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Friday, August 17, 2012

Editorial - Global Climate Change

This morning I paddled on a lake with water Temperature around 90º, a few degrees warmer than I have ever experienced. This summer wild fires raged across the west, which isn't unheard of but they were fed by the worst drought in 50 years. Because of that drought farmers are expecting the worst corn crop in decades - bad enough that they are trying to get the ethanol law lifted so what corn there is can be used for food. Of course, the corn used for ethanol can't be eaten by humans, it will be fed to cows that will be eaten by humans, but that is a discussion for another day. The ice sheet on Greenland is melting faster than anyone thought possible, and a chunk of the peterman glacier - also in Greenland -  broke free, but not to worry because it was only twice the size of Manhattan.

They - meaning climate scientists - told us this was going to happen. In fact, it is happening faster than they said it would. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says that global climate change is a direct result of heavy industry combined with deforestation. 99% of climatologists think global climate change is man made. Here is a nifty infographic I found:

If that isn't enough, the CEO of Exxon agrees. He says global warming is caused by burning fossil fuels, but that man will adapt.

These are people that are all smarter than I am, I am notoriously bad at math, but when I look at the things in front of me, and what scientists are saying, it makes sense to me. In this case 2+2 does equal 4.

Here is what dumbfounds me. I talk to people on a daily basis who believe some part of the following:
       A) Global climate change is not happening
       B) it is happening, but it is part of a natural cycle
       C) Scientists have a secret agenda that benefits from making climate change man made.

These are intelligent people who see the same things I see, but still think that we shouldn't change any of the things that we do, to make the world a better place. They are against using any form of renewable energy - 'it isn't financially viable will be their argument' - despite the fact that if solar energy got the same subsidies that the oil industry got, solar would be cheaper. Again, I am not the smartest guy in the world, but if we pushed solar energy in the US wouldn't that create thousands of jobs?

If that same CEO of Exxon said 'We know fossil fuels create global climate change, and that is why we are getting into the solar and wind business, and we won't rest until every home in America is powered by solar' wouldn't you buy gas for your car from Exxon?

I know that change is hard, and I am far from perfect - I drive a car, and have electricity in my home. But couldn't we make these kinds of changes without dramatically impacting our lives, and still have a dramatic impact on the planet? I ran a little poll on the sidebar, and while the participation numbers are small the vast majority of people that come to this site accept that global climate change is man made. But what if we are wrong? What would the consequences be of making these changes, and then we find out that global climate change is a plot by scientists: