Time And The Challenge of Global Warming

The massive cap and tax bill passed out of the House is in a moment of hiatus before it gets to serious Senate consideration.  I sure hope cooler heads, no pun intended, prevail over there.  All the science folks admit that the proposal will have minimal effect on the carbon emissions worldwide.  That is especially true if one factors in China, India, Brazil, Russia and Indonesia.   Indeed no matter what we do here the carbon emissions will increase over the next several decades because of their continued growth and use of carbon based products.  The real purpose and effect of the legislation is to control virtually every segment of our economy right down to the house you live in.   The sweep of that proposal is so large that the day could come soon when a government agency could tell you how much electricity you could use in your own home.  After all using that power encreases your carbon footprint and some EPA nerd could decide that 2000 kilowatt hours a month is the maximum that anyone could use and any use over that would be fined, taxed or maybe even they would send out the electric cops to turn off your power.  You think that is an exaggeration?   Check out the powers given to the government under this proposal and then use your own common sense about the growth of any government agency.  Can you recall a single government agency that ever limited its power or curbed in the reach of its jurisdication?   The intrusion into our everyday lives will be huge and the cost to our economy will handicap us for at least a generation or more.  Everything in a modern society needs and uses power.  We in the US have the highest per capita usage of power anywhere in the world.  That corresponds with us having the highest standard of living anywhere in the world.  The poorest American lives like a king compared to most of Africa and much of the Middle East and Asia.   You are also reminded that we have the lowest per capita cost for our power of any people around the globe.  We use our power very efficiently already compared to everyone else.  Check some of these facts out at the EIA website. 

I don’t know if we are going through or entering another long term warming period or not and I certainly don’t know if any increase in temperatures are the result of our using carbon based power sources.  We have gone through several serious climate variations in just the last 75 years.  From the drought and dust storms of the thirties and the drought and heat of the late 40’s and into the 50’s.  Then there was the great concern about a new ice age that was all the rage during the 70’s and of course if you believed Rachel Carson we would all already be dead by now from chemical pollutants.  Likewise the Club of Rome predicted our demise in the 70’s.  Magically we are still here and the earth’s population is growing, too fast.   Mankind has not been promised a rose garden since we were kicked out of the Garden of Eden.  The exchange we got for that original sin was the benefit of the Tree of Knowledge.  The results of that knowledge have truly been astounding if taken in perspective.  We have moved out of the caves and traveled to the Moon rather than baying at it. 

The whole idea of an “ecosystem” has only been around a few decades.  It means the relationship between organism and their physical envoirnment.  It was a botanist who seriously began to study that relationship and asked for help in coining a phrase to describe it.  A friend of his came up with the term ecosystem in the 1930’s.  There are no ecosystem scientists.  There are botanists, zoologists, chemist, climatoligist, etc. but there really isn’t a science of ecosystems.  Just like people use the phrase all the time about “rocket scientists” there is no such thing.   Those guys who built the NASA rockets were engineers. They had help from physicists, astronomers, chemists, astrophysicists, etc.  to put men on the Moon but none of them then or now were rocket scientists.  Mankind as faced many challenges over our span of time on this earth and we are here;  our ancestors figured it out or survived by scratching and clawing against the problem.  You think we have problems now.  Just imagine a third of the population disappearing over a few years.  That is what happened during the Black Plague of the 14th century.  I have great faith in us.  I personally think that someone, somewhere is tinkering with an idea now for a new device or a radically new way to apply an old concept that will revolutionize our power sources.  We’ll figure it out.  We won’t kill ourselves in some mass suicide.  Maybe a genius will come up with a way to use coal and cleanse it of 99% of the carbon emission, maybe someone will develop a solar battery the size of a plazma tv that will deliver 20 fold the power of those in use now, maybe someone will figure out how to use hydrogen effectively as a fuel.  I don’t know what it will be but I don’t think we will be using the same power sources a hundred years from now that we currently employ.  The world changes and so do we. That is the constant and truth about us and planet earth.   We’ll adapt scientifically and technologically. The issue before us is political not scientific. 

The earth has gone through tremendous changes in its atmosphere.  Three hundred million years ago the oxygen content was up to 35% and the earth was filled with giants in both the flora and fauna worlds.  There were flies the size of sparrow, dragonflys with wingspans of almost a yard, trees and ferns grew 300 hundred feet into the sky.  The oxygen content fell to 15% and then those large animals died out.  The dinosaurs came and endured for a couple of hundred million years.  They died out and the oxygen content edged back up to the 21% level of today.  Many species become extinct.  Remember that 99% of all the animals that have ever lived on this earth are extinct now.  But I do believe we have a special place and the God given ability to endure with our brain power.  This small slice of time in the history of the earth is a mere grain of sand on the



Plant life and animal life are in a constant struggle with each other for dominance and yet they are dependent upon one anther,  just as we are.   http://www.olcranky.wordpress.com


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Filed under Economics, Environment, Global Warming, history, Mother Nature, Politics

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