Climate Change: Political Pick-Pocketing
You’ve probably been too busy to notice, or to care, or Christmas shopping has over taken you life, but while you haven’t been paying attention the sky is falling. That’s right. We are running out of time to save the planet, and probably, in the short run, Florida, because geologically speaking, we’re at the bottom of the barrel. That is, we’re not many feet above sea level and those levels are going to rise rapidly and flood us.
I’m writing, of course, about what was known as Global Warming and is now known as Climate Change because there was some debate about the consistency of the “warming”. Anyway, the Climate Change people have been meeting in Durban, South Africa, working on a stop-the-warming strategy to replace the Kyoto accords that never were fully implemented by the nations that matter namely: the U.S., China and India. Europe initiated some anti-carbon moves, but not to the extent thought to be needed.
What is needed, for instance, is for the rich and developing countries to subsidize under developed countries’ Green movement, plus throw in a ton of dollars to make up for the damage already done to them. There are lots of dollars involved and the rich (relatively speaking) and developing countries are going to provide them. Other than that, we have to get rid of coal. Unfortunately, coal provides 80 per cent of the fuel for electrical plants. Gas is replacing coal, but there is a long way to go.
Obama, in his 2008 campaign endorsed a plan for no more coal fueled plants - making them too expensive to operate - and the former head of the United Mine Workers, Rich Trumka, now head of the AFL-CIO agrees with the strategy. Only problem: how do we generate enough electricity to fuel the nation? Wind and solar don’t cover the increased need. The recession/depression has been a good thing because energy use declined, but it’s not enough.
The problem is, recession/depression or not, carbon deposits in the atmosphere have increased world-wide. Another problem is that temperatures have not risen correspondingly. There’s a bit of controversy about that. In fact, a global warming skeptic Richard Muller, a physics professor at the University of Berkley, re-studied the temperature data and confirmed that temperatures have been rising and determined that the correlation between temps and carbon dioxide was real. Problem: Judith Curry, at the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Georgia Institute of Technology, a colleague of Muller’s, in the study said he left out the bit that temps haven’t risen in the past 13 years in spite of spikes in the carbon dioxide levels. Oops. We just went from certainty to uncertainty again.
It is true that thousands of scientist agree with the theory of man-caused global warming (if it really is still warming). It is equally true that some scientists - reputable scientists - don’t agree and argue that studies haven’t included the effects of the sun nor the effects of moisture in the atmosphere. Others argue that the computer models on which the catastrophic predictions are based are flawed. Slight variations make wide swings. Science is not about a vote. Science is about science. All science should be careful questioned.
Eugenics, the science of controlling the quality of mankind by eliminating those with defects or breeding for selection, was popular and scientifically and politically supported at the beginning two or three decades of the 20th Century. Get rid of or push to the side those with mental or physical defects for the common good was a mantra. The Nazi’s really liked the ideas. I guess we wouldn’t have had the Americans With Disabilities Act back then although there might have been support for Get Rid of the Disabled Act.
Global Warming/Climate Change - particularly the latter - is not, probably, all wrong. We should be concerned about what we put into the air and water. However, the Earth and its climate change constantly. The Earth is a moving, breathing, body. Climate does change - note ice ages and warming periods of the past. Note the effect of solar eruptions. If the Earth is 14 billions year old as claimed, our few hundred or even a few thousand years, is a blip in time.
Go back to your shopping. Quit worrying - if you did. Just watch out for the political pick-pockets.