liberals for everything you disagree with.
Quoting cat5hurricane:
It never hurts to step away from the liberal political propaganda & media that drives the debate of global warming. Mentioning Al Gore in one's argument is a prime example of this.

Sure this earth is in a current warming trend. Some data illustrates this. This is called a warming trend; a natural cycle of the earth. Not necessarily human caused. Just like we are currently on the back-end of a trend characterized by active tropical seasons in the Atlantic Basin.

I remember vividly hearing much talk surrounding the idea that we could be heading in the next ice age following the brutally cold winters of the late 70's and early 80's. And what do you know, that has not seemed to happen. It would not be crazy for one to think perhaps in the next 30 years, all data pointing toward a warming trend suddenly begin to point toward a global cooling trend now. Rushing to conclusions to point the finger exclusively at man is rather frivolous and pre-mature, given that this great earth has been spinning for billions of years. And if one believes in evolution, humans have been here for a long time too.
Member Since: January 21, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 0
32. Randy Bynon , Dropsonde SysOp/AVAPS PM
7:15 PM GMT on January 21, 2011
Excellent post!!! I believe global warming would be occuring whether man was on the planet or not. We might be impacting it but we are not causing it.

To me the single greatest significant impact the current debate on global warming has is to raise awareness of our impact.

Thanks!!
Member Since: July 17, 2001 Posts: 190 Comments: 2012
29. jeffs713
3:50 AM GMT on November 26, 2010
Quoting McBill:


I agree with "symptom = OMG it's hot in here!" but I would go with "disease = an excess of heat trapping gasses in the atmosphere." " I would like an unrecycled newspaper in my gas guzzler, please." would be a cause of the disease.

In businesses that I've been involved with - at least the successful ones - people define the problem before attempting to fix it. If it was a natural event that we were dealing with here rather a man-made one, the potential solutions could be very different.

Two points... Actually, the gas guzzler and unrecycled newspaper is a potential cause of the heat-trapping gases. Those heat-trapping gases didn't just get there magically, they came from somewhere, due to some kind of behavior.

Also, for the last part - yes, the treatments are entirely different, but living sustainably will help if GW is man-made (or man-contributed), and ALSO help the environment overall. Even just one of those is good, two would just be a nice bonus.
Member Since: August 3, 2008 Posts: 16 Comments: 5880
27. Ossqss
3:10 AM GMT on November 25, 2010
Nice blog Jeffs!

Sustainability is key moving forward for sure. Population and usage changes demand consideration.

The UN has thought of the same here. Not a very nice read, when you do the math and connect the dots.

Inevitable considerations to some degree or another, is it not ?

For those that may be interested, some papers I re-reviewed last week that relate to the subject matter here. From the sharable free side access to them :)

Happy Turkey Day all !

JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH, VOL. 112, D24S08, doi:10.1029/2006JD008229, 2007

JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH, VOL. 114, D21102, doi:10.1029/2009JD011841, 2009
Member Since: June 12, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 8186
26. cyclonebuster
1:09 AM GMT on November 25, 2010
What about hurricanes,tornadoes and severe weather? If we can save lives by changing the strength,number and direction they move should we?
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20401
23. jeffs713
9:27 PM GMT on November 24, 2010
Quoting McBill:


It all depends on whether you're talking about treating the symptoms or curing the disease.

Which is which?

Personally, symptoms = OMG its hot in here!
disease = I would like an unrecycled newspaper in my gas guzzler, please.

Quoting biff4ugo:
I like that you focus on what can be done to make the climate better, and let other folks worry about who is "right".

In business, you fix the problem, then point fingers. Not the other way around. :) Why not apply it to natural events?
Member Since: August 3, 2008 Posts: 16 Comments: 5880
22. biff4ugo
9:19 PM GMT on November 24, 2010
I like that you focus on what can be done to make the climate better, and let other folks worry about who is "right".
Member Since: December 28, 2006 Posts: 114 Comments: 1569
19. jeffs713
9:06 PM GMT on November 24, 2010
Quoting NumberWise:
Sigh....and I thought we were going to discuss sustainability, conservation, stewardship...

Yeah... I put GW in the topic to gain some looks and conversation... but it seems it got the conversation going in the wrong direction.
Member Since: August 3, 2008 Posts: 16 Comments: 5880
17. NumberWise
8:27 PM GMT on November 24, 2010
Sigh....and I thought we were going to discuss sustainability, conservation, stewardship...
Member Since: October 22, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 1700
12. jeffs713
8:15 PM GMT on November 24, 2010
MichaelSTL - Hold up. I don't think anyone here is trying to argue, much less have a book thrown at them. I made this post to bring attention to constructive STEPS on the way to sustainability, which ties in with GW.

My entire point can be summed up in this two-line section from my original post:
"So, if debating the cause of GW is pointless, what is the key to help make sure my children, and their children, have a planet to live on?"

Sustainability.
Member Since: August 3, 2008 Posts: 16 Comments: 5880
7. NRAamy
6:46 PM GMT on November 24, 2010
Tunnels will set you free! Tunnels for you and me!!

;)
Member Since: January 24, 2007 Posts: 317 Comments: 31946
6. jeffs713
6:41 PM GMT on November 24, 2010
MichaelSTL - I personally fall firmly on one side of the debate, but didn't inject it into my post, since I didn't want to detract from the debate itself. (I leave the personal opinion statements to everyone replying) In just about everything in life, the truth is somewhere between the extremes, and that is what I was trying to point out with this post, and generate some good discussion. If you will note, (especially in reference to your first reply on here), both sides are guilty of the same "offenses". Both try to throw mounds of "facts" at you, when quite a bit is theoretical. Yes, theories can have HUGE amounts of evidence (the theory of relativity is a good example), but they are still theories, and being tested.

Cat5Hurricane - Thank you. An open mind is such a rare thing.

Numberwise - Thank you. I love your statement, "Living responsibly and being stewards of our living space is a moral issue, not a political one."

NRAamy - oh, the many ways I could run with that one... ;)
Member Since: August 3, 2008 Posts: 16 Comments: 5880
4. NumberWise
6:21 PM GMT on November 24, 2010
Jeff, I think your blog is great. With all the hoopla, political pressures, economic considerations, and emotional energy that is expended on climate change, it has distressed me that conservation has been ignored so much. Living responsibly and being stewards of our living space is a moral issue, not a political one.
Member Since: October 22, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 1700
1. NRAamy
6:03 PM GMT on November 24, 2010
and build tunnels...
Member Since: January 24, 2007 Posts: 317 Comments: 31946

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About jeffs713

I live near Tomball, Texas (30 miles NW of Houston), and will write about whatever comes to mind. You've been warned.

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