Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Why? (nothing to do with homeschooling)

Why do magazines, articles, etc., so often promote a particular idea yet include information in their article or whatever that totally contradicts what they're saying????

Like this one article I was just reading where they kept making it sound like current humidity levels are the result of man-made global warming. They had one little thing in it about how researchers tested a model comparing three types of warming--natural, man-made and a combination of man-made and natural--and the result was that the combination of the two was the reason. Yet the article turned right back around and blamed people for this humidity rise!

Another example: In a recent National Geographic, they had a piece on global warming. I was reading a pull-out section and they were rather balanced about it, very explicit in saying that scientists don't really know what will happen because this is the first time that CO2 levels have climbed so high before the temperatures rose (or maybe it was the other way around). In any case, they were going on about the drastic things that will happen if temperatures keep rising.

However...

The graph they have below this information CLEARLY shows that our temperatures have not peaked the way they should have. We should have been WARMER by now!!! Yes, I'm serious. I don't see any other way that the graph could be interpreted. The graph shows a series of mountains and valleys for sea level, temperatures and CO2 levels, over a period of thousands and thousands of years. While our CO2 levels are incredibly high, the temps have not gotten as high as the past 'mountains' and have actually had a type of plateau never seen before. Other noteworthy information: our current rise in temperature began BEFORE agriculture and the industrial revolution and all that began; also, they have the scare-mongering stuff about what will happen when the temperature rises x degrees, yet according to the graph, the temperature rose to x degrees every single time during the cycle... Yet the implication is that we're supposed to do something to stop it from rising that high. (???)

Now, I'm not saying we're not partly to blame for things; what I am complaining about is why the huge focus on blaming people for stuff that was happening before we even had anything to do with it, why not present a more balanced picture? My mil read or heard something the other day about how, with 9/11, air travel was greatly reduced for a while afterwards and the effects were that temperatures ROSE because there were fewer gases in the air. Yet, air travel is supposed to be one of the WORST carbon emissions! There are scientists out there who are on the other side of the issue saying, "Hey, if we actually cut out everything 'experts' are saying we need to cut out, our temperatures are going to rise even more!" There are other climatologists out there whose own studies on the effects of CO2 have shown that CO2 can rise incredibly without it affecting temperatures much. Yet the scare-mongering continues. Focusing on things like incandescent light bulbs and how we should all go fluorescent (yet many people are sensitive to fluorescent lights and get migraines) instead of more pressing environmental things like plastics and fuels.

The most pressing problem in my opinion is not how can we change our lifestyles to reduce the temperature increases, but what are we going to do ABOUT the temperature increases? That is, how can we prepare for them? What will we need to change about how we live? How will we grow crops? What sort of crops will grow best? Etc. Since it looks like we are (over-)due for high temperatures, whether we are contributing or not, how about focusing on what we are going to do once those temperatures ARE that high? The huge focus is on being environmental, which is great, but it's to prevent a temperature spike that, at least to a certain point, is supposed to happen and are we really ready for it?

I wonder what would happen if the reverse was happening--if temperatures were cooling and we could factor in human causes... Would they be fighting against an impending ice age without dealing with what we're going to do when the ice age hits?

3 comments:

Correne said...

Hi, Daisy.

You hit on one of my pet topics. I have gone round and round in my head over this stuff, and I've come to the conclusion that it really doesn't matter WHY the earth is getting warmer, we'd just better be prepared.

As far as reducing our carbon footprint, that is also extremely important, but not so much because of global warming, rather because of the enormous environmental damage and pollution that our addiction to cheap oil and cheap energy is costing, and the incredible unfairness of it globally.

Another compelling reason to figure out how to reduce your reliance on cheap energy is the issue of peak oil. People are burning up the internet talking about whether peak oil has already happened, is happening now, or will soon happen. Peak oil doesn't mean that we run out of oil, it just means that the supply is peaking and heading downhill. With world demand for oil continually RISING, that means the price of it, and therefore the price of everything is going to get very high.

So, let the scientists fight out the details. I'm spending my energy figuring out how to be prepared for warmer temperatures and crazy inflation.

Correne said...

My last comment wasn't exactly on-topic. You were saying that the articles you read were contradictory and unbalanced, and I went off in another direction.

I think I have a pet peeve going because it seems to me that a lot of people are thinking that since there is controversy over who is to blame for global warming, then they're not going to do anything until the argument is resolved. The argument may NEVER be resolved, but I still think we need to a)be prepared, and b)learn how to live more lightly on the earth.

Okay, I'll stop using YOUR blog for MY venting. Sorry.

Daisy said...

Don't you worry about that, Correne! My initial point, of inconsistencies, ended up becoming a rant on a different issue. :)