Saturday, October 11, 2014

Climate Change...

For many of you sitting here reading this you will know and understand the difference between Global Warming, and Global Climate Change.  At one time, what we thought was happening to our tiny little world was Global Warming, where everything was getting slightly warmer every year, and the consequences were astounding.  What we have since learned is that, while the planet is gradually heating up in some areas, it is actually dropping in others, while causing droughts in areas that were not previously prone to droughts, raging rain storms in areas that never had seen that weather.
The problem here is that the bulk of the media tends to use Global Warming and Global Climate Change interchangeably.  However, Global Warming is mixed creation of what we do, and what the planet does.  We add more carbon into the air, and the Earth is already on a warming up period, that is Global Warming.  That is not what is happening today.  What we see happening today is Global Climate Change, which is only a small fraction of Global Warming.

Look, most of us have seen Cosmos, we know about our local weather, and that is what our climate is.  Climate accounts for everything from the average temperature, to precipitation (how much and how often), wind, ocean currents, etc, etc, etc.  So, when someone says that Global Climate Change is a real issue, they are not talking about just how hot it is, they are talking about how much rain you get, how humid it is outside, they are really talking about changes in climate, across the planet.  We cannot predict the 10 day weather forecast, many cannot even get the next days weather entirely correct, but that is because of climate, which is a fairly established pattern (it is why some of the farmers almanacs tend to be close about various things).

 So, when someone tells you that Global Climate Change is a very serious issue, you might want to pay attention.  Alright, so you are asking how does this affect me?  Well, I wish I could magically teleport someone whose home was swallowed by a desert to your office area to tell you.  But, with the advent of the internet and Facebook, you can find someone who lives in Arizona to talk to about when they had over a years worth of rain fall on them in less time than a professional football game can be played.  You can talk to someone in the Mid-West about their perception of the number of tornadoes or funnel clouds they have seen.  Maybe talk to someone in Minnesota about the amount of snow they have gotten the past few years.  Exclude the Polar Vortexes as they are normal occurrences from what I have read. 

So why am I discussing this after nearly a weeks worth of silence about anything?  Well, I recently was introduced to a Wall Street Journal article discussing Global Warming (actually it was Climate Change models), in which the author stated that all of our current models are wrong, and that while our situation is bad, it is not all that bad.  In her mind we "still have time to figure this out."  Well, great, glad to know it, as most of the coastal areas of the planet are sinking, and deserts are growing.

Look, I am not an alarmist by trait.  I look at the evidence provided, do my own research, and go from there.  Here is the truth about it, even if you do not want to accept it, the climate of our world is changing.  Under so called normal conditions, we likely wouldn't even realize that it was warming or cooling, the changes would be such that animals would adapt and would not be dieing off, our oceans wouldn't be turning to acid, or be choked out with toxic algae.  What we have here are not so called normal conditions, these are abnormal conditions, which are throwing things out of kilter. 

So, assume that this model presented in the WSJ article are correct, great that means that we have more time to fix the problem, which means not as much damage has been done.  That is a very positive thing.  Here is the problem with that same article.  The recommendation that we put off reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and put off getting off coal and oil.  Look, even if the models are wrong, even if things are not as bad as we think they are, cutting our dependence on coal and oil, cutting our greenhouse gas emissions only serves to make the world a slightly better place. 

Read this comic and think about this for a moment.  First, it is not a hoax, but this is what we all need to ask ourselves, if things are not that bad yet with climate change, what is the harm in creating a better world for nothing?  Sadly I only have hope for a few people to actually sit down and understand that which ever model is correct, Global Climate Change is an issue, nearly as large of an issue as poverty is. 

Anyway, this is the fate of our little burgh in the verse if we continue to put off action to curb our dependence on coal and oil, and do nothing to curb our greenhouse gases.

Welcome to Venus, the second rock from the Sun, a place where the average temperature runs around 870 degrees F, all day, every day, and all through the night.  Yeah, that is an extreme example, given that 96% of the atmosphere there is Carbon Dioxide compared to our CO2 levels are floating around .04%.  It is enough to have added a degree or two worldwide.  Some people say that its not that bad, but that one or two degrees have displaced how many people?  What will another two or three degrees do to our planet?  Imagine that drought in Ethiopia being extended to most of Africa, and the majority of the US being under extreme drought conditions. 

Regardless of how bad it is, or is not, this is the time to start taking action.  This is the time to make the change.  Willing change before the shit hits the fan is always less painful than being forced into a change afterwards.