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Moving Target: Global Warming

I know that burning fossil fuels has changed the gas content of the atmosphere such that polar ice is melting and sea levels are rising faster than they would have because more of the sun's rays are trapped. I know this. It isn't just some theory to me, it is something backed up by so many streams of evidence that I can't argue against it any more than I can argue against evolution. And unfortunately I totally forgot all the specific factoids that I assimilated to arrive at that view. I'm sure there were bajillions of them. Now my mouth is to a different firehose.

But I'm also the yogini that thinks a conceal permit is cool. I'm the independent who likes both Ron Paul and Obama. I think we should have socialized medicine and go back to the gold standard too. I'm the anti-theist who believes everything is sacred. I'm not confused, I'm complex. You can't know where I stand by assuming that I fit in. No one with a single viewpoint can ever argue effectively with me. I'm a moving target with multiple lookouts.

Back to global warming, just because I believe that we have altered the course of our climate doesn't mean that I agree with any particular political platform connected with that belief. The Dems don't seem to have anything more useful to say about it than anybody else. Seems to me that the planet is just going to warm up and is usual in the course of evolution the slow movers and those trapped in resource poor areas will die. The rich will move plenty fast enough, so they don't give a shit. The poor and ignorant will pay, which is the way of our political system. I would fix it if I knew a way but I don't. And the Republicans would say that the poor and ignorant are that way because they don't want to work...and I can't really argue, knowing who I know. There are a whole lot of slackers in the world and I wouldn't mind if they got spanked a bit. But how? How do we kick ourselves into gear?

And as for the planet just warming up, of COURSE it is not that simple. The temperature does not go up evenly in all places. Some places get more rain or less, cooler temperatures instead of warmer, or more stormy or mild weather. Just depends on the local topography and air and water flows.

I thought this was common knowledge, that just about everybody who speaks English at least has this information. I guess I was wrong? This is not information, it is opinion? When did it get turned from fact back into opinion? Since when is everything scientific considered to be an opinion? Am I really all that out of touch?

I recently posted about a study done in California about plants migrating as local temperatures increased. The plant species studied were gradually propagating downhill toward water, instead of uphill toward cooler elevations. It wasn't what they expected. Science is the process of repeatedly proving yourself wrong.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 7th, 2011 02:15 am (UTC)
I would guess that I know more people who do not believe that the theory of global warming is true than who do believe it to be true. It is so much easier to be ignorant and to believe what you hear in the media than to think critically and do research and understand the science.
Mar. 7th, 2011 03:34 am (UTC)
I guess I AM that out of touch. I was immersed in a highly educated science community from birth. I just don't get how people can believe what the media says. And what exactly does it take for a "theory" to be accepted, anyway? Who says it's a theory, the media??! (Deleted expletives.) Global warming was factually evident 20 years ago (long before Gore got ahold of it) but it was seized by the politico-media machine and turned into a circus that has gone on far too long. !!

Edited at 2011-03-07 03:34 am (UTC)
Mar. 7th, 2011 03:43 am (UTC)
The majority of our society is influenced by the media! You choose to run in a very small and tight circle and to not partake or understand popular culture. Yes, you ARE out of touch.

My education taught me that the scientific method is used to formulate a hypothesis, test it and come up with a theory based on whether the hypothesis is supported or not. Under that very simple definition, global warming is a theory which is supported by facts that prove it is probably true. Like your example with the plants, though, science proves theories partially or completely wrong all the time. Truth and fact are never set in stone.
Mar. 7th, 2011 03:47 am (UTC)
Don't I know it. Haven't I just tried to make that same case myself recently, and failed. Try harder to convince me. =-]
Mar. 7th, 2011 03:51 am (UTC)
Another thought. We need to look beyond the media for the answers to why global warming isn't being addressed. Oil rules the world, and big corporations control the oil (along with pharmaceuticals and what else?). They also control the governance of the various countries involved in supplying and consuming the oil. So while the media has a feeding frenzy on the hot topic of the day, our governments are being bribed, cajoled and somehow convinced to do the wrong things. Over and over again... and those who try to do right are hung, drawn and quartered.

Ugh. It is so frustrating, such an endless, vicious cycle. And we live in a brainwashed society.

I try to do the same as you by spending my money on things I believe in, with companies that I think are doing good things. I do think it's a good thing to do, and the only way some of us can make any difference. That, and talking to the brainwashed.

Edited at 2011-03-07 04:06 am (UTC)
Mar. 7th, 2011 03:54 pm (UTC)
I see a reason why nobody is taking action on global warming. It is because in spite of Gore's assertion in his movie that we can do something about it, there is no rational science supporting that assertion. It appears that the change we have initiated it going to play out no matter what we do, and that we will continue to burn fossil fuels until they are unavailable to us. There is a natural limit to the human addition to CO2 in the atmosphere, because we are going to run out of easily accessible fossil fuels within a generation or two. The ripples play out infinitely, but we won't be around to worry about it. So my real point is that I don't think we can reverse the change we have begun. The planet will warm no matter what governments do. So why should we spend our money on trying to reverse that? I am sympathetic to good people who minimize their carbon footprint, but I'm not sure that their efforts are really worth it. My own approach is a compromise between my environmental concerns and my personal desires. I am going to fly when I want to, even my participating in air travel is the most carbon-expensive thing I do.
Mar. 7th, 2011 07:13 pm (UTC)
Yep, me too. And I'm going to ride my motorcycle and use paved roads and buy tires.

Here's an interesting NYTs article on this very topic of your second-to-last paragraph: a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/27/magazine/27FOB-WWLN-t.html?_r=1... this quote particularly resonates with me: For those who have staked out extreme positions, backtracking may not be easy: “It is very difficult to get a man to understand something when his tribal identity depends on his not understanding it,” Bérubé notes. Maybe it’s time for some new identity politics.

Edited at 2011-03-07 07:13 pm (UTC)
Mar. 8th, 2011 12:46 am (UTC)
Thanx for the link!
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )



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