The Oral Report

Standing up in front of the class was never so much fun!

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Location: River City, United States

The rantings and ravings of a mom of three wonderful girls as she finds new love while working like a dog and shaking her fist at the system. You know. Pretty much like everybody else.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Global Warming Diary - January 8, 2008

Dear Diary -

Just yesterday, I was musing about wearing my sandals to work. You know I try not to let fashion rules entirely dictate what I wear, but are sandals after the first snowfall as big a faux pas as wearing white after Labor Day? I mean, really, I could use a little guidance here. And where is one to find help on Global Warming Fashion Etiquette??? Al Gore??? Leonardo DiCaprio??? It's impossible!!

Also, the recent record high temps (in a year where we've had several record-breaking weather days in River City) have my Darling D running the air conditioner. I was flummoxed (yes, Diary, I said flummoxed) to find the a/c running last night.

Um...because it's January, that's why.

Also, he was pretty unabashed about it when I called him on it. I'll have to work on that part, I know. Diary, you know, more than anyone, that I've had my fill of uppity men folk.

So, I'm wondering, Dear Diary, will I ever actually SEE snow again? Feel the cold, crisp air biting at my cheeks? Or, you know, should I just start planning a Valentine's Day picnic this year?

I realize you aren't a Magic 8 Ball, but I'd sure like to know if the four cold days we had two weeks ago, are the ENTIRE winter season this year. If not, I guess I should put the shorts back in the top of my closet. I just hope I haven't shaved my legs for nothing.


Blogger Nate said...

Well, don't 'blame' Global Warming. We're entering the duly expected warming trend that signals the end of the little ice age that killed off the Greenland colonies settled by Norway all those years ago, and can look forward to another global Golden Age as growing seasons lengthen, weather patterns calm, and things generally get nicer.

Er, um, well... We WILL have to figure out some way to deal with the loss of some coastal areas that folks foolishly settled when the tide rolled out lo these many years ago... But, by and large, global warming, good for everyone.

Yes, I know. The movies, the celebrities, the various serious-sounding people, they all said it was BAD. Yeah. Well, they're basing all of this hype, all of this scaremongering, on one study, done by one guy, which, as of yet, no one has seen fit to do any peer review on.

Peer review? Well, that's when, after one sciencey-guy publishes a paper about sciencey stuff, a bunch of other sciencey-guys check his figures, examine his methods, and see if they reach the same conclusions. Its basically required for any sciencey-guy to be taken seriously by any other sciencey-guy ever. But it's never been done.

Why? Well, why do you think? Mann's (that first sciencey-guy's name is Mann) graph clearly shows a Hockey-Stick of Doom, and concludes, as is only right and proper, that it's all Whitey's fault. Yep, gas-guzzling Americans did it all, blame them, hate them, then take away all their stuff.

For the longest time, after Mann's HSoD was published, everything was wonderful. Folks were picketing the G8, hippies were telling everyone to ride bikes, and everyone could hate Big Oil for an ever better reason than because they were slimy scumbags. They were also killing the planet! Awesome!

Then, sadly, some jackass statistician (I fergit his name, the wretch) actually had the unmitigated gall to actually, well, ugh, it's so damningly exasperating!! That worthless dick actually went and CHECKED Mann's WORK...

...and it was wrong.

Apparently the link between CO2 and global temperature is backward. When the earth heats up, CO2 increases, not so much the other way around. The data is rather clear about it.

And, honestly, so what if it's wrong? I mean, we didn't check it because it might BE wrong, and then we wouldn't have as many good reasons to hate the Big Bad Corporations and Western Civilization.

But you know, it's only One less reason. And there's so many existing valid good ones. We don't really need a fake one.

To finish up (since Highlander is nagging me for the 'puter) scientists were asked how to best spend 20 billion dollars, and not one of them even mention wasting a dime on Kyoto crap. So think about that.

1/11/2008 6:36 PM  
Blogger SuperWife said...

Let's assume (for the sake of my sanity), that your comment is meant to be ironic.

That you realize that 'global warming' is an actual threat to our earth and that there are several studies/scientists all in agreement over the human impact of that situation, and that you thought it would be funny to spin it. Good one, Nate.

Now, all of that said, let me throw a few things out there. Why? 'Cause it's my blog and someone might actually BELIEVE all that hogwash. That's why. And that ain't happenin' here, buddy.

