Friday, February 16, 2007
Al Gore nominated for Nobel Peace Prize.
An Inconvenient Truth - By Al Gore
"There is a very well funded, unethical, corporate campaign that is putting misinformation into the minds of the public, and this really threatens democracy." - Al Gore, on NPR's Fresh Air
From the first picture of the Earth in space in 1968, a few enlightened profits have supported the change in consciousness that calls for us to look at the world as an island in space, a singe unit, fragile and alone. Seeing such an image, we must take the view that the arbitrary nations and divisions of the Earth are meaningless in the overall scheme of life's existence in the universe.
"What gets us into trouble is not what we don't know, it's what we know for sure that just ain't so." -Mark Twain
Light from the sun warms the Earth, and radiates back out into space. Carbon in the atmosphere holds the long wave-length infrared radiation and and allows it to warm the gas. Thus we get warmer temperatures. (Note: this is separate from the hole in the O-zone layer, which is a high layer of oxygen molecules that reflect ultra-violet radiation, keeping these harmful rays before they burn our DNA).
CO2 levels in the atmosphere keep rising, glaciers keep melting. Fresh water is flowing to the sea. The message is that in the last 650,000 years Carbon has never been above 300 parts per million in the atmosphere, Today it is spiking to reach 900-1500 ppm (3-5 times as much) within the next 50 years. The ramifications of this fact could mean catastrophe on a global scale.
Perhaps 25% of all life forms in the known universe will go extinct. Humanity, already stressed by over population, will face diminished resources and massive environmental change. Storms will become stronger, temperature will swing greatly, killing all the plants that can not adapt to these extremes, and with all this stress on resources, wars will likely increase. Soon we will deal with the consequences of our actions.
Richard Branson, European Billionaire, has just announced a $25-million dollar prize for the first scientist who comes up with an idea that will take a significant number of metric tons of carbon out of the atmosphere, over 10 years, without harmful side effects.
Perhaps in an alternate reality President Gore would have won the 2000 election. Instead we have the "Climate Change" finaly admitted by Bush. Global warming evaporates water off the oceans to seed the clouds, but also dries out the soil, increasing precipitation falling upon dry ground, which will erode the topsoil and increase changes in water chemistry ending species.
The places where people live is traditionally chosen by the way our weather creates environment. The weather has already begun to change so fast that we can not afford to adapt to our new environments. As permafrost melts, we may gain some arable land, but the polar animals go extinct. The melting of the Siberian Permafrost may release 70 Trillion metric tons of methaine within the next 100 years, perhaps doubling the already high green-house gas levels.
When light hits ICE, 90% is reflected into space, but in the open ocean light is absorbed at a rate of 90%. As the northern polar ice cap melts, that 80% difference creates a chain reaction. This will change the OCEAN CONVEYOR, the global flow of ocean currents, and the same thing happened just before the last ice age.
(With so much trapped heat, and no ocean current to transfer it around the globe, hot spots will get hotter, cold regions colder, and humidity and precipitation will increase as surface sea temperature rises. After the polar and Tibetan ice caps melt, we may find sea levels as much as 50 feet higher than today. Shifting continents due to ice melt will increase earthquake and volcanic activity, perhaps releasing more gas and ash that could blot out the sun and rapidly cool the world's surface. Deep snow will ice over the northern hemisphere, reflecting sunlight, sending temperatures down.)
The last European ice age, was started buy a huge influx of fresh water into the North Atlantic Ocean. A huge frozen lake, that covered much of North America broke a dam and catastrophically flowed into the sea. Greenland now may be in jeopardy of melting and the same threat to the ocean's currents, but the major problem will be a 20 foot rise in sea levels around the globe.
(note: this may have precipitated the evolution of Homo Sapiens and the extinction of neanderthals, by stressing both, a change that lead to our world today.)
Is is possible that we should be concerned about threats besides "terrorism"? China is burning coal that will release so much carbon that it may help melt the Tibetan glaciers that provide much of China's fresh water. There will be over 9 Billion people on Earth in 2050. Deforestation, adds thirty percent of the carbon to the atmosphere. With nuclear technology we can no longer think the same way about war. The Aral Sea, and Lake Chad, have dried up. In carbon emissions per person the U.S. is well above any other nation.
Parable of the frog: If a frog jumps into a pot of boiling water it will just jump out, but put the same frog in a luke warm pot, and raise the temperature gradually, it will stay until it boils to death, or it is rescued.
Smokers die of lung cancer the same way. Just as the tobacco farmer is responsible for the deaths of smokers, we are all responsible for carbon emissions.
There is no longer any disagreement between scientists about if global warming is happening, now the only real debate is how bad it will get, but that is a counter factual argument, it has not happened yet. It is up to us how bad we let it go, but most of the damage has already been done.
"It is difficult to get a man to understand something if his salary depends upon him NOT understanding it." - Upton Sinclair
The Republican Neo-Conservtives say that addressing global warming will cost jobs and money. If we destroy the world, our jobs and money will not matter. And if you do the right thing everyone will prosper, and the process will create jobs. We can't sell our cars in China today, because we don't meet China's environmental energy efficiency standards.
We already know everything we need to know to address the Carbon Global Warming problem.
20% - Increasing Electricity End-Use Efficiency, such as major appliances and lights.
20% - Other End-Use Efficiencies.
20% - Passenger Vehicle Efficiency.
20% - Other Transport Efficiency.
20% - Renewable Energy.
20% - Carbon Capture Sequestration and Supply Efficiencies.
All add up and get us to 1970 levels of of Carbon Emission!
What can you do?
-Make choices to change your individual carbon emissions to zero.
-Use energy efficient appliances and light-bulbs.
-Get an energy audit of your home.
-If you have children discuss their future.
-Call the power company and ask if they supply green energy, and why not.
-Plant a tree, lots of trees.
-Speak up in your community, call that radio show.
-Raise fuel economy standards yourself, only buy cars that get 30+ MPG.
-Encourage everyone to see An Inconvenient Truth.
-Support the Kyoto Treaty. All nations except the U.S. and Australia have ratified the Kyoto Treaty. Most major U.S. Cities already pledge to support Kyoto.
Are we capable of rising above ourselves?
A free nation, of individual liberty, has that potential.
We ended the divine right of kings, slavery, women's suffrage, WWII.
What is at stake is the future of civilization, the future of all life.
It is your time to rise again to secure our future.
We have been given a window upon the future, it is our moral responsibility to decide what that future is going to be. You are no longer ignorant, you have been enlightened.
This story continues to unfold. 2006 was the hottest ever in the U.S. and Europe.
The ocean is Acidifying, the carbon in the atmosphere is bleaching the coral reefs, because of calcium carbonate. Calcium carbonate is chalk, it is absorbed by coral to make their reefs, the death of coral reefs is due to the excess carbon entering the ocean. The effect is that without coral reefs the carbon acidity in the ocean will increase faster, and everything that makes a shell will be affected. The entire food chain will be affected. Algae blooms are already killing fish and spiking jellyfish populations.
We have the power and capacity to change this, we just need the will to act.
The demographics of families are changing. People are living longer, as populations increase, we keep the old around for decades. Solving the climate crisis is connected to making better choices.
"The greatest contraceptive that one can have in the developing world is the knowledge that your children will live." - Julius K. Nyerere, President of Tanzania 1965-84
- All of the above is paraphrased from Al Gore's slideshow documentary An Inconvenient Truth.