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Remember: Global Warming: The tipping point?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Global Warming: The tipping point?

image (Image from NASA)

Yesterday, released the climate data compiled by NASA for the January-April period of 2010.  The data shows that this period was the hottest recorded in 131 years and this recently released data also shows that the last 12 month period of observation, is also the hottest on record.

Today, I want to take a look at some Climate Change skeptic arguments.

1. “It snowed so much last winter, global warming is crap!”

An isolated snowy month, a blizzard, a heat wave or any other short term weather phenomena are not indicative of a long term climate change pattern which is what the concept of Global Warming is dealing with.  Every long term climate study shows that the average temperature of the earth is rising and rising at a rate over the last 100 years that is alarming when compared to previous warming periods. 

2. “The Earth has warming and cooling cycles, this is just part of the natural process”

This second statement is irrefutably true.  As best as science can tell us, the planet has gone through many cycles of warming and cooling.  Warming cycles are marked by increased carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere and higher sea levels.  Cool cycles show lower atmospheric carbon dioxide and lower sea levels, as polar ice caps and periods of long term glaciations occurred.

Thing is, at least since 1958, atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide are rising at an exponential rate never before seen in the climate record.  That increase in carbon dioxide exacerbates the Earth’s natural greenhouse effect, warming the planet.  As atmospheric temperatures increase, ocean water temperatures increase and as the water heats up, it expands.  This expansion prevents the ocean from absorbing the carbon dioxide it usually does and begins a sequence of events that can destroy the oceanic food chain, interrupt or stop natural ocean currents and melt the polar ice caps at an extremely fast rate.

The exponential increase of atmospheric carbon dioxide has been measured and documented at the Mauna Loa Observatory since 1958.
I could keep listing the various claims from Climate Change deniers but the same answer will result.  This phenomenon is real.  I am talking real science here folks, not some Al Gore movie or bumper sticker on a Prius.  From the disappearance of bees and bats to the death of conifers in the Rocky Mountains, the very real effects of Climate Change are beginning to affect the entire world.

It only gets worse from here readers.

This post is not about the problems that will be caused by Climate Change.  The purpose of this post is to highlight an overriding environmental issue that will affect every single one of us in the very near future.  At a time when the environment is the lead news story every night due to an unspeakable ecologic tragedy,  there has never been a better time to bring the scientific realities of a serious global issue to the forefront of both the national political discussion and the local one.

Today, I am going to write briefly about a local discussion of climate change.  Check back tomorrow for a review of the new bill sponsored by John Kerry and Joe Lieberman regarding America’s energy future.

So, what can we do right here in Allentown to fight this global scourge?

First, the little things like turning excess lights off or driving less.  Then, eat sustainably and locally so that the oil needed to put food on your table is lessened dramatically.  Most importantly, we need to become the best possible stewards of the environment that we control, right now. 

Invasive species, watershed health, riparian buffers, tree plantings, etc, etc, are the big issues that we can do something about right here, right now.  Addressing these issues on a local level, in tandem with localities across America and hopefully the world will make the biggest and longest lasting change possible.

I have written about all these things many times.  We know what we are facing.  The time has come to change it.   

Check these things out, this is how you make a difference:

Emmaus Farmers Market
Lehigh Valley Food Coop
Heritage Conservancy

That’s just a start, the list could go on.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Check back tomorrow for a review of the new bill sponsored by John Kerry and Joe Lieberman regarding America’s energy future."

This bill is a cap&Trade bill, that's all it is. It is the central focus, it is the overiding goal of the entire 900 page bill. People do not uinderstand what this bill will do to small green tech businesses.

Just think, if you want to reduce your carbon footprint by putting solar panels on your roof. It might take 3 months and $50,000 to get the job done, with a payback period of 20 years. Or you can achieve zero carbon foot print by spending $50 in carbon credits. Which would you do? Spend $50k or $50? This cap&trade bill will kill small green tech businesses. No one will spend a red nickel on green with a cap&trade system in place, they will buy the credits instead. This will make Wall street carbon traders rich. I do not understand Obama anymore.

But I understand Al Gore. It explains why Al Gore has no solar or wind equipment on any of his mansions. He just buys the carbon credits and his footprint is zero. He doesn't need expensive equipment, or ride a bicycle or eat tofu. Tofu is for suckers. Be like Al; Buy carbon credits, put green tech companies out of work. Make Wall street rich.

May 18, 2010 at 9:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ahh, the only comment so far is by a wingnut flat-earther. Why do you idiots insist on lying about cap and trade and dragging Al Gore into every conversation? Obviously everything you said about Gore is nonsense and lies as well, but why even bring him up in the first place. You denialists are pathetic! Why don't you look into another, less dangerous hobby?

May 19, 2010 at 1:19 PM  

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