Climate Change

I’m not writing this because of the many red and white places on the weather map.

Climate Change seems to have an inherent controversy to it. The premise is that we’re doing something wrong. That’s a hard pill for anyone to swallow, let alone a planet full of greedy humans. It’s the panic and denial of an auto accident spread out over three generations.

There is more CO2 in our atmosphere now than at any other point in known Earth history.  (all right, that’s an exaggeration, but you get the idea) We know this by studying ice samples from glaciers. Glaciers form through years of snowfall compacting into a permanent sheet. Drilling an ice core exposes the previous years’ snowfall like tree rings. Measuring the CO2 in each ring gives us an idea of how much CO2 was in the atmosphere when that snow fell. The closer you get to the surface… the more recent the snowfall… the more CO2 there is in the samples.

From our study of Venus, we know what unrestrained CO2 levels are capable of doing to a planet. We are many, many years away from Venus’ fate. Unfortunately, humans can’t tolerate environmental conditions outside a relatively narrow band. We rely on our planet to maintain a rather precise balance of temperature and weather for our survival. A climate change that the planet might not even “notice” could change our habitat profoundly. The planet doesn’t care if the water is frozen on the poles or liquid in the oceans. We do.

Say for a moment… assume the deniers are correct. Humans are not responsible for global Climate Change. We know that CO2 is rising. We know that our activities produce a lot of CO2. We know that CO2 in a planet’s atmosphere heats up the surface of that planet. We know that humans can’t tolerate large changes in the planet’s surface temperature. We can’t even tolerate large storms produced by that atmosphere. (a cooler atmosphere means a cooler ocean, which means less severe storms)

It seems obvious to me that humans should be concerned about climate issues to the point of action. Reducing our emissions of greenhouse gasses is prudent, even if you have to tell yourself that we’re just offsetting a natural rise in CO2 levels.

There are things that we can do to make our planet more habitable. Maybe, we could even make it more comfortable. Climate Change doesn’t have to be all about avoiding disaster. The lessons we learn in the next couple generations will most likely teach us how to control our planet’s weather to our benefit and pleasure. It’s just my bad luck that I was born now. Yours too. What should we do about it?

3 Responses to “Climate Change”

  1. Manuel Says:

    As bad as it is, I just don’t see things changing. Too many conveniences of life have led us to this point and I don’t see them human population getting rid of these conveniences….

  2. jackalope, parrotgrrl, et al Says:

    We will all have to travel less and get on the Internet more! AArrrGGHH. Just kidding. I feel that our problems are solvable, right now. The technology exists, right now, to produce engines that will not contribute to the CO2 problem. Not hybrid cars, but engines that run on alternative fuels that don’t produce any hazardous byproducts. It’s all a matter of how profitable it becomes for companies to actually produce these en masse.
    Another step in the right direction is to elect a president who believes in science. AND doesn’t have a vested interest in keeping the internal combustion engine around to add to his oil money.
    How I hate politics!

  3. Nicola Says:

    We have a choice – whether mankind as a whole take it – is a whole different matter.

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