Friday, February 4, 2011

Global Warming 101

Stop me if you've heard this before from those who are in denial that the phenomenon that has come to be known as Global Warming is real. "Ha Ha Ha !! There'r blizzards and ice storms everywhere !! And these idiots believe in global warming !! Ha Ha Ha !! Pass me that bottle of Jack Daniels ...". Yeah, I've heard this sentiment a lot from those who either refuse to look at scientific facts reflecting GLOBAL climate patterns of increasing temperatures in the earth's atmosphere or are unaware that these facts exist. They'd rather deal in the anecdotal, which quite frankly is easier to understand, and just focus on the fact that "it's ass freezing cold on my block, so there couldn't POSSIBLY be Global Warming".

So why are we seeing somewhat unusual weather patterns this winter with fierce snow and ice storms all across the Northern and Midwestern regions of the United States  ? Well, if you'll move all those dead brain cells you've gathered over the years to the side and think back to 6th Grade Science class, it will all make sense. The warming of a surface, in this case the earth's atmosphere, causes moisture to rise causing mass precipitation in the air. With the global increase in temperature of the earth's surface, there is an abundance of rising moisture leading to excessive precipitation in the atmosphere. Subsequently, what naturally occurs is an abundance of rain, sleet, snow and the miserable conditions many are experiencing this winter.

With the anecdotal seemingly in contrast with the scientific, there are harsh disagreements about whether or not this phenomenon is real and if so what to do about it. Like many things in this country, it seems to come down to POLITICS & POLITRIX !! Painting with a big ole broad brush, those on the left seem to believe in the climate science and those on the right seem to be in denial about it. Lefties, largely speaking, believe that the behavior and habits of mankind are largely responsible for this "inconvenient truth" about climate change and the government should play a role in curbing our bad behavior. Righties, generally speaking, either disbelieve the science completely or agree to the science but believe that this is a naturally occurring climate pattern and has nothing to do with the behavior of mankind therefore ... "KEEP THE GOVERNMENT OUT OF IT and ... (wait for it) ... LEAVE MY TAXES ALONE !! 

There are certainly intelligent substantive discussions that we can have about what is the best way that we as a society can and should do to protect our environment and not screw it up for future generations. Is this the job of the government ? is it the job of the business community ? is it up to local communities ? is it just a matter of to each his own and personal responsibility ? or should we do nothing at all because it is beyond our control ? These are all worthwhile discussions to have once we can all open our minds a little bit and realize that what we're seeing in the climate patterns from Antarctica to the Americas isn't the norm. There is no "LIE" in scientific facts and we must AT LEAST come to the table with that basic understanding. Now, equipped with that understanding, the larger question is, WHAT DO WE DO ABOUT IT ?? This, unfortunately, is where we typically run to our individual political corners, and block out our sense of reasoning. After all, Al Gore did a movie about it ... so there couldn't POSSIBLY be any truth to it !! Right ? These attitudes must change !!

1 comment:

  1. Don't forget that as some areas become 'over-saturated' other areas will become drier. Geographies which cause warm air to rob the surface of moisture, will be exposed to warmer air which will have the capacity to take up more moisture. Yes, some areas will become much wetter, and there will be more overall precipitation globally, but there will also be resulting desertification.