Other than Mann (and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), you may want to check studies by The American Meteorological Society, The American Geophysical Union, The American Association for the Advancement of Science, the National Academy of Sciences Committee on the Science of Climate Change, and so on and so on. In fact, this 2004 article in Science Magazine, refers to 928 different papers that were analyzed and the results were as follows:

The 928 papers were divided into six categories: explicit endorsement of the consensus position, evaluation of impacts, mitigation proposals, methods, paleoclimate analysis, and rejection of the consensus position. Of all the papers, 75% fell into the first three categories, either explicitly or implicitly accepting the consensus view; 25% dealt with methods or paleoclimate, taking no position on current anthropogenic climate change. Remarkably, none of the papers disagreed with the consensus position.

Admittedly, authors evaluating impacts, developing methods, or studying paleoclimatic change might believe that current climate change is natural. However, none of these papers argued that point.

This analysis shows that scientists publishing in the peer-reviewed literature agree with IPCC, the National Academy of Sciences, and the public statements of their professional societies. Politicians, economists, journalists, and others may have the impression of confusion, disagreement, or discord among climate scientists, but that impression is incorrect.

That said, the impact of humans (not just Americans) on the climactic changes is real. With the size of forests shrinking (due less to natural causes than to manmade ones) and the damage to the ozone layer by CFC's (another unpleasant side-effect of having humans on this planet) and the effect of vehicular and industrial exhaust (which, you know, the dinosaurs didn't really do the last time the climate changed dramatically) are all pretty indisputable.

Here's a 2006 article from the USC (Union of Concerned Scientists) which contains the following passage (which is highlighted there as well):

" The overwhelming majority of scientific experts, whilst recognizing that scientific uncertainties exist, nonetheless believe that human-induced climate change is already occurring and that future change is inevitable."

So, I'm hopeful that clears up the whole notion that it's one rogue mad scientist against the world. 'Cause it's not.

Also, the impression that humans are not worsening the situation should be pretty clear from either of those sources, but, if not, well, look around a little more. Could it be that the utility companies and gas/oil companies have the incentive (and muscle) to keep this stuff on the downlow? My bet is 'yes'. And knowing how you feel about those guys, I'm thinking you do, too.

Also, a tip. The bottom line is that scientists (who have studied the shit) have consensus. Politicians, economists, journalists (who have NOT studied the shit) disagree. We just have to decide if we trust politicians (who have been busted HIDING the information) and economists (who are more interested in keeping things calm) more than the scientists on a scientific issue.

Kinda important to note.

1/15/2008 11:07 AM  
Blogger The Bunnyman said...

Here's a fun fact --

As Americans turn to more intensive corn cropping so we can make ethanol to become less petroleum dependent, American soy production has dropped.

This means that on the international soy market, soybean prices are going up.

This means that farmers in Central and South America are clearing more rainforest, so they can grow soy.

Which means less rain forest to convert carbon dioxide back into oxygen, which means, the planet gets a tiny bit warmer...

Here, look at this:

Somebody once said that most human beings, at base, are nothing but biological machines for turning food into shit.

The Sahara Desert was created by Stone Age herdsmen overgrazing their sheep. THAT's the kind of impact the human race is capable of having on its environment, with almost no technology at all.

For the past ten thousand years, we have been busily engaged in burning everything we can find to burn, to keep us warm at night, and, a bit later, to power our machinery. You do understand that when we pick something up (or dig something up out of the ground) and we burn it, we are taking energy that has been chemically stored in some way and we are releasing it back into our environment, usually, in large part, as heat.

In other words, that heat wasn't there before we dug the thing up and set it on fire. Not as an active part of the environment. The heat from your light bulbs wasn't there before you turned on the light. The heat from your car exhaust wasn't there before you drove to Blockbuster. The heat from your body wasn't there before you were born.

Multiply by many many billions of people and many many billions of tons of fuel over the last ten thousand years.

But, you know, global warming is a perfectly natural process that occurs every 1,500 years and has nothing to do with human technology and there isn't anything we can do about it so fuck it let's dig up some more shit and set fire to THAT.

Nate, I love ya. But sometimes, you get the silliest ideas in your head.

1/16/2008 8:02 AM  

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